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Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:15 pm

I was just wondering if anyone knew if Elvis Costello is a fan of Elvis Presley?

Whether he has ever mentioned liking any songs or albums.

I don't remember hearing anything from him about Elvis' music.
Last edited by brian on Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:21 pm

brian wrote:
I don't remember hearing anything from him about Elvis' music.


Me neither :wink:
Only thing I think they have in common, is the name......nothing more. His birth name is Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus, but why he chose the artist name "Elvis",........??????? :?
Actually one could get the idea that he chose to use the name "Elvis", just to get attention :roll: (I hate when people does just that)

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:53 am

He is a fan, and quite a knowledgeable one at that.

In 2007, he wrote an excellent review of Peter Guralnick's Last Train To Memphis. It's on the net but I am on an iPad and I can't paste it on here (at least I don't know how to). His review reveals quite a detailed knowledge of Elvis' story.

If you're interested, just google "Elvis Costello Elvis Presley" and it should be the first entry that pops up.

He also recorded a killer album, King of America, with the TCB band. The notes on the accompanying booklet again reveal his familiarity with Elvis, describing the band's treatment of one of the songs as being similar to "the TCB Band's treatment of Mystery Train". He has also toured quite extensively with Burton, Scheff, etc., and a live recording with them is available on the special edition of King Of America.

Check out the YouTube clip of Costello singing His Latest Flame from a show in 2011.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:16 am

Thanks for this info Mick.

A few years ago someone once mentioned on another Elvis message board that i was on that one of Elvis Costello's favorite albums was From Elvis in Memphis.

I don't know if that's true or not because i've never heard any of that directly from Elvis Costello.

Do you know if that's true?

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:51 am

Brian, I can't recall ever hearing or reading anything directly related to Elvis Costello's view of that particular album.

However, I remember watching a DVD where Elvis Costello was interviewing another artist (probably on his Spectacle TV series), where he commented on the quality of the Memphis sessions and how good Elvis was at around that time. I can't find it right now but I distinctly remember it because I was chuffed that he acknowledged the significance of those sessions.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:31 am

mick967 wrote:If you're interested, just google "Elvis Costello Elvis Presley" and it should be the first entry that pops up.



Elvis on... Elvis Presley





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Musician, Jan/Feb 1995

LAST TRAIN TO MEMPHIS THE RISE OF ELVIS PRESLEY By Peter Guralnick

Reviewed by Elvis Costello

ALBERT GOLDMAN WROTE a good book once. At least I remember being quite taken by Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce when I was 20 or so. Of course Mr. Bruce did not provide quite so much evidence to contradict the grave robber so I could be mistaken. Later on I found that the main virtue of Mr. Goldman’s writing was that it bounced. His Elvis biography rebounded very sweetly from the wall where I often seemed to fling it. Since his death Elvis Presley must have reached more people than he did in life. Yet he is caught in a smudge of tabloid fantasies, bio-flicks and gimmick books, the kind that are glued to a cassette message from beyond the grave.

Peter Guralnick’s Last Train to Memphis is much more than the book that was needed to set things straight. It is the great human story of the otherworldly soul who inhabits the Dorsey and Ed Sullivan Show clips and the spookiest Sun sides. At first older women gather, almost innocently, at his side. Later on the little girls understand.

Now you would probably want stained-glass windows in the front room and the odd parade of fancy cars if you had grown up as poor as told here. There is a dark chorus of sullen relations with names that sound misheard but the gothic and social engineering elements are left to lesser writers. Mostly it is the pure, thrilling discovery of the Sun sessions (and the roadwork!) that drives the book along.

The country must have appeared twice as big in those days with only a few berserk radio madmen to point the way. Back-scratching country show business didn’t really care if Elvis was part Dean Martin and part pine marten until, suddenly, he was everywhere and they were less than history. However, he really might have stayed a wonderful country freak with a few forgotten hits without the Colonels carney greed and cunning. After that there is a life that is no longer his own , paid friends and the sad falling curtain of occasional greatness struggling against trumped-up RCA excitement. Just listen to ‘Party’ next to ‘Blue Moon’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Last Train to Memphis is short on penis envy and pop psychology and long on first-hand account. I am not happy to hear that Ira Louvin was a bigoted hothead but glad that Bill Monroe emerges heroically. There are characters absent from other tellings of the tale such as tough Biloxi girlfriend June, who faces down the oafish pranks of Elvis’s guys. Five hundred pages take us only to the Army. The tragedies that must lie ahead in volume two will be hard to take.

As with his other writings on American music, Feel Like Going Home, Lost Highway, Sweet Soul Music and Searching for Robert Johnson, Peter Guralnick sends you rushing back to the recordings with fresh ears. This is the finest compliment that I can pay someone writing about music. What else can I tell you to persuade you to read this book? How about the raw Elvis belching on the mike under a deluge of screams and mumbling, ‘**** you very much, ladies and gentlemen.’ Gladys grooming every girlfriend to cook and take care of her son. The transcript of Elvis really losing his famous politeness in the face of a smart-arse interviewer who suggests that he is dragging church music onto the rock ‘n’ roll stage. The search for the perfect take of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ with so much at stake. The account of his mother’s death that may keep you awake at night. The picture on the steps of Graceland, inconsolable in unbuckled shoes. Some would say this is the beginning of the end. Volume two will be a difficult book to write.

Here at least the writer has made the man better than the myth.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:56 pm

Dont remember the tv show but Elvis Costello was a guest on it in the last year or so and was very complementary about Elvis!

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:26 pm

Elvis Costello and his father performed "I'm a secret lemonade drinker" on a British TV advert in the seventies. The lead vocal provided by his father and the performance is Elvis pastiche.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:33 pm

Elvis Costello's father (Ross MacManus) was an Elvis impersonator and even released an LP called 'Elvis' Dad sings Elvis'.

