A Dysfunctional Success
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Eric Goulden is also known as Wreckless Eric. In 1977 he began his recording career on the legendary Stiff Records label alongside Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and The Damned with his enduring hit single Whole Wide World. Eventually he sidestepped the mechanics of stardom to become one of Britain’s biggest underground household names, much loved and often misunderstood.
In A Dysfunctional Success he writes with an acute eye for detail about growing up in the 60s and 70s in suburban South East England, discovering music and girls, life as an art student in the frozen northeastern town of Hull. This is an honest coming of age story from both sides of instant pop success: bands, squalid flats, menial jobs, making records, the rise to the point of fame and falling off into poverty and alcoholism in Thatcher's Britain, where Goulden ultimately survived the 1980’s to achieve his own kind of success.
Neil Gaiman says of the book: "I think I was hoping for insight into the early Stiff Records days, which I didn't get. What I got was much better, and a great deal more interesting: a shambling, acutely observed, very funny-sad-true-sharp autobiography by someone who thought that music ought to be fun, and was sometimes even sober.”