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 Words from Johnny Echols about Gethsemane & life
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lemonade kid
Old Love

USA
9712 Posts

Posted - 28/10/2012 :  15:36:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This was from Johnny Echols, who has kindly consented [for me] to share his words with you all...

I hope you all will give Johnny your best wishes and kind words here, especially for his improved health & our great hopes that Johnny will soon return to studio & finish Gethsemane - for Love fans everywhere.



Scott, I've re-written the post a bit, so you may feel free to share any and all of it with our friends on Torben's, and Ed's board...


Hi Scott, thank you for your kind words, I hope everything is well with you. I've decided to take a hiatus from Torben's site, for a while. Primarily due to having found myself in the rather awkward position of arguing with people I do not know, over details of my own life.
I started seriously thinking about it after a particularly aggressive response concerning points mentioned in John's book. A couple of individuals took issue with statements in the book, and accused me, and others of engaging in some kind of revisionism simply for stating the facts as we knew them.,

This is their absolute right, which I defend without equivocation. Though human nature is such that one often feels the need to step-in and say "hey that's not true, or this is what really happened." I found myself in that position. After giving it considerable thought, I realized I do not want to interfere with the dynamics, or the nature of these discussions. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and should feel free to express them without fear of being told they are wrong by a band member. The freedom to speak one's mind (uncensored), is what makes this such a great board. So I concluded it's probably best for all concerned, that I stand down...

Arthur was my lifelong friend, and I would never step on his accomplishments, I am very proud of them, but I know, from many many conversations with him over the years, that he felt trapped under the weight of expectations - that he just could not fulfill. Arthur was a brilliant, world class poet and wordsmith, and his vocal abilities were without peer. He had a unique gift, that transcended time and space. That being said, Bryan was his muse, and the other group members were his musical sketch pad. He needed the creative environment this arrangement provided, to function at his highest level. Without it, (in my opinion) he wrote and recorded some very good songs...just not great songs.

Arthur possessed, an incredible ear, he knew what sounded right, which ideas fit, and more importantly-which ones didn't. He also had the ability to hone in on the precise point where disparate bits of music, or guys sitting around noodling, had become the foundation of a song. He trusted the original group member's judgement, and ability so much that he felt secure giving them complete freedom to interpret, transform, and play his basic idea's the way [they] thought best. He would only offer a suggestion if he thought something wasn't right for the song, or could be played better.

Most of the problems began [after] Love became successful, sycophants and hangers-on began to insinuate themselves into group dynamics. Which created tension within the group, the environment began to change-and not for the better But whether because of ego, or hubris, Arthur chose to allow this situation to fester until it became untenable for the rest of the members. These outsiders, and enabler's helped create an atmosphere that ultimately lead him down the road to self destruction.
.
Their actions, and interference were the impetus for a drug addiction that lasted until the day he died. He used prodigious amounts of drugs long after it was no longer "cool," because they helped him cope with circumstances he was unable to control. Cocaine allowed him to continue to live in a world he knew wasn't based in reality. He could not enjoy his own success because he always felt he had something to prove.

This, among other reasons is why I started giving interviews, and posting comments after years of silence, hoping to set the record straight, and maybe save my brothers life. Arthur's decade's long cocaine abuse, was the direct cause of his downfall, and ultimate death, the human mind and body can only endure so much abuse.

I absolutely intend to continue that dialogue, and while I've temporarily closed one door, I've opened another. I have two facebook pages with thousands of friends and we have lively, but respectful discussions. Anyone can post songs in real time and discuss the songs, again in real time, making for a lively give and take. Michael Stuart-Ware even joins in from time to time. A few weeks ago we had the topic What's your favorite Love lyric, and we got hundreds of responses. I've learned, much to my surprise that along with our faithful friends from back in the day, there is a whole new generation of Love fans eager to discuss our music. One page is under Johnny Echols, and the other is Love revisited. Members of Torben's site or Ed's are welcome, just go to either or both sites, and send a friend request. I often refer friends from those pages to check out Torben's site as [the] place for in-depth discussions concerning the group Love.


PS: The recording sessions for Gethsemene are a bit more than half complete, and I am really pleased with the way the songs have developed. Sadly, (for personal reasons) I must put the project on hold for the time being, though I do plan to resume work on it as soon as it is feasible. Somehow life always finds a way to intervene, at the most inopportune times. At the moment I'm in the process of selling my home in Arizona, and moving back to the Los Angeles area - where my family resides. Recently, I've developed a couple of health issues that are consuming much of my time and energy... For the first time, I've been given serious cause to consider my own mortality, which is quite sobering to say the least. When we are young, we tend to find it impossible to imagine a world without us in it. With age we quickly learn we are not indispensable, the universe has its own agenda.


On a happier note, I would like to express my personal appreciation, to each and every one of the members of this board for the support you've given us - all these many years. You are absolutely responsible for keeping the music of this seminal, and gifted group of musicians alive... Without you, Love would be but a fading memory. We have had a fascinating journey, and I'm so proud of the music we created together. It has been my privilege to be a part of the group known as Love. Being able to call Arthur, Bryan, Kenny and Michael my friends, is something I will cherish forever. On behalf of my brothers, thank you, and I wish you all the best.


