Friday, July 15, 2011
Sturges North 2011 & Eric Burdon and the Animals
Eric Burdon and the Animals was the band I was waiting for. I'd heard "House of the Rising Sun" as a teen ager and learned it on guitar, playing and singing it for years. "Warm San Franciscan Nights" was a song I must have made love to somewhere along the way. I marched through the streets of San Francisco and later lived there. "I'm just a man whose intentions are good, Oh Lord, Please don't let me be misunderstood" may well have become my personal song of relationship. Eric Burdon stepped on stage, the band so utterly professional with music to their very toes, and that voice of Eric Burdon's, well, I was 40 years younger with tears in my eyes, wondering where it had all gone and laughing. "Spill the Wine, take that Girl," had some of the answers. It was a full moon. There were bikers all around. So many of us were older. The women still looked good. There was that funny smell in the air but mostly it was pine smell and the smell of the recent rain on the grass. We'd done the drugs and been drunk and fought and free loved but now had RV's to go with a $10,000 to $100,000 machines. There were children up late and as many grandparents past their bedtime hanging in there for Eric Burdon and the Animals this Sturgis North 2011 Motorcycle Rally and Music Festival. There was more Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance than LSD in the crowd. Eric Burdon's words spoke to youth and maturity, the dreams and idealism."It's my life and I'll do what I want with it" had us all dancing and cheering. The skill of the musicians wasn't something that came with "just hanging out'. There was real discipline and the play beyond that hard preparation. This patch of laughter was something earned.. The applause was incredible. Standing ovation and roars filled the air with" House of the Rising Sun". The keyboards, bass guitar, drums and lead all entwined with Eric Burdon's voice and the unique sound of a band whose music captured an era. Tonight it was as alive as it was back then. Just phenomenal. I rode back to the RV at the First Nation Pierre's Point Campground on the motorcycle, with the girl on the back, wind in my face, spectacular clouds and a a full moon. If I was a wolf I'd have howled!