LOVE with Johnny Echols sees Arthur Lee’s longest serving band return to the UK to perform classic songs from Love’s first three albums Love, Da Capo, Four Sail and of course Forever Changes as well as some special deep cuts.
Following their farewell tour in 2019 the band hadn’t anticipated a return, but in 2022 the band did just that, as founding member and guitarist Johnny Echols explained, “the unprecedented times in which we found ourselves made us realise more than ever that what the world needs now is LOVE. How could we turn down the opportunity to come back and do it again? We have missed playing for our fans in the UK whom we dearly love.”
In what has now turned into an annual UK tour, Love is set to return in summer 2024. Johnny Echols: “I so look forward to our trips across the pond and performing LOVE’s extraordinary music for our friends in the UK. We will, of course, be performing much of Forever Changes, as well as favourites from our extensive catalogue… as well as a few surprises. Don’t miss the LOVE-Boat!”
Joining Johnny Echols on stage is Baby Lemonade who from 1993 until Arthur’s death in 2006 performed as his band and became an essential part of the renaissance of LOVE’s music. This iteration of LOVE saw many sold-out tours, as well as back-to-back Glastonbury performances and an appearance on Later with Jools Holland.
Johnny Echols: Guitar, Vocals | Rusty Squeezebox: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Mike Randle: Guitar, Vocals | David “Daddyo” Green: Drums
James Nolte: Bass
Johnny Echols is available for interview by arrangement Please contact: email@example.com
A Brief History
Johnny Echols and Arthur Lee were childhood friends whose families both moved from Memphis to Los Angeles. Teenage Johnny & Arthur teamed up to form the groups Arthur Lee & The LAG’s and the American Four before they formed LOVE in 1965. The classic LOVE line up featuring Johnny disbanded in 1968. Johnny reunited with Arthur Lee in 2005 to perform with LOVE once more.
Baby Lemonade formed in 1992 by Rusty Squeezebox, Mike Randle, David “Daddy-O” Green, later adding Dave Chapple to the mix. In 1993 the band landed the gig of a lifetime opening up for LOVE. That show was the last for that incarnation of LOVE as Arthur replaced them with the four Baby Lemonade members. Baby Lemonade released records on Sympathy for the Record Industry, Munster and Big Deal between 1993 and 2001.
Upon their return from a LOVE tour of Europe, in 1996, Baby Lemonade was shocked to find that Arthur had been sentenced to 12 years in prison on a weapons charge. After nearly 6 years in prison, Arthur’s case was overturned and shortly after, at his request, Baby Lemonade began rehearsing for what would be non-stop LOVE touring throughout North America, UK, Europe and Australia between 2002 and 2005 where they enjoyed unprecedented success with sold out tours, back to back Glastonbury performances, Roskilde and Benicassim festival, two sold out shows at the Royal Festival Hall that spawned a live album, and an appearance on the Later with Jools Holland TV Show.
In 2005 the LOVE line up once again featured Arthur’s childhood friend and founding member Johnny Echols on lead guitar who returned after a 37-year absence.
In July of 2005, Arthur was diagnosed with Leukaemia and after a brave battle he passed away one year later. Arthur’s last show was with Baby Lemonade and Johnny Echols on June 23rd at San Francisco’s Cafe Du Nord. The world had lost a true music legend.
Since then, the Love band members with Johnny Echols performed regularly on the West Coast, returning to the UK for the first time in 2016, and have slowly built up an impressive following with many sold out shows.
As MOJO wrote in an extensive feature published in July 2023, Arthur Lee was one of the most problematic characters in rock history, but both Johnny Echols and guitarist Mike Randle both speak of him in the present tense, ‘with an air of wonder and affection’. “I don’t see Arthur as being gone,” commented guitarist Mike Randle, “he’s everywhere!”
And so he is – his spirit lives on in the timeless music he created performed by the longest serving members in the history of Love. And long may it continue.