As I was checking in at will call for this show BC, from Harrah’s, asked if I could take some photos of Eric and some VIP guests. Thinking swiftly I said, “Sure, I guess so.” I was actually more excited about it than I let on. In the backstage hallway outside the dressing rooms were about 6 VIP guests. Eric came out and was very cordial and soft spoken with everyone. I took several single and group photos. Eric continued to be pleasant and patient with the process. At one point he was standing with a very tall man and when I went to snap the picture he leaned his head into the man’s chest, and the man leaned his head onto the top of Eric’s head. That’s a good sense of humor.
About fifteen minutes later Eric Burdon and The Animals came to the stage and started off with their 1966 hit, Don’t Bring Me Down, followed by 1967’s When I Was Young. There was no lack of enthusiasm from the aging baby boomers in attendance (me among them). By Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood he had the room joining in on a sing along.
Red Young played a great piano solo introduction to Ray Charles’ I Believe To My Soul, which included a great guitar solo by Billy Watts.
…he had had too much ‘of the red stuff’ and was laying on the floor of the studio…
Eric shared a great behind the scenes story about the recording of his mega hit, Spill The Wine, from his War days. He said that on the day of the recording he had had too much ‘of the red stuff’ and was laying on the floor of the studio, unable to get up and sing. Thethe organ riff of what would become Spill The Wine. He started rattling away with what became the song. He said he didn’t compose it. It just came out. He can’t believe that it became a hit!
He followed that with a story about the inspiration for Warm San Franciscan Nights. He was outside of the Fillmore Theater in San Francisco waiting for his girlfriend. A policeman approached him and asked him what he was doing. He told him he was waiting for his girlfriend, Janis Joplin. As the officer was starting to make him move on (not believing him), Janis opened the door of the theater and said, “Eric! There you are. Come on in.” As she grabbed his hand he felt something in it, so he ate it. He said it took two and a half hours to find the stage.
I may be dwelling on the ‘stories’, but that’s because they are interesting and we all know the songs. You can hear the songs almost anywhere, but where can you hear the stories? At an Eric Burdon concert – that’s where. Not only can you hear the stories, but you can hear the songs, straight for the icons mouth. Realize it or not, Eric Burdon was there from the beginning. With hits that started in 1965 in the wake of The Beatles, he has been producing quality music all along. As you will see in the set list below, several great songs from this show are from his 2013 album.
He is rock and roll history in the flesh.
At 74 years old we are all lucky to have the opportunity to see him perform in concert. He is a member of the generation that brought us Jimi Hendrix (he played with him), Janis Joplin (he #*!&% with her), and Jim Morrison, but he survived the reckless sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll days of the 1960’s. He is rock and roll history in the flesh. Although the shows have gotten smaller and the craziness has gotten tamer, the music is still the music. I urge you all to get out of the house, go out, and listen to live music. It beats the hell out of TV.
Do it now. While you are young…
HERE ARE THE DETAILS ON ERIC’S BAND MEMBERS
Tony Braunagel on drums (played with Rickie Lee Jones, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Majal, plus…)
Wally Ingram on percussion (played with Sheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Taj Majal, Crowded House, plus…)
Billy Watts on Guitar (played with Red Young, plus… Not everybody’s resume is blasted all over Wikipedia)
Red Young on keyboards (played with Tompall Glaser, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter (Wanted! The Outlaws) the first platinum country album, Joan Armatrading, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Linda Ronstadt, Dan Hicks, plus, plus, plus…)
Terry Wilson on bass guitar (Gary Dayton Hill, Johnny Nash, Darling Cruel, Kimm Rogers, Alejandro Escovedo, Stephen Bruton, Little Whisper, Maria Maldaur, Storyville, Tamara Champlin, Bill Champlin, Juice Newton, Mark Sebastian, Big Trouble, plus many more and at least 38 recording credits…)
Don’t Bring Me Down (1966)
When I Was Young (1967)
Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (1965)
I Believe To My Soul (Ray Charles)
Spill The Wine (1970)
(Warm)San Franciscan Nights (1967)
Bo Diddly Special (2013)
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1965)
River Is Rising (2013)
House of The Rising Sun (1964-Traditional)
It’s My Life (1965)
For a high definition photo gallery, click here.
by Nick McCabe – Front Row Photo