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It was April 21, 1999. I just wanted to meet my friends of Canned Heat at their german tour and was looking forward to spend time with people I really like plus getting some good live music to hear. What else does one need to be happy?! That night offered me one of the most impressive live performances I've ever seen, given by the headliner of this package tour: Mr. ERIC BURDON.

Another true Blues legend who cruised all paths and crossroads of the strange and wonderful but mainly unfair and merciless music business. In fact he obviously (and fortunately) survived to come out of it with full power, energy, wiseness and a good heart & soul. When thinking on the many ones who tragically lost their lifes at similar trips I am grateful someone special like Eric still is "with us" - and wild enough to go on to sing us the true and honest Blues.

A voice who knows what's all about...

Some time before the show I crashed into a man on my way backstage when hurrying up the stairs, being happy to finally again to meet Fito and the boys (Canned Heat). On the half way up he took the stairs (more slowly as me, of course). When I wanted to overtake him he stopped. With a friendly face he looked at me, saying "Hello!". It was Eric. A very surprised "Hello" I could reply when he straight laid his arm around me. "He's mixing me up with someone he knows" was my thought, while enjoying his nice gesture. It made me so confused, I only was able to mumble some silly stuff about "the sign at the entrance of the club has written your name in smaller letters as Canned Heat's" or something like that (well, ERIC was the headliner, not Canned Heat). - God, he must have been thinking I've totally lost my marbles! Nevertheless he asked where the sign was, and who knows, maybe he later had a look at it...

I really was glad he joined the conversation between Fito, me and the other C.H. "boys" in the dressing room. Hopefully it gave him a better picture of me! He seemed to be pleasently surprised when I asked him to sign his biography (finished 1986), which unfortunately is out of print since a long time but (as a fan of auto-biographies) I have bought it when it was released in Germany 1988. Although I never was a fan of Eric or the Animals I always was interested in what and how he's doing. Today I wonder why I never went to see him live and could kick me "somewhere" for that! Not many musicians knock me out off my shoes, but he's one of those. Seeing him on stage that night, listening to his voice and words - I was hooked in the first minute. By the way, seems it's the story of my life, I am always very late exploring "things". Mostly the so called "great times" have happened already, when people's works become meanful to me (even if I had recognized their existence when I was young). In this case I got the strong feeling, there's more to come. Eric Burdon reminds me on a good old solid and reliable car (or engine) which runs better and better with every mile it takes. A hippie maybe would say: He is like a flower which became kicked down again and again but always returned back to bloom after a while, stronger and more beautiful as it was before.
Not many ones like him around these days...

Fito de la Parra
Good friends share everything:
Canned Heat's drummer Fito de la Parra wears my Burdon t-shirt
after all luggage and gear of the band was lost at the airport.
(Meisenfrei, Bremen, Germany - July 22, 1999)



Gabi from Han(g)over, Germany
(The "Someone behind Gabi's Music Club" AKA The Internet-Lady, like Dean called me.)


© COPYRIGHT 1999-2005 BY GABI SCHWANKE (Logo Graphics, Design, Photos, Texts, etc. - as far as noone else is named.)