*****September, 2006 Statement*****
Dear Friends, Fans & Family of Love,
I write this in hopes that you are all well, happy, healthy and ‘Loving one another.’ I want to say that, without a doubt, Arthur Lee was the most misunderstood person I’ve ever met in my life. In all the years we spent as friends and band mates, all the shows, every phone call, every meal and every drink, I think – to this day – that as much as we thought we knew each other, we really only scratched the surface.
This was made painfully clear after his passing from conversations with his family that Arthur was truly ill long before even he knew it. This would explain odd behavior and angry episodes, attributed to either drugs or alcohol or for no reason at all. It turns out Arthur was probably keeping the pain of his illness at bay. Being a strong and proud man (and forever youthful in his looks, as well as vigor) much of Arthur’s anger may well have been due to his own failing health and problems associated with the cancer that was beginning to show itself before it’s actual diagnosis.
Made aware of what Arthur’s family now knew, I felt it proper to be forthright about all the things that were made public from that awful time last summer, that time when the most wonderful band in the world lost it’s leader. Love never recovered but one should never, ever write off Love or Arthur Lee. No one could have known what was really going on behind the scenes – even Arthur didn’t know until it was too late to help.
Even though this is all water under the bridge, I want to personally reach out to each and every one that loved Arthur and Love’s music and say that all the negative energy I put into airing my frustrations and disappointment during that time would have been better served had I made a more concerted effort to notice the deeper route of the problem and not just look at how it was affecting my own life. I can’t go back and change time – if I could I certainly would – but I can hopefully tell my story and hope that if anyone can identify with this then maybe they’ll never let a disagreement become so bitter that it clouds your thinking and brings out your worst.
So many people, so many times, expressed how much they loved what Baby Lemonade did with Arthur (and later, Arthur and Johnny) and how we gave everything we had to make all this happen. We did give a lot. And Arthur gave as much as anyone. When people use the phrase “He left it all onstage” they mean it figuratively. Arthur lived it- literally. But he really was too ill. It’s just that no one knew because Arthur was the King of making you think everything is cool.
Early on, our communication was excellent and we were a band more than anything else. After we played Glastonbury the first time the overall desire seemed to wane. Maybe this was the hidden health issue that would eventually rear its head and wreak havoc on Arthur’s life? No one will know for sure. But what I do now know is that Arthur didn’t turn his back on us or you. I mistakenly felt that last year. Arthur loved Baby Lemonade and Arthur loved Johnny. And we all loved him. We thought we could force him to improve when things started to deteriorate within what we had all created, but what we didn’t know was that it was too late. And here we sit, not long after Arthur’s passing and I can say in all honestly, Arthur was loved beyond what any of us could have imagined.
Now, Love fans can rest well in knowing that Arthur wisely married his longtime girlfriend Diane and that she has always had Arthur’s best interest at heart, having been there through some of the highs and lows both early on and towards the end. I think we’ll have some wonderful Arthur music-related things to look forward to in the future and Diane will no doubt see to it that it’s top-notch. Arthur wouldn’t have it any other way.
September 23, 2006