evolved into a music-oriented site in 2005 and since then we have presented new material on a monthly basis. Every month since our inception we began with a combination rant/current events/obituaries/table of contents page that we cleverly called Greetings.

Recently we abandoned our monthly posting schedule and adopted more of a "whenever good new stuff is ready we'll post it if we feel like it" approach, hence there was no longer a need for the Greetings page. Or as we wrote in January of 2006 when we were to hung over to write a proper page: GREETINGS? WE AIN'T GOT TO SHOW YOU NO STINKIN' GREETINGS!

There was however a lot of cool stuff on those pages and if you are new to the site and missed 'em we now present some of the high and low lights:

October 2006

I took a break from writing from this, my beloved web site, to pursue a few other avenues in life. There's a new girlfriend, a new job, a new liver, and various other things going on in my world, and frankly, the time just wasn't there. Then, this afternoon while sitting on the couch watching a heavily-edited edition of Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, I glanced over and saw someone else's copy of the new Rolling Stone magazine. I had a look, and remembered why I started writing for this site in the first place. The mainstream music press is so incredibly full of shit that any effort no matter how small, to put it in it's fucking place, is not only welcome, but also the true music lover's duty.

So I thought I would do my duty, and get back into the swing of things here. Let's start it off with a quick list of all the bullshit in this week's Rolling Stone magazine which coaxed me out of my own personal tora bora. It was going to be longer, but after three, I think my thoughts were laid about as bare as could be.

1. The front cover Where to start? Well it's a music magazine and at the very top of the page we're hit with a story about politics of course How Bush Fumbled, blah blah blah. Then there's a story about the Rolling Stones making an album not either of the two that came out in the last 12 months, or the inevitable live album that should be out shortly following the tour. Nope, this story is about an album made three decades ago when only 3 of the band's current 12 man (and woman can't forget Lisa Fischer) line-up were actually in the group. There's a story on new TV shows, and two stories about hot, sexy (their words) men in music; one on John Mayer, who's apparently a soul man (God I hope Marvin Gaye's dad shoots him too) and one on cover boy Justin Timberlake. Hot and sexy? yeahhhhh.

2. Ads, ads, ads There are 7 full-page ads in the first ten pages of this issue. Then going through the 105 pages of the issue there are 59 full pages of ads and 46 pages of content. 59 pages of ads and the vast majority of them are NOT for music or even entertainment products. They're for cigarettes, milk, cell phones, cars, computers, Coke, Pepsi and credit cards. Actually as I write this, I'm starting to have a change of heart. You're telling me that for just four bucks I can get information on 59 products I surely need to get though my day and a photo or two of sexy man Justin Timberlake. DEAL!

3. Cartoon on page 8 On page eight of this issue, dated September 21st, there's a cartoon that deals with 9/11. It suggests we act like nothing happened to make Osama say to himself "Did I not totally knock down those god damn infidel towers." At the end it has the catchy phrase "Never Forget." Never Learn Shit. Ladies and gents, I'm a fan of humor and even like offensive humor. I laughed my ass off at The Aristocrats, and even when Gilbert and South Park poked fun at 9/11, but to publish in a national magazine released on the fifth anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history a fucking cartoon that says we should act like it never happened could only warrant one response from me FUCK YOU Rolling Stone Magazine. I hope the next plane hits your fucking NYC offices, and while we're at it, hey Jann Wenner, if you hate Bush so much why not try Iran. I'm sure they'd love you there. You could tell them how hot Justin Timberlake's airbrushed buns are while they cut your balls off and feed 'em to you in the name of Allah. Also, I hear they're really itching for news of the new Sean Lennon album which you were good enough to kill millions of acres of trees to publish in your magazine this month only to have not one single person give enough of a shit to actually read the whole thing. Some fucking ultra-liberal environmentalist you turned out to be, you world killer.

Mike D'Ariano


Dedicated to the Honorable Sonny Bono

If you click to the Links page and scroll down to the bottom you'll see that this site is dedicated to the memory of the late Honorable Sonny Bono. My friend, the great Dr. David Petrucco, recently asked if that was some kind of joke. The answer is, it's no joke. I'll explain. 4th of July Weekend 2003, Leon and I made our way out to beautiful Hoboken, New Jersey . . . The Catholic Girls were playing at Maxwell's.

