Intimidating, courageous and capable of tender diplomacy. That was Eric.
Although this story jumps ahead, it’s worth relating while the iron is hot.
Aged 17, I came home one night from a pub session somewhere in Southend. The youthful Kevin was ready for further stimulation from music or the printed word. In the end I went for a heavy blast of Deep Purple. Apt choice.
Decided to listen in my bedroom, with the earphones on. It was a fairly hot night, so I threw the top sheet off. Thoughts inevitably turned to sex. Statistics reliably tell me that I thought about sex every three minutes at that age. Down sneaked the hand, and I proceeded to give myself the most delicious stimulation, eyes closed, Roger Blackmore’s guitar cranking up the decibels in my ears. ‘Smoke on the Water’. My fingers working their never-disappointing magic.
Somehow, my pleasuring motion must have pulled the earphones plug out of the stereo system. As I entered the home straight, the rest of the house was suddenly awoken by the music emerging from my bedroom. Something made me open my eyes, and there was Dad, in the doorway, asking if I could please turn the music down.
I did – more drunkenly astonished than embarrassed – and we never mentioned the incident again.