The perfect gift for music lovers and Elvis Costello fans, telling the story behind Elvis Costello’s legendary career and his iconic, beloved songs.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink provides readers with a master’s catalogue of a lifetime of great music. Costello reveals the process behind writing and recording legendary albums like My Aim Is True, This Year’s Model, Armed Forces, Almost Blue, Imperial Bedroom, and King of America. He tells the detailed stories, experiences, and emotions behind such beloved songs as “Alison,” “Accidents Will Happen,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Oliver’s Army,” “Welcome to the Working Week,” “Radio Radio,” “Shipbuilding,” and “Veronica,” the last of which is one of a number of songs revealed to connect to the lives of the previous generations of his family.
Costello chronicles his musical apprenticeship, a child's view of his father Ross MacManus' career on radio and in the dancehall; his own initial almost comical steps in folk clubs and cellar dive before his first sessions for Stiff Record, the formation of the Attractions, and his frenetic and ultimately notorious third U.S. tour. He takes readers behind the scenes of Top of the Pops and Saturday Night Live, and his own show, Spectacle, on which he hosted artists such as Lou Reed, Elton John, Levon Helm, Jesse Winchester, Bruce Springsteen, and President Bill Clinton.
The idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic.
In this massive, circuitous biography, rock music icon Costello attempts to put his life into context, with varying degrees of success. Declan Patrick McManus, aka Elvis Costello, had music in his blood. His grandfather was a trumpet player with the White Star Line, and his father had a long, quirky career as a singer in a dance band and a radio show host, keeping him away from home a great deal. Young Costello was constantly surrounded by music and musicians. Though he spent most of his childhood living with his mother, it was his father who had the greatest influence on him as a performer. He was privy to the latest releases and shared them with his eager son, bonding over a mutual love of music. The narrative rambles, though there are plenty of tales to keep the pages turning. Readers will be fascinated by Costello's stories of witnessing the Clash recording "London Calling," absentmindedly leaving his guitar at the White House, and performing at Live Aid, yet he offers them only as asides. Hits such "Accidents Will Happen" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" are mentioned only in passing. However, many of his albums are covered in greater detail, as are observations on David Bowie's skill at party games and Burt Bacharach's charm. Costello's an endearing, humble narrator, frequently awed by the opportunity to work with legends such as Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash, and Chet Baker. For better or worse, his book feels like a discussion between friends over a pint.