Our association with this great, back to basics, all female rock group goes back to our MCA days. In fact, most of the staff of this web site was involved in the signing of the group to the label. Professor Brian "Bondito" McAlley gave me a tape, bio, and photo of the unsigned band. I listened, and if truth be told wasn't knocked out. They were great at what they did, but it wasn't my thing. I did love the way they looked four hotties in Catholic school uniforms. I kept the package on my desk.

Dr. David Petrucco (right)
and friend

Leon was out in the West Coast office and we talked frequently. One day I had to get the spelling of his name right for some album credits . . . Leon Tsilis (pronounced Tillis) wasn't the most common name to spell. As we spoke, I didn't realize it, but I sort of doodled his name all over the photo of the girls. When I hung up and noticed this, I sent him the photo, the tape and bio and a note that said, "Here's a group with your name all over it." What I thought was a joke turned out to be fate because he signed them! There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Anyway, now it was the summer of 2003 and the girls were still rockin' out on tunes from all their CD's. I still love "Private School" with the line, "I don't want to go to hell. I don't even want to die." They did some great covers, like The Stones' "Satisfaction," mixed in with their originals.


Between sets we were musing about other tunes they might cover. One tune we came up with was "Needles and Pins" by The Searchers. It's a sensational record that introduced the jingle-jangle 12 string guitar opening a year or so before The Byrds copied it for "Mr. Tambourine Man."

Same night, 3 am, New Jersey Turnpike, CBS-FM, "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher, I turned it up and marveled at the record's production. Not only did Sonny write it, he also produced it. Then it hit me . . . Sonny wrote "Needles and Pins!"

Sonny, Cher and Michael

Sonny Bono, whoa! Here's a guy who personified The American dream. He was born first generation Sicilian-American in the 1930s. After finishing high school he drove a meat truck. In between deliveries he'd drop off songs he wrote to record companies along his route Sunset Strip. In 1964 he and his great looking girlfriend Cherilyn Sarkisian recorded "Baby Don't Go." A 17-year-old Cher was Sonny's honey! Not only that, he made them a hit pop act with a string of hits including "I Got You Babe."

When the acid rock era took hold, it was over for many 60's rock acts, but not Sonny & Cher. Sonny reinvented their act for Vegas. It was so successful that it became "The Sonny & Cher Show" on CBS, a hit from '71 to '74.

Not a bad life, but there was more. After running 3 restaurants where he received acclaim for his Sicilian-style Italian Cuisine, Sonny entered politics. Fed up with a "failure of leadership", he ran for mayor of Palm Springs and won by the largest majority in the city's history. In 1994 he was elected to the 104th Congress with a 16-point margin of victory. He died skiing into a tree at a place called The Heavenly Ski Resort. You can't make this stuff up. Sonny did it all. What are you waiting for?

R.J. D'Ariano

November 2006

The Doctor Is In . . .

One of the Koreas is ready to nuke the world; Melissa Etheridges partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, gets friendly with a test tube full of sperm and has twins; and for Christs sake &.Freddy Fender is dead. With the state of the world constantly shifting and changing, there are three things that always seem to remain constant:

3. Rolling Stone magazine still has as many fashion ads as Cosmopolitan (maybe more)

2. MTV still doesnt have any M anymore, and

1. Are You On is still the best place for music on the Web.

Earth sucks, and I wanna go back home. You see, on my planet, we all speak the same language the universal language of music. Its a quaint little place nestled deep inside my head, where many will come and go, and a great many have taken up residence. I only share this little clue that I might be a whack job with you because I had the chance to see one of the bands that has lived on my planet for decades Iron Maiden. Theyre a band that is recognized by many as one of the best Heavy Metal bands ever and it just so happens that I spent the whole show standing next to a future rock star. On October 18th, Iron Maiden became an unforgettable memory for my son, Nathaniel, as this was his very first concert experience.

Rocker Nathaniel Itter

I went to my first concert when I was 8 years old, and it was an event that changed my life. I was fortunate enough to start off with a respectable band also. I can stand tall and say that I saw Foghat, with special guest Bob Seger, in 1976. I mean, Im not sure I would admit to remembering my first show if it had been Leif Garrett or The Starland Vocal Band or some crap. So, I wanted the same great experience for my son, who is 9 years old. I wanted to give him a respectable band to start his concert history with, and who better than Iron Maiden.

