Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Bruce Botnick, John Densmore, Johnny Echols, John Fleckenstein, Bobby Gillespie
Director: Chris Hall
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Love's DVD Love Story is a feature length documentary recounting the story of the quintessential L.A. band Love and their singer Arthur Lee. The DVD includes one hour of bonus features as well as liner note from Bobby Gil... more »
Love - Love story dvd (documentary on Arthur Lee, Bryan etc)
Joseph Morris | Elmwood Park, NJ | 09/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Superb film. I FINALLY was able to find it in NYC at Virgin (its sold out twice at Rocket Scientist in the Village on St Marks)
WAY too much for an import dvd at Virgin tho. I had to pay $50. OUCH!!
absolutely heartbreaking film. Oh god.. the one band that should've made it, had all the talent, but just burned out..
The film ends at Four Sail, dead. Which may be unfair. But then, how was one to follow up Forever Changes? It really is the best album ever recorded (in my humble opinion!) and if this film can nudge the average Joe to check this album out (or at least Alone Again Or - wisely sequenced by Elektra's Jac Holzman to start the disc) that is not necessarily a bad thing
The film is almost 2 hours - lots of Love, interview. Absolutely heartbreaking. Arthur Lee did get his due, but it was to be much later after a jail term - nice to see UK's Parliament like the album (Forever Changes I mean of course) as well (they put it to a vote in the Parliament, declaring it the best album of all time and pressing people to check out the live Forever Changes tour!)
Video interviews with the late Bryan Maclean from the late 90s (from BBC TV I assume) and audio interviews with the late Kenny Forssi from the early 90s
Extras include Snoopy going solo and Arthur, Johnny interviews, as well as the Parliament guy who did a petition that deemed FC the best album ever made. Right on guys! At least the album did better there in the States (it made the top 30 in the UK - made the top, oh, 160 in the US!)
Snoopy and Johnny are working on albums (H.O.M.E. and FC follow up Gethesemene, respectively). Indeed, you can listen to Snoopys album (and message!) on CDBaby, but, really, this is a celebration of Love in its heyday (the first 3 albums). Nice to hear from "Fleck" (co-writer of "Can't explain" from the first album) after all this time (he was bassist before he opted out for a film career, and the late Kenny Forssi joined from off the Sufari's tour in time for the first Elektra album (simply titled Love)
Arthur is pretty honest here. In fact, sometimes he comes off as a jerk. Hes honest about Revelation too (which most Love fans are pretty tolerant of, curious considering it takes up a full side!) He thinks its the worst thing hes ever recorded (probably true - its certainly longer than some of the dreck on Vindicator or Out Here) and that there was a terrible vibe between the band members on that particular track
Michael Stuart covers FC for us (the band couldn't get it together due to lack of rehearsals, and the first 2-3 tracks (Daily Planet, etc) cut for the album didn't have them playing at all (Stuart notes that while 7&7 Is took 40 takes to get thru, they got nowhere near as many tries to get the material right
Arranger Angel is talked to (hes very kind about Arthur, and seems honored to have been involved in the album). Echols is probably the star of the film, as hes never really been talked to before and a lot of what he has to say about the background of the group (him and Arthur's parents knowing one another in Memphis, him and Arthur playing a great deal in bands during weekends while still in high school - at fraternities parties and the like, his own feeling in holding a guitar at the school for the first time (which seems to have sparked Arthur, who saw him so)
I understand that the filmmakers were limited in using video footage of the band, so theres no full footage of the band on Where the action is, American Bandstand (this was even a problem in the excellent Beatles Anthology, which had talkovers over Hey Jude on the Frost show
That quibble aside (it would be nice to see Love footage from the 60s on dvd, at least the excellent Your Mind And We film, which originally surfaced on a Love Story (2cd) promo of Rhino's
Indesribably essential if you're a Love/Arthur Lee (RIP)/Bryan Maclean (RIP)/Kenny Forssi/Bobby Beausoleil/John Fleckenstein/Don Conka (RIP) and Baby Lemonade fan!"
