Love and Crackers

In the comedy film “Raw,” Eddie Murphy does a bit about how if you haven’t had something like sex for a long time when you finally do get it it will seem like the best you’ve ever had because you haven’t had it for so long.

Murphy goes on to put it to food and uses saltine crackers as his example by saying that if you haven’t eaten for a long time, crackers are going to taste like the best crackers you’ve ever had…are they Ritz? L A Music Scene began to wonder if the same were true about music while enjoying a Love revisited show in Costa Mesa on September 18, 2021 at the Wayfarer.

The Costa Mesa show was the band’s first gig since we all got together to see Love revisited on March 8, 2020 at the Echo. Why Costa Mesa and not Hollywood somewhere you may be asking? Well, L A music Scene views it like a show that opens in a small town rather than on Broadway in New York. A play will be taken off Broadway to open to get the “bugs” out before coming to Broadway. FYI there were no bugs in any of their gigs for this tour.

Love revisited played the entire album “Da Capo” and opened with “My Little Red Book” and “Can’t Explain.” For good measure, they threw in “Red Telephone,” which propelled me back in time to when I was on LSD and came pirouetting out of my bedroom and freaked my mother out to this song.

“Signed JE” was also performed and was sung by Love cofounder Johnny Echols. The song was formerly known as “Signed DC” and as Echols introduced the song he said that the song was very personal to him. So, L A music Scene guesses that’s why it is now being called “Signed JE.”

For this gig, L A Music Scene brought along our daughter-in-law April who had never heard of Love let alone Love revisited and fell madly in love with their music. She wondered if “Live and Let Live” was about the Cherokee Nation and felt very deeply about “Signed JE” and it is still haunting her today.

The “Da Capo” album has been called “psychedelic rock” which we guess is just as good as any label. And, as Love revisited’s next gig was at The Chapel in San Francisco’s Mission District, it seems more appropriate as the decor in this converted church was totally psychedelic.

In order to have a point of reference for our “Raw” theory it was incumbent upon the LA Music Scene to hop on an airplane and go to this gig to see if Love revisited was just as good/bad as their first gig. Ticket bought to gig, check, reservations for Southwest Airlines to San Francisco, check, and reservation made for the San Francisco Inn, check.

On September 24, 2021, the LA Music Scene was off on an adventure to “Frisco”which we had not set foot in since we were 24-years-old. Back then we were wearing Landlubber jeans with a “Sticky Fingers” lips patch in the crotch, flowers embroidered on the legs with a black shirt with white polka dots tied up in the front with our belly exposed and a huge hickey on our neck.

This time our attire was a bit more subdued but still had a black shirt with white polka dots and jeans. No patches or hickeys.

As the LA Music Scene entered The Chapel, our mouth was agape from the incredible amount of psychedelia that was adorning the walls of the venue and it was black light driven. We are hard pressed to remember seeing anything this psychedelic during our days in Berkeley or the Haight-Ashbury district except maybe Janis Joplin’s Porsche.

The Chapel had a menu of a few drinks, but we were able to get the gal that was bartending to make a mimosa. Settling in at a table where we had to stand because one fan had purloined all the stools from the tables and set them at her table…presumably for her “friends.” When Love revisited entered the stage, we closed our eyes and held our breath because those opening notes would determine how our “Raw” theory was going to play out…good, bad or indifferent.

As Love revisited launched into the same opening songs as at the Wayfarer, the familiar chords rang out loud, clear and right on key. The band had it together as tightly as they did at the prior gig. They were really cooking on the familiar songs that are as comfortable as a pair of well-worn and comfortable slippers.

The crowds at both gigs were mixed up with old Love warriors and new, younger recruits rocking out to “Little Red Book,” “Can’t Explain,” “Alone Again,” :Or,” “Live and Let Live” and many more off of “Da Capo.”

You might be asking yourselves if the LA Music Scene would be able to discern a random off chord to what should have been there and the answer is a resounding yes. The band that opened for them hit several “sour” notes which made our shoulders go up to our ears and clench our teeth.

The “California Coastal Swing” that Love revisited trekked was over a thousand miles that went from San Diego to San Francisco with stops in Big Sur, SLO and Costa Mesa. Although we were not able to make the San Diego gig at The Casbah, our Love “tribe” broadcast the show on Facebook and it was just as amazing and spot on as the other shows.

Love revisited was sporting two new members on this tour: James Nolte on bass and Trent Baron II on organ. The organ enhanced the presentation of the 1966 release “Da Capo,” which means “from the beginning” and is a great sampling of what the original Love were putting out there while being influenced by The Strip Scene and influencing The Strip Scene. Either way you want to slice it, Love revisited exceeded our expectations. When guitar player Mike Randle/Baby Lemonade closed his eyes and played the chords he knew so well, LA Music Scene knew that Love revisited were back…with a vengeance. Their imprint upon the music of the Sunset Strip was still intact as the purveyors of psychedelic rock music, music whose influence can be heard from so many acts.

Love revisited consists of Johnny Echols singer/guitar, Mike Randle/Baby Lemonade guitar, Rusty Squeezebox singer/guitar, David “Daddio” Green, David Fairweather/sometime harmonica player and the two new guys already mentioned.

Love revisited is set to play a gig at the NoHo Arts District’s The Federal on November 28 in the afternoon. The set is said to be “Da Capo” favorites and selections from their most critically acclaimed album “Forever Changes.”

What can we say but Arthur Lee was a genius that tapped into the scene on the Sunset Strip back in the 60s whose music still stands up to a whole new millennium and a whole new generation of LOVE music lovers. The LA Music Scene fully believes that LOVE should be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Fame and their “Forever Changes’ album put them there.

Caroline McElroy
Author: Caroline McElroy

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie’s Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and a record by Major Lance titled “Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um”. From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked…on Rock N’ Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N’ Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I’ve written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers. For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. Sometimes you’ve gotta wear the hat to remind people who they are dealing with. LOL

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The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie’s Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and a record by Major Lance titled “Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um”. From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked…on Rock N’ Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N’ Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I’ve written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers. For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. Sometimes you’ve gotta wear the hat to remind people who they are dealing with. LOL