As the band blasted onto the stage and ran about for almost two hours, Nathaniel seemed hypnotized by Maiden and their show. He could muster up only one word as we wandered the parking lot of Allstate Arena after the show (looking for the goddamned car). Awesome, he said, as he gazed a blank stare toward the sky. He put his $10 Eddie wristband on when I bought it for him, and he still hasnt taken it off. It seems that he has been greatly affected by his first concert experience, and on my planet inhabited by Iron Maiden concerts and Are You On Something material, I just dont have room for Armageddon right now.

As a young rocker kid, I was influenced by many of rocks greatest drummers - one of them being The Runaways Sandy West. Sandy West showed me that girls could rock as hard as boys, and that there were no boundaries to this thing they called Rock N Roll. Sandy lost her long battle with lung cancer on Saturday, October 21st, and the world lost one of its only female power drummers.

From watching the Runaways documentary film, Edgeplay, I know that Sandys desire to play with The Runaways again was tremendous, and I feel like the only way to find closure with this tragedy would be to hear that Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, Lita Ford, and Joan Jett were working together once again in honor of Sandy. So I would like to use the small voice I have in this forum to plead with Cherie, Jackie, Lita, and Joan to heal this bleeding wound. If only for one small moment, I ask you to bring the beat back in memory of Sandy.

My condolences to the family of Sandy West, The Runaways, and to all of the fans.

Scott "Dr. Music" Itter

February 2006

Wilson Pickett

The "Wicked" Wilson Pickett was one of the most successful, dynamic and energetic soul singers of the 1960s. Born March 18, 1941 in Prattville, Alabama, Pickett started singing in the Baptist choirs of his home town before moving to Detroit at the age of sixteen. In the late 50s, he made his professional debut as lead singer of The Violinaires, a popular gospel-harmony group from the Detroit area, and from 1961 to 1964 performed with The Falcons, a vocal group which also featured future soul star Eddie Floyd. Pickett wrote The Falcons' 1962 hit, I Found a Love, and after a four-year stint with the group, decided to embark on a solo career, signing with Lloyd Price's Double L Records. At the onset he met with marginal success, but it was his signing with Atlantic Records that turned his career around, especially his association with Atlantic's Jerry Wexler, who arranged the 1965 sessions at the famous Stax recording studios in Memphis. Pickett came into his own as a songwriter and collaborated with Booker T. and the M.G.'s guitarist Steve Cropper on several huge hits including In the Midnight Hour, one of the most enduring soul classics of all time. This legendary entertainer had nineteen Top 40 hits from 1965 to 1972 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Sadly, he passed away on January 19, 2006 at the age of 64 after suffering a heart attack. He may no longer be with us, but his high-energy style of soul and rhythm & blues will live on forever.

Lou Rawls
Another great soulful voice silenced last month was that of Lou Rawls, who passed away after a long bout with lung cancer on January 6. His vocal style ranged from gospel and early R&B to soul and jazz to blues and straight-up pop. Rawls was a consummate master of African-American vocal music who was blessed with a four-octave vocal range, which was considered to be a cross between Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole. He made his name as a crooner, first by singing jazz standards, then moving on to soul in the mid-'60s, then entering the most commercial phase of his career with a very successful run at Philadelphia International during the mid-to-late '70s. Even after his record sales started to decline, Rawls remained a highly visible figure in the entertainment world, pursuing an acting and voice-over career in addition to his continued concert appearances. Lou Rawls was 70 years old.

Brian McAlley

April 2005

A Visit to an Allman Brothers Chat Room 3/22/05

Mike: I guess Dickey Betts isn't coming back this year.

Unknown Hippie Female: I wish people would just get over Dickey. The current line up is just the Allman Brothers Band now. The past is the past. Get over it.

Mike: If this is just "The Allman Brothers now" then shouldn't Paul and Ringo just get two other guys and call themselves The Beatles now?

Unknown Hippie Female: That's BULLSHIT! Dickey didn't die he got fired.

Mike: So you think the Allmans should have broken up when Duane died?

Unknown Hippie Female: Fuck you!

