Visionary, innovator, enigma, genius, poet, megalomaniac, ex-con, recluse, instigator, integrator; Arthur Lee was all these and more.
His music continues to resonate and inspire generations of fans old and new.
Lee has been honoured with a Grammy Hall of Fame award and feted by the British House of Commons, which declared his psychedelic masterpiece Forever Changes the greatest album of all time. "The Los Angeles Times" dubbed the seminal 1967 album perhaps the most quintessentially Los Angeles record there ever is, it will always retain certain immutable qualities that Love's music captures.
Ensconced in a gothic mansion known as "The Castle", and fronting the first fully racially integrated rock band, Love, Lee emerged from the nascent LA folk-rock scene in 1965.
Love's first two albums were groundbreaking, infusing folk-rock, garage-punk, jazz, blues, flamenco and classical music elements.
But with their third, "Forever Changes", Lee and Love achieved immortality.
Though he continued to record for the better part of the next 30 years, Lee was never able to top this crowning glory. Spiralling into excess and increasingly bizarre behaviour, Lee ultimately bottomed out after being sentenced to 12 years in a California state prison for weapons offences.
His release after 5 years launched one of rock music's greatest redemption stories, as Lee mounted the widely acclaimed "Forever Changes" tours to ecstatic audiences who despaired of ever hearing Lee perform his masterwork with an orchestra.
Arthur Lee died of leukaemia in a Memphis hospital August 3, 2006 just days after a star-studded tribute concert headed by one of his greatest admirers, Robert Plant.
The music world mourned the loss of one of rock music's most charismatic and enigmatic geniuses.
Written with the support and cooperation of the Arthur Lee Estate, "Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love" boasts unprecedented access to its subject.
It draws on exclusive interviews with those closest to Lee, in addition to Lee's own voice, drawn from his personal journals, diaries and an unpublished autobiography.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 334 pages, 20 Colour and Black and White in Plate Section
- Publisher: Outline Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/05/2010
- Category: Rock & Pop music
- ISBN: 9781906002312