Bryan MacLean   BIOGRAPHY

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THE ORIGINAL LINE UP:

Bryan MacLean: Our main man, rhythm guitarist, co-lead vocalist and other main songwriter. For Bryan's full story see biography page.

Arthur Lee: Love's driving force, lead vocalist, harp player, guitarist and songwriter. Born in Memphis on March 7, 1945 - Died Memphis, August 3, 2006. After a steady increase in profile in the 90's, due to (for Arthur!) regular touring and a resurgence of interest in Love, Arthur was cruelly incarcerated for a firearm offence (his 3rd felony) for 12 years & under the then current U.S. law he looked likely to serve at least 80% of the sentence. Out 6 years later, and with the help of the late Gene Kraut as manager, Arthur set about playing live, and with the burst of interest surrounding his release and the reissue of the original Love albums all was seemingly going well. Some great live shows, some patchy, though always backed 110% by the very fine Baby Lemonade who became the new Love, Arthur played all over the world, did Glastonbury, toured playing the Forever Changes album in it's entirety with a full string ensemble, put out a DVD, live album, made up with Johnny Echols etc etc. But then it seemed Arthur had returned to old ways, not fulfilling live dates etc. And Baby Lemonade quit on him. Amid fighting talk of a new band, worrying reports of ill-health started to filter through and unfortunately the rumour mill was right for once and Arthur died in his home town of Memphis at the age of 61 following a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia on August 3, 2006. Through all his faults, he was much loved and will be missed by many. His imprint will be left on rock music forever simply because of the beauty of Forever Changes. Alongside Da Capo & Love, it has some of the finest moments in 'pop' music history. We wish you peace Arthur, LoVe to you...


Johnny Echols: Love's lead guitarist & occasional vocalist. Rumors abounded about Johnny & his whereabouts. Some had him living like a nomad in the desert, others say he served time along with Ken Forssi at the end of the 60's for holding up doughnut stands. A more down to earth account (The Castle) said that in 2002, Johnny gave an interview (his first for some 25 years) in which he said he is alive and well, living with the rest of us in suburbia and very much proud of what he did with Love.

Update 2005: Johnny is back in the band! After hooking up at some shows with Arthur in the last couple of years, sitting in on guitar, he is now back in full time and gigging everywhere that Love do. Wow! If only all this activity had happened back in the 90s, we might've been treated to a full reunion. Maybe it was Bryan's passing that kick started things. The advent of time is a powerful motivator. A couple of other points. Johnny emailed the guestbook a while ago and slammed the hold-up stories as absolute rubbish, said he spent some time cleaning up and then played/recorded with various jazz people. Also I read in Mike Randle's diaries I think it was, that the legendary Gethsemene album is actually Johnny's work and he's looking to get it out in the next year or so. Can't wait to hear it!


Ken Forssi: Love's bass guitarist proper arrived just after the recording sessions for the first album commenced as a replacement for Johnny Fleckenstein who went on to join the classic garage band The Standells, before becoming a successful cinematographer. Rumors persist of Ken & Johnny's post Love lives. No-one seems too sure. The one thing that I'm sure of though is what an amazingly great bassist he was. I say was because sadly Ken passed away shortly before Bryan in '98 of a brain tumour. What might've been if Arthur hadn't got locked away when he did and the rumours of a full original Love reunion materialised?
Well in my daydreams they do often. Capable of driving a tune from the foundation like Seven & Seven Is or sublime subtlety like the gentle plodding of Old Man, Ken never gave the feeling of overplaying whether complex or not. RIP Ken.

Any stories you have involving Ken in his years with Love or since, or any pictures you have, send them in and we'll add them.


Michael Stuart: Love's drummer for their two greatest works Da Capo and Forever Changes. Michael Stuart was formerly playing with the surf band Sons Of Adam which cut the Arthur Lee penned Feathered Fish before being poached by Love to sure up the rhythm section due to Snoopy's shaky inexperience in front of the skins. Michael Stuart-Ware (as he is now) wrote Bryan's mother Elizabeth a very touching note upon his death saying he was "honoured to have been his friend and bandmate". His excellent jazzy touches definitely added another quality to Love's most famous works.

In 2002 Michael published an excellent book, Pegasus Carousel, via his own website (www.pegasuscarousel.com) which has subsequently been picked up by the UK publishers Helter Skelter Books. It really gives an insight into the band and the times they lived in. Sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, it doesn't shy away from the drugs, in-fighting and egos which finally finished the original band off. Go and find a copy now, it's a great read and probably about as close to the truth as we'll ever get, regarding the life and times of the original band.


Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer: Love's drummer on their first album soon became their harpsichord/keyboard player upon the arrival of Michael Stuart. Classically trained at the piano, his skills can amply be heard on the intro/outro of Da Capo b-side opus Revelation and Stephanie Knows Who. I did see something on the net in 2001/02 that said Snoopy was traveling to South America and looking to hook-up with anybody that wanted to get together and play and that was about all I knew on him. That is until I tracked down a number for him and gave him a call. Thankfully he knew of the website and was then happy to shoot the breeze for over an hour on his feelings about the band. A very charming guy. Hopefully in time I can get a proper interview lined-up and get it on site here.

Tjay Cantrelli: The mysterious Tjay Cantrelli (b. John Berberis) played sax & flute on the classic Love album Da Capo before seeming to vanish - or did he? Well actually though he never recorded with Love again, he went on to work with both Geronimo Black (Ex-members of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention) and Flo & Eddie (aka Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles). From other things that I've read, I believe Tjay passed away in the early/mid 90's. RIP. If anyone has more info then e-mail and I'll add it here.


Picture copyright Norman J. Hauge

Don Conka: Love's original drummer Don Conka was only in the line-up for a short time. Said to have been struggling with a serious Heroin habit, his appearances at rehearsals & gigs was never too assured. This led to him being dropped for the recording of the first album, on which Arthur played some of the drums & bass before the arrivals of Snoopy & Ken. A song about Conka's plight was penned by Arthur who performed it right up to his last show, the haunting Signed D.C. Arthur & Don remained close friends & when the rumours of a reformation of the original line-up appeared before Lee's sentencing, surprisingly ahead of Michael Stuart, it was rumoured that Don was Arthur's first choice for the drum stool. Of his time with the band Don, in recent years, talked fondly, "It was a refreshing thing. We used to rehearse in Arthur's garage, playing Byrds & Kinks songs & originals. We developed an original sound that way. You can identify any song by those bands, but you can't pin down Arthur's sound".

Again as is the way with most Love news, positive reports of Don attending Love gigs in the last couple of years were then followed by the sad news that he had died on Sept 26th, 2004.

 

 


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MHM Arrow Albums/Videos

LOVE
Love
Da Capo
Forever Changes

SOLO
ifyoubelievein
Candy's Waltz
Intra Muros (unreleased)
No One Was Kinder (with Maria Mckee)
Praise & Worship

UNRELEASED
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VIDEOS
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Bryan
Arthur
Michael
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Snoopy
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