Reading about Wreckless Eric in and old MOJO. One of the first albums I ever bought was Live Stiffs: Wreckles Eric, Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Larry Wallis in 1979. It was a Nice Price job, costing about as much as two singles (£1.99) and I couldn’t say no. I was a big fan of Ian and Elvis and I loved it all.
I can still sing all the words to Police Car, Wake Up And Make Love With Me, Sex’n’Drugs’nRock’n’Roll, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, Miracle Man and most of all, the funny and extremely bawdy but housebroken, “Billericay Dickie”. I had just moved from Billericay to Cardiff, after my parents divorced and it was amazing to hear the far off and alien world of Pop Music crossing paths with my own little world. I had assumed all music happened in That London or America or some planet that just made odd looking people. I certainly had not noticed any Pop Stars in Billericay’s not-all-that bustling High Street. The most exciting thing there was a tiny and quite crap museum which boasted a stuffed two-headed lamb. That was quite cool. I wonder if it’s still there.
All these amazing tunes were live and it all seemed quite “grown up”, with a lot of sweary beer talk between tunes. I was 9 at the time. I have always assumed the long haired slightly menacing-looking dude in leather was Wreckless Eric. The name seemed to fit. It has been 35 years but I realise my mistake now, of course. So, sorry about that Eric, Larry. As you were.