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Mike Randle


Back To The Studio
April 16 2002

It’s Tuesday morning and I feel like I’m only now recovering from a sleepless Vegas weekend where I pretty much made a nice donation to MGM, Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio. All the stars from yesteryear were in perpetual rotation on the strip. Has-beens like Rick Springfield, Gladys Knight (sorry, no Pips), Sheena Easton and even one of the guys from Styx all headlining at MGM and, for $35, you can see them and get steak and lobster to boot!

But Las Vegas isn’t always about making deals with the devil: people like Brian Wilson and even Prince swing through here to play some real music for real music fans. Personally, I hold the dubious honor of never having played a note of music in that wacky, congested town. I just go there to lose money. But, before I left L.A., we got in a LOVE rehearsal so I left with a smile on my face.

We went over a few songs we hadn’t done yet and, after a few go arounds, they were sounding really good. Dave Chaple bought a new Bass; a sort of Bass version of an Epiphone 335 Semi-Hollow-body. And not only does it look nice, with sort of a gold “sparkle” to it, it sounds really great and the tunes had even more life to them. A new Bass will do that! After rehearsal, Rusty and I went down to main street for some late night Carne Asadas and reflected on how fun it was to be playing with Arthur again and how much we all want this to be the best it can be.

Although this tour is going to be quite a strenuous trek ( 25 cities, 11 countries in 35 days!), everyone is prepared and looking forward to every show. The last time we toured Europe, summer ’96, we met great LOVE fans in every city. It was nice to walk into a club in Oslo and see all these young people coming to see Arthur Lee and “these guys playing with him”, as one fellow put it BEFORE the show. After the show, he said we played the songs like we were fans. I had to tell him, ” We ARE fans!” Like any LOVE fan, we still listen to those records (partly because we enjoy them, partly because it’s our job!) and are still amazed at the incredible songs and arrangements and performances. Few people make music with sheer determination anymore. But those LOVE records were made when labels didn’t have shareholders and accountants running the music business. But I feel as though, playing with this unit, we side step all that stuff and take it right to the fans, all of whom Arthur Lee considers the best in the world. He has, as I’ve said before, the utmost respect for the audience and gives the best show anyone will see anytime soon. I can’t imagine anyone playing and singing like that with such top notch songs.

Well, that’s all for this entry. Later on tonight, we’re all gonna go down to the 3 of Clubs (in Hollywood) to see Dave Chapple’s band, Harvette (www.harvette.com). They have a new record out and I highly recommend it. In the next few days, we’re rehearsing at a different studio (a MUCH bigger one) to get the more “stage” and “live” feel before we take off for Europe. Next week, the Los Angeles Times are doing an interview/story on Arthur that will come out right before the Knitting factory show. But for now, it’s back to the studio.

Mike Randle


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