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Eric Burdon
Eric Burdon

ERIC BURDON

1941 -

Burdon was lead vocalist for The Animals, one of the seminal British Invasion bands. As a solo artist in the late '60s, he influenced the San Francisco psychedelic-rock genre. He continues to perform and write.

"The [Woodstock] movie was great. The movie was cut in a way that it made it look like a great adventure-especially when the weather comes in and they're trying to hold the stage together-it looked like Columbus going around the Cape of Good Hope to find America, and stuff like that.

"But it wasn't much fun to be there. I'm sure it was hell.

"I used to call it the Festival of Vietnam-and it was the 'Nam Festival, as far as I was concerned. I'm glad I didn't go. I wasn't asked and I had no desire to go.

"Monterey [Pop Festival] would stay for me... as the flagship of all concerts. Everybody tried to copy Monterey, and just didn't know how to do it. In fact, you couldn't do it because Monterey came together in such a very special unique way.

"But the one thing that I gleaned from Woodstock, is that it was Hendrix's finest political statement when he decided to go on at the end of the Festival, on the morning of the last day and play to 3,000 people, and the garbage that had been amassed from the whole week.

"To play the Star Spangled Banner under those circumstances, to me, that was his greatest statement-a musical statement. But you don't get that feeling in the movie 'cause it's cut to make it look like Hendrix is playing to the masses. And he wasn't—he wasn't."

Excerpted from a 2001 interview for "The Sixties".

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