Hilton Valentine death: Original member of The Animals dies, aged 77

Hilton Valentine death: Original member of The Animals dies, aged 77

Hilton Valentine death: Original member of The Animals dies, aged 77

Hilton Valentine, the Animals guitarist behind one of the most famous song intros of all time, has died, aged 77.

The band’s label ABKCO Music announced that Valentine had died on Saturday (30 January) in a statement that was posted on Twitter.

It read: “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 musician, who hailed from North Shields, was a founding member of the band whose hits include “House of the Rising Sun” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”.

Valentine is the guitarist who plays the former’s instantly recognisable intro, which is said to have inspired Bob Dylan to move to a more electric sound.

<p>Hilton Valentine, who has died, was an original member of The Animals&nbsp;</p>

Hilton Valentine, who has died, was an original member of The Animals 

(Getty Images)

He formed The Animals in Newcastle in 1963 alongside Eric Burdon, Chas Chandler, Alan Price and John Steel.

Vocalist Burdon paid tribute to Valentine on Instagram, writing: “The opening opus of Rising Sun will never sound the same!… You didn’t just play it, you lived it! Heartbroken by the sudden news of Hilton’s passing.”

He added: “We had great times together, Geordie lad. From North Shields to the entire world…Rock In Peace.”

Valentine performed alongside the band for many years and, in 1970, released a solo album titled All In Your Head.


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