Mike: Ahh&."People can you feel it, love is in the air" . . . unless you mention the guy who wrote that line and then you get cursed out by a total stranger. Well I'm off to the Beacon . . . VIVA DICKEY!

Mike D'Ariano

May 2005

Jam This

John Mayer and
Buddy Guy jammin'
at the Jammys

It was close to midnight. Mike and I were sitting in the tapers section at The Jammy's, a very very cool event (imagine Bonnaroo condensed into a 5 hour concert) and I was still buzzed because we had seen Dylan and Merle Haggard the night before at The Beacon. That was another beautiful night on the planet. It was great to see Ol' Merle and his terrific band The Strangers get a well deserved standing ovation in New York City; the only place in the nation without a country music station, and Bob, well Bob is it, isn't he? He always was and as recently as last Monday he still is. His shows with Haggard are history now, but this summer the never ending tour rolls on with Willie Nelson rejoining the troop. Go see it!

Meanwhile back at the Jammy's we had already enjoyed musical combinations that included John Mayer, Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bruce Hornsby, Keller Williams, and a bunch of other sensational artists and here comes Ryan Adams. He and his band have very large guitars and make an even larger rockin' sound. They're good, but they seem to be trying too hard. They're a little too well put together. What is it? I like them, but I don't trust them. Then he invites Phil Lesh out to jam on "Wharf Rat." I don't know . . . I want to love it. I love Phil, but I don't know about this Adams guy. It makes me miss Jerry. I think he's probably watching all this on TV in some bar out there in the next dimension and (Jerry, help me with this) he smiles and says, "It's pretty cool man. Good to see Phil rockin' out. Pass the peanuts." These were my thoughts.

R.J. D'Ariano

June 2005

When the Truth is Found to be Lies

I came to realize this month that creating this website would be a whole lot easier if I just made shit up. I came to this conclusion after noticing three separate music publications run articles this month that just weren't true. I'm not talking about Rolling Stone naming Hendrix the best guitar player of all time, which I may disagree with, but is just someone's opinion.

These people are reporting factual information which isn't true. First I read in a well known national publication that during the Big House Benefit, The Allman Brothers Band performed Little Martha, Blue Sky and Jessica, all for the first time in a long time. Well I was at that show, and the Set list was as follows:
Revival, Don't Want You No More, It's Not My Cross To Bear, Ain't Wastin Time No More, Woman Across The River, Melissa, Dreams, Stormy Monday, Jessica, Statesboro Blues, One Way Out, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.

You may notice that they did play Jessica, but Little Martha and Blue Sky were not part of the show. If you feel like checking the Allman Brothers website just to make sure I'm right, go for it. You'll find as I did when I was doing something called FACT CHECKING that the magazine didn't make their story up, they just got it wrong. The band apparently did play Blue Sky and Little Martha the night before the Big House show, but that's not the same thing is it? What the magazine wrote was just not true.

Then I read another Allman Brothers-related story on a popular website that said Dan Toler had quit Dickey Betts' band this month. So far that's the truth. The article went on to say that Dan had been in the Allman Brothers Band briefly in the late 70's before joining the Dickey Betts Band when they broke up. WRONG!

Dan Toler was in the Dickey Betts band in the mid-seventies while the Allman Brothers were on hiatus due to Gregg's drug/Cher problems. He then joined the Allmans in 1977 and stayed on until they broke up in 1982. You may call that a brief period - I call it almost twice as long as the legendary Duane Allman was actually in the band (1969-1972). Then, when they broke up, Dan joined The Gregg Allman Band, not the Dickey Betts Band! The move made him the only guy ever to be in The Dickey Betts Band, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Gregg Allman Band!

Anyway, I happen to know the editor of the site that got this particular story wrong, and I dropped him an e-mail telling him of his mistake, and did they change it? Nope. They just stuck to their made-up news guns. That seems to be the norm - make something up and stick with it. So&.

Warren Haynes The latest
member of Kiss

It was announced this month in a surprise move, that Warren Haynes who is already in at least five touring bands, will become the latest guitarist to play the part of Ace Frehley in the band Kiss. Since firing Ace a few years back, the band has recruited a number of musicians to don the costume and trademark "Space Ace" make-up. The band's singer/bassist Gene Simmons was quoted as saying, "Warren is just a great guitar player. He may be a little heavy to play the Ace role, but then, I might be a little old to be running around in leather chaps spitting fake blood. It's Kiss, and our fans will buy whatever crap we're selling!"

