Saturday, May 27, 2006
ARTHUR LEE LOVE FEST
Benefit Concert For LOVE's Arthur Lee To Be Held At NYC's Beacon Theater on June 23rd.
'An all-star benefit concert, titled WE'RE DOING IT FOR LOVE, will be held at New York's Beacon Theater on Friday, June 23 which will attempt to cover the massive medical expenses of rock legend Arthur Lee (LOVE) who was diagnosed in February with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Unfortunately, Arthur has no medical insurance, already has medical bills in excess of $100,000 and is facing a probable bone marrow transplant.
With a rapidly increasing lineup at press time including Robert Plant, Ian Hunter, David Johansen, Yo La Tengo and Garland Jeffreys and a host of other significant artists expected to be added in the coming weeks, in addition to hopefully solving a major financial crisis, this concert will shine a long-overdue spotlight on the hugely influential but greatly underappreciated music of one of the truly innovative and influential rock artists of all-time. Tickets go onsale Friday, May 12th at noon at the Beacon Theater box office (74th & Broadway) and all Ticketmaster outlets (212-307-7171), www.ticketmaster.com. All of the concert's proceeds will go to Arthur's medical expenses.
Produced by veteran New York concert promoter Steve Weitzman of SW Productions, in association with Arthur Lee's manager Mark Linn, the show will feature artists who will either be performng Arthur Lee's material, their own originals or a combination of both. Many of the artists invited have had a history of performing LOVE covers in their live sets or on records, and Robert Plant, for one, has been performing three of Arthur's songs regurlarly during his most recent tour.
This upcoming concert infact, owes a large debt of gratitude to the legendary Led Zeppelin vocalist, as he was the first significant artist who agreed to perform, stating simply in a mid-April email to Mr. Weitzman that he "would definitely like to be involved...and will sing with anybody!" He has also insisted on taking care of his own plane fare from London in addition to his NY hotel expenses even when those were offerered to be included in the show's budget. Very soonafter Mr. Plant confirmed, Ian Hunter followed, and in addition to doing his own performance, offered to have his stellar band back up Mr. Plant who happily accepted that arrangement. The show's producer was told to expect"some old Led Zeppelin songs" as well as material by Arthur Lee and a few other songs long admired by Mr. Plant that he hasn't often performed live. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Plant also plan on singing together on certain selections, marking the first time onstage that they will have ever done that.
Understandably, for Arthur Lee, currently battling his life-threatening illness in Memphis, news of this concert has been practically the best medicine possible and has significantly picked up his spirits. When told about Robert Plant's involvement by his manager Mark Linn, he said, "That's great! Why don't you get that guitarist too... Jimmy something," adding with his "arthuresque" humor and take on life, "Robert Plant is a man of his word. and a man's word is his castle!" While his situation is extremely serious and the next few weeks will be his most challenging with ongoing chemotherapy and extensive hospital stays, he recently told his manager thathe is not afraid of dying, only pain. If he is physically able to travel next month, he added, he would love to attend the Beacon show.
It has been well-chronicled that Arthur Lee is a man larger than life. He is a flamboyant artist with a trail of myth and mythology that follows him like a feathered boa. His band, LOVE, was the first rock band signed toElektra Records, and Arthur is responsible for talking company founder Jac Holzman into signing The Doors. Before all this, in 1964, Arthur gave his friend, an unknown Jimi Hendrix, his first appearance on record (the Arthur Lee penned "My Diary" by Rosa Lee Brooks). LOVE's third recording, the landmark "Forever Changes," is still widely considered to be one of the greatest rock and roll discs of all time. In a Rolling Stone special issuetwo years ago, it was voted the 40th greatest album ever, on a list ranking the top 500 LP's of all time, even finishing ahead of such classics as Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland", the Rolling Stones' "Beggars Banquet", "Meet The Beatles," Led Zeppelin "IV" and John Lennon's "Imagine."
Mass acceptance was elusive for LOVE at the height of their creativity as they were definitely not "careerist." They preferred staying close to home, living together in "the castle" near Griffith Park in Los Angeles as opposed to life on the road. Arthur even turned down invitations to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. In the late '80's and early '90's, Arthur spent approximately seven years in jail for "allegedly" shooting off a gun in his apartment.
When he was released, he wasted no time getting back to the road and his music. He performed his first New York shows in 25 years in 1994 when he was booked by Steve Weitzman at Tramps for three shows over two engagements in the summer and fall of that year.During the past four years, Arthur Lee has performed the entire "Forever Changes" album to sold out audiences and fantastic reviews throughout Europe and the United States. backed by the local LA group Baby Lemonade, and a string and horn section. Just when he thought his bad times were finally over, he learned he was sick.
Information regardiing the latest talent additions will be constantly updated on Arthur Lee's website, www.thelovesociety.com. In addition, Rolling Stone magazine has a preview article in their special 1,000th issue ("In The News" section, page 44). Fans who are unable to attend the concert and want to make a credit card donation to Arthur will find a link for that on his website.To everyone who has him in his or her thoughts, Arthur Lee sends his LOVE.'
For further contact: Steve Weitzman/SW Productions - 212-254-1725, firstname.lastname@example.org.Mark Linn, Arthur Lee's manager - 615-480-6923, email@example.comAlicia Gelernt, Noble Music - 646-408-9645, firstname.lastname@example.org
[Thanks to Ian Grant for the info]
RIP: Desmond Dekker
KEITH RICHARDS WATCH: Richards is astounding his doctors, by the latest accounts, with the speed of his recovery. He is the man who cannot die by normal (or abnormal) means. He is not appearing in 'The Pirates of the Caribbean 2' as initially rumoured.
LEWES FOOTNOTE: Composed while listening to 'On The Boards' by Taste and 'Raw Sienna' by Savoy Brown - both on crunchy vinyl, whilst having tea with Russell, who reports that earlier in the day he spotted Nick Cave in a brown suit in Bill's, our local eating and meeting venue. The weather still hasn't improved.
at 1:24 pm