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Monday, 29 September 2014

Still waging a musical War

  • Lonnie Jordan will bring his funk band War to Hampton on Friday.
Lonnie Jordan will bring his funk band War to Hampton on Friday. (Getty Images )
September 11, 2014|By Mike Holtzclaw, |mholtzclaw@dailypress.com
The classic funk rock band War has been around so long that it was named after the Vietnam War – while that conflict was still being fought.
In explaining how it was always the band's philosophy to be topical but never political, keyboardist and vocalist Lonnie Jordan said: "We're not in that political world. We're in the entertainment world. We may call ourselves War – but check this out – we call ourselves that because we're letting you know that there is a peaceful way of war. Our choice of weapons is our musical instruments. Our melodies, rhythm, and most of all our harmony. That was about as political as we got."
Jordan talks in long, flowing sentences that are punctuated with laughter. He is 65 years old now, and still performing with War almost a half-century after the band was formed. War performs at Mill Point Park in Hampton on Friday night.
Along the way, Jordan – the last original member still in the band – has seen it all. He was part of Nightshift, a forerunner of War that served as the backing band for football star (and sometime crooner) Deacon Jones. He was there when War came together as a new band for the legendary vocalist Eric Burdon after the breakup of The Animals. He was on stage with War in a small London club on that night in September 1970 when Jimi Hendrix got up and joined in on a few songs – it would turn out to be Hendrix's last performance before his death the next night.
There were some big hits. Burdon's first song with the band, "Spill the Wine," hit No. 3 in 1970. Burdon left shortly thereafter, but War continued as an ensemble band in which each musician took turns in the spotlight.
The All Music Guide describes the band as "one of the most eclectic (groups), freely melding soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock influences into an effortlessly funky whole." War was all over the charts in the 1970s, with big hits such as "The Cisco Kid," "Low Rider" and the infectious "Why Can't We Be Friends?" The band had 12 Top 40 hits, seven of which made the Top 10.
ERIC BURDON (INCLUDING WAR) AT GONZO
The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99

The Animals And Beyond 
DVD - £9.99

Beat Beat Beat - Eric Burdon
DVD - £4.99

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