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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Freed 1960s star meets MPs
Arthur Lee (centre right) with Jane Griffiths, Martin Salter, Stephen Pound, Peter Bradley and Alan Whitehead
Arthur Lee (centre right) met five Parliamentary fans
Arthur Lee, frontman of 1960s psychedelic legends Love, has visited Parliament on his first major tour since his release from prison.

Lee, who served half of a 12-year sentence for firearms offences, remains popular with rock critics and fans alike with classic album Forever Changes routinely listed in top 100 charts.

Now it has also been recognised by a group of MPs as "the greatest of all time".

Classic Love songs
Alone Again Or
A House Is Not a Motel
Andmoreagain
7 and 7 is
My Little Red Book
Orange Skies
Lee, released from prison at the tail end of last year and starting to rebuild his life, was a guest at the House of Commons.

His visit followed an early day motion put down by Labour backbencher and long-time fan Peter Bradley.

The American singer played to a sell-out crowd in London at the end of a successful UK tour last week, the first since his release from the sentence for firearms offences which his supporters claim was a miscarriage of justice.

Forever Changes has often been acknowledged as a massive influence on contemporary bands, with its lush strings and horns accompanying guitar-based rock songs.

'Lighten up'

Mr Bradley's light-hearted motion on Monday said: "That this house pays tribute to the legendary Arthur Lee... frontman and inspiration of Love, the world's greatest rock band and creators of Forever Changes, the greatest album of all time."

It added that MPs "consider the potential benefit to their constituents if they were, with the indulgence of their whips, to lighten up and tune in to one of his forthcoming British gigs".

Mr Bradley, MP for The Wrekin, said: "The guy assumed legendary proportions for me in 1967 when I first came across him and that hasn't diminished. If anything, his reputation has enhanced since."


He has served his time and he is a great artist

Peter Bradley on Arthur Lee

He added: "I saw him at the Roundhouse in 1969 and that left an indelible impression.

"I saw him again 10 years ago and he wasn't on his best form or behaviour, but now he looks good and he sounds great.

"I want to do anything I can do to get him a wider audience."

The MP saw him during his current set of dates at Bilston in the West Midlands.

"He was unbelievably brilliant. It seemed very odd for someone who is an icon to be playing Bilston on a damp Thursday in June."

Mr Bradley said in 1967 he was as big as Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

Lee's management company got in touch with the politician after they got wind of his early day motion.

Musician's past

"I almost hesitated when they rang me up. The man is such a legend for people like myself. I've cherished Forever Changes for 35 years."

Mr Bradley saw no reason for the musician's past to preclude a Parliamentary visit.

"He has served his time and he is a great artist.

"There are plenty of MPs who are admirers of Wagner despite the fact that he was an anti-semite.

"If members of Parliament limited themselves to artists and performers who have never passed within a couple of miles of drugs or other illegal activities, the airwaves would be pretty silent."

See also:

15 Mar 02 | Entertainment
15 Mar 02 | Entertainment
07 Mar 02 | UK Politics
05 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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