You are just a thought that someone
Somewhere somehow feels you should be here
Arthur Lee, â€œA House Is Not A Motelâ€
“We change what we remember, then it changes us, and so on, until we both fade together, our memories and ourselves. Something like that.â€ This is Salman Rushdie on the way our lives intertwine with the history of rock â€˜nâ€™ roll. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999 ) is a novel about Ormus and Vina, Indians raised in Bombay, who become the first couple of international rock. Propelled by Ormusâ€™ words and melodies and Vinaâ€™s voice, they blaze across the rock firmament as VTO (â€œVertical Take Offâ€), their lives mirroring the rise and fall of many sacred monsters of rock the last half century.
I thought about Rushdieâ€™s novel watching the documentary film Love Story, about the legendary L.A. band Love and their 1967 album â€œForever Changes,â€ the best single album I’ve ever heard, and one of the most enduring albums of what folks still call the “the psychedelic era,” an odd term that reflects the cover art but not the bold lyrics, crystal clear vocals and resonant orchestral sound, acoustic guitars supplemented by symphonic strings and horns. The album is especially loved and respected in England, and British producers Chris Hall and Mike Kelly have made a quiet, fairly typical but informative rock history film, with vintage footage and interviews with Arthur Lee, the dark genius of the group, as well as Bryan MacLean and Johnny Nichols, who all played a critical roll in forming the bandâ€™s charismatic image as an early racially-mixed rock group. Recorded by folk the label Elektra, Love was not promoted very effectively in rock venues. They also refused to tour much outside L.A. Not burnt-out cases, really. They just faded out, disappeared. So the album â€œForever Changesâ€ has survived and thrived by word-of-mouth, although several years ago Rolling Stone placed it # 40 on the list of 500 greatest albums. My sons ride me for thinking it #1, but there you have it. “Forever Changes” is lodged there as firmly as Venus in my rock firmament.
If you havenâ€™t heard it, it is never too late.
Continue reading Love, Forever Changes and The Ground Beneath Her Feet