The Animals were an integral part of the 60’s British rock scene. Coming over to the United States during the height of the British Invasion, the group had legions of screaming fans fainting at the mere sight of them. Read on to learn more about the legendary rock band The Animals.
Number One: The Animals Manager Was Kidnapped by Yakuza. During the band’s second incarnation, Eric Burdon & the Animals played a tour in Japan. The promotors of the tour, who were secretly members of the Yakuza, were not happy that the tour was delayed 2 months, and kidnapped the band’s manager a couple of days into the tour. The gang members made him write an IOU for $25,000 to offset fees incurred because of the lateness of the tour. Once their manager obliged and the Yakuza set him free, the band was told to either leave the country or be killed.
Number Two: Drummer John Steel Owns the Band’s Name. For years, there have been many incarnations of the band touring under the name The Animals. However, the question of which one of these groups could actually call themselves “The Animals” was up for debate. John Steel was determined the copyright holder, but in ’13, the courts accepted a plea Eric Burdon made for the name, allowing him to use it. Eric is currently touring under the name Eric Burdon & the Animals.
Number Three: Burdon Originally Wanted to Work in Film. He was highly influenced by film. As a student of film, Eric would try to catch movies at least twice a week. The musician has also mentioned that he would have liked to be in film production, but at the time there were no schools where one could learn the necessary skills for the job.
Number Four: The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black Was Inspired by the Animals. When Mick Jagger wrote Paint It Black, he originally had the Animals version of House of the Rising Sun in mind. In an interesting twist, Burdon covered Paint It Black on their album, and performed it during their set at the Monterey Pop Festival in ’67.
Number Five: Chas Chandler Discovered Jimi Hendrix. When The Animals dissolved, Chas Chandler discovered Jimi Hendrix at a club in NY West Village. The musician helped him form The Jimi Hendrix Experience and financed their first single. Chas was also the one who gave Hendrix the idea to set his guitar on fire.
Number Six: The Original Line-up Briefly Reunited. Between ’75 and ’83, The Animals reunited their original line-up and released 2 albums.
Number Seven: The Band Members Broke Up Because of Money. There were a number of reasons they broke up in ’66, including their hectic touring schedule and alcohol and drugs. But a common one both Burdon and Valentine mention in interviews is money. The band felt that they were being ripped off.
Number Eight: Bruce Springsteen’s Biggest Influence. When Bruce Springsteen gave out the keynote address during the ’12 South by Southwest Festival, the singer mentioned how a lot of their work was reflected in his own music. During his speech, Springsteen said that he had never related to any other band the same way he did The Animals.
Number Nine: Burdon was Instrumental in Starting War. After Eric Burdon & the Animals dissolved, the musician linked up with multi-cultural California band The Creators to form Eric Burdon and War in ’69. The band, before Eric Burdon left in ’71, is best known for their song “Spill the Wine.”
Number Ten: Alan Price Wrote Film Scores. After The Animals disbanded, Alan started writing music for films. He has been noted for his work on 73’s O Lucky Man!, and his score for the musical Andy Capp.
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