California '66 Revue tour

(conqueroo) Three of the premiere bands of the Los Angeles psychedelic era of the late '60s will join forces August 4-18 for the California '66 Revue tour. The Electric Prunes, Love and Sky "Sunlight" Saxon of the Seeds will bring the spirit of Sunset Strip in the late '60s up the East Coast and into Canada and the Midwest.

"This is an idea that James Lowe and Mark Tulin of the Electric Prunes had — to gather three influential '60s bands from the Los Angeles area together to create the excitement that was the L.A. music scene in 1966," says tour promoter Patrick Hand. "When L.A. veterans Sky Saxon and Love signed on, California '66 was on the road. I've come to think that 1966 was really the year that rock music peaked, before the excesses of stadium venues and art rock, and these musicians were a big part of that."

The current incarnation of Love is led by original guitarist Johnny Echols, lead guitarist in the classic 1966-68 lineup, and will be backed by Baby Lemonade, the latter-day psychedelic L.A. band that accompanied Love founding member Arthur Lee from 1993 until his 2005 death. Sky Saxon brings his trippy vocal presentation that gave the world "Pushin' Too Hard," "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" and more. The Electric Prunes continue to be fronted by original members James Lowe (vocals) and Mark Tulin (bass).

The tour begins in August 4 at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia and ends on August 18 at the Birchmere outside Washington, D.C. Other tour cities include New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

"We wanted to do a few shows in intimate venues to see if there is still interest in this genre, and we've already passed that test," adds Hand. "If the public is as enthusiastic in attending the shows as the clubs have been in booking, then I have no doubt we'll be back on the road again, in the West Coast and the U.K."

About the artists:

• The Electric Prunes: In 1966, a sonic blast of feedback, tremolo and fuzz emerged from the confines of a Los Angeles garage to introduce the Electric Prunes. Their electrifying single "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" heralded a transition period in popular music. It has been widely recognized as one of the first psychedelic hit records. A cut from their Mass in F Minor concept album was selected for the soundtrack of the classic road movie Easy Rider. Unlike many of its contemporaries, the band was capable of reproducing its distinctive recording sounds in its live performances. Their combination of psychedelia and bluesy grit offered a unique auditory experience that was a far cry from the pop music popular at the time. The Electric Prunes continue to perform across the world, stewarded by founding members Mike Tulin and James Lowe.

• Love: Led by the late singer/songwriter/guitarist Arthur Lee, this interracial Los Angeles band was among the most influential and original of its era. Love's creative impact on other artists from the mid-'60s right to this very day outweighs the commercial success of their brief but highly productive heyday. The 1967 epic Forever Changes, a suite of songs using acoustic guitars, strings and horns recorded while the band was falling apart as the result of various abuses, is widely cited as one of rock's all-time greatest albums. Since Arthur Lee's death in 2005, the legacy of Love has been carried forward by its founding guitarist/songwriter Johnny Echols along with Lee's longtime backing band Baby Lemonade.

• Sky "Sunlight" Saxon: From the start, the Seeds, led by Sky "Sunlight" Saxon, combined the raw appeal of a garage band with a fondness for psychedelia. The band's 1966 eponymous debut album arrived featured the smash hit "Pushin' Too Hard" and its follow-up, "Can't Seem to Make You Mine." The second album, Web of Sound, appeared in October 1966 with another hit, "Mr. Farmer," which was included in the soundtrack of the movie Almost Famous. Throughout 1966, the Seeds headlined over the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, Vanilla Fudge, and the Kinks, and in 1968 appeared in Jack Nicholson's infamous Psych Out movie. From the mid-'70s through the present, Saxon has recorded a variety of solo albums for such labels as Voxx, PVC and New Rose. A doyen of the Sunset Strip throughout the late '60s, Saxon presently resides in Austin, Texas.


Tuesday, August 4 PHILADELPHIA, PA Johnny Brenda's
Wednesday, August 5 HOBOKEN, NJ Maxwell's
Thursday, August 6 FAIRFIELD,CT Quick Center; benefit for WPKN-FM radio.
Friday, August 7 CAMBRIDGE, MA Middle East
Saturday, August 8 MONTREAL, QU Theater Plaza; affiliated with the "Teenbeat Takeover Woolly Weekend."
Sunday, August 9 NEW YORK, NY B.B. King's
Monday, August 10 FOXBORO, MA Patriot's Place
Wednesday, August 12 CHICAGO, IL Double Door
Thursday, August 13 MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Friday, August 14 TORONTO, ON Lee's Palace
Saturday, August 15 DETROIT, MI The Magic Bag
Sunday, August 16 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom
Monday, August 17 PITTSBURGH, PA Hard Rock Café
Tuesday, August 18 ALEXANDRIA, VA (DC AREA) Birchmere

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