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Forever Changes: Arthur Lee & the Book of Love

By John Einarson.

I still have the ticket. Arthur Lee and backing group Baby Lemonade performing Love's classic album Forever Changes in it's entirety. Manchester Academy Sat 25th Jan 2003. A bitterly cold day but the buzz of anticipation created by the gig goers in and around the hostelries of Oxford Road thawed the nithered pilgrims from the other side of The Pennines (Me, Scarborough Si, and South Stand Shanny). Although a massive fan of Love's first four albums (Love, Da Capo, Forever Changes, and Four Sail) I was never one to buy into the manufactured mystique about any rock star so I was unprepared for the charisma and vocal talents of Arthur Lee. He had just served five years of a twelve year stretch on a fire arms charge in the U.S. but he took to the stage in Manchester like he performed every night of his life. He shone like few others I have seen before or since. As did the band Baby Lemonade. That's my Arthur memory. This book has a whole host more from those who were a part of the story of one of the best groups of the 1960's.

I would recommend John Einarson's book to any fan of Love. In it myths are dismissed by factual recollections of those that were there in that bountiful period of bands from Los Angeles in the mid to late sixties. The author didn't ever meet Arthur Lee but he deftly intersperses journalism, interviews with the main players in the story especially with Jac Holzman from Elektra Records and Johnny Echols (Arthurs childhood friend and scorching guitarist in Love), and notes that Arthur Lee had made for his memoirs that never got to be published before he died. Some great insights into the production of the unique, timeless, and lets face it, fucking brilliant Forever Changes album. Along with the usual band spats and wholly destructive effects of drugs like heroin and acid on the human spirit.


One of the best gigs I ever went to but I seem to think that about a lot of concerts Forever Changes with the strings and horns in Brooklyn but here's the thing, I rarely ever listen to owt by them and after having played Forever Changes to death after Lloyd Cole wrote about Arthur Lee in his lyrics I rarely listen to Love these days.

I hadn't listened to Love in a while before reading this but I've been listening to Forever Changes a lot in the last few weeks. I had my old cd of it in the car and it got scratched so I forked out for the remastered 2001 release with the extra tracks (my original was a well worn copy of the first 1987 cd release) and its nicely packaged with some good liner notes and photos. My admiration for the album just grows and grows the more I listen to it. Forum Index -> Fishy Tales
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