Monday, November 11, 2013

The Red Telephone

The Red Telephone by Arthur Lee live in 2003 at Glastonbury. Lee was one of the most singular American Rock Composers and Performers. His 60's band, LOVE remains one of my biggest influences...bass driven genius, music that walked the edge between utter sophistication and grunge. Just the first single, 1965's Love's cover of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition, My Little Red Book, proved it...He was a real cross over artist, a hip young black man playing outsider rock in world that didn't want to know about it...he was too black, too hip, too intelligent, too cool to be allowed to survive.  He forged on, the last official LOVE recording, False Start, actually was a collaboration with Jimi Hendrix! The piece, Red Telephone appeared on Love's penultimate 1968 recording, Forever Changes, which posthumously many Rock critics admit is one of the greatest records of it's time  or any time...I would tend to agree, but give me the entire LOVE catalogue!
Lee had a troubled history through the 70', management, drugs and finally a few firearm convictions too many. He ended up in prison for a few years and then magnificently resurrected himself and was able to recreate much of his greatest work live on stage with the help of the great band, Baby Lemonade (now where have you heard that name before?)  as he was tragically dying of Leukemia. Arthur Lee, March 7, 1945-August 3, 2006.

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