Forever Changes
The Authorized Biography Of Arthur Lee & Love (New edition)
John Einarson

Foreword by Johnny Echols
Published September 2024
ISBN 9781916829121
336pp / 6 x 8.5 in (150 x 215mm)
£16.95 UK / $24.95 US / $32.95 CAN

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 Forever Changes.

Shaped by a Memphis childhood and a South Los Angeles youth, Lee always craved fame. He would achieve his ambition with a mixture of vaulting talent and colossal chutzpah. Drug use and a reticence to tour were his Achilles heels, and he succumbed to a dissolute lifestyle just as superstardom was beckoning.

Despite endorsements from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, Lee’s subsequent career was erratic and haunted by the shadow of Forever Changes, reaching a nadir with his imprisonment in 1996 for a firearms offence. Redemption followed, culminating in an astonishing postmillennial comeback that found him playing Forever Changes to adoring, multi-generational fans around the world. This upswing was only interrupted by his untimely death from leukemia in 2006.

Written with the full consent and cooperation of Arthur’s widow, Diane Lee, Forever Changes is a meticulously researched biography that includes lengthy extracts from Arthur’s vivid, comic, and poignant memoirs, published here for the first time. Author John Einarson has also amassed dozens of new interviews with the surviving members of Love and with many others who fell into the incomparable Lee’s flamboyant orbit. This updated edition adds a new foreword by Love’s co-founder and lead guitarist, Johnny Echols.

“Arthur Lee was the sixties’ first Black rock star, ruling the Sunset Strip when Jimi Hendrix was still an R&B sideman. Einarson draws on Lee’s unfinished memoirs in this frank, propulsive account of Love’s majesty and dysfunction.” David Fricke, Rolling Stone

“Much of what Einarson uncovers is new or not widely reported, and the cumulative details and generally impressive research about the chameleonic Lee’s life (lives?) make for a damn fascinating read.” Falling James, LA Weekly

“Arthur Lee was a man of constant contradiction whom John Einarson makes clear was his own worst enemy – a man who pissed away talent, good will, and friendships, and yet left an indelible mark on classic rock. Einarson does an amazing job of capturing the pros and the cons – or more accurately the cons and the pros – of the mercurial Arthur Lee.” Bill Wasserzieher, Ugly Things

“A vivid, photographic sense of how the Strip (and the adjacent Canyon) was the center of the universe for a brief, incandescent moment, as Love went about demolishing musical and racial boundaries and opening Doors for the more ambitious – and cautious – bands that came in their wake.” Dann Baker, Brooklyn Rail

John Einarson is a widely respected rock music historian and author of more than twenty books, including critically acclaimed biographies of Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, Gene Clark, Randy Bachman, Ian & Sylvia, and The Flying Burrito Brothers. He has written for Mojo, Uncut, Goldmine, Discoveries, Record Collector, and Classic Rock, and is a frequent contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press. John wrote the Juno-nominated Bravo television documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life and CBC TV’s The Life & Times Of Randy Bachman. He has contributed to a number of other television productions and has hosted several CBC radio series. He lives with his wife in Winnipeg, Canada, where he teaches a popular course on rock’n’roll history at the University of Winnipeg and posts podcasts on a number of music history themes under the title John Einarson Presents. He was recently inducted into the prestigious Order of Manitoba for his pioneering work documenting the province’s rich music history.