Songs of War are a good thing with Lonnie Jordan | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Songs of War are a good thing with Lonnie Jordan

Lake Tahoe Action

Sometimes fans at War concerts are surprised to hear so many familiar songs.

The band has recorded numerous hits since 1969, including “Low Rider,” “Cisco Kid,” “Spill the Wine,” “Summer,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Slippin’ Into Darkness,” “Gypsy Man” and “The World is a Ghetto.”

The surprise comes to the newer generations of fans who have heard the songs for years on the radio and in movies. Beatmakers also frequently sample War.

“We’ve been getting that ever since we started,” the only remaining original member, Lonnie Jordan, told Lake Tahoe Action before a previous concert here. “We’re used to it, and that’s why we are nipping it in the bud by making people aware of all the songs we have done by releasing this live DVD and CD.”

War released the CD and DVD in October 2008.

During that same year Eric Burdon reunited with the band for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He will join War again for a tour next summer.

Burdon, whose band the Animals was part of the British Invasion in the 1960s, was living in Los Angeles when he saw Jordan’s band the Nightshift, which notably included singer Deacon Jones, a Rams defensive end. Burdon was seeking a new musical project. He and harmonica player Lee Oskar joined Nightshift.

“Eric helped tremendously,” Jordan said. “He introduced us to the world; otherwise we were still stuck in Compton.”

Burdon came up with the band’s new name as a commentary on the group’s size and attire after a tour in Japan.

“As we were walking behind him, he turned around and said, ‘My God, I’m glad I know you guys, because if I didn’t I’d probably be walking a little faster to get out of this alley because it looks like you just came out of a battlefield.’ And a big lightbulb went up in his head.”

Nightshift’s members first thought the name War was too radical. But they later warmed up to the idea.

“Let’s wage war against wars in the streets and abroad,” Jordan said. “Our choice of weapons would be instruments instead of guns, and instead of shooting bullets, it would shoot melodies, rhythms and, most of all, harmony.”

The track “Low Rider” is the theme song for “The George Lopez Show.”

The Lowrider Band is the name of a band which includes the four other original members of War who lost a court case with Jordan for the rights to the name.


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