September 13, 2010

Monday Music

Just exactly when the Allen Price Rhythm & Blues Como was first founded is a matter of conjecture. Price himself will tell you he started his first band at age 16, in 1958, although the real R&B band probably didn’t emerge until four years later.

Price was a self-taught musician who began by playing on the old family piano at age seven. By the time he was in his early teens he could play the piano, organ, guitar and bass with equal talent. Price’s first band was influenced by the skiffle craze that was the thing in England in the 1950s, but later moved to the rock & roll after becoming infatuated with Jerry Lee Lewis.

For us Americans the only reason we might take notice of Allen Price and his band is that it was the foundation for one of the most influential British invasion bands of the 60’s. It was in 1962 when Hall of Fame rocker Eric Burdon met and joined up with Price, and the same year that the band changed their name to… The Animals.

It was in the gritty Downbeat Club in Newcastle where Eric Burdon first belted out his signature stuff. Over a brief period of time Burdon took over the band. Price moved to keyboards and Burdon became lead singer and front man. Good for us, because the Animals, with Burdon singing and Price on the keyboards, went on to produce one of the most iconic tunes of the era.