Rick Reuben shows great love for Love’s Johnny Echols

Love Forever Changes

Rick Reuben shows love to Love’s lead guitarist Johnny Echols on the Broken Record podcast. Most people do not know who the group Love or much less about Johnny Echols. If you do know the group then you will know Arthur Lee the de facto leader of the legendary L.A. underground group. They never enjoyed global success as a group because the group did not tour outside California that much. Thus the group suffered from reaching mainstream audiences. Heroin played a significant role in the demise of Love.

Their third album, Forever Changes had a deep impact on the annals of music. Johnny Echols is the lesser-known co-founder of this album. Since the passing of Arthur Lee in 2006, not much is going on with the group. Many would say that Arthur Lee was the group because he kept the flame alive till he died. Love has known love perhaps the most in England in later years. Many British groups from the 80s recorded covers from Forever Changes. Johnny Echols is keeping the flame alive with “The Love Band featuring Johnny Echols” since 2019.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear Rick Reuben interview Johnny Echols for the Johnny Echolspodcast for Pushkin Industries. This is one for the ages. It’s not every day you get to hear Johnny Echols. He played a significant role in Forever Changes. It did forever change the music landscape. Arthur Lee has hogged that spotlight for far too long. It’s good to see Johnny Echols getting accolades for his work.

Rick Reuben interviews Johnny Echols

In 1967 Love recorded their third album, Forever Changes. It was the last album for the original core group with guitarist Johnny Echols and co-writer Brian McClean. The album ushered in an entirely new sound for the band, combining Baroque-sounding strings with horns and folky instrumentation with poetic lyrics.

Rick Reuben places Love’s album Forever Changes at the very top of his greatest albums of all time list. Hear Rick in conversation with Love’s lead guitarist Johnny Echols about the intense turmoil surrounding the recording of Forever Changes. Echols—who grew up straddling both Black L.A. and the psychedelic strip—explains how Love was responsible for getting The Doors their record deal, only to be quickly overshadowed by The Doors‘ mainstream success. Echols also recalls first meeting the Beatles when they were an opening act for Little Richard.