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The year was 1969, and these 'kids' had the nerve to carry the name WAR at a time when peace was the slogan in an anti-Vietnam America. "Our mission was to spread a message of brotherhood and harmony". Original Band Members included; Lonnie Jordan - singer/keyboardist, Howard Scott - guitars/ vocal, Lee Oskar - harmonica, B.B. Dickerson - bass vocals, Harold Brown - drums/ vocals, the late Thomas "Papa Dee" Allen - congas/timbales and Charles Miller - saxophonist/flutist.

WAR from the beginning was a concept & musical laboratory. As Burdon's back band, it was the vehicle for Goldstein (as producer/songwriter) and Burdon (as lead singer) to experiment with the blending of many musical styles and influences. "At the time, I didn't envision WAR as a separate entity. It was just a band to back Eric. I kind of thought it would change with his musical moods" says Goldstein. "It turned out to be that constantly evolving device, just without Eric Burdon."

The band's popularity has grown steadily ever since, as a result of the commitment to being road WARriors combined with great increases television appearances, record sales, use of their music in film, television and commercials, samples and covers by other recording artists. A big shot in the arm to WAR's presence on the touring scene was the release of 1994's Peace Sign, an album well received by critics and fans. WAR now tours over 150 dates a year to audiences ranging from tens of thousands to intimate clubs.

WAR's global popularity is a tribute to the timelessness of its music and message. Perhaps, nothing epitomizes this truth greater than the fact that WAR has twice been honored by its hometown of Los Angeles, over twenty years apart, for its music making positive contributions to the betterment of the community. "The world is still a ghetto", says Lonnie Jordan, echoing the title of the early album and song. "There will always be a reason to play our songs. When you come back to reality, you pull down WAR, because WAR is reality. We have a lot of second-generation fans and they're seeing the same things their parents saw. They're hearing the same messages. We're like Levi's," says Jordan, "and there's nothing nostalgic about Levi's. In fact, they're not really good and funky until they've been worn awhile."

The evolution of WAR began in 1969...and WAR has been evolving ever since.

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April 16, 2012
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