Monday, November 13, 2006

 

Peel Sessions 29

I'm not quite sure how to begin on this one as today's subject is one of those real living legends that has accompanied me in my life since those vibrant days back in '77. The word legend I do not use lightly, some might consider him to be more of a cult artist but is there really a difference between the two terms? He is chummy with Jonathan Ross, he is a fan of artists as diverse as Joe Meek and Donovan, he symbolised the early days of the classic indie label Stiff Records, he has authored at least one true classic song that can hold it's own with 'Another Girl Another Planet' any day of the week. He was the urchin that stormed into Stiff's Alexander Street HQ after quitting his job in a lemonade factory proclaiming to be 'one of those c*nts that brings tapes into record companies' before depositing his demo tape and returning back to the pub. Stiff boss Jake Riviera loved the tape so much that he called him back the next day with an invitation to record his first single that wasted no time in winning him friends both amongst the punters and the press. The man is question is Eric Goulden maybe better known as Wreckless Eric and that single 'Whole Wide World' which was followed by three albums for the label that are criminally long unavailable before he did a John Lennon with a lost weekend at the bottom of a bottle. I am pleased to say that Eric has survived and is still very much alive and still making records for the discerning few who appreciate him.
I don't think John Peel was his biggest fan as he only graced the Maida Vale studio's twice on his account both within a period of six months. The first from October 1977 featured his debut single along with four other songs including this version of 'Reconnez Cherie' that is counted in un, deux, trois by none there than Ian Dury, who for this session occupied the drum seat. The second session featured four songs that were laid down in March the following year, I particularly like the reading of 'Brain Thieves'. These two sessions can be found on a compilation of recording that Eric made for different BBC shows under the guise of Wreckless Eric, The Len Bright Combo, The Hitsville House Band and Southern Domestic, this record goes under the title of 'Almost A Jubilee 25 Years At The BBC (with gaps)'. It is not often that I urge you to dig down in your pockets but this record really should be in your collections and there is no better place to buy it than the Turkey Zone, who specialise in Eric and other olds stiffs, I have purchased from them before and have found their service to be efficient and rapid. While you are are there you might like to check out Eric's latest Album 'Bungalow Hi'.
Eric would seem to be someone that has a great way with the written word, having already published a first volume of his autobiography entitled 'A Dysfunctional Success' in 2003 that won him heaps of praise from the critics and deservedly so as the book makes a great read even if you don't know the man and his works. I would also like to recommend frequent visits to his site where his news page acts a diary that depicts his latest activities and thoughts with a sense of prose and humour that many a journalist would be pleased to have at hand. An All round great chap who deserves the status of living legend.
Readers residing in New York should jump at the opportunity to catch him on stage November 15 at a venue called Tonic, Situated in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Comments:
Ah, the greatly underappreciated Wreckless Eric. The wife and I were catching Amy Rigby at Joe's Pub in NYC last winter, when who should appear on the stage for a brilliant cameo but Wreckless Eric! Thanks for posting these: I've not heard them.
 
I saw him at the GLC sponosored event in 1985 that I've blogged about a way back, and I don't have to go to New York because he's playing in Shrewsbury, where I live, next month!
 
Sorry about that Crash, I would mention his other gigs as I believe that he does deserve a bigger audience problem is the only fothcoming date on his web site is is the NYC date, actually I was hoping someone would invite me over there for a few days! If you do get to see him in Shrewsbury, do enjoy yourself, I'm quite hopeful that I'll get round to see him soon as he is projecting a move back to France.
 
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