Review: Whisky A Go-Go Sound System Takes Center Stage For ‘Love Revisited’ Show

Love - All photos by ALYSON CAMUS


WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – The Whisky A Go-Go has been celebrating 60 years of being an iconic Sunset Strip Rock N Roll club this month by hosting shows from some of the iconic artists that graced that stage in the 1960s. One such quintessential act is Love, which was fronted by the late Arthur Lee. Its guitarist, Johnny Echols, continues to keep the group’s fantastic music alive, and along with an — at times — large ensemble of fellow musicians, he filled this historic room with a whole lot of Love.

Johnny Echols of Love – All photos by ALYSON CAMUS

Rusty Squeezebox (born Dave Ramsey) now takes the Lee role of singing the group’s songs and did a fantastic by performing Love with plenty of heartfelt sincerity. The group this night also included a quartet of string players and – at key moments – even a trumpeter. These extra musicians were essential, especially during “Alone Again Or,” one of rock music’s early – and one of subgenre’s best – examples of chamber pop.

Love – All photos by ALYSON CAMUS

Love is also credited as being one of the best psychedelic rock bands. When the group formed in the mid-sixties, there was a plethora of garage rock sounds and psychedelic acts singing trippy, drug-inspired lyrics around Los Angeles, but Lee’s songs were so much more advanced and poetic than most of these others, which is why they stand up so well, even today. For example, the words to “A House Is Not a Motel” bites with a prophetic, apocalyptic vibe with the line, “The bells from the schools of wars will be ringing,” then later adds, “The news today will be the movies for tomorrow/And the water’s turned to blood.”

Love – All photos by ALYSON CAMUS

The evening’s music was made all the better by the club’s superior sound quality. With so many different working parts on stage, it’s sometimes easy for instruments to get lost in the overall mix. But tonight, one could hear each player distinctly. It really was a delight to the ear.

Melodically, the music of Love still sounds sophisticated. Unusual chord structures and unexpected melodies turn each song into an auditory journey that features unexpected twists and turns. Love must have come off like a Rock N Roll alien back when so many other acts were blasting out cliched lyrics over three-chord, 4/4-time songs. Its music is still advanced and otherworldly today, and that is why the band continues to be an influence on contemporary acts.

Love – All photos by ALYSON CAMUS

All these many years later, we should be thankful Echols is still so healthy and active. We can never have the original Love lineup again, it’s true, but tonight’s show provided the very best next best thing. And what’s not to love about that?