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Mike Randle


“I too came East unto Hollywood” – By The New Guy
August 18, 2003

Late Saturday afternoon I was invited to a Love rehearsal, which was scheduled for Sunday between 4:00 PM PST and 8:00 PM PST, and which was a run-through for the whole band including the 5-piece ensemble incorporating a pair of trumpets (one of whom is a flutist to boot), a viola player, a violin player and a cellist for their show at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood on Tuesday night.

Along the way, I had the opportunity to view quite of few of the homeless people Mr. Randle shared his lunch with yesterday, not to mention all those topless-bottomless bars he’s such an authority on, but as I had had the wisdom to marry a beautiful woman who loves me and make and eat a tuna-fish sandwich before I left the house I decided not to test my luck with the local gangbangers, homeless lunatics and fast-food/lap-dance vendors and so I arrived promptly at 4:30 (perfectly timed to miss helping out on the “load-in”) and lucked out by finding a parking spot right in front of the rehearsal room. As I approached the front door of the place I saw a person who looked a LOT like Mr. Lee disappearing around an adjacent corner with two men. Hoping I hadn’t just witnessed the butt end of a kidnapping, but too dissipated from the 100-degree heat to offer any meaningful succor, I entered the joint just as the strings were tuning up.

The room was rich with talent, if not air conditioning. Everyone was in a great mood. Without any further ado, the rehearsal started and the band en site, Love without Arthur Lee, whipped through the Forever Changes songs with the fantastic, furious playing of the Fab Five, who are:

Probyn Gregory on Trumpet and Valvabone Dan Clucas on Trumpet and Flute
Ana Vale on Cello
Heather Lockie on Viola Paula Yoo on Violin
First the band went through Forever Changes w/o Arthur
For a second there I thought Mr. Randle’s head was going to explode

Then Mr. Lee showed back up and they went through all of the FC tunes with the horns and strings again, plus a couple of more songs: “Listen To My Song” with strings and horns and”She Comes In Colors” were really, really rocking.The sight of Paula doing her “shoo-bop” while she played was worth more than the price of admission.One of the really funny moments was when Mr. Lee called for “Orange Skies” and they were really getting into “Singing Cowboy” when Arthur stopped the proceedings so they could actually do “Orange Skies!”That’s when Dan popped up with his flute.It was a great treat to hear that flute mixed with the vocals and guitars. Really nice.

I had been wondering what all these guitars were… it turned out the white SG is Mr. Lee’s new guitar.

Then Mr. Lee called for a break.A break for Mike and Daddyo and Rusty, that is… Turns out Mr. Lee’s friends were Johnny Echols and Don Conka. Together, with Mr. Lee, they did Smokestack Lightning……And it rocked, dudes.I think folks down at the HOB tomorrow night will get a chance to see those cats on the stage together as a special treat!You KNOW Mr. Lee blows a mean harmonica, son!

So, although I could go on a while about the atmosphere in the room, and how freaking great it was to be there, and how nice everybody was (as usual) and how especially nice and warm Mr. Lee is, or discuss exactly how quickly Mr. Randle can consume a bunch of tacos, or describe the vast quantity of beer that appeared magically just as the music was winding down, or the WMDs I saw stacked up against a heavily fortified tee-shirt factory a couple of doors down from the rehearsal studio — well, I’m not The Diary so I’ll just get back to my little videomastering project and savor how very special a day this was. And, of course, get ready for Tuesday night…

Warmest regards always, etc. etc.

The New Guy

Mike Randle


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