16 January 2012
Director: Chris Hall
110 minutes, 2008
After "Arthur Lee"'s release from prison and his subsequent touring for the "Forever Changes" album which produced the 2005 DVD, "The Forever Changes Concert", Love fans finally had some footage documenting the late Lee's effervescent performances as lead singer and songwriter of this great pop band. Previously, only secondhand biographies, such as "Andrew Hulktrans"' well-written book, attempted to piece together Love's intrigue and disintegration. But long have we craved vintage film evidence of this Los Angeles group's ascension from the Hollywood hippie underground. "Love Story" is a fabulous documentary tracing every detail of Love's formation and the release of each album.
Spliced with ample vintage film clips, it is organized chronologically, beginning with the stories of "Arthur Lee" and "Johnny Echols" meeting in high school told from their perspectives. Infamous for their disagreements and Lee's notoriously difficult personality, "Love Story" explains from each band member's point of view, what happened to this band slated to become the next Doors or Byrds. "Love Story" is engaging and quite hilarious. History told by band members interviewed independently of one another makes for wild variation. "Bryan Maclean" candidly discusses his struggles for recognition, while other band mates, "Johnny Echols", "Snoopy Pfisterer", and "Michael Stuart" reveal what occurred behind the scenes.
Of course, most entertaining throughout is "Arthur Lee" starring himself. In a never ending array of hats, bandanas, and shades, he cruises the filmmakers "Chris Hall" and "Mike Kerry" around his home turf by car, pointing out where he went to school, where the band used to live, and the spaces where clubs they played once thrived. As cliché as it may sound, "Love Story" really is indispensable for any Love fanatic.