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September 19th, 1965: Cassius Clay tells Eric Burdon "I can smash you to pulp"

Cassius Clay tells Eric Burdon 'I can smash you to pulp'

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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In February 1965, British band The Animals went on tour of The United States in support of their debut album The Animals, which featured "House Of The Rising Sun".

Whilst on tour, guitarist for The Animals, Hilton Valentine had started dating Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Cassius Clay's, sister-in-law.

"You're one of those Animals. Jus' remember that ah'm heavyweight champion of the world and I can smash you to pulp."

Apparently Clay wasn't too happy about his sister-in-law dating a rock star and in February he found himself staying at the same hotel as The Animals in New York City.

While having breakfast in the hotel lobby one morning, lead singer of The Animals, Eric Burdon felt a massive hand come down on his shoulder. He turned around to see Cassius Clay towering over him.

According to an interview New Musical Express conducted with Burton in 1965, Clay said to Burton:

"You're one of those Animals. Jus' remember that ah'm heavyweight champion of the world and I can smash you to pulp."

Cassius Clay tells Eric Burdon 'I can smash you to pulp'
Cassius Clay celebrates his win against Sonny Liston in 1964.

By coincidence, The Animals had recorded John Lee Hooker's "I'm Mad Again" on their 1964 debut album, which includes the line "You know I'm mad... like Cassius Clay."

Listen below to The Animals "I'm Mad Again".

Watch below as The Animals perform John Lee Hooker's, "Boom Boom" in April 1965.

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