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Lonnie Jordan Of War Explains How Rival Car Clubs Helped Make “Low Rider” A Hit

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Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

kearthevents Britt Bickel
Web Producer |
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This morning, Lonnie Jordan of the California-bred band War joined the K-EARTH 101 Morning Show to talk about bringing the group’s adored hits to the Los Angeles County Fair on Friday, August 30th!

We asked Lonnie what he thinks has given War and its funky hits such longevity over the years, and he says the band’s success is all owed to the fans.

“I’m going to give credit where credit is due. It’s the fans. We’re a reflection of the fans, and we always give to the fans what they give to us,” said Lonnie. “That’s why I tell the fans that they are my ‘rock and roll hall of fans.'”

In case you need a refresher on the laundry list of hits War has produced throughout its career, the band is behind some of the biggest funk hits of the ’70s and beyond including “Cisco Kid,” “Spill The Wine,” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

However, the song that comes first to mind when speaking of War is undoubtedly the No.1 R&B hit “Low Rider.” To this day, whenever we hear that cowbell chime in and that trumpet sound off, we can’t help but think of all the classic rides cruising around SoCal late at night.

The song eventually went on to be featured in numerous films and TV including Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke, Dazed & Confused, and Gone In 60 Seconds. However, Lonnie says that it was due to the popular car culture in California that first helped make “Low Rider” a hit.

“Before the song was released, we gave the finished product to two rival car clubs – The Dukes and The Imperials,” said Lonnie. “They had the rides, but they weren’t really communicating with each other, of course we didn’t have the technology then. But there was one technology that brought them together, it was a cassette!”

“We gave them all a cassette and they pumped the song in their car, and they helped make the song a hit,” Lonnie added.

If you can’t get enough of War’s classic his, you can relive all the good days with the band this Friday night at the L.A. County Fair at 7:30 p.m. Purchase your tickets here.

Hear Lonnie explain the stories behind War’s classic hits “Cisco Kid” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” in our full interview in the clip below!

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