Eric’s sun rises again
Eric Burdon says the past year or so has been the best of his career and that at the age of 71 he is having the time of his life.
A major player in all this has been Bruce Springsteen, who paid tribute to Eric in March last year as a key influence – both musically and lyrically.
At the prestigious South by Southwest musical festival, better known as SXSW, in Austin, Texas, Bruce introduced Eric on stage as “the man I stole all my songs from, including my entire new album”. Eric then joined Bruce and his E Street Band in a memorable version of ‘We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place’.
Eric is currently touring in conjunction with the release of his new album ‘Til Your River Runs Dry’ and the former frontman and lead singer with The Animals is also writing a memoir entitled “Breathless” that is expected to be released later this year.
“Fifty years ago, The Animals sought to rescue American blues from the trash-bin of history,” said Eric, who has also fronted WAR as well as performing simply as a solo artist.
“We helped to give a new life to the music we all loved, and reintroduced it to America. They called it the British Invasion!
“A year ago at SXSW, Bruce Springsteen laid his hands on me, rose me up before the public eye and put me in the direct spotlight. SXSW is a venue for up and coming artists to be seen, to find a label, to kick-start their careers.
“The year, I’ve had since 2012 SXSW would be the envy of any young band starting out. In fact, even if I were still in my 20s, I would consider it the best year of my career.
“To think that it happened to me at the age of 71 is a dream come true. So much has happened since a year ago, beginning with recording an EP in a day-and-a-half, like the old days, with a great garage band from
Cincinnati – The Greenhorns. I’d gotten to jam with them last year at SXSW -one of the best things about the festival is that young upstarts get to mingle with old-timers – much as it was for me and The Animals back in Newcastle, whenever the old bluesmen came to town.
“Then to sign with ABKCO Records, a label that understands my history and even has much of my back catalogue, which led to recording my new album, ‘Til Your River Runs Dry’, one of the most personal I’ve ever done.
“The fact that my album is getting so much love and support from media all over the world after so many years of barely getting a mention, make me one grateful 71-year-old man, having the time of his life, doing all the things I love and getting applauded for it. Who could ask for more?
“I feel like a kid starting out, like I’ve had a tremendous rebirth artistically and in terms of notice for the work. I thank you, Bruce, for giving me a jump-start last year and to all of you for your constant support over the years, and I promise to keep on rockin’ – ‘Til my River Runs Dry’. “Feet, don’t fail me now!”
Eric, whose book “Breathless” is due to be released through Los Angeles-based publisher Alfred Music, said he had had a life of constant motion and excitement.
“I live life! A life that many will envy and most would avoid!
“I’m extremely fortunate, at age 71, to look back on my life and write down some of the incredible things that have happened to me. In the day-to-day life of a travelling musician, it’s easy to miss so many details. The world goes by at high-speed – it will take your breath away.
“People we’ve encountered at pivotal moments who profoundly influence our direction are not necessarily the people whose names everybody knows. More often, they are the people who say or do just the right thing, at the right time.
“I’m writing this book to help myself remember the past, acknowledge the present and help the new generation to discover their own truth. I am writing this book for all of you who helped me discover who I am today.”
Beginning life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and listening to his idols Ray Charles and Bo Diddley, Eric immersed himself in American blues and jazz and then hit the international limelight with The Animals.
Eric’s imposing yet soulful vocals were to the fore on hits like ‘House Of The Rising Sun’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, ‘We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place’, ‘It’s My Life’ and ‘Bring It On Home To Me’.
Eric also founded and fronted the multiracial funk group WAR, notably reaching No.3. in the U.S. charts with ‘Spill The Wine’.