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 The Passing of Arthur Lee

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delmore Posted - 04/08/2006 : 02:11:12
I am very sad to report that Arthur Lee died this afternoon (around 4p.m.) in the hospital with his wife, Diane, by his side. This is still very much a shock for me as I had hoped Arthur would recover. I know that many of you will be devestated by this news. I will do my best to let you know more details as soon as possible.

mark linn
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
thenewguy Posted - 17/10/2006 : 02:02:12
Originally posted by jazmaan

Arthur is buried with a Filisko harmonica. Look up "Filisko" online and you'll find its the Rolls Royce of harmonicas.

Didn't I see you toss that in with him at the gravesite?
rocker Posted - 12/10/2006 : 21:53:04
Just managed to read Mr.Maclean's letter..thanks....great insight and perspective from the guy who was there...sure goes to show that top musicians at times really need each other to spark that creativity inherent in themselves...look what we got we Lee/Maclean matchup.......and I guess of course we know that "all things must pass"....
Kula John Posted - 02/10/2006 : 12:01:21
Yeh thanks for that LeeRob, really interesting read. I love that last paragraph, just imagining Arthur and Bryan being together, being creative, but most of all just being friends.

This is the time and this is the time and it is time, time, time, time, time, time, time.....
JohnFPorcaro Posted - 02/10/2006 : 02:13:44
Thanks for the article.
It clears up a lot of questions
LeeRob Posted - 01/10/2006 : 23:31:23
Dear Board Members, The following is a letter which Bryan MacLean wrote on June 22, 1997. It was to be sent to Mojo magazine; it never was. In light of several stories which have come out as a result of Arthur's passing, dealing with the relationship between these two core members of LOVE, Elizabeth McKee, Bryan's mother, has asked that I put it here on Torben's site. This letter has never been published.

Re: LOVE article, June '97 issue

Dear Mojo,

Thank you for your vigilant attempts to keep LOVE alive. I find it extraordinary, and somewhat bewildering that a relatively obscure L.A. street band, which should certainly have been forgotten by now, still has an apparent impact, interest, or any importance to anyone three decades later. Still, my tendency is to keep a distance from the past, not dwelling on, or trying to extract material benefit from past experiences. I prefer living in the present, and looking forward rather than back. However, in this rare instance I felt literally compelled to answer, or address what were, in my view, certain inconsistencies, inaccuracies, things taken out of context, and perhaps even, well, insults to both Arthur, and myself. (these observations are directed, not at all, toward MOJO or any of it's staff, but rather the learned gentleman who authored the piece).

It's not what happens in life that matters so much, it's how you end up. The things that happen along the way may either be valuable, or destructive, or just sail by, depending on your attitude, and what you do with what happens. I'm learning to pay closer attention to how I word things, to take responsibility for blurting out old dialogue and phrases that express old viewpoints that have since been reconciled, also, when to guard my words, to be aware of when to trust, and who to trust.

I can't help but wonder what the author imagines [that] could possibly qualify him to speculate as to whether or not I am harboring either anger or awe toward Arthur Lee (impertinence), any more than David Anderle had the right to project . . . that Arthur and my relationship was homoerotic. Arthur was my friend; best and dear. We competed for women, music, recognition, vindication and love. We enjoyed our relationship, we principally laughed together (at ourselves, at everyone, and everything), and you and I know that the people that you feel the closest to, the ones you are most yourself with, are the ones you laugh the most with, and certainly (though we often did not see eye to eye), Arthur did not ever, "Make my life miserable". Clearly, I hadn't even a sense of what misery was until I fell in love, and that came later. Yes, Arthur ripped me off from certain royalties, "Orange Skies" etc., etc., but who's fault was that? I was the one who was paying more attention to the sex and drugs, than I was to the rock and roll..!!. . .

Now we're beginning to get to the heart of the issue. Why this onslaught of relentless negativity toward Arthur, as if being in a prison cell is not enough punishment. Prison, after all, is the ultimate rejection, the entire planet is rejecting you, and rejection was what Arthur, in his reclusiveness, was trying to avoid), and Arthur, out of reach, and more or less helpless, is sort [of] fair game for every vitriolic brand of idle slander.

