Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Can't Stop Proselytizing...

I listened early this morning to a few songs from almost forgotten genius Arthur Lee's 2003 album THE FOREVER CHANGES LIVE ALBUM and each one sent a chill up my spine and nearly drew a tear from my eye. I will never stop proselytizing about Lee's band, Love, and their first four great records, LOVE, DA CAPO, FOREVER CHANGES and FOUR SAIL. I have said it many times: If you don't love those four albums, you probably don't really get Book of Kills either, not that I would ever be so stupid as to presume to put myself in the same musical universe as Arthur Lee. (That's certainly not to insult the tastes of anyone who listens to BOK and who doesn't particularly care for Love. I guess I just wish I could make everyone need that record as much as I have needed it since I was a boy.) I have spent years trying to create a record as good as FOREVER CHANGES, but I know that I never will. That doesn't keep me from trying, of course, but it is a useless pursuit.

We didn't practice last night. We'll try for Thursday evening now.

I realized yesterday that April marks the TWENTY-FIFTH anniversary of the release of DON'T STOP THE SCREAM. I thought about that album while I was walking last evening with my wife and I came to the conclusion that, although it is obviously not the best album I ever recorded, it is probably the single most important one. It is the first "real" Book of Kills album with a wide variety of styles from folk-ish pop to raging industrial...all in the course of thirty minutes. It was a tape that seemed to bring a much broader audience of listeners to my music ("broader" implies a few hundred people, by the way) through a couple of reviews (particularly in ALTERNATIVE PRESS) and in the Shenandoah Valley by word of mouth. Photographer Aaron Farrington (also bassist/vocalist in The Karl Rove) once suggested that I play the entire album live. Probably not, but 2-3 songs? Yeah, probably so.

"They're locking him up today. They're throwing away the key. I wonder who it'll be tomorrow? You or me?" -- Arthur Lee ("The Red Telephone")