Eric Ego

(unfinished letter, 1979, rewritten about 20 years later)

“Anyway, nothing much to say except that our singer is good, but manic” and I remember him bounding about a living room, pogo-style, screaming, “and after one practice session wanted to name the band after himself. He originally was gonna call himself Eric Ego, but by today the band’s name was Eric Ego. I told him, firmly but diplomatically, that there was no chance of that. Interesting character….” This Mr. Ego had some major credibility with us in that he had actually been to London, having raced over their upon punk’s outbreak.  He’d even been at the giant Rock Against Racism show in Hyde Park put on by Tom Robinson (of “Glad To Be Gay”) where Jimmy Pursey sang with the Clash and stole the show. Eric worshipped Jimmy Pursey.  And then the local pub band in his neighborhood had been Screwdriver, who wrote the early Oi! classics “Anti-Social” and “You’re So Dumb”, and Eric had been completely enthralled by the whole cockney oi! sensibility.  We were to be the Screwdriver to his Jimmy Pursey—I even seem to vaguely recall his plans to take us back to London—to New York anyway.  There were flickers of Ian Stuart’s later fascist leanings even then, but I think Eric embraced them as well…that is what happens to former Bowiephiliac Ezra Pound freaks when they wallowed in punk.  He left—I think I had to kick him out—and last I heard he had abandoned punk, married some Italian dame of some ancient but faded lineage, had a child or two and lived out some horrible European art film of an existence in the cultural backwater of Trieste.  I guess the bottle nearly killed him in the end.  Hard to believe he was just kid from Stockton, California.

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