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Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book Of Love - The Authorized Biography of Arthur Lee

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Widely hailed as a genius, Arthur Lee was a character every bit as colorful and unique as his music. In 1966, he was Prince of the Sunset Strip, busy with his pioneering racially-mixed band Love, and accelerating the evolution of California folk-rock by infusing it with jazz and orchestral influences, a process that would climax in a timeless masterpiece, the Love album Fo ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 15th 2010 by Jawbone Press
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Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought I'd better speak up here in response to the rather uneducated character assassination of Arthur Lee posted earlier by Jon who tells us which Love songs He likes. Some folks are just stuck on the Arthur they LOVE. Arthur was a great friend of mine. He was not easy but he was no rip-off artist either! It's easy to judge and gossip or to get stuck on a certain era/vibe. He was no hippy that's for sure! Every Rock bio or band history is littered with "hard-done-by's" ex-band mates claiming ...more
Jim Cherry
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Love, is a band that has had a lot of myth, lore and rumor surrounding it. “Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love” separates the fact from the fantasy and legend sticking to the bones of Love due to the years, if not decades of fan conjecture in the face of silence from Arthur Lee. Author John Einarson does this with meticulous research and interviews with family, friends, and bandmates of Arthur Lee from his earliest days to his death in 2006. Einarson also incorporates the manuscrip ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Einarson's meticulously researched rock biographies are the Behind the Music of print. With Forever Changes, Einarson has once again captured an era through music. The music of the sixties defined my life, and while I had Love albums, I knew little about Arthur Lee or the band. Although Einarson discusses the drug use of Lee and his bandmates, the book does not bog down under repetitive details of who took what and how much. The focus is the music, which makes this account a joy to read.

Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I haven't read former band member Michael Stuart's book, but it's hard to believe there's a better biography on Love and Arthur Lee. I would have liked more analysis of the later albums, and there's almost a jump from the late 80's to the mid-90's (Granted, Lee's least productive time), but these are minor quibbles. I found the book very readable and, among many other things, was pleased to learn about the individual contributions of the original band members to the group's first three LPs. ...more
Jul 23, 2011 added it
Shelves: reviewed
This is Arthur Lee's "authorized" biography and he still comes off as a complete bastard, an egomaniacal ripoff artist. (Among other charming deeds, he screwed sidekick Bryan Maclean out of his royalties for the Love songs Maclean wrote.) Oh well, Love did make 3 fine albums (I'm counting side one of DA CAPO and the half-dozen good songs on FOUR SAIL as one LP). This book clears up a number of myths about Love (no, they didn't kill their manager, and no, guitarist John Echols and bassist Ken For ...more
Rico Caraco
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
John Einarson doesn't bother tarting up this history of one of the quintessential 60s bands, Love. The story is beguiling enough in itself, full of mystery, wonder and magic. Narcotic meltdown, barely contained fury both musical and otherwise, the totemic presence of bandleader Arthur Lee is the breathing heart of the 'Book of Love' and this is a recommended read for fans of the band and of the period. ...more
Jul 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
John Einarson has found a niche writing about innovators in popular music who did not reap the full rewards of their pioneering work (his biography of Gene Clark, for example, is appropriately extensive). Like Clark, Arthur Lee was a complicated person who was often his own worst enemy, but who created music that has continued to have an impact five decades later. The original Love band released three esteemed albums that all sounded different from each other; Lee was always the leader, but the ...more
Trace Reddell
Aug 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
This nice, big bio of Arthur Lee compiles lots of different voices, including generous excerpts from Arthur Lee's own unpublished memoir. A reflective journey through the resulting kaleidoscope of perspectives is deftly woven by Einarson, though the story doesn't stray too far from its portrayal of Lee's life and mind. There's not much larger cultural contextualizing or insight into the music beyond this biographical lens, but Einarson does strip some of the urban legends away while also not shy ...more
Bernard S Cooper
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Rock biography can be difficult. This one isn't. A fascinating insight into one of rocks most awkward figures. I did not realise that Arthur Lee was such a difficult individual. A truly masterful musician and Forever Changes is still one of the best albums ever made. I had not realised that he was much more popular this side of the pond. The role of the other band members, and there are a lot of them, are treated really fairly and its not easy to remember that when Love started they were just a ...more
Jeffery Gossett
Jul 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Lively read of one of LAs pioneer 60s Rock artists.
Good history of the Strip in mid to late 60s
Tony Sannicandro
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1) if your familiar with the music of Arthur Lee go to #3 if not 2) go listen to the album Forever Changes and/or The Forever Changes Concert. 3) read this book! Here is the story that's touching, maddening, happy and sad of the man who recorded the greatest rock album ever. Ok all you Beatles, U2 and Stones fans you didn't follow directions! Now go! ...more
Allan Heron
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Author Einarson was always going to be a safe pair of hands for a biography of Arthur Lee given his other required books on American West Coast rock.

The book makes some sense of a life more remembered through myth and legend. Clearly a powerful and charismatic man, he was never able to be open enough to others in his life to ultimately fully benefit from his talents. As many have said, he was his own worst enemy but it speaks to his considerable talents that so many were prepared to make so many
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
One of the only two books I've ever ILL'd (instead of summit-ing)- the other was John French's book on Beefheart, which delivered and then some. So I was disappointed based on that alone. But it is a reasonably good and comprehensive book, though you never get a sense what was the magic that made Love's first few albums. Those records are so unusual and brilliant musically and lyrically, and I just never got a sense of how the songs were created, they just seem to come out of the ether. But that ...more
Jon Rose
The author could have done better to integrate all of the interviews into a more fluid narrative. The book would have benefitted from some more editing.
That said, those who read this book will learn a lot about Arthur Lee and Love. I would say this book is for Arthur Lee/Love fans only but I think anyone interested in American music in the 60s and beyond would find the stories interesting.
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