Short on Footage But Great Interviews
Brian J. Greene | Durham, NC | 08/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The only thing keeping this from being a 5-star DVD is the shortage of original band footage. There really isn't a whole lotta Love footage out there, so the band's many fans would've wanted to see some more clips of Arthur and the guys in action. But interviews are what make up the bulk of the doc, and the interviews are fascinating, revealing, informative . . . There's lots of Arthur himself talking, lots of Johnny Eccols, some old Bryan MacLean footage, some with Jac Holzman, some Bruce Botnick, other members of Love . . . Wait till you hear Arthur hold forth on The Gulf Wars, George Bush, Tony Blair, etc. in the bonus footage, and have a seat before you play the bonus segment where a modern-day Snoppy Pfisterer performs some of his, uh, current material. The documentary focuses heavily on Love's first three albums, and of course zeros in on their masterpiece Forever Changes. There could have been more on post- Changes Love, who were never as good as they were on the first three records, but always had their moments. But that's a quibble. Any fan of Love, of 60s psychedelia, of 60s youth culture, of the LA Sunset Strip scene . . . all of you will get something from this excellent documentary.
Informitive and entertaining
Edward Burt | 07/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a heaven sent for Love fans like myself since their is very little information available on this group. The story of Arthur Lee and Love is one of the biggest enigmas in rock and roll. Despite being one of the biggest bands in LA during the 60's, despite being instrumental in helping The Doors launch their career, and despite making an album 'Forever Changes' that consistenly is listed among rock and roll's greatest records, they never really made it big. Love Story presents a bunch of theories from many of the people involved with the group, including Arthur Lee and surviving members of the group. This documentary also explains the orgins, the dynamics, and makeup of Arthur Lee & his group. I wish they delved a bit more in his life after 'Forever Changes', but you can't be too pickey. The film makers do a excellent job is telling the story, so even people not aware of Love will be entertained. Good show all around.
Not For the Casual Fan
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 02/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Whatever else can be said about Love Story, most viewers will agree that its not for the casual fan. Indeed, it is likely that only hard-core fans will even be interested in seeing it. That is because proper appreciation can only be attained when the viewer comes to it with competent knowledge of the music it celebrates.
The documentary's main focus is on the formative years of the band and the creation of the first three albums. So those who cut their teeth on the earliest incarnations of the enigmatic musical phenomenon that is Arthur Lee and Love will enjoy Love Story most.
What you get is a series of interviews with former band members and a few music industry personalities who were crucial to the band's introduction to the wider listening public all interspersed with live clips of the band and shots of its former haunts. An appropriate soundtrack augments discussions of the chronology of Love's development and eventual demise.
In the course of the documentary, Arthur Lee is often charming but sometimes comes off as an obnoxious boor. You can feel his intellectual heft, but you will also see how his arrogance and caprice kept the band from going on to the heights merited by its rarefied talent. Lee and Johnny Echols blame the putative racism of both the public and the record company, but the reality is that Lee's aversion to the discipline and hard work of touring ensured that Love's base was largely restricted to California.
Lee's musical resurrection and his triumphant Forever Changes concert in England following his release from prison is one of the high points. But in some of the later clips, it is almost painful to watch as an apparently dying Lee(leukemia)struggles to collect and express his thoughts.
Echols contributes almost as much to one's understanding of the band as does Lee and obviously enjoys having been given the opportunity to expound on his memories. Other former members contribute much less with Ken Forssi being heard only on a recorded interview. I find the segments featuring the thoughts of Bryan MacLean to be humorous mainly because he looks like he's facing a firing squad while speaking. The few appearances of Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer are almost as absurd as his nickname and his successor on drums, Michael Stuart-Ware, is given scant opportunity to pontificate.
There are a seven bonus features, the best of which are the illuminating additional commentary of Johnny Echols and Canter's Revisited. Snoopy Goes Solo and When Arthur Met Shack are the worst. Enthusiastic liner notes by Bobby Gillespie would have been more enjoyable if he would have cut the unnecessary profanity in half.
Several good books have been written about Arthur Lee and Love. Love Story fills the documentary void. If you are an old-time Love fan, you will certainly want to add this to your DVD collection."