Also this month, police discovered a plot to assassinate Sir Paul McCartney. The investigation was launched after Ringo Starr was spotted at a London nightclub waving a revolver around and screaming, "Where the fuck is the Walrus!" It is believed that Ringo is upset not because he has been reduced to playing 1,000 seat clubs while his ex bandmate is selling out multiple arena dates in every city he plays, but rather because Paul rejected Ringo's plan for a world tour dubbed "Beatles Who?" The tour would have featured both of the surviving members of The Beatles teaming up with the two surviving members of The Who, in order to have an entire band of people that fans actually wanted to watch, instead of one or two stars and a band full of nobodies. The deal was said to be brokered by Ringo's son, who happens to be among the current nobodies playing in The Who.

Finally this month, it was announced that guitar god Jimi Hendrix, will be retiring at the end of the year. Hendrix has released a staggering amount of music over the past thirty years despite rumors of his death, which have been circulating since he went into self-imposed seclusion in 1972. Through his spokesman, Jimi announced that this year would be his last as a recording artist since "I believe in giving my fans what they want, and it seems clear to me now that for some reason, the fans clearly want to believe I'm dead."

You know, I started writing this with a smirk on my face and malicious intent running through my mind, but after pretending I was writing at a real magazine - i.e. making up a bunch of crap and presenting it as truth - I realized just how much fun it could be! I think from this issue on, I'll write whatever the hell I want, facts be damned. It feels good to be liberated!

Mike D'Ariano

September 2005

All You Need is Love

It may be September, but it's still an endless summer for some folks. While Brian Wilson and company have been dazzling summer concert goers with his live version of Smile, Mike Love and The Beach Boys were, and are still, out on the road doing what Love has been doing since 1961.

Love is the only original Beach Boy in the band, but Bruce Johnston, who joined way back in 64, is still present. Some purists have a problem with Mike being out there with a group called The Beach Boys since he is the only original left in the band but hey, it's no different from The Temptations or The Four Tops, who both currently tour with only one original member. It would be another story if somewhere along the way The Beach Boys ceased to exist and Mike started the group up again with all these different guys, but that didn't happen. If you check out their history you'll see that this lineup is what the group evolved into over the course of many years. A lot has happened since 1961; Carl and Dennis Wilson passed away and Brian and Al Jardine left the band. Can you fault Mike Love for keeping it going? They are nothing short of sensational live. They not only recreate the hits perfectly, they also capture the Fun, Fun, Fun spirit of the Beach Boys. It's 2005 and they are The Beach Boys! I imagine it would be nice not to mention a huge money maker if Brian and Al decided to join Mike and Bruce for a tour, but until that time you can't fault Mike Love for being on the road doing Beach Boys tunes. Brian and Al are doing the same thing.

I guess some people are just controversial and Mike has fallen into that category for years. Just the other day there was an article in The New York Daily News by Phil Roura where Love commented, "&of all the genres of music from the 60's, only The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and Motown remains tremendously popular today." When he was reminded that The Rolling Stones were currently on a sold out tour he said, "They're a great band but musically speaking, their arrangements can't compare to The Beatles arrangements and Brian Wilson's ability to arrange the hits he did." We love you Mike, and you certainly are entitled to your opinions, but after reading that, I had to wonder if, maybe, you've been out in the sun a little too long. 44 years as a Beach Boy seems to have messed with your mind a little, but, like I said, we love you.

The Stones, who now consist of three original members, Mick, Keith, and Charlie, plus the Bruce Johnston of their band, Ronnie Wood, are on the road once again and from all reports kicking butt. The point is, we've arrived at the juncture in the history of rock where, like blues and jazz, we now have some elder statesmen out there, and they said it would never last. Hard to believe that both The Stones and The Beach Boys are now over 40 years old.

R.J. D'Ariano

November 2005


It's Autumn and the fall foliage nature's brilliant show of color is upon us. The cover of George Wesley's latest CD, "When I'm Next To You, I Feel Lucky" has a shot of the artist with his guitar on his back and his arms extended as he basks in the glory of a vibrant golden-leafed tree, and throws his ego aside as he pays homage to this magnificent time of the season.