Andy

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:57 pm

jetblack wrote:Elvis Costello's father (Ross MacManus) was an Elvis impersonator and even released an LP called 'Elvis' Dad sings Elvis'.

Andy


His 1972 album of cover versions of Elvis Presley songs is Elvis Presley's Golden Hits Sung By Big Ross & The Memphis Sound

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:19 am

brian wrote:I was just wondering if anyone knew if Elvis Costello is a fan of Elvis Presley?

Whether he has ever mentioned liking any songs or albums.

I don't remember hearing anything from him about Elvis' music.

Elvis Costello is a voracious music aficionado, has been since a youngster, and Elvis Presley is unquestionably in that mix.

We have many clues regarding his attachment to Presley.

Besides taking 'Elvis' for one half of his stage moniker in 1976 (the surname was inspired by Costello's dad), or composing the 1995 review of Guralnick's biography, posted above, Costello has covered Elvis Presley songs as far back as 1980, with "Little Sister," and 1983 with "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame."

Here are some recent concert snippets of each:


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Elvis Costello and the Imposters, "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame" (Red Bank, NJ - Tuesday, July 26, 2011)


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Elvis Costello and the Imposters, "Little Sister" (Red Bank, NJ - Tuesday, July 26, 2011)

Also...

The late Ross MacManus, Elvis Costello's father, was never an Elvis Presley imitator.

He was an established British musician. He enjoyed a minor 1964 U.K. hit with the pop-ska tune "Patsy Girl."


640400_HMV POP 1279_McManus.JPG


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Ross McManus and the Joe Loss Blue Beats, "Patsy Girl" (His Master's Voice 1279, April 1964)
http://www.45cat.com/artist/ross-mcmanus-and-the-blue-beats


At that month's New Musical Express Poll Winners concert at Empire Pool, he opened the concert singing it with the Joe Loss Orchestra:
http://bigozine2.com/roio/?p=661


MacManus later did award-winning work in the British ad industry:


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"R. White's Lemonade" (1973)
Actor and mime Julian Chagrin appeared, with the dubbed voice of Ross MacManus.
MacManus also wrote the song, and son Declan (Elvis Costello) provided backing vocals.
The ad won a silver award at the June 1974 International Advertising Festival.
It apparently was a mainstay ad, running on the BBC for eleven years!


It is true, though, that Costello's dad was a fan of Elvis Presley, issuing a keen tribute LP in 1970.


700000_Ross McManus Sings Elvis Presleys Golden Hits.jpg
Ross McManus Sings Elvis Presley's Golden Hits (Hallmark CHM 679, 1970)
Note: The album is amazing. A 1997 CD reissue (Elvis' Dad Sings Elvis) is available on Amazon, with audio samples for all 12 tracks!!
http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-Dad-Sings/dp/B00480DLI6


More on Ross MacManus here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_MacManus


Thank you.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:05 am

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Elvis Costello wrote:He thought he was the King of America
Where they pour Coca Cola just like vintage wine
Now I try hard not to become hysterical
But I'm not sure if I am laughing or crying
I wish that I could push a button
And talk in the past and not the present tense
And watch this hurtin' feeling disappear
Like it was common sense
It was a fine idea at the time
Now it's a brilliant mistake

She said that she was working for the ABC News
It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use
Her perfume was unspeakable
It lingered in the air
Like her artificial laughter
Her mementos of affairs
"Oh" I said "I see you know him"
"Isn't that very fortunate for you"
And she showed me his calling card
He came third or fourth and there were more than one or two
He was a fine idea at the time
Now he's a brilliant mistake

He thought he was the King of America
But it was just a boulevard of broken dreams
A trick they do with mirrors and with chemicals
The words of love in whispers
And the acts of love in screams
I wish that I could push a button
And talk in the past and not the present tense
And watch this lovin' feeling disappear
Like it was common sense
I was a fine idea at the time
Now I'm a brilliant mistake


If you'll recall, this was Sam Phillips' philosophy of music-making. Brilliant Mistakes. And Costello uses it ironically to chronicle "brilliant" tragedy and failure . . .

It's not "just" about Elvis . . .

rjm

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:36 am

"Brilliant Mistake" is a fantastic song, and may be seen as biography (Presley) or autobiography (Costello).

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:35 pm

Elvis loves Elvis very, very much.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:07 pm

Roy Orbisons version of the Elvis Costello track "The Comedians"is a classic
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Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:06 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:MacManus later did award-winning work in the British ad industry:


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"R. White's Lemonade" (1973)
Actor and mime Julian Chagrin appeared, with the dubbed voice of Ross MacManus.
MacManus also wrote the song, and son Declan (Elvis Costello) provided backing vocals.
The ad won a silver award at the June 1974 International Advertising Festival.
It apparently was a mainstay ad, running on the BBC for eleven years!


Thank you.


Brilliant! I grew up with that TV ad and never knew the connection. Thanks for that 'blast from the past'. ::rocks

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:07 pm

What matters is that I'm a fan.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:09 pm

keninlincs wrote:Roy Orbisons version of the Elvis Costello track "The Comedians"is a classic


Agreed Ken. That is fantastic show and 'The Comedians' is a superb song.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:49 am

A special thanks to Mick, Sweetangeline, pingpong, The masked Clown, Zoldero, Jetblack and Dr.Carpenter for helping with my question.

Thank you so much.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:44 pm

An absolute pleasure, Brian.

Re: Is Elvis Costello a fan?

Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:48 pm

This has all been fascinating - thank you to all contributors!