Liverpool Eric's -
last: A great big fat book about Eric’s – starring the people who went
there as regulars, worked there, formed bands and played there: Orchestral
Manoeuvres In The Dark, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Wah!
Heat, The Spitfire Boys with Budgie on drums and Paul Rutherford on vocals,
Pete Burns… and of course Jayne Casey in Big In Japan, whose line up included
Bill Drummond, Dave Balfe, Holly Johnson, Ian Broudie, Clive Langer.
Roger Eagle started Eric’s club in Mathew Street with Ken Testi in October 1976, soon joined by Pete Fulwell, but the book goes back in time before Eric’s to include Deaf School, Supercharge, The Liverpool Stadium, and the days of the original Cavern Club...
In 1976 Eric’s regular Pete Wylie was sitting in a café in Mathew Street, making a mug of tea last all afternoon while he fantasised about becoming a rock star…. August 2006 he opened Liverpool’s Mathew Street Festival on the main stage, singing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Paul Whelan was too young to have gone to Eric's, but was a big fan of early 80s music. As a teenager, one of his favourite bands was The Teardrop Explodes.
Fast forward to 2000. At a low point in his life, he revisited all the music that had happy memories for him, and started a website. A couple of years later, it was pointed out to him that a lot of those bands were linked to Eric’s club… and what he then heard about Eric’s gave him the idea that a book should be written about it. He started doing taped interviews: anybody, everybody, no-one was safe!
Eventually, Paul ended up with a big box of taped interviews.
Jaki Florek did go to Eric’s to see the bands, and also played there a few times in her first band. She typed up the tapes, and over the next three years added more interviews, research, and pulled the book together so it almost makes sense...
Having seen 'Bridge Over Muddy Water', published by Feeedback, a collection of stories from Halton musicians going back 70 years, Paul decided his idea for a book about Eric’s was in good hands.
Here at Feedback it was agreed it would be an interesting and worthwhile project to get involved with. Many Widnes and Runcorn folk made a regular pilgrimage to Eric's, and prior to that, The Liverpool Stadium - where Roger Eagle promoted bands before starting the Eric's Club. Meet up again with Paul and Terry from The Fetch, and Clive from The Pond Dwellers!
So many people have been involved in the book, we’ve lost count – Big Thanks are due to everyone who has helped out, especially Alan Peters and Hilary Steele who have provide loads of crucial photographs, and Paul Simpson. And Doreen Allen. And Geoff Davies. And… the list goes on!
We do believe that the heritage of Eric's, Probe Records, and the Matthew Street scene in the 70's rivals that of the now acknowledged heritage of the '60's - The Beatles and The Cavern Club - which was also in Matthew Street!
Check out Mike Badger's www.the-viper-label.co.uk for loads of original tracks from 70s/80s Liverpool bands
- Text from Feeedback.org Website
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Eric's - all the best clubs are downstairs, everybody knows that...