I'm quite old these days. I didn't plan it but time kept marching along and it just sort of happened. I was born inNewhaven in South East England in 1954. It's a long time ago now, though it sometimes seems to me like only the day before yesterday - coal fires, steam trains, wet grey flannel, the BBC Home Service, very few street lights and everyone tucked up in bed by 10pm.
In the 1970s I made records for Stiff Records. I was quite shy and socially dysfunctional. I was given the name Wreckless Eric to hide behind. I got stuck with it. My real name is Eric Goulden.
You can call me Eric.
I was an art student - four years in British art colleges in Bristol and Hull. I became a momentary pop star though I thought of myself as an artist and became a musician by virtue of standing behind a guitar and playing it for years and years. If you do something often enough you'll probably get good at it.
The other option is to stop but I'm not a quitter.
I also play the bass guitar. I think I'm a good bass player but I can't be sure because people rarely say what they really think. Unless it gets to crisis point and then it all comes out. It hasn't reached crisis point with regard to my bass playing as yet so I think I must be quite good. I play the bass with my wife who is an American musician and songwriter called Amy Rigby.
I play the piano too, but my piano playing is rudimentary to a point that stops just short of embarrassingly bad. I could describe myself as a multi-instrumentalist because I also play the harmonica quite well, but I'm not so sure - multi-instrumentalist is a fashionable term these days, I think it actually means that the person in question owns a bass guitar.
I'm known as a songwriter though I've never really felt that I was born to it. I wrote songs because I was in a band in the early seventies that played covers - everyone played cover versions in those days unless they were either famous or pretentious. I didn't want to be pretentious but I thought the band needed a cohesive identity, and as no one else thought they could write songs I had no choice.
And I was a pretentious fucker too.
The first song I wrote that was any good was called (I'd Go The) Whole Wide World.
I've written a lot of other songs too - made truckloads of albums full of my other songs. Most people only know Whole Wide World. I could get upset about this but I don't, because most people do indeed know Whole Wide World so I'm doing very well. It's a hit, a boyhood dream come true, albeit in a world that is far less wonderful than I would have hoped for.