The first record that I bought with any real mindfulness of wanting to own a specific record was Elvis Costello’s brilliant 1979 LP “Armed Forces.” Owning the record turned out to be another one of those inspirational experiences.
Owning it and loving it, I then bought his two previous records. Because Nick Lowe produced all three records, I bought Nick Lowe records. Because Dave Edmunds played with Nick Lowe, I bought Dave Edmunds records. Follow? Before long I had a huge record collection, most every record tracing back to Elvis and Armed Forces.
I have dozens of Elvis stories, maybe even hundreds. But the saddest is from January of 1981. Elvis was coming to Seattle and all of my friends and I bought tickets. Two nights before the show my girlfriend came over and we played every record. She dabbled a bit on piano and started playing his song “Just a Memory.” She asked me if I thought he’d play it. No chance, I told her.
The next day I came down with a severe bout of food poisoning, causing me to miss the concert and so severe that a Department of Health investigation was launched. The next night, Elvis opened the show with “Just a Memory.”