Club are pleased to present a short piece from Alan Thompson, the
BBC Radio Wales DJ who interviewed Eric recently...
I have always been a huge 10cc fan and was delighted when Eric Stewart readily accepted our invitation to be a guest on the BBC Radio Wales show "I Write the Songs".
As myself and the producer Alistair sat in the BBC canteen at Maida Vale waiting for Eric to arrive, I felt excited and a little nervous about our impending encounter... after all, you're never really sure what artists are going to be like when you meet them, and it's often risky meeting your heroes.
I'd been a big 10cc fan since 1972 when Joanne Rowe sold me a copy of "Donna" in Lakeside Junior School, Cardiff for 5 new pence (I still have it), and followed their career from that moment on. ("How Dare You" is still one of my favourite albums of all time). When Eric arrived at Maida Vale, it was weird. He looked exactly like Eric Stewart !... complete with shades, guitar and Gilly. After initial introductions, we left Eric and Gilly to have lunch and I took his guitar down to the studio to set up the gear. Eric had asked for a grand piano and a Fender Rhodes to be in studio, and after lunch he came to inspect the instruments.
He was warm, chatty and seemed to be genuinely happy to be on the programme, and as we set up the studio, Eric showed me the Fender Strat that he'd brought with him, which was quite battered and had obviously been in his possession for a long time. It was boy's own stuff to sit next to him and say "show me the solo from "Rubber Bullets", to which Eric would give me a quick demonstration....... I have always rated him as a great guitarist.
I like to do in-depth interviews with my guests, and Eric was a dream to talk to. I think he picked up on the fact that I was a fan and that I knew my stuff, and we recorded about an hour and a half in total, chatting about his career and getting demonstrations of loads of songs along the way, with Eric telling the stories behind the tracks.
He gave us versions of "Groovy Kind of Love", "The Things We Do For Love", "Wall Street Shuffle", "Dreadlock Holiday", "I'm Mandy Fly Me" and many, many more, and we saved "I'm Not in Love" until the end of the programme. Eric told the story of how the track was pieced together, and then played the song in it's entirety on the Fender Rhodes. It was very odd having such a famous song played to me by the guy who co-wrote it, and Eric gave us a great version.
I was really pleased to meet such a down to earth guy and someone I have been a fan of for so many years, and also pleased that his new album " Do Not Bend" is so good.