Tag Archives: Wreckless Eric

The Girl To City Conversation With Amy Rigby

When I lived on East 4th Street, the staircase had been clogged twice a month with tenants waiting for the mailman to bring disability and welfare checks. My 14th Street neighbors were more of a mix of writers and musicians, the employed and the unemployable. Above and below and on either side of me, people were reading books, painting, making clothes. I also saw a lot of them hustling to the subway or bus in the morning dressed in business attire, off to do their day jobs. I won’t be like that, I thought. I’m only tempting until I’m successful at music. Then I won’t have to work another job.

Amy Rigby, Girl To City – A Memoir – Summer Of My Wasted Youth

In this short, brilliantly written example from Amy Rigby’s memoir, you cannot ignore her raw honesty. Even describing humdrum, day-to-day scenarios she doesn’t wander off into fanciful wordplay. Instead, Amy has a marvelous knack for not only conjuring up the scene but also her feelings at that moment. It’s a powerful skill, she modestly acknowledges. “I write better than I say it.” She announces with a slight giggle. Conversing with Amy is always a treat because you never know what tangent you’ll go in. Reading Girl To City is not unlike having a private conversation with the acclaimed singer-songwriter. She speaks directly to you, sometimes wistfully:

He wore a tank top in winter and summer.
But I loved him.
He gave me a crash course in art and film history.
He also gave me crabs, gonorrhea and herpes.
But I loved him.

Amy Rigby, Norman B & Eric Goulden, Hudson NY, 2016

And she always speaks with a wink in her eye. Never jaded, often knowing and occasionally with a tartness that catches the reader by surprise. Her memoir is packed full of information, details, names, cultural references, a history of rock and roll as seen through Amy’s almost always bright-eyed vision. There have been a lot of memoirs from the rock fraternity, Girl To City deserves its own unique category, as Lenny Kaye says, “Amy Rigby writes the way she performs and sings, laced with insight, humor, self-awareness, and above all, heart”.

During the conversation, Norman B asked Amy to select some music to play during the show. She decided on two cuts from A One Way Ticket To My Life, a companion album to her book, Girl To City, featuring unreleased tracks and demos. Plus she requested we play, the Summer Of My Wasted Youth from her 1998 album, Middlescence.

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 152

  

A Conversation With Wreckless Eric

His songwriting ability should not be ignored. From the poignant quest for the love of the perfect woman in his 1977 seminal hit, Whole Wide World to the sharp autobiographical, Father To The Man from his recent album, Transience. And, his musicianship should not be underestimated. As demonstrated throughout his career on numerous recordings, not least of all, Transience where his savvy as a true rock and roll guitarist, arranger and producer is in full effect. He is Eric Goulden, better known as Wreckless Eric, a frequent guest on Life Elsewhere. In an excellent review of Transience for Soundblab, Howard Scott closes with this, “It has been brought to my attention that many people in Britain count Wreckless Eric as a one-hit-wonder from decades ago. I find that not only strange but somewhat tragic. Apparently, too many people just weren’t listening to what was being offered, for a myriad of reasons.  From what I have managed to absorb Goulden’s long career, he is still improving with age, and the best just may be still to come. If life was as fair as we would all like it to be, Wreckless Eric should be a national treasure.” Well said, Howard. In A Conversation With Wreckless Eric, we discuss Transience, Eric tells stories, and, he recounts how hard the past year had been for him with the death of his mother. “I had to do something.” Says Eric, “So I made this album.” In all the times Eric has appeared on the show, we have come to expect his commentaries will be forthright, sometimes blunt. This time, Eric reflects on life and death, yet he is animated and seemingly optimistic. The conversation is hardly ever morbid as Eric easily throws in a witty comment here or a sardonic observation there. “I’ve lived my life in episodes.” Announces Eric. Thankfully, we were able to document his latest.

Show #334

Tom Petty Karaoke By Amy Rigby

A favourite guest at Life elsewhere is the always engaging Amy Rigby. The highly-acclaimed singer-songwriter and astute writer kindly sent us a sound file of her new single, Tom Petty Karaoke. “I don’t usually put out singles.” Amy sighs, almost apologetically. She is talking with Norman B about her new recording, Tom died on October 2nd, a year ago and his birthday was October 20th, so I guess this is unofficially Tom Petty Month. I had been thinking a lot about him, he was like a guardian angel for me, like he was and is for many musicians. I’ve written about him on my blog a lot because any time I’m on the road it’s like Tom is there on my shoulder, saying “that’s cool” or “you can do better.” This was true when he was alive and even more now that he’s gone. Trying to evade another week of discord and divisiveness in the news, I saw a video of J Mascis singing “Don’t Do Me Like That” in a nearly-empty karaoke bar. The night before, I’d sung “American Girl” with Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express and felt the power of that song reach out and lift people up. Mascis’ karaoke performance was the opposite, it was internal, like prayer. He wasn’t doing it for an audience, he was doing it for himself. I imagined I was J, strummed some “American Girl” chords and wrote this song.” She cleverly references Petty, both musical and lyrical and with and with a deft hand on the production by her husband, Wreckless Eric, Amy has created a masterful salute with Tom Petty Karaoke. Hear the single and conversation with Amy in the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

