Hilton Valentine, founding member and original guitarist of The Animals, has died at 77.
The guitarist was confirmed dead on Friday January 29. At present the cause of death has not been declared.
The Animals label, ABKCO Music, put out a statement addressing his death and expressed their “deepest sympathies” to Valentines family.
“A founding member and original guitarist of The Animals, Valentine was a pioneering guitar player influencing the sound of rock and roll for decades to come.”
The band’s singer, Eric Burdon posted on Instagram a photo in memory of Valentine, ending the caption with “Rock in Peace”.
Burdon was recently interviewed by Guitar International and credited Valentine for bringing the bands sound into popular circulation.
“In those days, Hilton wasn’t just playing rock ‘n’ roll, he looked rock ‘n’ roll. Here was a guy with the greased mop of hair combed back, cheap leather jacket, winkle picker shoes, black jeans and a smile on his face playing through an echoplex, which was a secret weapon back then.”
As founding guitarist for The Animals, Valentine was most noted back in the band’s early days for his iconic intro to their 1964 hit single, ‘The House of the Rising Sun’.
Tributes continue to be paid to the renowned musician.
Words by Mattie Osborne
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