Beachland Ballroom,
Cleveland, OH
US Oct. 11. 2004

Last Update: 07. marts 2005

A House Is Not A Motel
Alone Again Or
7 And 7 Is
Old Man
Bummer In The Summer
You Set The Scene
Signed D.C.
My Flash On You
The Red Telephone
Orange Skies
Everybody's Gotta Live/Instant Karma
Singing Cowboy
Between Clark And Hilldale








Photos: Rocco Caponi. Thanks to  "Fritz from Ohio"


Caught Love live for the first time in my 38-year (albeit with some protracted interruptions) ardor for the band, in Cleveland last Monday night. Love opened for the Zombies, and brought us a different show from the one captured on the Forever Changes Concert CD and DVD: no strings and horns (stage much too small for that), while Arthur Lee sported new headgear, a camouflage ball cap, and introduced a new guitarist, who turned out to be Johnny Echols from the Love of legend. In return for coming out to see the "naked" Love, we received a very intensely hard-rocking show, harking back to the band's mid-'60s folk-punk style, even on the Forever Changes numbers. Powerful performances throughout, with Arthur really projecting the vocals, and on some songs Arthur, Johnny, Mike Randle, and Rusty Squeezebox were all playing guitars at the same time, giving off a loud and ferocious sound. I felt like I'd been granted a born-again chance to witness just a bit of that mythic scene in the Love Story booklet, the photo of Arthur Lee, Bryan Maclean, and Ken Forssi all jamming away onstage at Bido Lido's in 1966.

Back in Cleveland 2004, every Love performance was tight and totally kinetic, with Bummer In The Summer almost unbelievably so. Signed D.C. was downbeat, harrowing, and propulsive all at once, with Arthur invoking his obsession with the transience of life: "I've got one foot in the graveyard -- Just like YOU!" (Pointing at all of us in the crowd.)
Arthur also added some topical flavor to "The Red Telephone," listing other icons who could find themselves locked up today: "Michael Jackson"; "Martha Stewart"; and "W. Bush or ME!" Point well taken. The Everybody's Gotta Live/Instant Karma combo seemed to be Arthur's existential mission statement about all that he's survived and overcome.  Then he thanked us again for our enthusiasm, and asked us for an instant of silence so he could remind us "To love one another!"

During the break between the bands, I bought the new Love On Earth Must Be EP, and was standing in the lobby talking with my friend Sue, when the front door of the club opened, and Arthur Lee himself was coming right toward us. Sue stepped up to him and shook his hand, so then I did too (Arthur's grasp very full and firm, as Richard Meltzer described Jimi Hendrix's) but I was too awestruck to say anything more to him than "Great show, Arthur!" I was afraid he'd think I was signifying if I told him I'd reviewed the Forever Changes reissue for the Village Voice.
( ) Sue and I were still there talking a few minutes later when a guy who'd bought one of the Love T-shirts asked Arthur to autograph it, so they put it up on the wall, and Arthur was trying to write on it with a red Sharpie, but the fabric was bunching up. Finally they stretched the shirt flat enough against the wall, and the star completed his signature, that bright red "Arthur Lee" with that characteristic loop in the "L" materializing like neon in the night -- an image almost too up-close & mystical for your Lovelorn reporter.

The Zombies also served.

Richard Riegel
Cincinnati, OH, US



Arthur and Rocco Caponi

Arthur and Fritz Seachrist

Eric Seachrist, Benjie Galizio, Kim Galizio, Johnny Echols, me, Steve Smith. Rocco Caponi in foreground