August 04, 2006

Arthur Lee, 1945-2006: A giant in our local music scene, Lee influenced both the psychedelic and punk generations. His group, Love, had only two hit singles, but both were classics that sound as fresh today as they did forty years ago: "My Little Red Book", a Burt Bacharach composition which was a huge hit in Los Angeles and on the West Coast, and "7 and 7 Is", their biggest national hit, and for decades a staple for any self-respecting garage band. He hit on hard times, and for awhile he was probably the most famous person to be serving time under California's Three Strikes law. In recent years, he toured Europe with Love, performing songs from their seminal 1967 album, Forever Changes, before calling it quits last year upon the onset of leukemia, which took his life yesterday. Requiescat in pacem.

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus has his own tribute, here.

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