In the two hours that the author and I spent together, (My openness and enthusiasm were described by him as, "half crazed, and words 19 to the dozen", oh yeah, I'll be sure to give him more interviews!) how did he manage to so efficiently, isolate only the critical remarks? Better copy? Oh, believe me, I'm learning to just stop speaking unkindly toward anyone, ever, and I will get there, I promise, but meanwhile how about some, I don't know...mercy? How many of my 19 to the dozen words were left out, or given a singularly uncharitable slant? Did I say that I would've, if able, grabbed Arthur by the collar, and thrown him up against a that more of my songs would've been recorded? If I said it, I shouldn't have. Yes, it's true nothing much happened with LOVE after I left the band. neither one of us was as good apart as we were together. I didn't mean that statement as a boast, really I was thinking of how much harder it was on Arthur, who tried to carry on the name, LOVE, and retain the mystique. I had it easy, I was converted to Christ (I don't like the way ignorant people use the term, "Born Again", they don't have the faintest idea what they are talking about), and proceeded to quit the business, walking away from a contract with Capitol Records, and turning down an offer from Bearsville Records (the Band were up there recording Big Pink at the time) in 1970, to get a job as janitor at the Pico Drug in West L.A. (rock history Baby), and then Pep Boys Auto Parts in the Crenshaw District (Arthur visited me there), while attending a tiny Baptist church in Santa Monica, not very glamorous, but true conversions rarely are. But Arthur kept going, kept recording, and produced a body of notable, if not enormously commercial works (I sing his music, songs like "Life is like a River", ever heard it?)

Tremendous things happen to people in prison, a person can turn his whole life around if he wants to, why not believe for that to happen? Arthur's best music may still be yet to be happens. God has kept Arthur alive through a lot of things that would kill most people, maybe He sees something we don't see. (By the way, Arthur never did O.D. in a bathtub, never [was] found dead, or was brought back to life by dope dealers that were like paramedics. That happened to someone else - I'll tell you who, someday, when we get to know each other better). Anyway...

Arthur and I used to be together every day, I lived down the Lookout Mountain road from him. I'd run up the hill to his house overlooking the city. We'd walk our dogs together (we both had retrievers), we'd look out over the city below, we'd write, talk about everything, make plans, all the things that normal best friends do. I knew Arthur, and believe me, there was something there. He was shy of people, but loving and affectionate with the people he trusted, but yes, I suppose something, or someone had hurt him early on, but he is no villain. When Arthur was sober in 1990, we spoke briefly, and he was the old Arthur, just briefly, but he was there. I don't want for Arthur to have to read harsh and critical words about himself any more. I'm determined to stop, let's all stop.

Bryan MacLean
Los Angeles, June 1997
universal9 Posted - 26/09/2006 : 20:25:00
goodbye arthur. thank you for the days.
John E Posted - 31/08/2006 : 22:35:44
Sorry wrong thread!
John E Posted - 31/08/2006 : 22:27:51
Mojo should have signed a deal to put the Rocket Man" on the cover, then they could have used a picture of Arthur live at The Rocket in Holloway Road (my second to last Arthur gig, and a great one)!
Love, John E
rocker Posted - 31/08/2006 : 21:03:44
At this point, I think everybody who's in music and likes music has to know about Arthur's death and his work. Guess that's the way it works, he was a celebrity but only to a few. And now through death he's known all over the world. I'd think if they did a poll right now Arthur and Love would have an album up there in the top night follows day. What gets me is how long it took for his work with his bands to get recognition. Interesting that I think everybody here kind of "got it". And I'd love to see all the reviews of Love back in '67/'68 especially on FC. We'd get an exercise in rock criticism and how views change or don't change. Would there be any around? I haven't come across any.
MHM Posted - 28/08/2006 : 15:50:54
Goodbye Arthur. I always wondered what the end to the story would be but never expected to know the answer so soon.
You and your music are truly loved by all.
Peace be with you.


jazmaan Posted - 27/08/2006 : 21:37:26
Arthur is buried with a Filisko harmonica. Look up "Filisko" online and you'll find its the Rolls Royce of harmonicas.
LeeRob Posted - 27/08/2006 : 06:15:10

On Maria McKee's site, she has a short rememberance of Arthur and Bryan:
rocker Posted - 22/08/2006 : 14:45:58
right LeeRob...

As for my respect for Arthur I did over the weekend what I'd been meaning to do for awhile and that was to hang FC on the wall in my house..record and all. I think I'll be looking at it for the rest of my life.
LeeRob Posted - 21/08/2006 : 22:51:42
Hey Guys and Gals, not to be contrary in any way, but the name of this Topic is: The Passing of Arthur Lee. I think we have taken it too far from that, maybe we can move this over to another Topic. It's only a suggestion.


Yes, I'm going 'round and 'round.
rocker Posted - 21/08/2006 : 21:45:47
Well they're going up! I have a copy of the RS Oct 17 2002 top 100. Love was nowhere to be found. Revolver was #1. #40 was Jeff Buckley's "Grace" and #100 was Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". Morrison et al weren't there either.

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