The Animals & Friends
Legends on stage!
It’s hard to believe that the Animals have been together for an incredible 50 years! Older and wiser perhaps, they’re certainly not slowing down, with no plans to retire and take things easy on the horizon. One of the most successful white rhythm ‘n’ blues bands, the Animals are still going strong, despite leading classic musicians’ lifestyles over the years and seeing plenty of line-up changes. The band has weathered all the ups and downs – and they’re sounding better than ever. Founded in Newcastle in 1962, the Animals in their original line-up of Eric Burdon, Alan Price, Hilton Valentine, James "Chas" Chandler and John Steel rapidly became world superstars. The name was chosen to fit their wild style. As Eric Burdon explains, "We called ourselves "The Animals" because rock music is all about basic, primitive, animal emotions and needs. Some people might think of lions, tigers, elephants and zoos when they hear the name, but for me it’s all about sweat, sound, blues and soul."
The Animals’ greatest hit "House Of The Rising Sun" was a multi-million-seller and is still among the most successful rock songs of all time. In 1969, after nine best-selling singles and sell-out world tours, Eric Burdon decided to leave the band and embark on a solo career.
The years from 1962 to 1969 had already seen changes in the band’s line-up: Dave Rowberry, Danny McCulloch and Zoot Money are just a few of the musicians who came and went.
The Animals’ albums "Winds Of Change", "The Twain Shall Meet", "Every One Of Us" and "Love Is" were classics of rock music, perfectly capturing San Francisco’s mood of flower power and love, the drug-fuelled euphoria of the era, the hippie cult of meditation and the buzz of 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival.
In the early 1970s John Steel and Dave Rowberry took over the helm and several albums were released, in subsequent years Eric Burdon regularly returned to Animals gigs as a guest. "House Of The Rising Sun" repeated its earlier chart success in 1982, reaching Number 11 in the UK charts. The Animals played on Red Square in Moscow in 1992, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Since then, Steel and Rowberry have toured under the name of Animals & Friends. Jokingly referring to themselves as “dinosaurs”, they’re seasoned veterans who still whip up music that’s packed with fire and passion. They were joined in the mid-1990s by another long-standing linchpin of the rock scene, Jim Rodford - former member of The Kinks and Argent. The current line-up also features Peter Barton, a vocalist with no need to fear comparisons with Eric Burdon, and John "Guitar" Williamson. Mick Gallagher, who toured with the Animals way back in 1964, came into the band in May 2003 after Dave Rowberry’s sudden death.
The pedigree biographies of the Animals & Friends read like a Who’s Who of rock history.
Their raw, authentic sound in unforgettable hits including "Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood", "C.C. Rider" and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" creates a unique and sensational live experience. The stage is their oyster!
Animals & Friends. Watch out for these guys – they’re immortal and invincible!
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