Eric Burdon, Author, Jeff Craig, With with J. Marshall Craig. Thunder's Mouth $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-56025-330-3

If Burdon's life story accurately reflects the life of your average rock 'n' roller during the last 40 years, then readers will quickly understand exactly why many a young boy has come to his ruin by that route. Once and always the lead singer of the Animals (as well as the lead for Eric Burdon and the New Animals and Eric Burdon and War), he recounts riding the crest of the British Invasion, moving to L.A., and birthing San Francisco's psychedelic rock scene; getting drunk, laid and stoned; hanging out with the likes of Lennon, Hendrix and Morrison; and spotting Elvis. In one revealing (if not disenchanting) bit, Burdon tells the whys and hows of being the Eggman of the Beatles's song "I Am the Walrus." He also elaborates on his longstanding dismay with the recording industry—eloquently captured in a low moment when he "drunkenly" tried to play a gold record he'd received ("It wasn't a chart-topping Animals album at all—it was an old Connie Francis record")—and gripes about getting ripped off for arrangement rights to the Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun." This book is a celebration of tried-and-true music, but other new memoirs prove more engaging (see Gene Simmons bio, above). While this account is a primary source for the history of rock 'n' roll, readers may find this story of an overindulgent, middling rocker burdensome. Photos. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/22/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-1-56025-448-5
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