Friday, August 04, 2006

arthur lee (1945 -2006)

Arthur Lee has died after a battle with leukemia.

Lee, a Memphis native who referred to himself as "the first so-called black hippie," formed Love in Los Angeles in 1965, emerging from the same scene as groups like the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors and the Mamas and Papas.

The first multiracial rock band of the psychedelic era, Love recorded three groundbreaking albums fusing traditional folk rock and blues with symphonic suites and early punk.

Bands as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Siouxsie and the Banshees cited Love as an influence.

Showing up at work one night at a club on Sunset and seeing Arthur Lee for the first time is a highlight of my time in Los Angeles.