Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why can't War be War?

We wouldn't have an ounce of funk in our souls if we didn't salute Howard Scott today on his 65th birthday.

Scott was a founding member of War (nee the Creators, then Night Shift before Eric Burdon rechristened the band in 1969.) Scott helped write many of the band's most memorable songs and provided the guitar groove for the band's fabulous funkadelic sound, which has been described as "universal street music" by longtime keyboard player Lonnie Jordan, the only original member still using the War name.

Scott broke off years ago with other core members Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson and Lee Oskar, the Danish harmonica player who had come aboard with Burden in 1969.  (Burdon left after two albums and the No. 3 hit "Spill the Wine.") The foursome, having lost a legal battle to use "War" now goes by the Lowrider Band, after the 1975 hit "Low Rider."  Believe us when we say it's worth checking out the Lowrider webpage at http://www.lowriderband.com/.  Looks like it's been a bumpy ride for them!

There's hardly a better way to get your groove on than to play some of War's music.  Their 33 rpm The World is a Ghetto was the top-selling album of 1973 and would be a great place to start.   War had a string of great songs that made the Top 10 on both the Pop and R&B charts:  "The World is a Ghetto," "Cisco Kid," "Gypsy Man," "Low Rider" and "Why Can't We Be Friends."

Thank heavens Scott and Lowrider haven't been barred from performing the music they created. But it just doesn't seem right they can't use the name War, which would be a great advantage to them commercially.  Be sure to give Lowrider's video "Ordinary Man" a look-see and raise a glass to Scott today as he celebrates the big six-five -- and get ready to raise another for Brown, who is just two days younger.

1 comment:

  1. Good song.

    Off topic, Ronnie Hammond of the Atlanta Rhythm Section has passed away. They were the house band at Studio One in Doraville where many great records were made.