By: Gary Graff
Eric Burdon's first solo album in six years, "'Til Your River Runs Dry," may be just out, but an even bigger story this year is the 50th anniversary of his old band, The Animals, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concern known for its seminal rendition of "The House of the Rising Sun" and hits such as "It's My Life," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."
Daytrotter is planning a celebration at this year's South By Southwest Music + Media Conference, with other artists recording covers and video tributes, but Burdon tells us fans shouldn't expect much more in the way of commemorating the anniversary:
"From my personal point of view, The Animals are dead. I mean, they've killed themselves. They were always the band that could not live up to their name. And I kept using the name for strictly promotional purposes, so that young kids would associate the name The Animals with The Beatles, the Stones and that period...But I got sued for using the name by former members of the band...”
“So it's a very negative thing for me -- not negative, but it's the past...I just couldn't get the name to work, really, for me and for my music, so it's OK if everybody else looks at the Animals history and gets, receives some excitement and some message out of it. That`s fine. But for me, it's over. I'm on my own now."
The Animals broke up in 1968 and had various reunions since 1977 -- including albums that year and in 1983. Burdon began using the band name again in 1998, but original drummer John Steel successfully sued to prevent that in 2008.
Burdon has a handful of concerts booked so far to promote "'Til Your River Runs Dry" and is also working on his third memoir, which he hopes to publish in 2014.
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