logo the freedom man

Mike Randle


April 2 2002

Gene, Rusty and i arrived at SPACELAND around 7:30, April 2, to find Arthur Lee and Dave Chapple playing a game of pool as Drums and Tuba (the headlining act) were nearing the end of their soundcheck. Arthur was there along with Don Conka and the rest of the band. Our Guitar Tech, David Jenkins, showed up with some extra guitar stands, strings and things like that. We got the gear onstage and fiddled around a bit, not exactly sure how things would sound. Our rehearsals were going great, but now we were “out of the nest” and on a real stage. We knew the sound guy, Pete Magdaleno, because he did sound and engineering for our friends, the Wondermints. Once we had everything together, we decided to try out “Your Mind and We belong Together.”

Since the club was empty during soundcheck, the stage and mic sounds weren’t to Arthur’s liking so he asked for some changes in the sound (from Pete), but it then became appearent that this monitor system had real limitations. After a few feedback problems, we finished up sound check and went to hang out in the upstairs bar area.

After a while, the band (Arthur and us) kinda found a spot in the corner by the bar and just kind of hung out. Several people came over to say hi to Arthur, and a few asked for autographs. Arthur was nice to everyone. Gene came by and said the show was being delayed becasue there were still too many people in line outside the club; the line went all the way down the block!

Finally, it was 10pm and time to hit the stage…i looked out and say that the show was completely sold and because the club was packed, every available spot taken up by a body. I spotted a few familiar faces; Pat Fear from White Flagg (who was being obnoxious the whole night, standing right in front of Arthur and saying dumb things-as if to provoke him) was there but Arthur ignored Pat, which was good. Andrew Sandoval, who wrote the liner notes to LOVE STORY and is currently involved with the FOUR SAIL release, was there with his wife Wendy. Also, there were two huge fans from the old days, Felicia, from LOCA fanzine, and Falling James, Leaving Trains fame (and also a writer for the LA WEEKLY). Steven Mc Donald, from Redd Kross, was there as well as guys from Beachwood Sparks and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Although i can’t, for the life of me, remember the set list, i know we began with “My little red book”, which immediately got the crowd excited. Arthur started with the tamborine and it was almost as if he was saying, “i’m back. here you are.” it was truly a “magical” moment. Every song we played that night, i felt it was the best we’d played it EVER. Song to song to song. it was too much to take in all at once…i felt as though i was floting on air the whole show-and it’s no exageration; i don’t think i felt the ground! Dave Chapple’s Bass was reproducing all those classic lines from such historic and amazing LOVE albums. Dave Green played the drums like it was his last day on the planet. Rusty played great guitar and sang pefect harmonis to compliment Arthur’s courageous voice and awe inspiring stage movements. As for myself, Arthur told me before the show to “go for it”, which is a code word for PLAY THE SHIT OUT OF THAT GUITAR. which is what is precisley what i tried to do. Arthur likes the lead guitar loud and in your face, as do his fans, sans one knucklehead in Rotterdam, Holland, who personally doesn’t like the way i play. But other than that knucklehead, everyone else seamed to be happy with everything.

After 70 min., the show was over. I think we did “Singing Cowboy” last. later on, we hing out with friends and fans alike and people seamed to absolutely love the show beyond words. it was, by far, the best show i’ve played as a musician. And if this represents what’s to come in Europe, WATCH OUT! because Arthur is sharper than ever, singing better than he has in his life and letting the life and music of LOVE flow through him like a warm summer breeze. But the best part of all this was when people were leaving the club to go home. No one said “good Show” or “great show” or “you guys rocked”. They all said, “Thank you.”

Mike Randle


Click on a pick to go to other Diaries