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Music Appreciation

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Wed Feb 21, 2024, 01:41 PM Feb 21

On this day, February 21, 1947, Johnny Echols, co-founder and lead guitar player of Love, was born. [View all]

Johnny Echols

Echols onstage with The Love Band, July 2019, Bristol, England

Background information
Birth name: John Marshall Echols
Born: February 21, 1947 (age 77); Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Origin: Los Angeles, California, United States

John Marshall Echols (/ɛ́kəlz/, born February 21, 1947) is an American songwriter and guitarist, who was a co-founder and the lead guitar player of the psychedelic rock band Love.

Early life and career

Johnny Echols was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He moved with his family to Los Angeles, California, in the late 1950s, and re-established a childhood friendship with Arthur Lee, who had also moved to the city from Memphis a few years earlier; their respective families were friends. Echols began playing guitar as a child, and in his teens played in bands with Billy Preston, Marilyn McCoo, Clarence McDonald and others. Echols and Lee both attended Dorsey High School, and decided to form a band. The band became "Arthur Lee and the L.A.G.'s" (an allusion to Booker T. and the M.G.'s) before splitting up. Lee and Echols then formed The American Four, later re-named The Grass Roots, and finally re-named Love in 1965. Echols also worked as a studio musician alongside Glen Campbell and others.

Career with Love

Echols contributed as lead guitarist and writer to Love's first three albums: Love, on which he is credited as co-writer of three songs; Da Capo, credited as co-writer of the side-long improvised track "Revelation" and Forever Changes, often cited as one of the greatest rock albums of its time. Forever Changes comprised songs written by Lee and by fellow band member Bryan MacLean. The record company, Elektra Records, would only release a single rather than a double album, and songs written by Echols for a possible companion album, tentatively titled Gethsemane, were never recorded by the band. In 1968, the band split up: they were performing less frequently; sales of Forever Changes were disappointing; there were personal disagreements among the band members; MacLean was considering a solo contract with Elektra; and most of the band members, including Echols and his housemate, bassist Ken Forssi, had become heroin users. However, rumors that Echols and Forssi robbed donut shops to support their habit are unfounded.


Love - My Little Red Book [1966].


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891,377 views Aug 3, 2010
My Little Red Book ["American Bandstand" US TV Show, June 18 1966].
Arthur, Bryan, Johnny, Kenny, Snoop
Composed by Burt Bacharach with lyricist by Hal David.

Seven and Seven Is


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268,053 views Mar 17, 2014
Provided to YouTube by Rhino/Elektra

Seven and Seven Is · Love

Da Capo

℗ 1966 Elektra/Asylum Records

Drums: Alban Pfisterer
Guitar, Vocals: Arthur Lee
Guitar: Bryan Maclean
Guitar: John Echols
Bass Guitar: Ken Forssi
Percussion: Michael Stuart
Producer: Paul Rothchild
Flute, Saxophone: Tjay Cantrelli
Writer: Arthur Lee
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