Elvis Costello’s Memoir Coming in the Fall

Courtesy of Danny Clinch via maxim.com
Courtesy of Danny Clinch via maxim.com

Elvis Costello‘s memoir entitled Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink will be available on October 13th. The book will be available as an audiobook and hardcover, which can be pre-ordered on the Penguin Books websiteUnfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink will recount Costello’s legendary music career, which began in the 1970s. In 2001, the rocker wrote a 60,000-word essay which reflected on his music at the time, but this particular book marks his first official memoir. 

Elvis Costello‘s legacy spans several decades, and he has been releasing albums since 1977. His latest project, National Ransom, was dropped in 2010. The project received rave reviews from music critics, and it featured guest appearances from Vince Gill and Marc Ribot. Some of his earlier projects include My Aim Is True, Armed Forces, Punch the Clock, All This Useless Beauty, and Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. In 2013, Costello released a collaborative album with The RootsWise Up Ghost reached Number 16 on the Billboard 200, and it also charted in Spain, Denmark, and Germany. “Walk Us Uptown” was the only single released from the 12-track album. 

Perhaps the thing Costello can’t seem to escape during his storied career, is an incident that happened back in the spring of 1979. Costello and his backing band, the Attractions, got into a verbal altercation with the Stephen Stills band at a bar in Ohio. The two bands exchanged insults, and the verbal altercation intensified by the minute. After some time had passed, the Stephen Stills band walked away, but their backing vocalist Bonnie Bramlett (Delaney & Bonnie), continued to argue with Costello. A reportedly drunk Costello was criticizing American rock stars, and began spewing out racial slurs. 

The rocker referred to Ray Charles and James Brown as “n—–s.” Bramlett slapped Costello in the face, which resulted in a bar brawl. Once the news spread about Costello’s racist remarks, his career was never quite the same. Although Costello vehemently denied he is a racist, that didn’t stop some people from branding him a racist. The rocker was faced with death threats, and some of his concerts were boycotted. Even after more than thirty years, Costello blamed his racial slur on being drunk, yet an apology was never publicly given. It may have taken him years, but Costello finally apologized for his remarks during an interview with Questlove (The Roots) two years ago. 

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