The Beatles’ Song That Was Written as a Tribute for The Animals’ Eric Burdon
via Eric Burdon Tribute Channel 11 / Youtube
Eric Burdon, the charismatic frontman of The Animals, left an indelible mark on pop culture with his nonchalant demeanor and groundbreaking musical style. Known for his rebellious approach to music, Burdon’s influence reached far beyond his humble origins in Newcastle. One particular song written as a tribute to Burdon by none other than The Beatles immortalized his countercultural allure. Through captivating interview quotes and intriguing anecdotes, we unravel the story behind this remarkable connection.
Eric Burdon: A Revolution in the Making
In the midst of a revolution in the music industry, Eric Burdon emerged as a figure who effortlessly embodied the spirit of the era. As the lead singer of The Animals, Burdon’s distinctive voice and footloose style pushed rock ‘n’ roll to new progressive heights. Burdon’s audacious decision to cover “The House of the Rising Sun” showcased his individualistic approach and the band’s connection with Bob Dylan, subsequently inspiring Dylan to explore the electric sound.
“There was a connection that went on between the Animals and Bob [Dylan], and our recording of ‘The Rising Sun,’” Burdon says himself. “I’ve been told by lots of people who know, and were around at the time, that that’s what stimulated Bob into going electric, and becoming a rock star as opposed to a folk star.”
“You might say we were all exposed — when I say ‘all of us,’ I mean the same age group on both sides of the Atlantic — we were exposed to the root of true black music at the same time, and realised that that was the road that we wanted to take.”
The Eggman and His Charismatic Aura
Eric Burdon’s impact on his peers extended beyond his musical abilities. Renowned for his success with women and his laid-back attitude, he had an uncanny ability to captivate others. John Lennon, in particular, was intrigued by Burdon’s amorous prowess and immortalized him in song. Lennon coined Burdon as the “Eggman,” a nickname derived from an unsavory and scandalous encounter involving a Jamaican girlfriend and an egg.
In his memoir titled “Don’t Let Me be Misunderstood,” Burdon expresses:
“I was the Eggman or, as some of my pals called me, ‘Eggs’. The nickname stuck after a wild experience I’d had at the time with a Jamaican girlfriend called Sylvia. I was up early one morning cooking breakfast, naked except for my socks, and she slid up beside me and slipped an amyl nitrate capsule under my nose. As the fumes set my brain alight and I slid to the kitchen floor, she reached to the counter and grabbed an egg, which she cracked into the pit of my belly. The white and yellow of the egg ran down my naked front and Sylvia slipped my egg-bathed cock into her mouth and began to show me one Jamaican trick after another.“
The Birth of the Myth in Lennon’s Mind
During a memorable party at Lennon’s Mayfair flat, Burdon recounted the scandalous egg story to a group of friends. Lennon, with his characteristic humor, encouraged Burdon with the moniker “Eggman.” In Lennon’s creative mind, the nickname became mythologized, symbolizing the revolutionary spirit of the counterculture movement. This association found its way into The Beatles’ psychedelic masterpiece, “I Am The Walrus,” forever intertwining Burdon’s essence with the song’s enigmatic lyrics.