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Here's Five: Wreckless Eric Shares A Selection Of Favourite Songs

Here's Five: Wreckless Eric Shares A Selection Of Favourite Songs

Tuesday 6th November, 2018 4:02PM

UK punk / new wave legend Wreckless Eric is hitting Aotearoa this week for a long-awaited three date tour, playing his first local shows in nearly four decades! The Stiff Records-affiliated writer of certified singalong classic 'Whole Wide World' generously shared with us a fistful of personal favourites to get punters amped for his gigs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, accompanied by the erudite artist's commentary on each track. Wreckless Eric is playing here completely solo with acoustic and electric guitars - grip the show details, snap up your tickets to these once in a lifetime events, and check out his picks below...

Wreckless Eric

Wednesday 7th November - Wellington, San Fran*
Thursday 8th November - Christchurch, Blue Smoke*
Friday 9th November - Auckland, Tuning Fork

Tickets available HERE via UTR*

1. Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds - 'Spider Baby'

Kid and his band are old friends. At one time or another Kid and I have shared impromptu appearances and our 'Whole Wide World' / 'Sex Beat' mashup is the stuff of legend.

A couple of weeks ago I made a guest appearance with Kid and the Pink Monkey Birds in Kingston, New York playing guitar alongside Mark Cisneros who is one of my all time favourite guitar players - a big Mexican guy playing a big red Mosrite guitar with flat wound strings. He plays with power, control and economy. Kiki the bass player and Ron on the drums are no slouches either - if ever I needed a backing band...

Kid has taken to wearing a dubious grey wig and a silver cape like some grotesque channeling of the great Little Richard crossed with Count Dracula. He puts the wig on with very little care, making a point of not checking in the mirror. I’m waiting for him to absentmindedly take it off and use it to clean the windshield of the van.


2. Scott McCaughey - 'Aw Shit Man!'

Scott McCaughey is an unstoppable force - the Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, the Baseball Project... He was cut down by a stroke last year but even that didn’t stop him. He somehow managed to make a five album box set, mostly in the basement of his house in Portland, Oregon. This isn’t the work of someone doing the best they can under difficult circumstances - typically of Scott it’s brilliant from start to finish and if I was feeling brave and radical these five LPs would be my five for this thing. But I’m saving my own brave and radical for the moment and moving on to other brave and radical artists.

3. Neil Young - 'Psychedelic Pill'

Neil Young is my all time hero. He moves around, he’s impossible to categorise - from the country rock / garage thing of Buffalo Springfield and Crazy Horse and the deceptive soft rock easy listening of Harvest - and completely uncompromising. He does what he wants to do, like performing the album Tonight’s The Night in London in its entirety to catcalls and yelled requests for the hits - ‘Here’s one you’ve heard before...’ followed by yet another reprise of the title track.

Before Devo worked with him they called him Mr Granola, only to admit later that he was actually way more out there than they were.

I love his acoustic sets, his solo shows - Live At Massey Hall, the film Journeys.

I admire his obsessiveness, I understand his preoccupation with motor vehicles. I’m a devotee of The Neil Young Archive. It takes an age to load up but once you’re in it’s a treasury of everything he’s ever done in a grubby old filing cabinet that clunks and clicks as you scroll through it. I’m never far from a Neil Young album, indeed I spent a whole European tour listening obsessively to Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and another US tour with Tonight’s The Night. At the moment I’m on Psychedelic Pill.

4. The Byrds - '100 Years From Now'

The Byrds country album Sweetheart Of The Rodeo came out when I was fourteen. I was a little confused because it was country music, but it was The Byrds so it had to be cool, and anyway John Peel played them on the radio. I always thought they were making some kind of ironic statement because the image of country music was so white, right-wing and straight. Took me years to discover the breadth and depth of country music. The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers were the portal.

I recently got to see Roger McGuin and Chris Hillman play a show in which they played the whole of Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. It was shockingly good and profoundly moving.

'100 Years From Now' is more relevant than ever:

"Nobody knows what kind of trouble we’re in
Nobody seems to think it all might happen again."

5. Amy Rigby - 'Robert Altman'

I hope there’s room in here for a healthy spot of nepotism. My wife Amy Rigby has a new album produced by me and entitled The Old Guys. There’s a song on it about the film director, Robert Altman. We both love Altman’s films, particularly Nashville and Short Cuts, so we were thrilled when Amy got an email from Robert Altman’s son saying how much the family love the song.


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Wed 7th Nov
San Fran, Wellington
Thu 8th Nov
Blue Smoke, Christchurch

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