Veteran LOVE frontman ARTHUR LEE was honoured at the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT yesterday evening (June 17), amid bizarre scenes that saw a string of MPs queuing up to pay homage.
Lee had been the subject of an Early Day Motion put forward by a number of Labour MPs which declared Love’s 1967 folk/psychedelic opus ‘Forever Changes’ “the greatest album of all time”. He was invited to Parliament to have the Motion officially noted by those who had put it forward. He arrived at the House to be met by Labour MP Peter Bradley who had the proposed the motion. A clearly bemused Lee – wearing dark glasses, a bright red cowboy shirt and distinctive bandana with cowboy hat on top – was given a brief tour, before he was taken to the terrace bar to be met by other Members.
Lee was greeted on the Terrace with the bizarre sight of Labour MP Stephen Pound – another of those who signed the Motion – dropping to his knees and offering a ‘Wayne’s World’-style ‘We’re not worthy’ welcome. Over the next hour, Lee sat talking about his recording career with several MPs, while several high-ranking members – including former Sports Minister Tony Banks, Harriet Harman and Speaker Of The House Of Commons, Michael Martin – were brought forward for an introduction. One MP, Alan Whitehead, dashed straight from a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair in order to meet his hero.
“This an incredible honour,” Lee told NME.COM. “I’ve been so well received in the United Kingdom from the young to middle aged and the old. The warmth here is incredible. And these people here in Parliament – well, it’s just mind-blowing. It’s a great honour just to be here. This wouldn’t happen in the States.”
Lee, who has just completed a sell-out tour of the UK, revealed he was planning to go back into the studio in September to record brand new material. The album, he said, had a working title of ‘Love On Earth Must Be’. He also said he planned to tour again in November, playing bigger venues with a 30-piece orchestra.
For much of the day, Lee’s recent six year spell in prison for gun offences was not broached. However, as he was leaving, a couple of policeman on guard stopped him to tell him they were great fans.
“You should move here,” Pound quipped. “The police like you here.”