We’ve Got to Get out of This Place!
Couple years ago I went to see Eric Burdon at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, Washington. Back in the 60s Burdon had been the front man for the Animals.
You’ve almost certainly heard the Animals’ songs, even if you can’t identify them. Their remake of “House of the Rising Sun” is still played frequently on radio (side note: reportedly, Bob Dylan was strongly influenced by the way the song turned a classic American folk song into hard rock).
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” “It’s My Life,” and “Sky Pilot” were also among their biggest and most enduring hits.
For my money, though, the song that truly defines the Animals will always be “We Gotta Get Out of this Place.”
So it was that I was ready to explode when Burdon finished his set without ever playing the song. It was a great show, but I couldn’t believe he was going to walk off without dropping his calling card on all our punk asses.
The crowd was applauding and I, possibly influenced by the intake of a couple-three beers (POSSIBLY), had to make one desperate attempt to hear my favorite Animals song live.
I summoned every ounce of my rock and roll soul and belted out, “We gotta get out of this place!” As the fates would have it, the general roar of the crowd died down at precisely the instant that I screamed those words out.
Multiple heads spun around in fear, anger, or horror. In this era of mass shootings, terrorism, and political unrest, someone belting out “we got to get out of this place!” elicits an instantaneous negative reaction from many people.
After this weird moment frozen in time, with a couple dozen grey-headed faces glaring at me in suspicion and disgust, Burdon launched into his encore.
It was “We Gotta Get out of this Place,” and it rocked like 1965, my friend (or so I hear…well before my time).
The screw-faces turned back to Burdon and we all jammed together.
That’s my Eric Burdon story…a little, quick funny (I hope).