With L.A. garage rock legends the Electric Prunes, Love (featuring Johnny Echols and Baby Lemonade), and Sky Saxon (of the Seeds), the California ‘66 Revue makes two appearances in the Boston area: August 7 at Middle East Downstairs, and August 10 at Showcase. California66Revue.com. This promises to be one of most entertaining concerts of the summer.
Since re-forming after a 30-year hiatus, the Electric Prunes have released several critically-acclaimed albums. The best is “Feedback”, one of the most overlooked CDs of 2007, an orgy of raucous tremolo guitar and drum-heavy rock that also shows off the songwriting talents of lead singer James Lowe and bassist Mark Tulin. Could “Circus Freak” (”Get the hell out of my head. This relationship is dead”) and “Morphine Drip” (”I’ll have to kill myself to get the hell away from you”) possibly have been written by sexagenarians? Original members Lowe and Tulin are back to lead the Electric Prunes through a show that will emphasize their mid-1960s classics (”I Had Too Much to Dream”, “Get Me to the World on Time”) but also will prove they are the only band from the 1960s that is putting out new material as good as (if not better than) the old.
Should Love be continuing after the death of Arthur Lee? In 2005, prior to being stricken with leukemia, which took his life the following year, Lee stopped showing up at gigs in Europe. Original Love guitarist Johnny Echols and members of Baby Lemonade (the band that backed Lee over the last years of his life when he wasn’t imprisoned) begged promoters for the chance to finish the tour. The reviews were good, as Rusty Squeezebox proved to be a more than capable vocalist. Love always has been more about the music (most famously, 1967’s “Forever Changes”, ranked number 40 on Rolling Stones’ 2005 compilation of thge 500 greatest album of all time) than personalities. The current version will show up and put on a great show (which couldn’t always be said about Arthur Lee et al back in the day).
No song personified Los Angeles mid-1960s garage rock than the Seeds’ 1966 hit “Pushin’ Too Hard.” With and without the Seeds, Sky Saxon never has stopped recording and performing. However, rarely has Sky ventured into the Northeast. This may be the last opportunity for fans to see one of the more enigmatic personalities from the Golden Age of Psychedelia.