Thank you again Scott for your kind words and support; Johnny Echols



Thanks to johnny for his always kind and measured words that he has shared with us al over the years!

HERE'S TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH & BEST WISHES TO YOU & YOUR FAMILY, JOHNNY!



________________________________________________

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find money cannot be eaten.

~ Cree Prophecy

Edited by - lemonade kid on 28/10/2012 15:41:09

John9
Old Love

United Kingdom
2142 Posts

Posted - 28/10/2012 :  20:31:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks ever so much for this LK - and I certainly second your sentiments concerning Johnny's wellbeing....his reflections on life and mortality certainly chime with my own way of thinking. It is the thousands of positive contributions to this board over the years that have enabled it to serve as such a fine tribute to Love and their wonderful music.

Edited by - John9 on 28/10/2012 20:33:57
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Joe Morris
Old Love

3448 Posts

Posted - 28/10/2012 :  21:53:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
certainly the Ugly Things interview with Johnny begs the man to write a book. That interview is absolutely engrossing and important to fully understand how the band worked
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ruxprncd
Fifth Love

305 Posts

Posted - 29/10/2012 :  01:59:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ditto, Joe
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bigrubberglove
Fourth Love

188 Posts

Posted - 29/10/2012 :  03:45:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Johnny,

Please tend to your health as best you can.

We're all rooting for you!

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waxburn
Old Love

USA
735 Posts

Posted - 29/10/2012 :  04:39:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great post. best of luck to Johnny and his health issues, and hope to hear some of those fabled echols/lee songs on Gethsamene. when it comes out.
as far as the revisionism comment, arthur was around for many years, i wonder why none of these interviews and commentaries came out when he was alive. its a question i ask myself.
since the revisionism comment is aimed at me i have to say i stand by it 100 percent.
with all due respect, im going to pass on the facebook.

PS I wish Arthur were still alive.

Edited by - waxburn on 29/10/2012 06:50:29
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sometimesmylifeissoeerie
Fourth Love

198 Posts

Posted - 29/10/2012 :  06:05:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The mystery of who composed what, continues!
Best of luck and health, Johnny! We're all praying for you, bro.
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Joe Morris
Old Love

3448 Posts

Posted - 29/10/2012 :  21:43:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the Ugly Things interview makes it clear that all the group contributed to each song

absorbing read. I hope he does write a book down the line

Now, as Stuart noted in his book, it was Arthurs band, right, that was never in dispute? And Michael liked the times when Arthur was able to just share a pipeful of weed with them all and have a good time

I guess at some point they lost that,the group, the ability just to hang out

One of the things Johnny notes about when the band came together during the recording of Forever Changes (after resolving an issue with Bryan, who deliberately sabotaged the sessions for Arthurs songs so he'd get more of his own on the album) is how much better it was because he was friends with all the group, and they were hanging out again

Of course it didn't last

The band would fall apart soon after they finished the 3rd album. Forever Changes didn't do well

Maybe they should've tried harder to sign with MCA to improve promotion and distribution?

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waxburn
Old Love

USA
735 Posts

Posted - 29/10/2012 :  23:51:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can imagine, that must have been some interview.
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ruxprncd
Fifth Love

305 Posts

Posted - 30/10/2012 :  03:27:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Johnny, best wishes for making it through. Can't thank you enough for helping make the magic of Love.
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tedhead
Third Love

USA
51 Posts

Posted - 31/10/2012 :  02:00:45  Show Profile  Send tedhead an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Johnny, I always name you among my guitar influences. I pray for your speedy recovery and look forward to Gethsemane. I will pre-order it the day it is possible to do so.
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torben
Fifth Love

Denmark
327 Posts

Posted - 31/10/2012 :  22:45:09  Show Profile  Visit torben's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dianne Lee has asked me to post this:

Torben I read something on your web site recently which disturbed me immensely. In fact it made me sick to my stomach. A post by Johnny Echols via LK. Never, not once have I replied to some questionable statements about Arthur but here goes. the heading is Words from Johnny Echols about Gethsemane & life

I asked Johnny about it in a few e-mail exchanges. His last reply was to say to me he did not write those words but rather it was sabotage from a jealous female who I will not name.

Truth is one thing slander another. I had always heard Arthur & Johnny were friends with differences of course. For that reason I certainly I hope he was not the author of those those hurtful words because I read them as a pat on the back with one hand and a stab in the back with the other.

Since Arthur is not here may I speak on his behalf to clarify a few points. He wasn't perfect, who is and who is saying he was? Is it big news Arthur used drugs? No. Is that the sum total of his legacy? No. The misconception portrayed in the post is that Arthur continually used for "decades' throughout his life daily with no clean periods.

First of all Johnny Echols was not around Arthur Lee for many, many years so if the post were his words how would he know that? On a side note I like to remind that Arthur did bring Johnny back into the limelight. That was special for all, Arthur, Johnny, the band & fans alike. In fact rarely is it mentioned how many good things Arthur did for people. (Oh yes Don Poncher did speak about that).

