By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Do you still enjoy touring?
I like the shows. I like getting onstage. I like the fans. But I get paid for traveling. I’m looking forward to my next album project. But I’m ahead of my own game in a way. I’ve got three albums out there right now. I’m not rushing into it.
Describe a day in life of Eric Burdon.
I get up and walk, lift weights. I write in my diary. When I’m away from home, in a hotel, I’ll spend more time writing on a project. I used to go to the movies a lot but now I can’t be bothered with going down the hill since I’ve got a home theater. I live amongst a lot of wildlife, and I have a real appreciation for it. I’m getting into gardening now, too. I’m one of these old dudes, man.
Are you an American citizen?
Oh yeah. It’s a great country. As they say in England, “Aw yeah, it’s a great country, it’ll be great once they get it finished.” Americans think that Europeans and the rest of the world hate them. This is absolute bullshit. I think the government of this country — I can’t quite put my finger on the players — wants to try and kill off our [good relations]. It’s not a good way to think. You’ve got to be a good neighbor. Have we ever been good neighbors to the Mexicans and the Canadians? Do they owe us anything? C’mon! Like I said before, it’s repetitive. I saw the same thing in England. When I was a kid, the first friends I had were black Africans. I had a black girlfriend and got engaged. I was going to get married to her except that I went off to become a rock ’n’ roll musician. Then people started to complain about all the blacks in England, and I thought, “Man, if you want to send them back to Africa or Jamaica or wherever, the whole hospital-medical system will collapse because they’re the ones who do it. You guys don’t want to do it. I mean, get real. This racial thing is crazy. This country is so interested in the well being of Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Mexico, South America, wherever they’ve got that finger in business-wise. Those people should be allowed to vote on the American ticket, for an American president.
Any of these sentiments in your music?
I’m trying. You can’t brush off my last album and say there aren’t any political statements in it. I went to the roots and the ancient, original writers of the blues to get at the truth about what’s happening today. I did a song performed by Mississippi Fred McDowell that was written in 1913 called “Red Cross Store.” I just read a book called The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley about the flooding of New Orleans and the south beaches down in Mississippi, and that the Red Cross refused to have a Red Cross station in New Orleans. They were thinking, “One of these days the people are going to be in it up to their necks.” They knew. So, if I sing a song, “I ain’t going back to that Red Cross store no more,” it’s ancient history and it’s right on the money.
On September 17, Eric Burdon and the Animals will perform as part of “Los Angeles K-Earth Legends,” with Tommy James and the Shondells, and the Grass Roots at the Greek Theater.