Elvis Costello is a word man through and through. This is to take nothing away from his very memorable music, but for the life of me I can’t imagine him writing an album’s worth of instrumentals. Since he has now published his autobiography, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, I can very easily imagine him writing a book.
That’s not really why I call him a word man, though, even if he has written some of the cleverest, most memorable song lyrics of any composer of the last half-century. No, he’s a word man because when he starts quoting lyrics in his book, they’re usually someone else’s work. Fear not, fans. He tells plenty of stories about his own life and career. But there’s also beaucoup time for just being a fan, or a craftsman saluting peers. This is a guy who knows when to tip his hat. He’s not just talented, he’s generous.
Hence the story (an excerpt from the audio book version of his memoir, narrated by the author) he tells in this video slideshow about meeting the Beatles. And getting all their autographs. Because it’s not a story about Elvis. It’s about his dad, who, like his dad, was a professional musician. It’s a great story. — Malcolm Jones