Ask Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer Eric Burdon of The Animals and War fame who his favourite artists are and he doesn’t hesitate: Calexico – the Tex-Mex group from Tucson, Arizona, and Canada’s own Neil Young, the latter who is a long time musician pal.
“(Neil’s) one of my favourite people in the music world,” Burdon, 71, told QMI Agency in Toronto before his sole Canadian date at Casino Rama on Feb. 8.
“I used to hang at the same bar back in the ‘70s in L.A., haven’t seen him since then. I love his work. I love the fact that he’s been through hell physically (his 2005 brain aneurysm) and he’s still standing. “
Burdon also gives a shout out to Canada on Invitation to the White House, a song off his well received new solo album, ‘Til Your River Runs Dry, his first in six years.
Burdon sings: “We should make friends with Canadians, they’ve got more than snow, and there’s a labour force waiting in the land of Mexico, just waiting to go.”
“I’m amazed that America has two bookend neighbors and there doesn’t seem to be that much communication and play between the two,” explained Burdon.
“I mean we got a (drug) war going on with Mexico at the moment and Canada, you never hear anything…. You bring up the subject of U.S.-Canada relationship and it’s like a bell without a tone in it. I don’t know why. Why is it this way? It’s difficult for me to be critical because I am U.S. citizen so I’’m allowed to have free speech. That’s what they tell me. But still you got to watch what you say but I try and push it as much as I can in terms of things that I observe.”
But Burdon, born in Newcastle, England, but a longtime California resident, says his outspokenness has already gotten him in trouble in some parts of the U.S.
“Already, I”m getting feedback from Texas. ‘When you come back here we’re going to have to address this problem of the borders.’ And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, I didn’t say open the borders and let drug dealers come flushing through, they’re already doing that.’ I’m talking about a plan to help Mexico become a better place by making more money.”