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Sunday Night Music Byte

Eric Victor Burdon (born 11 May 1941; Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne) is best known as a founding member and vocalist of The Animals, a rock band formed in Newcastle, England, his multi-racial funk rock band War and his aggressive stage performance.

Burdon was lead singer of The Animals, formed during 1962 in Newcastle, England. They combined electric blues with rock and were one of the leading bands of the “British Invasion”. Along with The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, and The Kinks, the group helped to introduce the world to British music and fashion. Burdon’s powerful voice can be heard in The Animals singles “The House of the Rising Sun”, ” Sky Pilot”, “Monterey”, “I’m Crying”, “Boom Boom”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “Bring It On Home to Me”, “Baby Let Me Take You Home”, “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, and “See See Rider”.

By late 1966 the other original members of The Animals, including keyboardist Alan Price, had left the band. Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins reformed the group renaming it Eric Burdon and The Animals. This more psychedelic incarnation of the group featured future Family member John Weider and was sometimes called Eric Burdon and the New Animals. Keyboardist Zoot Money joined them during 1968 until they split up in 1969. This group’s hits included the ballad “San Franciscan Nights”, the grunge–heavy metal-pioneering “When I Was Young”, “Monterey”, the anti-Vietnam anthem “Sky Pilot” and the progressive cover of “Ring of Fire”. In June 2003, he formed another Eric Burdon and The Animals band, which included keyboardist Martin Gerschwitz, bassist Dave Meros, guitarist Dean Restum, and drummer Bernie Pershey until 2005 when they disbanded. During 2008 Burdon toured again as Eric Burdon and The Animals with a variable lineup of backing musicians.

This is a video clip of the song “Monteray”. Not only is it a great song musically, but the lyrics are terrific. It tells the story of that year’s Monteray Pop Festival and all the artists that performed there.


Thursday Night Music Byte

David Roger Johansen (born January 9, 1950) is an American rock, protopunk, blues and pop singer, as well as a songwriter and actor. He was a member of the seminal protopunk band The New York Dolls and also achieved commercial success under the pseudonym Buster Poindexter. Originally influenced by Mick Jagger and by Rob Tyner of MC5, Johansen began his career in the late 1960s as a lead singer in the local Staten Island band the Vagabond Missionaries and later in the early 1970s as the singer in the protopunk band the New York Dolls. The Dolls only released two albums, their self-titled debut (1973), and Too Much Too Soon (1974). The bulk of the material was written by Johansen and guitarist Johnny Thunders. The Dolls were critics’ darlings with a modest cult following, but their failure to break commercially is often attributed to their being ahead of their time

In the late 1980s, Johansen achieved a commercial breakthrough under the pseudonym Buster Poindexter, accompanied by The Uptown Horns, performing a mixture of jazz, lounge, calypso, and novelty songs, and appearing as part of the house band on the television program Saturday Night Live. As Poindexter he scored his first hit song, “Hot Hot Hot,” which in an interview on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air he called “the bane of my life,” owing to its pervasive popularity. “Hot Hot Hot” was initially written and recorded by Montserratian-Antiguan Soca Artist Arrow. As Poindexter, Johansen often appeared with his band The Banshees of Blue. The initial Poindexter releases combined an eclectic selection of cover versions with Johansen’s own compositions. Johansen/Poindexter went on to issue Buster Poindexter’s Happy Hour, a CD of songs largely connected with alcohol. Probably his most obviously jazz-influenced release to date, it also leaned towards ’50s rock and roll. Following on from that came Buster Poindexter’s Spanish Rocket Ship, a Latin album.

Johansen then turned to the rendition of country blues with his back-up group, The Harry Smiths. The group was named in tribute to Harry Everett Smith, who compiled the Anthology of American Folk Music; “James Alley Blues” and some of the other songs covered on their eponymously titled debut come from the Anthology. Johansen’s second album with the Harry Smiths is titled Shaker. He also had a supporting role with Mick Jagger and Emilio Estevez in the movie Freejack and a supporting role as Looney in the comedy Let It Ride.

Johansen is currently touring with a re-formed version of the New York Dolls. Owing to the success of the tour, in 2006 the Dolls released One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, their first album in nearly thirty years. It was critic Robert Christgau’s choice for album of the year. Johansen hosts a weekly show on Sirius Satellite Radio while continuing to write and perform.

Please enjoy this 1982 video clip of David Johansen performing an Animals medley.