Secondly for the record which I know first hand Arthur did not use drugs or alcohol "until the day he died." (those are not the words of a friend) The old saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer or is it the other way around? Keep your enemies close and your friends closer. What's the point of re hashing the drug issue? Really what is it? For that matter if we want to speak of that, where did people get $ to purchase some of those drugs ?

I don't interfere nor do I tell all that I know about anyone. Believe me I do know. It's just this time it was too much. Not the way Arthur Lee should be remembered. My path is to remain positive. Not enough time left in my life for negativity. But I will speak up when there is an injustice such as this.

As far as his musical abilities I don't know who contributed what to the music of Forever Changes. All involved contribute something I expect. What I do know is that Arthur Lee was a great composer of music and what I heard from him during the years we were together. Additionally did not David Angel praise Arthur for what he contributed to Forever Changes? Are David's words not worthy?

After all it's really all about the music. For me it's all about honoring the memory of that special man Arthur Lee.

On a happier note, the Black Beauty album is soon to be released. At this time and for about three years now I am getting help from many good people to put together one last effort of music on Artur's behalf of songs not previously released. I did play some of the music for Michael Dukie Anderson because he is a good man with no malice and felt he should have a little extra treat on his trip to California. He has promised not to tell

Thanks for listening. I won't interfere again but I just had to speak up this time. Hey, and I only addressed a small part of the post.
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waxburn
Old Love

USA
735 Posts

Posted - 31/10/2012 :  23:03:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by torben

Dianne Lee has asked me to post this:

Torben I read something on your web site recently which disturbed me immensely. In fact it made me sick to my stomach. A post by Johnny Echols via LK. Never, not once have I replied to some questionable statements about Arthur but here goes. the heading is Words from Johnny Echols about Gethsemane & life

I asked Johnny about it in a few e-mail exchanges. His last reply was to say to me he did not write those words but rather it was sabotage from a jealous female who I will not name.

Truth is one thing slander another. I had always heard Arthur & Johnny were friends with differences of course. For that reason I certainly I hope he was not the author of those those hurtful words because I read them as a pat on the back with one hand and a stab in the back with the other.

Since Arthur is not here may I speak on his behalf to clarify a few points. He wasn't perfect, who is and who is saying he was? Is it big news Arthur used drugs? No. Is that the sum total of his legacy? No. The misconception portrayed in the post is that Arthur continually used for "decades' throughout his life daily with no clean periods.

First of all Johnny Echols was not around Arthur Lee for many, many years so if the post were his words how would he know that? On a side note I like to remind that Arthur did bring Johnny back into the limelight. That was special for all, Arthur, Johnny, the band & fans alike. In fact rarely is it mentioned how many good things Arthur did for people. (Oh yes Don Poncher did speak about that).

Secondly for the record which I know first hand Arthur did not use drugs or alcohol "until the day he died." (those are not the words of a friend) The old saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer or is it the other way around? Keep your enemies close and your friends closer. What's the point of re hashing the drug issue? Really what is it? For that matter if we want to speak of that, where did people get $ to purchase some of those drugs ?

I don't interfere nor do I tell all that I know about anyone. Believe me I do know. It's just this time it was too much. Not the way Arthur Lee should be remembered. My path is to remain positive. Not enough time left in my life for negativity. But I will speak up when there is an injustice such as this.

As far as his musical abilities I don't know who contributed what to the music of Forever Changes. All involved contribute something I expect. What I do know is that Arthur Lee was a great composer of music and what I heard from him during the years we were together. Additionally did not David Angel praise Arthur for what he contributed to Forever Changes? Are David's words not worthy?

After all it's really all about the music. For me it's all about honoring the memory of that special man Arthur Lee.

On a happier note, the Black Beauty album is soon to be released. At this time and for about three years now I am getting help from many good people to put together one last effort of music on Artur's behalf of songs not previously released. I did play some of the music for Michael Dukie Anderson because he is a good man with no malice and felt he should have a little extra treat on his trip to California. He has promised not to tell

Thanks for listening. I won't interfere again but I just had to speak up this time. Hey, and I only addressed a small part of the post.




about time someone spoke up. good work diane.
so now not even the email is genuine, is a sabotage from a female friend. what, she stole the email?
everybody but arthur was a little angel from heaven? yea right.

yea and lets not forget who brought who back into the limelight.


Edited by - waxburn on 31/10/2012 23:19:09
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Joe Morris
Old Love

3448 Posts

Posted - 31/10/2012 :  23:51:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So what do people think of the tracks played off Gethesemene that have been played live in LA?

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waxburn
Old Love

USA
735 Posts

Posted - 31/10/2012 :  23:56:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Morris

So what do people think of the tracks played off Gethesemene that have been played live in LA?





that there was no Gethesmene in the first place. I mean really?
You actually believe that BS?

Edited by - waxburn on 31/10/2012 23:57:54
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Joe Morris
Old Love

3448 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2012 :  00:02:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Who knows? it certainly made the cover of Castle issue number 1

It would be great to hear some new Love music, although I don't see any coming out any time soon (and that includes Black Beauty!)
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