Book: Venue Stories
Chapter: Eric's, Liverpool, 1976-1980
It's 1977 and punk rock has just hit Liverpool. This is where I came in. The soon-to-be- legendary Eric's club is home to the city's misfits, rebels and posers. It’s a place of attitude, adventure and new possibilities, and it changes lives. Some people became musicians. Some of those became famous. I became a music journalist. Oh, and I married the DJ.
Eric’s became known as a punk venue, but it always more than that. When it first opened in the autumn of ’76, it was too early: outside London, there weren’t enough punks around. Or punk records to play. And the owners intended it to be eclectic. There was a quote from them in the students’ union newspaper: “We want tasty new acts we can dig”. People still talked like that in 1976.
There were three owners, but Roger Eagle is the one everyone remembers. His passion was for making everyone love the music he did, and that gave us all an education. It was about opening our minds. Possibilities.
Toilet venues? Funny you should mention it, because if you ask people for their memories of Eric’s the first thing they’ll talk about is the toilets. They were truly memorable.
The second thing they’ll talk about is the memorable bands they saw: the Clash, the Ramones, the Cramps. And the local bands, formed from the club’s members: Those Naughty Lumps, Malchix, the Ponderosa Glee Boys. Not to mention the ones that became famous.
Those of us that didn’t become famous are still here (well, most of us), and we still talk to each other. There’s a Facebook group called Eric’s 77, and reunions; new and revived friendships. Some things are too important to forget.