Questions from LOVE Fans
Question: I have always enjoyed your outstanding percussion work on DaCapo and Forever Changes. I'm curious as to what other drummers have influenced you. Also, it sounds as though you do a pressed roll/compressed roll in a number of LOVE songs. I noticed this in various places on the Forever Changes reissue, specifically "Wonder People" (I Do Wonder). Any comments about this technique? Also, any comments about your approach to "Between Clark and Hilldale" in the studio? Thanks!
Fritz Seachrist, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA
Answer: When I was in high school, I used to buy a lot of the "jazz all-star jam session" type albums you always seem to find in the discount rack. Of course, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa were always well represented in these line-ups but their stuff always seemed to feature the heavy-handed style drumming I was never a big fan of, so I began to gravitate more toward the all-star groups featuring artists like Gerry Mulligan and Shorty Rogers. I found myself listening to Shelly Manne a lot. He played with a structured style, like Gene and Buddy but more lyrical. I mean, not just solo banging. He played with the other guys.
In addition to the all-star albums, I used to buy music by Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins, so I heard quite a bit of Max Roach as well. His hook-ups ran the total spectrum of jazz, from Duke Ellington's big band to the free style of Dizzy Gillespie to sessions with Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk. He played with so many of the great jazz legends it's hard to count them all. But I guess my greatest drumming influence would have to have been Joe Morello. I bought every album Dave Brubeck ever made. So, yeah, I guess the pressed roll you hear near the end of "Wonder People" is probably a part of the technique I admired and absorbed while listening to Shelly or Max or Joe.
"Between Clark and Hilldale?" I just tried to play what the song demanded.
Question: What psychedelic bands did you and the band really dig?
Joshua Wheeler, San Diego, California, USA
Answer: Mostly, when we were together, the group listened to jazz. But on the occasions we listened to rock, we enjoyed listening to the early works of some of the English groups that came over during the first wave of the British Invasion, back when they were recording material that directly reflected their American blues influence. The Animals and Cream's first albums comes to mind, the stuff The Stones did before they went "popular" was good, like their 12x5 album. Manfred Mann, in 1965 and '66 when Paul Jones was singing and playing harp and Jack Bruce was with the group was dynamite. Kenny and I used to listen to The Beatles' "Revolver" and "Sergeant Pepper" albums, sometimes. They most adequately defined the "psychedelic era", musically. But usually, when Kenny and I were hanging out, we listened to Tito Puente.
When the original Fleetwood Mac was together, with Peter Green on guitar and vocals (1967-'69), they were phenomenal. His vocal work was the essence of "soul" and his guitar solos were blistering. He was special. Their "Then Play On" album just might be my own personal favorite rock album of all time. Take a listen to the cut, "Oh, Well." It cooks. It's a beautiful and unique rock-production number in a class by itself, really. Their prior album, (I guess their first) with the garbage cans on front, is not bad either.
The first two Procol Harum albums, (released in '67 and '68), were sensational. The group's formula was to take excellent songs, record them with immaculate production techniques and then lay in some of the best blues guitar riffs imaginable, played by a blues master, Robin Trower. It worked to perfection.
In the late sixties, Savoy Brown with Kim Simmonds on guitar and Chris Youlden doing the vocals cranked out some exciting blues-rock. We listened to them.
I know I'm probably leaving somebody out, but I wouldn't dare leave out The Yardbirds. The succession of lead guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page alone sets them apart from everybody else and makes them a must to add to the list of groups we listened to during the psychedelic era. Snoopy and I saw The Yardbirds live at The Hullabaloo once and Jeff Beck was about ten times louder than everybody else in the group but they were still great.
Were any of these bands "psychedelic bands?" I guess not. Not really. Not like The Electric Prunes or The Strawberry Alarm Clock, but we didn't listen to those guys. Some people describe LOVE as a psychedelic band, but we didn't listen to ourselves either.
Question: Who actually played the guitar solos on "A House Is Not A Motel" and "Live and Let Live"? It certainly sounds like Johnny Echols, especially when compared with 1968's "Your Mind and We Belong Together" but Craig Tarwater, who played on Arthur's solo album Vindicator, stated in an interview that he was brought in to play those solos on Forever Changes.
Don Faruolo, West Orange, New Jersey, USA
Answer: Craig Tarwater took over lead guitar duties for the Sons of Adam when Randy Holden quit. We were good buddies, and he is simply an excellent guitar player, "Clean as Tide" (his expression). In fact after LOVE broke up, Craig and I did a series of gigs in Seattle with Danny O'Keefe (Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues). But if you read an interview in which he said he played on any part of Forever Changes, he must have been misquoted. Johnny did all the lead guitar work on Forever Changes.