It was high time a great documentary dedicated to Eric Burdon screened on a major broadcaster in the UK. And so Eric Burdon: Rock ‘n’ Roll-Animal, was screened recently on BBC4 TV.
As lead singer of The Animals, the band that hailed from Newcastle Burdon went on to influence many musicians of subsequent generations: Springsteen, Little Steven, Patti Smith and Sting are all included here and give some idea of the impact this group had on many future talents.
Bruce Springsteen’s memorable speech at SXSW in March 2012 was a momentous illustration of the importance of the Animals, hailed by many as the first classic rock band.
In early 60s England, The Animals were considered to be an R & B group who along with bands such as The Rolling Stones based their sound on a particular sub-genre of American blues guitarists whose music was yet to become appreciated in most regions of their own US homeland.
ERIC BURDON & THE EALING CLUB
In 1962-63, Eric Burdon’s musical development included visits to Blues Incorporated’s gigs at the Ealing Club, a fact that he has always acknowledged over the years. The 306-mile (492Km) hitchhike from Newcastle to London did not deter Eric Burdon and countless other young blues afficionados from places such as Cheltenham, Oxford, Birmingham and Kent. Many ended up making West London their musical destination.
SUBURBAN STEPS TO ROCKLAND – The Story of the Ealing Club
Eric Burdon’s memories of Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies and the legendary evenings that helped hone the skills of many future musical legends, form part of another independent movie that is reaching out to global audiences following its recent TV debut on Sky Arts TV.
Suburban Steps To Rockland illustrates the motivation and influences of figures such as Eric Burdon, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Pete Townshend, while explaining how legendary bands sprung into life around a tiny West London R & B music scene.
If you enjoy Eric Burdon: Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal, Suburban Steps To Rockland is well worth a watch as it takes the viewer on a journey through the roots of The Animals, The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, Cream, The Who and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. (Full details here)
West London’s connection with the sound of Marshall that was adopted and pioneered by the Who, Cream and Jimi Hendrix (amongst others) is also explained in depth.
Eric Burdon: Rock ‘n’ Roll – Animal is available in the UK on BBC I Player here