Punk Images: The Ramones in Liverpool, 1977.
The Ramones with Ralph Whaley, centre, holding a poster for the Ramones album, Leave Home. (© Ralph Whaley).
On 1 October 1976, Eric’s Club opened on Mathew Street, Liverpool. Its importance as one of the UK’s premier Punk, New Wave and Post-Punk music venues cannot be overstated.
In the early days, the Ramones played twice at Eric’s, and this photograph was taken of the band with the then-music writer Ralph Whaley (centre with album) posing outside Eric’s in front of the band’s tour bus. Ralph’s holding the Ramones album, Leave Home, which was released in January 1977, so this dates the photograph to sometime after that.
What’s interesting about this photo, aside from it being a great early shot of the Ramones, and never having been published before, is the fact that you can see the old Revolution sign still on the wall outside Eric’s (Eric’s opened in the space that had formerly been the Revolution Club). Also, a new Eric’s sign also visible, which has just been erected outside the club temporarily (you can see it’s just leaning against the wall above the door)
In fact that Eric’s sign in the photo (which was painted on canvas I seem to recall) later became the backdrop on the stage and features in many photos illustrating articles around this site – including the photo below, of Wire playing Eric’s in 1977. A permanent Perspex black and white sign eventually hung outside the club.
Eric’s Club also heavily features in my ‘70s-‘80s Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out! which details bands who played there and my own life back then, working, hanging around, playing gigs at and rehearsing in Eric’s Club between 1978 and 1980.
Whilst I never did get to see Wire play at Eric’s, they were one of my favourite bands back then, although the band nowadays often seem ignored when people talk about influential Punk and New Wave groups from the early days. To try to redress this, I have put a You Tube link to their entire, superb 1977 album Pink Flag below.
Wire are still recording and touring, to much critical acclaim, nearly 40 years later.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php