The Podcast is available at NPR One & iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3
Sundays 10.00am ET at WNRM The Root
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at 
NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Sundays 11.00am ET at 
WNRM The Root
Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on 
NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week
You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Show #294 V2

Eric Makes It Clear!

Reflective. Angry. Opinionated. Unpretentious. Confident. These are just some of the words I jotted down as I listened to, Construction Time & Demolition, Wreckless Eric’s new album. Eric Goulden has been making music since the 70’s when he first emerged on Stiff Records in 1977 with the brilliant, Whole Wide World. On his latest release, Eric makes it clear that these are his songs, his music, his words and he wants you to know it. He begins with the title, Construction Time & Demolition, which gets straight to the point. Eric is looking ahead while he looks back as illustrated in the song 40 Years. You know he is addressing ghosts from his past, certainly not fondly, but definitely with honesty, the line “the wickedness of men” would be awkward in another writer’s hands, but Eric has no such problem. On Forget Who You Are, Eric teases us with the opening coda as he snarls, “everything is going to be groovy, like some happy crappy iPhone movie” but, is Eric giving advice or admonishing? That’s the wonderful conundrum of listening to Eric Goulden. Could The Two Of Us, be Eric’s version of a poignant love song? He doesn’t hesitate on this one to let us know what is important to him, as the intro builds he includes a cough, setting us up for the ever-increasing frantic pace of this song. Eric repeats the title over and over, not letting us forget what’s important to him. It should be noted that Eric’s wife, the very talented Amy Rigby has just released her own new album, The Old Guys, produced by Eric. His spirited production on Amy’s album is in full effect on Construction Time & Demolition. A master at telling a story and recounting his experiences, Eric displays his talent perfectly in Gateway To Europe. You don’t have to know all the references, but this is a song that deserves repeated listening. Eric is an accomplished rock and roll guitarist, a lot of bands could do well from listening to this album, the cut, Wow & Flutter is Wreckless Eric is full force, that would be a good start. Wreckless Eric’s new album, Construction Time & Demolition will be released next week.

Norman B April 1, 2018

Norman B’s review of Wreckless Eric’s album, Construction Time & Demolition will air on our next show #266

Life Elsewhere is available at NPR One & iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

Another way to listen to past editions of Life Elsewhere: go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

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Show #266

Amy Rigby, It’s A Pleasure

What a pleasure it is to know Amy Rigby. Some people, no, make that a lot of people in the rock ’n’ roll racket can be miserable sods. I put it down to spending far too much time living on the road. Even if you’re The Stones taking up whole floors of grand hotels with your ever-increasing entourage, it’s still a bloody hotel, no matter how good the room service is or the thread-count of the sheets. Living on the road, meandering from one gig to another ain’t no fun-filled escapade. Even fresh-faced young wannabes realize the sex ’n’ drugs and rock ’n’ roll lifestyle gets stale, if not boring after the first week. So, what a pleasure it is to know Amy Rigby. She’s a veteran of lugging her precious and trusty equipment from one venue to another. But, no matter how many stairs she has to climb before she can collapse on yet another suspiciously-soiled creaky bed. And, despite almost never finding a place to eat with passable edible food, Amy manages to always carry on with a beguiling smile and, wait for it, a bloody good attitude. You don’t often come across someone who has spent the best part of their lives in the wacky world of rock ’n’ roll with the great attitude Amy Rigby has. She is about to embark on yet another expedition in support of her new album, The Old Guys. So, what a pleasure it is to welcome Amy back to Life Elsewhere to talk about and play a selection from her new album. In the last year Amy has shared her thoughts on Love, Holiday Gifts and next we’ll learn about  The Old Guys. This is her first album in a dozen years, with twelve unmistakably Amy Rigby songs, recorded with Wreckless Eric in upstate New York.

Norman B January 24, 2018

Life Elsewhere is available at NPR One & iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radion
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Make a Donation Button

 

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