EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
LOVE – LOVE – April or July 1966
In 1966 I was fifteen, within a year from getting a legal California drivers license. Being fifteen was probably the worst age because you are ready for all kinds of new stuff and junk, yet you have no license or car, no decent after school job and therefore no money and on top of that, you were fifteen.
I used to hitch-hike on the 405 freeway south to Imperial Blvd and then out to the middle of Hawthorne to be with my girlfriend that I had met at a recent New Years Eve Party – and then hitch-hike back at midnight – it’s what you do for love. Besides, her name was Gloria, and just like the recent Van Morrison/Them hit single everything was the same except I had to go to her house, and knock upon her door, and go to her room, and . . . …. ….. ….. ……..G-L-O-R-I-A!! GLORIA!
My appreciation for the music I was receiving became sounds of a true friend, always there, unwavering in its sense and stand and this LOVE album was and is a great friend and a cherished iconic album that I played and listened to at least daily for months – it was like an addiction; I needed to hear it. In fact it was like the songs on this album were a combined whole that constituted an entity. I now understand and live that concept of how just about anything taking on a mutually-appreciated relationship with another entity is, well, LOVE – but back then esoteric love was still somewhat of a mystery.
Under the Rock God leadership of multi-instrumentalist / singer / songwriter Arthur Lee, LOVE consisted of Bryan Maclean singer / songwriter / guitarist , Ken Forssi bass , Johnny Echols lead guitarist and Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer drums.
Arthur’s band and message was clear from the start; a unique interracial L.A. Rock band who immediately lived up to their name.
From the driving proto-punk rebel rock stance of “My Flash On You” to the heartbreaking tenderness of “Softly to Me” I’m taken right back to a strange era of fun, thrills and emotions!
This album is a musical background to the feelings of unbearable impending excitement and frustration – each song seemed to have something to say about my current and near future, I could feel it. It even had an instrumental track called “Emotions” – which, by the way, gives virgin birth to the classic film action heroes’ theme of the laconic loner against all odds determined to prevail – all of that in under two minutes!
I endured, as each day I was closer to a much-needed higher level of life.
Don’t get me wrong, the major drive behind getting a car was of course the freedom that comes with it but the real drive was sexual; I needed a cool car with an accommodating back seat and I eventually got one.
I paid $66.00 for the car and $33.00 for a reseal of the leaky transmission so for $99.00 I got a luxurious straight eight 1951 Buick – “It has a way with women.”!
While cruising in my new Dynaflow and listening to the radio sounds coming through the speakers behind the all-metal dashboard, “My Liittle Red Book” cranked – and even though the Byrds were considered the first Los Angeles Hippie band and became archetypes and icons; other than Gene Clark’s contributions they lacked original material and their greatest hits were mostly Dylan / Seegar covers. So although their presence on the scene was highly-regarded as the seminal fusion of Folk and Rock, it was LOVE that were the real deal – the real original West Coast Hippie Band – and Arthur was well-versed in fusion, way, way ahead of his contemporaries.
I must now give time to 00individual’s “Other” and say that the Seeds were truly the first original West Coast Hippie Band on the scene, who like Arthur Lee also had a charismatic cultural leader in Sky Saxon.
While LOVE’s debut album was not a commercial success it was bursting with originality – and with only two covers; their hit, Bacharach’s “My Little Red Book” and Robert’s de-rigueur “Hey Joe” – Arthur Lee’s lyrics, arrangements, compositions and voice far surpassed any bands at that time.
Remember, other than Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones and the Seeds – Hendrix, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Spirit and many, many others surely were influenced by LOVE’s unique sound, blend of styles and attitude that was on display before any of their debut album releases.
The eponymous LOVE album was perfect as an introduction and high-water mark for all of the Hippie, Psychedelic, Rock, Folk Rock bands and albums that followed.
1. My Little Red Book (Bacharach-David) 2:30
2. Can’t Explain (Lee-Echols-Fleckenstein) 2:35
3. Message to Pretty 3:10
4. My Flash on You 2:05
5. Softly to Me (Maclean) 3:10 (stereo version fades out 5 seconds later, revealing more guitar soloing) Lyrics
6. No Matter What You Do 2:40
7. Emotions (Lee-Echols) 1:55 (mono version ends 5 seconds later, apparently catching the final symbol hit.)
1. You I’ll Be Following 2:25
2. Gazing 2:40
3. Hey Joe (Roberts – composer was not Dino Valenti) 2:38
4. Signed D.C. 2:44
5. Colored Balls Falling 1:50 (mono version fades out 4 seconds later.)
6. Mushroom Clouds 2:45 (mono version fades out 15 seconds later and therefore contains a beautiful acoustic guitar solo missing from the stereo version!!!!
7. And More (Lee-MacLean) 2:56
Join the celebration to commemorate the life of a highly gifted multi-instrumentalist, an awesome composer and arranger, amazing lyricist and prominent leader of the ’60s Counter Culture and leader of the righteous band, LOVE.
His music lifted spirits, broke ground and Rocked the Scene and whose style, attitude and perseverance triumphed gloriously in the end: a true Rock God, Arthur Lee.
Close-up of 1969 Psychedelic Collage
Collage and original “LOVE” art element copyright 1969 / 2012 00individual TLL
Another historic and classic element of