As the weather turns cooler and the days get shorter it's a time to hear some soul-nourishing comfort music. The Band, The Beatles' "Rubber Soul," Arlo's annual visit to Alice's Restaurant all add to a cozy feeling for candlelit evenings. George Wesley fits into this category. In other words, his music makes you feel good. He's been making music for over thirty years, even played in a Grateful Dead tribute band for a while. First time my bride and I saw him we wondered if he wasn't John Lennon in disguise (with dreds and a big bushy beard and a beret) John 'starting over' with a new identity and a reggae band. Don't misunderstand, George doesn't sound like Lennon, but there is a strong physical resemblance. He's not on a major label or anything and I don't think he's been on MTV. But I gotta tell you, if you ever find yourself in one of those little seaside bars on the Jersey shore that the Boss used to sing about and Wesley's there, get yourself a beer and get ready for an evening of sensational music.

The only difference between Wesley and let's say Dave Mathews, or Bruce Springsteen or Bob Marley is that you've never heard of him. The man is as good as any of them and a hell of a lot better than some other major stars who shall go nameless (Sting, Mellencamp, and that early MTV crowd . . . sorry, I couldn't resist). He should be a superstar. OK, now you've heard of him and you owe it to yourself to go to his web site, buy his CDs and go see him live whenever you can.

His latest CD, "When I'm Next To You, I Feel Lucky" is a celebration and has an 'it's great to be alive quality' that is a joy to behold. Through an amazing blend of talent and guitar-driven synthesizers you'll hear the brass and drums even if they don't exist. Magic! The title track kicks in with his Louie Prima-Joe Cocker husky vocal style and an up-tempo groove that suggests, like Lennon did all those years ago, that love, love, love is all we need. You will not sit still when you hear this CD. It will invade your soul. It's a collection of acoustic blues, jazz, rock and electric reggae.

Here's a sample of some lyrics from "Validation": "Validation, just know you've done your best. Validation, just know you can pass the test. Validation, you don't have to be the best. Just be yourself and let the Lord do the rest." "When I'm Next To You, I Feel Lucky." is a CD worth your money and time. Learn more about George Wesley and buy his CDs at

R.J. D'Ariano

March 2006

Chinese Democracy Not

It's been over six years since the last official Guns N' Roses release, Live Era: '87-'93 came out and kicked off with the above lines. Other than an ill-fated tour, and countless rumors, Guns N' Roses have been more or less missing in action for all that time, as well as for the five years or so leading up to it. However, on February 12th at around five in the morning, Barry Mullineaux and Matt Satsky, owners of the New York City night spot Stereo, waltzed right into the legend of Guns N' Roses. They became the first people in the world not directly involved in the project to hear the highly anticipated new Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy. This happened when Axl Rose rolled up to the club just after closing and struck up a deal with them they let him and his friends in, and he lets them hear the record. The owners agreed, and Axl and crew stuck around for a few hours playing two CDs each with ten tracks. Last month Axl said that he had 26 tracks done, but the album would only feature 13. Mullineaux said later that everyone was surprised by how good the album sounded, especially "track 3" which Axl made them play six times in a row.

Couple this uncharacteristic breach of ultra-privacy with the recent announcements that Guns N' Roses will be headlining at least 5 major festivals this summer (including the monster Rock In Rio Festival in May) and it seems like all the rumors about Chinese Democracy finally coming out this year may actually have some merit to them. One interesting side note: In one of these festivals the co-headliner will be Metallica, who previously said that playing with Guns N' Roses was the best possible example of "how not to tour." And on another, the band will share the bill with Motley Crue, whose lead singer Vince Neil once challenged Axl to a fight on Pay Per View. It just goes to show, never say never. As for an official album release date, there of course is none. Ex-Gunner Slash, says that the record will be out this month. I'll believe it when I see it . . . but never say never.

Mike D'Ariano

June 2006

The Walrus @ 64

Paul McCartney turns 64 this month. We'll pass on the&.Ya say it's your birthday/will ya still need me, will ya still feed me and all that&. and just say that during his 6-plus decades on the planet he's offered us some great insights on life or as he calls it, "The wonder of it all baby."

