For [B]Arthur[/B] addicts only.
The ancient stoner axiom, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you”, could have been written for [a]Arthur Lee[/a]. Poor old Arthur. If ever a man poeticised self-pity into a persecution complex and made it whiff of spliff and roses it was Arthur.
Back in ’60s LA, when the white longhairs were in acid chick heaven, he watched from the wings as The Byrds, The Doors, The Beatles and Hendrix freaked their way to overnight stardom while, no matter how many rainbow pills he necked, the skull just wouldn’t quit popping its nasty grin through the gossamer skin of his songs. Arthur was just too weirded-out and too scary for the gently vibrating masses to embrace to their peace and luvved-up bosom and Arthur‘s bitterness festered into wayward madness that saw out the ’60s. And the ’70s. And the ’80s.
And then, in the ’90s, a brief vindication. Some longtime disciples hauled his skinny ass over to play some club dates in Europe and shoved a pick-up band on him to trot out the tunes from ‘Da Capo’ and ‘Forever Changes’ – albums by his band, Love, which for some still gleam through the ages like the Holy Grail.
And for one small moment in Arthur‘s life there was luck and there was triumph. His pick-up band were Shack, themselves busy shivering in a small junkie myth of their own, and the Head boys knew those Love songs even better than Arthur. And Arthur, onstage he shone. He fluffed some lines, looked mostly cool and sometimes bemused, wore a wondrous wig and the raddled old voice poured nicotine honey over ‘Alone Again Or’, ‘Signed DC’ and ‘My Little Red Book’.
The gigs were awesome and this CD captures the Liverpool show, recorded from the audience. In the cold light of day, like most bootlegs, it’s a nice souvenir but not much more.
Arthur? He reunited with his darkness, returned to LA, got involved with a neighbour and a shotgun and wound up in gaol. He’s still there. A harmless man cursed by self-fulfilling prophecy.
This CD is, quite literally, a labour of Love. For Arthur addicts only. Free [a]Arthur Lee[/a].