Arthur Lee has died.
The founding member and lead singer of Love (a pre-google band name if I've ever heard one), Lee crafted psychedelic, sometimes symphonic rock that had clear catchy melodies, shiny horns and lyrics that were both straightforward and bafflingly new.
He convinced his label, Elektra, to sign this local band called The Doors. He had good taste, if not good sense; after shooting a gun in the air during a dispute, he spent 5 years in prison in the 1990s; he was on the wrong side of California's 3 strikes law.
He did tour in recent years, but his backup band was the atrocious LA pop band Baby Lemonade (note, if you dare, this execrable harmonizing on the fantastic "Alone Again Or." LAist has a couple of watchable videos, tho). I was waiting for him to get a new backup band, and I never saw him. What an idiot.
I learned about the band from my friend Elizabeth in college; she knew more about music then than I did, and still does. How about this song from 1967's Forever Changes:
Live and Let Live
Oh, the snot has caked against my pants
It has turned into crystal
There's a bluebird sitting on a branch
I guess I'll take my pistol
I've got it in my hand
Because he's on my land
And so the story ended
Do you know it oh so well
Well should you need I'll tell you
Yes I've seen you sitting on the couch
I recognize your artillery
I have seen you many times before
Once when I was an Indian
And I was on my land
Why can't you understand
Served my time
Served it well
You made my soul
Write the rules
In the sky
But ask your leaders
Oh, the snot has caked against my pants...