In "Wonderful Christmas Time" he tells us, "The moon is right, the spirits up, we're here tonight and that's enough."

His philosophy on working for a living shows up in "Live and Let Die": "What does it matter to ya, when you got a job to do, Ya got to do it well, You got to keep the other fella happy."

In "Riding to Vanity Fair" he offers, "The definition of friendship. Apparently you're to be sure to support the one that you love."

He offers advice for when you don't know where to turn or what to do. Just remember, "There will be an answer, let it be."

And once he wrote, "Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. What's wrong with that?"

Happy Birthday Paul.

R.J. D'Ariano

September 2006

Arthur Lee, the incredibly gifted 61-year-old singer and guitarist for the influential '60s-era band Love, died in a Memphis hospital on August 3, 2006 after a year-long battle with acute myeloid leukemia. The brilliant, yet oft-troubled Lee spent most of his remaining months in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and an experimental umbilical-cord blood treatment. After three rounds of chemotherapy failed, several benefit concerts were held in Britain and the United States to help him cover his medical expenses. In June, longtime fan Robert Plant headlined a benefit concert at The Beacon Theater in New York City which raised over $50,000 (Plant cited the influence of Mr. Lee and Love in his acceptance speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995).

Steve Finn/Getty Images

A native of Memphis, Lee moved to Los Angeles in the early '60s to work as a session musician and songwriter. "My Diary," one of his earliest compositions, was recorded by R&B singer Rosa Lee Brooks, and featured a young Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar. Lee and Hendrix would work again several years later on a tune called "The Everlasting First" from Love's "False Start" album (1970) and also on a tune called "Girl on Fire" which emerged as a single in 1994. After performing with an instrumental band called The LAGS, Lee was influenced by the burgeoning LA rock scene and in 1965 decided to form a new band called The Grass Roots. Since that name was already taken by an up-and-coming recording act, Lee chose the name Love. The band quickly developed a cult following on LA's Sunset Strip club scene and caught the attention of Elektra Records (primarily a folk label at the time) who immediately signed them. Love's explosive self-titled debut album, released in 1966, was the first rock release in Elektra's history, and spawned a minor hit with their unique version of Burt Bacharach's "My Little Red Book." The following year the band released the more ambitious "Da Capo" LP, which exceeded all expectations and included some of the finest material of Lee's career.

The original members of Love - 1966

By the time Love released their third album, "Forever Changes" in the later part of 1967, they had become one of the most popular and influential bands in the Los Angeles area so influential in fact that they used their clout to get their friends, a local band called The Doors, signed to Elektra. "Forever Changes" was a landmark artistic achievement which earned Lee the reputation as being a trailblazing musical visionary (credit must also go to fellow band mate Bryan MacLean for his excellent contributions), and even though the album was not a hit, it has gone on to achieve classic status as one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded. "Forever Changes" however, turned out to be the last essential Love album, as Lee's increasingly paranoid and erratic behavior began to take hold. Lee reformed the band with a new group of musicians and continued to release records under the Love name until the early '70s, but none of them ever captured the greatness of "Forever Changes."

In 1972 he released his solo debut, "Vindicator," then gradually faded from the public's eye. Performing sporadically over the years, Lee developed some problems with the law, which resulted in a 1995 jail sentence. He was released on December 12, 2001, and soon afterward gathered a new group of musicians to begin touring Europe and North America, eventually deciding to perform "Forever Changes" in its entirety. The Forever Changes tours were an enormous success as Lee played to sold out audiences throughout the world.

Speaking about the tragic loss of one of music's finest, Lee's manager Mark Linn issued the following statement on August 4:

"Arthur Lee died peacefully at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, a little after four in the afternoon August 3, 2006 with his wife Diane by his side. His death comes as a shock to me because Arthur had the uncanny ability to bounce back from everything, and leukemia was no exception. He was confident that he would be back on stage by the fall. When I visited with him recently, he was visibly moved by the stories and pictures from the NYC benefit concert. He was truly grateful for the outpouring of love from friends and fans all over the world since news of his illness became public. Arthur always lived in the moment, and said what he thought when he thought it. I'll miss his phone calls, and his long voice messages, but most of all I'll miss Arthur playing Arthur's music."

Brian McAlley

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