Arthur Lee and Love Newcastle Opera House August 2002

Arthur Lee and Love The Forever Changes tour Newcastle Opera House August 2002
loveforeverchanges “Alone again or” is one of those songs that sits outside any standard definition of a pop or rock song. Along with many of the other tracks on the Forever Changes album, its structure, rhythms and phrasing are unlike anything else I have ever heard. I remember being simply amazed by its uniqueness the first time I came across it. I bought a beat up vinyl copy of the album many years ago, but never thought I would get to see Arthur Lee and Love live.
However, in 2002, after spending six years in prison on gun charges, Love founder and frontman Arthur Lee began performing again. He formed a new version of Love, put together from members of the band Baby Lemonade, and set out on a tour of Europe. Marie and I went to the gig at Newcastle Opera House. The show featured the 1967 Forever Changes album, and tracks drawn from the remainder of Love’s back catalogue. Arthur was joined by a string and horn ensemble and did a petty damn good job of recreating his Love masterpiece. The evening was something I thought I’d never get to see, and the songs continue to amaze me every time I hear them.
lovetix Arthur Lee passed away in 2006 after a battle with leukaemia. Kandia Crazy Horse of Vibe Magazine wrote in an obituary that “‘Forever Changes’ (was) his psychedelic masterpiece … an exhilarating mash-up of West Side freak folk with East Side mariachi and blues. Lee out-jangles his heroes the Byrds on the immortal ‘Alone Again Or’ and aims his symphonic trigger dead at the Beatles on his greatest work, ‘You Set the Scene.’ In total, a glorious song cycle exploring the dark side of hippiedom.”
Setlist will have been something like: My Little Red Book; Orange Skies; Alone Again Or; A House Is Not a Motel; Andmoreagain; The Daily Planet; Old Man; The Red Telephone; Between Clark And Hilldale; Live and Let Live; The Good Humour Man; Bummer in the Summer; You Set the Scene; Robert Montgomerey; My Flash On You; Signed DC; Everybody’s Gotta Live – Instant Karma; August; Always See Your Face; Listen To My Song; She Comes in Colors; My Anthem; Singing Cowboy; 7 & 7 Is
A review by the Opera House:”It’s always difficult to sell tickets for a show in August with everyone in holiday mode, but we did for Arthur Lee. After only a month on sale, he pulled a very large and very partisan crowd. The faithful were well rewarded for their patience, many had waited 35 years to see him. Ever the showman, he didn’t let anyone down, quite the reverse. With lots of grit, strength and enough talent to make a thousand boy bands, Arthur sang his way through his impressive back catalogue.”

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