There’s very little information to be found on this 1991 “documentary” on Arthur Lee. The three key people involved in its creation are dead or, in the case of Crimson Crout, nowhere to be found. Directed by the mysterious Crout from a concept by Arthur Lee and compiled by Los Angeles writer, deejay and garage/punk/psychedelic promoter Frank Beeson, the video has amateur production values overall but is redeemed by laid back interviews with Lee (conducted by a barely present Beeson) and some decent live footage of Lee performing with latter day Love members Melvan Whittington and Joe Blocker as well as two members of The Knack, Bruce Gary and Berton Averre.
The film was made during Lee’s tentative re-emergence as an artist after a long dormant period during the 1980s. His return to the public eye was interrupted when he was incarcerated in 1995 for possession of a hand gun.
The live footage is taken from a series of gigs in 1989, during which Lee was regaining his footing as a performer.
The documentary, like Lee, is a bit ramshackle. The good news is that a decade after it was shot, a re-invigorated Arthur Lee returned to the stage for some of the best live shows of his incredible life, receiving the accolades he so richly deserved.
I can’t find anything on director Crimson Crout other than he released a 45rpm record in 1975 with two songs, “10,000 Years” and Redneck Ways.” John Einarson, author of the excellent Arthur Lee biography Forever Changes Arthur Lee And The Book Of Love was unable to track down the “elusive” Crout in researching his book. Who is this mystery man? Beeson?
Photo: Andy Willsher.