Bombed Out! 1980s Liverpool Bands, Eric’s, Punk Poster Art and Facebook.

Bombed Out! 1980s Liverpool Bands, Eric’s, Punk Poster Art and Facebook.

Poster for Bombed Out! designed by former Eric’s regular and graphic artist, Martin Why of Bombsite Magazine. It features me and Margaret Thatcher (I’m the one on the right…) I’ll be featuring Martin in an article about Punk Art soon.

For more articles on Punk, New Wave, 1970s and 1980s bands, Liverpool bands and music, visit my other website dedicated to exclusively it: www.bombedoutpunk.com

Living in Thailand and having spent the past 2 years researching and writing my memoir of passing through ’70s and ’80s Liverpool, Eric’s club, Liverpool bands and beyond, has sometimes been a lonely pursuit.

Mostly I’ve relied on my scrawled diaries and notes from the period, and I’ve often bemoaned the fact that there isn’t much in the way of Internet presence for this important time in Liverpool’s and British cultural and musical history.

A great photo posted on Eric's '77 Facebook Group. It shows Pete Burns and his wife Lynne on their wedding day in 1978. Besides Pete, and the guy front left, Martin Healy, also in Nightmares in Wax, the guy in the middle, back, is Paul Hornby, another former bandmate in Liverpool band Pink Military. At the back left is Vanessa Sharples, who owns the copyright to the photograph and who kindly let me use it.

A great photo posted on Eric’s ’77 Facebook Group. It shows Pete Burns and his wife Lynne on their wedding day in 1978. Besides Pete, and the guy front left, Martin Healy, also in Nightmares in Wax, the guy in the middle, back, is Paul Hornby, another former bandmate in Liverpool band Pink Military. At the back left is Vanessa Sharples, who owns the copyright to the photograph and who kindly let me use it.

Some readers may recall I recently wrote an article about this lack of internet resources (see link below) because this period is too important to be forgotten, and more needs to be written and recorded about it, not less.

I visited the Museum of Liverpool’s Eric’s display a couple of years ago. It might have changed since then, but I thought it was crap, and I left disappointed. I saw an exhibition of photographs by a local photographer called Francesco Mellina, featuring his superb black and white photography of the Eric’s, clubgoers and bands who played there, and that was infinitely better at capturing the mood of the time and the place than the museum exhibit.

Franceso Mellina at his photo exhibition in Liverpool.

Franceso Mellina at his photo exhibition in Liverpool.

But it’s hard to recreate such a vibrant musical and social culture in a museum exhibit anyway.

For the past couple of years, as I’ve worked on Bombed Out!, I have felt somewhat (and inevitably) isolated, culturally, geographically and socially from that period, and all the people I once knew, although, before you break out the violins, help is suddenly at hand – and in a big way.

The Spitfire Boys - Pete Griffiths to the left, Paul "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" Rutherford second left, Dave Litter and drummer Budgie - before he joined Siouxsie and the Banshees.

The Spitfire Boys – Pete Griffiths to the left, Paul “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” Rutherford second left, Dave Litter and drummer Budgie – before he joined Siouxsie and the Banshees.

I was delighted to recently discover a Facebook site has been set up to remember the club, the bands, the people and the time. It’s called Eric’s ’77 Group and it is an open Facebook group, so anyone can join.

In the week or so it’s been up there are already over 600 members and it’s got some top notch contributors, especially from people who were in bands at that time.

One of the people behind the group, Pete Griffiths, was a former member of The Spitfire Boys, a Liverpool Punk band which featured the future Frankie Goes to Hollywood singer, Paul Rutherford, and Siouxsie and the Banshees drummer Budgie. Below is a Youtube link to their single ‘British Refuge”.

Pete said he and others started the Eric’s 77 Group Facebook page because they felt the time and the period sorely needed it.

He is well-steeped in the Old Eric’s music culture. After the Spitfire Boys Pete was also in a band called the Nova Mob with Julian “Teardrop Explodes” Cope and Pete “Wah! Heat” Wylie.

peter alan lloyd bombed out spitfire boys eric's club mathew street liverpool 1980s bands

The Spitfire Boys onstage at Eric’s Club, Mathew Street Liverpool (Eric’s ’77 Group, Facebook)

In the week it’s been up, the Eric’s 77 Group site has been addictive viewing, as I’m seeing photos of and reading posts from people I remember back then, and also seeing some superb photos I’ve never seen before (like the wedding photo above).

What I like most about the Group is how it has brought home to me the camaraderie and the kaleidoscopic nature of Eric’s club, Liverpool bands and that whole extraordinarily dynamic period in a way that just cannot be done except by people who were around at the time. It has paradoxically made me feel closer in time and space to the period when I am the furthest away from it in time and distance.

And it has reminded me how incredibly lucky and privileged I was to have been even a small part of that unique period, as Bombed Out! will (mostly) attest to.

If you’re on Facebook, Eric’s ’77  Group is worth checking out and joining if you’re interested in Liverpool, 1970s and 1980s bands, people and Punk and New Wave music.

But it comes with a warning – it’s highly addictive.

For more articles on Punk, New Wave, 1970s and 1980s bands, Liverpool bands and music, visit my other website dedicated to exclusively it: www.bombedoutpunk.com

© Peter Alan Lloyd

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1 Comment

  1. trevor

    never thought I d read a line saying pete burns and wife.

    Reply

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