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Love fontman Arthur Lee battling leukemia

Booking agent plans benefit concert to aid uninsured psychedelia legend
/ Source: Billboard

Love frontman Arthur Lee is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to a post from Los Angeles-based club booker Liz Garo on noted Love fan site

Lee has undergone three weeks of chemotherapy but continued treatment and a possible bone marrow transplant are looming.

As Lee is uninsured, friends are organizing a Los Angeles benefit concert for late May or early June. Garo says such venues as the Avalon, Disney Hall, the Greek Theatre and the El Rey Theatre are in consideration and that Calexico, Cake and X have been contacted to participate.

"We are looking for artists to perform a few of Arthur's songs that capture the spirit and magic of Arthur Lee and Love," Garo writes.

Highlighted by the 1967 masterpiece "Forever Changes," Love crafted some of the most celebrated rock and roll of the psychedelic rock era. But its legacy languished in the ensuing years due to Lee's unpredictable behavior and prison stint on a weapons violation.

After being released from jail in late 2001, Lee assembled a new version of Love that enjoyed success touring in Europe and North America, often playing "Forever Changes" in its entirety.

Last summer, Lee's backing band, Baby Lemonade, announced it would no longer perform with him, citing the "steady decline" of his "mental and physical health." In recent months, Lee had assembled a new backing group from his new home base of Memphis.

But according to Garo's post, "Baby Lemonade is available to back up any singer" at the benefit "and there will be a string section as well."