Forever Changes
John Einarson
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Buy *Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love* by John Einarson online

Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love
John Einarson
Jawbone Press
336 pages
May 2010
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Arthur Lee, the singer/writer for the 1960s' band Love, has long been regarded as one of the most unsung and under-appreciated musicians of all time. His writing combined elements of rock, punk and jazz, and on Love's third album, the legendary Forever Changes (for which this book is named), he brought in classical elements by marrying the orchestra to electric instruments.

Einarson reveals Lee as a reclusive and elusive fellow who oftentimes sabotaged his own success. Time and time again, he'd show up late - or not at all - for live gigs and consistently berated and held in low esteem the musicians with whom he played.

The author has duly interviewed most of the principal's in Arthur's life - band members, family members, producers and friends - but like most books of this ilk, he has not interviewed the main subject himself. The biographer has had to rely on secondhand accounts though he was able to gain access to the musician's own diaries. Written in 2003, when Lee was released from a six-year prison sentence for allegedly firing off a gun at his home residence, the memoir titled Rainbow in the Storm: The Book of Love (Part One) is paraphrased throughout this book.

What the author hasn't done is utilize other interviews in which Lee participated. In fact, this writer interviewed Arthur Lee during the time of his Reel to Real album in 1974 and wrote a piece for Rolling Stone. This was one of the most extensive interviews Lee ever gave. Einarson doesn't quote from other interviews but does talk to several other journalists about spending time with Lee.

This goes a lot in revealing who Arthur Lee was. It's unfortunate that Arthur Lee didn't provide more of his own quotes.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2010

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