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'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 Levis," says Jordan, "and there's nothing nostalgic about Levis. In fact, they're not really good and funky until they've been worn awhile."