Sunday, September 7, 2008

Eric and Amy sitting in a tree

This Friday, I went to see lovebirds Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby at Thee Parkside. I have a colorful history with these two performers, individually and collectively.

Nov 2001: While vacationing in the UK, I saw Amy open for Eric in Hull. This was the night they first met, and did a duet on "Whole Wide World". It's probably not as historically important as the night John met Yoko, but it's up there.

Aug 2002: Amy Rigby was playing a solo show at Doc's Clock, a dive bar in the Misson district of S.F. Before her set, I introduced myself and mentioned seeing her and Eric in Hull a few months before. The show was sparsely attended, and she started playing covers and new songs, included Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide World". She wasn't sure how the lyrics went, so I ended up on the stage, singing the song as a fake-Eric with Amy. So far, in my life, this has been one of the high points. 

Apr 2006: Four years later, with my friends Sue & Joe, I saw Amy Rigby playing a duet with Marti Jones as the Cynical Girls at 12 Galaxies, another Mission dive just up the street from Doc's Clock. The opening act was Wreckless Eric. Amy and Eric were "an item" at this point. During the show, she mentioned singing a duet on "Whole Wide World" with "some guy in the audience" a few years before at Doc's Clock. I waved, because that guy was me. Woohoo me!

Sep 2008: Two nights ago, I saw Amy and Eric as a duet at Thee Parkside, San Francisco's premier dive venue (according to the heading). They have a new album coming out this week (on Eric's longtime label Stiff), and played a bunch of songs from it, along with songs from their individual pasts and a few covers like "You Tore Me Down" (by San Francisco's own Flamin' Groovies!). There was a nice balance of Eric's songs and Amy's songs and their own songs, wrapping it up with "Whole Wide World" and "Take The C.A.S.H.". They were selling the new CD, so I picked it up and mentioned to Eric that I saw them together in November 2001, which turned out to be the night they met.

I also bought the album, which is a little rough and ragged, but pretty good, especially if you think there should be more albums like Colossal Youth by the Young Marble Giants. For whatever reason, I think Wreckless Eric + Amy Rigby sound a lot like Stuart Moxham + Alison Statton.


Sir George Martin said...

I ordered the new longplayer from Amazon today [I still love CDs, Gahd help me], not having heard it and knowing only that they were coming to the DC area in a couple of weeks, and that I like both of those named performers. Imagine my surprise to read about their romantic relationship, having been so impressed with the professional match.

Great story -- the wave being the best part.

I'm looking forward to a great show -- the Crowd Scene, another act involving gifted artists who are married, will be opening for WE/AR here in DC. Crowd Scene has featured the drumming talents of The Jestaplero, and is a vehicle for Jestaplero's co-producer and musical compatriot Grahame. I'm just sad to know that Grahame will not likely be accompanied by a bossa nova beatbox like Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby.

The Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby show may be coming to a town near you!

B said...

A fine set for sure, and I like the record, too (although Amy's novelty side comes through a tad too much.) I don't think I would have guessed that Wreckless Eric was going to be a guy who would discover his inner-Eno and start making records so full of interesting sonic detail (synths, effects, textures etc.) In fact, he seemed like the _last_ guy who'd do that!