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THE WRECK OF THE ARTHUR LEE*

Arthur Lee.jpg

David Kamp writes…

How apt that Love frontman/madman Arthur Lee (above) should pass on within weeks of his contemporary burned-out loon/maker-of-about-an-album-and-half’s-worth-of-good-material Syd Barrett. I never got to meet either man face-to-face, but I did enjoy a brief correspondence with Lee, who was in jail on weapons charges when I was doing a story for Vanity Fair on the history of the Whisky a Go Go. (Love had a great song called “Maybe the People Would Be the Times, or Between Clark and Hilldale”; the Whisky is on Sunset Boulevard between Clark and Hilldale.) The old black hippie was chipper when he wrote to me–lots of exclamation points–and when he was released, a short while later, he enjoyed a heartwarming, Arthur Kane-ish coda to his troubled life, performing to adoring new audiences of youngish Rock Snobs. He was even honored in the British Parliament four summers ago by Labour MP and avowed Love enthusiast Peter Bradley. Godspeed, you black emperor.

* The title of this post comes from a somewhat obscure song by the palpably Arthur Lee-influenced Robyn Hitchcock. Thangyew; thangyew-veh-muuuch.

August 04, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »

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