Sunday, July 08, 2007

More Love With Arthur Lee

While on the topic of Arthur Lee and Love, here's a clip from the Danish television show En gruppe ved navn Love (a group by the name Love), originally broadcast on July 17, 1970.

In this March 12, 1970 performance at Tivoli Koncertsal in Copenhagen, "Doggone", an almost sea chanty-like folk ditty (albeit with lyrics, typically, more reminiscent of Captain Beefheart) from the Out Here album, segues into "August", a very cool slice of improvisational "prog rock". While the considerable talents of singer-songwriter Bryan McLean (who wrote "Alone Again Or") and Johnny Eccols' idiosyncratic lead guitar from the original Love band are certainly missed, this really rocks.

Assembled after the meltdown of the original lineup, this version of Love delves into the hard rock end of psychedelia, at times exploring Hendrix/Cream/Zeppelin/Allman Bros. territory. It is completely different from the band that recorded Da Capo and Forever Changes.

I consider this Arthur Lee And Love lineup underrated, much as the contemporaneous version of The Byrds (featuring the remarkably gifted Kentucky Colonels guitarist Clarence White) was, and for the same reasons: neither group played in the folk-rock style associated with their celebrated 1965-1967 albums.

'Twas a shame that Arthur's friend Jimi Hendrix did not tour incognito with this version of Love. Then again, perhaps it's just as well; the spectacle of Lee, Jimi and Jay Donnellan all playing wild guitar in the same band would have caused way too many Fender Stratocaster fetishists to spontaneously combust.

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