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Forever Changes Arthur Lee And The Book Of Love Paperback – May 15, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone Press; First Edition edition (May 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906002312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906002312
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Widely hailed as a genius, Arthur Lee was a character every bit as colorful and unique as his music. In 1966, he was Prince of the Sunset Strip, busy with his pioneering racially-mixed band Love, and accelerating the evolution of California folk-rock by infusing it with jazz and orchestral influences, a process that would climax in a timeless masterpiece, the Love album Forever Changes.

Shaped by a Memphis childhood and a South Los Angeles youth, Lee always craved fame. He would achieve his ambition with a mixture of vaulting talent and colossal chutzpah. Drug use and a reticence to tour were his Achilles heels, and he succumbed to a dissolute lifestyle just as superstardom was beckoning.

Despite endorsements from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, Lee’s subsequent career was erratic and haunted by the shadow of Forever Changes, reaching a nadir with his 1996 imprisonment for a firearms offence. Redemption followed, culminating in an astonishing post-millennial comeback that found him playing Forever Changes to adoring multi-generational fans around the world. This upswing was only interrupted by his untimely death, from leukemia, in 2006.

Writing with the full consent and cooperation of Arthur’s widow, Diane Lee, author John Einarson has meticulously researched a biography that includes lengthy extracts from the singer’s vivid, comic, and poignant memoirs, published here for the first time. Einarson has also amassed dozens of new interviews with the surviving members of Love and with many others who fell into the incomparable Arthur Lee’s flamboyant orbit.

About the Author

John Einarson is the author of 13 books, including the critically-acclaimed Hot Burritos: The True Story Of The Flying Burrito Brothers (Jawbone Books, 2008), named one of the 10 best music books of 2008 by Uncut magazine, and Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of The Byrds' Gene Clark (Backbeat Books, 2005), cited among the 10 best music books of 2005 by Uncut and Record Collector. His other books include Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock (Cooper Square Press, 2001), the first detailed chronicle of the southern California country rock scene, and For What It's Worth: The Story of Buffalo Springfield. He wrote the Bravo TV documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life and served as consultant for A and E/Biography Channel's Neil Young Biography episode and CBC TV's Life and Times of Randy Bachman based on his best-selling biography of the Canadian music icon, Takin' Care of Business (McArthur and Co., 2000). He has written for Mojo, Goldmine, Discoveries, Record Collector, and Rock Express

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is a must for any LOVE fans, and is maybe a trip for anyone who wants to learn about Arthur Lee.
Bob Friedman
This book delves into all of these areas (again using Lee's memoirs) and more,and the depth of detail is very enlightening,and sometimes harrowing.
Stuart Jefferson
"Forever Changes" focuses on Lee/Love's heyday in the mid 60's when Lee's band Love was the undisputed heaviest band on L.A.'s Sunset Strip.
Jym Cherry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Soft yet substantial cover. Two page Preface,eight page Introduction,three hundred pages of text,five page index,thirteen pages of period color and b&w photographs,mostly of Lee and various band members. Each chapter has a b&w photo on the heading page,including Lee's earliest group,which are interesting to see. The author,John Einarson,has written a number of other books on musicians/groups,such as Gene Clark,THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS,and BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD. He has also written for a number of music publications such as MOJO,UNCUT,and GOLDMINE.

This wonderful book covers the life of Arthur Lee from boyhood (in Lee's own words we learn,for example,that the combination of listening to blues on the radio,spirituals in church and the music played by the local high school band is what started him in music,and that he would set his mean dog,Sissy,on neighborhood people),through his various LOVE groups,and ends with Lee's death from leukemia,in 2006. The author interviewed many people,including family members,friends from throughout his life,band members and managers,and girlfriends,in order to have enough first hand, correct information to tell Lee's story. But what puts this book a notch above any others is the use of Arthur Lee's memoirs,that Lee told a friend,who copied it (for eventual publication) all down. Although there were gaps in the history (which were then invented and filled in by mostly,writers) Lee gave,Einarson,through in depth,extensive interviews,was able to fill in the gaps for a more complete,straightforward,honest picture of just who Arthur Lee was.

Where it was fitting,the author wove edited parts (in italics) of Lee's memoirs throughout the information obtained in his research.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Linett on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the honor of producing and mixing Arthur's "Forever Changes Live " CD and DVD, and tho I only got to meet him twice it was one of the highlights of my career to work on the project. Forever Changes is still one of my favorite albums , and Arthur was obviously an enormous talent. The book tells it all, the good and the bad and anyone who is a fan should read it. My only quibble would be that my name was mispelled (not all that unusual) , and having heard the tracking session for 7 & 7 Is or rather the last 63 takes since takes 1-25 were recorded over, I must point out that it is Arthur playing drums on the record. Even more amazing except for Arthur's vocal the entire track was recorded (take #89) by the band in one take live in the studio. An amazing feat no matter how many takes it took.
I'd also like to praise the late Gene Kraut , Arthur's manager who did so much to resurrect his career, and made the Live Forever Changes project possible.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By anarchitek on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished this mostly-impressive biography of perhaps rock'n'roll's most interesting character, the famous/infamous Arthur Lee. Born Arthur Porter Taylor, in Memphis TN in 1945, just as the world was beginning to see its way clear of the war, known to friends and neighbors as "Po", he adopted the name of his step-father, becoming Arthur Lee around age 7, after his mother had moved them to Los Angeles, and married Clint Lee. He was an only child, and pretty much a bully, something that would adversely affect his life until the end. His mother spoiled him, doting on him and letting him get away with misbehavior, another telling trait that would determine the downward spiral he followed, once he had achieved some fame. The story of "Love", the band that made Arthur Lee famous, is one of betrayals and misguided suspicions, nearly a blueprint for what not to do, when charting a course for stardom.

Lest the reader think I do not like Arthurly, one of his later personas, nothing could be further from the truth. However, like many fans, I have been mistaken in my understanding of the story of Love, and the peculiarities of its guiding light, the Mr Hyde and Dr Jeckyl of rock'n'roll. John Einarson presents a complete story of the man, his music the ins and outs of the myths, the lies and the fabrications surrounding Arthur, Bryan, Johnny, Kenny, Michael, Snoopy, TJay, Don, Jay, Frank, George, Gary, Joe, Melvan, Robert, Dave, David, Mike, "Rusty", Greg, Alicja, and the others who played in the various resurrections of "Love", from 1965 to 2006, an admirable 41 year stretch of music-making, marked by missed opportunities, substandard concerts, no-show dates, and enough intrigue to fuel a prodigious mini-series.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nina Bennett on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Einarson's meticulously researched rock biographies are the Behind the Music of print. With Forever Changes, Einarson has once again captured an era through music. The music of the sixties defined my life, and while I had Love albums, I knew little about Arthur Lee or the band. Although Einarson discusses the drug use of Lee and his bandmates, the book does not bog down under repetitive details of who took what and how much. The focus is the music, which makes this account a joy to read.

Einarson uses excerpts from Lee's memoirs as well as interviews with many of the people who knew and worked with Lee to craft a detailed biography. There are rich descriptions of the composition, arranging and recording process. Einarson balances the musical genius and cult status of Lee with info about his aversity to touring, a characteristic which was Lee's undoing in terms of broad recognition and fortune. Many seemingly opposing facets to Lee's personality are revealed; he could be kind and generous to family and friends, volatile in personal and business relationships, and nearly impossible to work with.
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