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Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood Hardcover – October 26, 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press (October 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560253304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253303
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If Burdon's life story accurately reflects the life of your average rock 'n' roller during the last 40 years, then readers will quickly understand exactly why many a young boy has come to his ruin by that route. Once and always the lead singer of the Animals (as well as the lead for Eric Burdon and the New Animals and Eric Burdon and War), he recounts riding the crest of the British Invasion, moving to L.A., and birthing San Francisco's psychedelic rock scene; getting drunk, laid and stoned; hanging out with the likes of Lennon, Hendrix and Morrison; and spotting Elvis. In one revealing (if not disenchanting) bit, Burdon tells the whys and hows of being the Eggman of the Beatles's song "I Am the Walrus." He also elaborates on his longstanding dismay with the recording industry eloquently captured in a low moment when he "drunkenly" tried to play a gold record he'd received ("It wasn't a chart-topping Animals album at all it was an old Connie Francis record") and gripes about getting ripped off for arrangement rights to the Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun." This book is a celebration of tried-and-true music, but other new memoirs prove more engaging (see Gene Simmons bio, above). While this account is a primary source for the history of rock 'n' roll, readers may find this story of an overindulgent, middling rocker burdensome. Photos.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In his first autobiography, I Used To Be an Animal, but I'm All Right Now (1986. o.p.), Burdon recounted his youth and rowdy years as lead singer of British R&B-sters the Animals. Here, he presents a pastiche of anecdotes from the last 30 years, with relatively little space devoted to the band that got him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not many Sixties icons could get away with two memoirs, but Burdon has been around the block and then some, and he regales readers with plenty of new tales. Take, for instance, his bizarre stint in a German prison, his trek into Israel's Negev Desert, and a visit to the actual House of the Rising Sun (the New Orleans whorehouse that inspired the Animals' biggest hit). Also covered are both ill-fated Animal reunions and the business deals that probably cost the author millions. Those wanting a history of the Animals are better off hunting down Burdon's previous book or Sean Egan's Animal Tracks (Helter Skelter, 2001). Still, these reminiscences will delight Burdon's fans (a fine discography is also included) and followers of British Invasion rock in general. Recommended. Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

This remarkable memoir transcends the usual boundaries of the music autobiography and approaches literature.
L. Freytag
There are a few decent pictures scattered about too, but the drug and sexcapades still take up way too many pages that should have been devoted to his music.
After having read his book, i feel as though i had actually lived his life and that's what a good autobiography should do.
daniel Meza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mirella Umonzar on November 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Eric Burdon has written a second autobiography. The first was published more than 15 years ago. This new one covers part of the first book, and his life right up to this past summer. He has many crazy stories to tell about his life on tour, and between record albums. As you might guess, he has stories of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. He also has stories of his managers, and politics in general. Often, these are the better stories. One type of story he doesnt tell is about his own songwriting, and the book really should have covered that - unless he plans a 3rd volume someday. The book is not as reflective as the first autobiography, but might be more blunt. It is a must read for diehard Animals fans, but casual fans might wonder why more was not said about making music. He is a decent writer, but he is a much better singer. I give the book 3 stars instead of 5 because I was interested in Eric the singer, and he is not given much attention in this book. But, if you are a fan of this man, you would regret not reading the book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "donnelly117" on December 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Depending on what you expect from Eric Burdon this book will either grab you or repel you. The previous reviews hit the nail on the head when they said the book lacks info on Eric's recordings and creative process, focusing instead on a mix of impressionistic storytelling about his life and times in the rock and roll wilderness. That said, this tome is a quantam leap from his first bio, I USED TO BE AN ANIMAL BUT I'M ALRIGHT NOW, which was dogged by clumsy prose and way too many sex and drug dazed anecdotes. Here, Eric has the sense to hand his story to ghost writer J. Marshall (Jeff) Craig, though the voice---alternately obnoxious, gauche, witty, bittersweet and generous---never ceases to be Burdon's. There's plenty of dirt here, especially with regard to Alan Price, whom Burdon blames for hoarding the royalties from "House of the Rising Sun," but it's not all spite. He becomes nearly giddy when talking about John Lee Hooker or Jimmy Witherspoon. There are some gripping anectdotes about the shallow, backstabbing and even dangerous nature of the music biz (like the gold record alluded to by other reviewers). Best among these are the chapters on War, his battles with MGM and a scrape with the Yakuza during the final New Animals tour in 1968. I also liked the chapter on his friendship with Steve McQueen. On the downside, Burdon still yammers on way too long and way too obsessively about Jimi Hendrix. (Jimi was awesome, granted, but it's been 31 years now E.B. - get over it.) There are a few decent pictures scattered about too, but the drug and sexcapades still take up way too many pages that should have been devoted to his music. Plus, like Graham Chapman's LIAR'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, this is a tome written by a man who admittedly spent much of his life frying his brain with acid and alcohol.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Carl Tower on November 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When Burdon wrote his first autobiography in the early 1980's, I was angered that his account stopped in 1970 - and didnt cover his music with War and the bands after that. I guess that was the book publisher's choice, and not his. Well, this new book updates the story right up to 2001. It is a pretty wild collection of stories, tied together by his tours, money problems, drugs, and girlfriends. A good book, and since no other member of the Animals or War bands have written an autobiography that I know of, this is the only source. I liked the book, but wished he gave all 353 pages to his life after 1970, making this part 2 of his autobiography. But, this is not the second volume of an ongoing work. The first half of this new book repeats things I knew from the first book, called I Used To Be An Animal. That is my only complaint, other than him not describing why he choses to sing the songs he does, which songs that he has written are his best, and personal assessments of music like this.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Christian LeMu on January 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Man, this is yet another haphazard music bio. Publishers of rock bios must think fans are less than intelligent. Many stories (Bob Dylan stuff, the song "The House of the Rising Sun", the tour with Carl Perkin & Jerry Lee Lewis, etc., etc.) come right out of that great video documentary, "Finally, Burdon and the Animals". Some of these tales are actually word for word, which makes you wonder how much effort went into the book itself. Other stories come right out of Burdon's first autobiography, which was little more than a drug & sex induced flashback - though I admit it was very well written, and was a better book than this new one. This new book is just a completely unfocused mix of everything. Hard to believe Burdon & Craig had an editor who knew anything about rock music. The index doesn't include many of the people and places in the book, which they apparently didn't notice. My guess is that a computer made it for them. Many famous people will find their names spelled wrong in the book (a great blind living bluesman, the keyboard "Rabbitt", a soul legend, half of a great country rock outfit, and the best sax man in the history of rock music are among the many in this unlucky group). The writing is not uniform, switching from slang to British terms to literary references to profanity - all in a matter of pages. Although I am no prude, a 60+ year old man using the F-word used more than 25 times seems a bit much. He claims, more than once, that he is not bitter, but when referring to other people, f-ing along page after page is one of the things bitter people do, isn't it? Even basic factual matters aren't handled well.Read more ›
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