Inspiration : Elvis Costello

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.”

6 thoughts on “Inspiration : Elvis Costello

  1. I remember writing down in order what they played so we could at least tell you. You were sick as a dog

    • I loved getting that note, complete with a description of what was happening inside the Paramount. I recently found it and loved reading it again, my favorite part being how “the inevitable Jerry Weber” interrupted a moment of silence being conducted on my behalf. That you all took time to write down what was happening for me is one of the most profound acts of kindness I’ve ever received.

      And, say, do you remember trying to sell my ticket? 😉

  2. It is interesting how the word record is still being used, but your picture only shows CD’s. We own lots of real “records” but never call our CD’s records.

  3. I had Scott’s back that night, and yours too, Andy. Happy birthday (as I write this)! The show was a little short, though.

    Don’t know why you didn’t buy Elvis’ first album when it first came out: why wait for #3? Besides, it was only $4.77; “Guaranteed Great” so you could return it; AND I got a free Bratwurst with the purchase too. Probably swung by G&G’s afterwards….

  4. Pingback: My Aim is True « Chat With Andy

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