Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:10 am

Elvis has been , over the years , telling variations of this story -

' He had written Accidents and had fallen in love with "quite an attractive taxi driver" in Tucson, Arizona and had asked her to take him to Mexico before deciding about 10 minutes later to turn back ' (from Verbals account of the Paris show in 2014)

The Arizona/Mexico details have appeared in most versions of this story .


Accidents Will Happen was sung on stage for the first time in April 1978 , in London.

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Concert_1978-04-16_London


Elvis , however , first played in Tucson in May 1978


http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/AZ


Is there an appearance there , pre April '78 , that we have missed ? Maybe a stop over between appearances elsewhere?


Maybe someone here more familiar with U.S. geography and/or travel routes could have a look at the known concerts and see if the latter is a possibility.

1977

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Gigography_1977


1978

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Gigography_1978



Back in 2002 , in his liner note for the Rhino reissue of Armed Forces , Elvis wrote -

Most of this record was written in hotel rooms or on a tour bus. I recall working on "Accidents Will Happen" in a stifling motel room in Arizona.


So maybe he was merely rearranging it a bit . I've just listened to that April '78 performance and the lyric is the same. The main difference is that where as the studio version starts with a verse ( 'Oh I just don't know ...'etc.) the April 16th performance begins with the chorus ( 'Accidents...' etc.). He was , however , still starting with the chorus when he sang it at Hollywood High in June '78. Maybe someone here can check a few later outing in '78 to see when it changed to the studio version.

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Performances_of_Accidents_Will_Happen


Maybe by the time he got to Japan in November '78 - has anyone got this bootleg to hand ?

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Bootleg:_Tokyo_Storm_Warning_1978




Any thoughts?

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:41 am

johnfoyle wrote:Elvis has been , over the years , telling variations of this story -

' He had written Accidents and had fallen in love with "quite an attractive taxi driver" in Tucson, Arizona and had asked her to take him to Mexico before deciding about 10 minutes later to turn back ' (from Verbals account of the Paris show in 2014)

...

Any thoughts?


Just one - don't rely on anything I say- even if I was there :lol:
international laughing stock...

erey
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby erey » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:00 pm

johnfoyle wrote:Elvis has been , over the years , telling variations of this story -

' He had written Accidents and had fallen in love with "quite an attractive taxi driver" in Tucson, Arizona and had asked her to take him to Mexico before deciding about 10 minutes later to turn back ' (from Verbals account of the Paris show in 2014)

The Arizona/Mexico details have appeared in most versions of this story .


Accidents Will Happen was sung on stage for the first time in April 1978 , in London.

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Concert_1978-04-16_London


Elvis , however , first played in Tucson in May 1978


http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/AZ


Is there an appearance there , pre April '78 , that we have missed ? Maybe a stop over between appearances elsewhere?


Maybe someone here more familiar with U.S. geography and/or travel routes could have a look at the known concerts and see if the latter is a possibility.



Travelling from Los Angeles (November 19, 1977) to New Orleans (November 23, 1977) might very reasonably take you through Tucson, although at only about 500 miles from LA it seems a bit close for an overnight stop. Also, this would mean "Accidents" was written before TYM was recorded, which seems dubious to me.

Another possible, if less reasonable, route through Tucson might be on the way from Boulder, CO, (February 4, 1978) to Berkeley, CA (February 7, 1978). That's certain doable in the time allotted and Tucson would be just about in the middle of this 1,800-mile trip, but the detour through Tucson would add about 600 miles to any reasonably direct route from Boulder to Berkeley. So this only works they really wanted to go to Tucson for some reason.

In any case, in the memoir, EC is clearly saying he wrote "Accidents" in Tucson, just about a week before he "debuted" it at Hollywood High on June 4, 1978. The account in the memoir has so much detail -- from the hot weather (Tucson is pretty temperate in November and February, but by late May it's regularly getting up around 90 F) to the addresses on the taxi driver's street (her address, oddly, ended in a "1/2" while the neighboring addresses were in the thousands, typical of a sprawling sunbelt city like Tucson) -- that I think it's a safe bet that this is how EC remembers it, whatever the actual facts.

Possibly the audience tape circulating is edited or mislabeled. I notice it also has "Oliver's Army" "debuting" on April 16, also with Steve Nieve accompanying EC. I haven't heard this recording, but isn't the story that EC originally gave "Oliver's Army" a guitar-based arrangement and it wasn't transformed by Steve's piano part until late in the recording of AF? That would have been months later. On the other hand, "Accidents" is listed as the first song played at the Palladium in NYC on May 6, 1978 (http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... ork_(early)). But maybe that's a mistake as well. The Village Voice review of this show mentions a "new song" called "Party Girl" but not "Accidents" (http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... y_15,_1978).

No definitive answer, but based on the evidence so far, I'm tending to go with EC's recollections over the scrupulous accuracy of well-circulated "audience tapes".
Last edited by erey on Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johnfoyle
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:42 am

The recording of the April '78 show in London , including 'Accidents, seems legit. Bruce Thomas was out of action so the show was started with just Elvis & Steve doing a duo presentation of new songs before Nick Lowe made up the combo to do the rest of the show. Given how chaotic Elvis's life was at the time I'd tend to the theory that Elvis's memory of the time has blurred a bit. The one off , time filling performance in London was forgotten when Elvis focused on the lyric during that torrid time in Tucson. Or something like that.

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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby erey » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:38 pm

johnfoyle wrote:Given how chaotic Elvis's life was at the time I'd tend to the theory that Elvis's memory of the time has blurred a bit.


I think I might have solved this mystery.

Back when we had this discussion, I had the idea that EC probably was correctly remembering having an unhappy tryst with a Tucson taxi driver and then skulking back to his hotel feeling like a miserable, no-good, philandering bastard and writing a song about it. I figured his unconscious mind had long since decided that the greatness of the song ought to proportional to the crumminess of his emotional state, so it swapped in "Accidents" for some lesser song.

Well, sure enough... EC played Tucson, AZ, on May 28, 1978 (http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... -28_Tucson) and then on May 30, in Santa Monica, CA, "Busy Bodies" had its first know performance (http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... nta_Monica). Certainly appropriate to scene EC recalls playing out two nights before, but frankly kind of a crap song.

FAVEHOUR
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby FAVEHOUR » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:15 pm

erey wrote:
johnfoyle wrote:Given how chaotic Elvis's life was at the time I'd tend to the theory that Elvis's memory of the time has blurred a bit.


I think I might have solved this mystery.

Back when we had this discussion, I had the idea that EC probably was correctly remembering having an unhappy tryst with a Tucson taxi driver and then skulking back to his hotel feeling like a miserable, no-good, philandering bastard and writing a song about it. I figured his unconscious mind had long since decided that the greatness of the song ought to proportional to the crumminess of his emotional state, so it swapped in "Accidents" for some lesser song.

Well, sure enough... EC played Tucson, AZ, on May 28, 1978 (http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... -28_Tucson) and then on May 30, in Santa Monica, CA, "Busy Bodies" had its first know performance (http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... nta_Monica). Certainly appropriate to scene EC recalls playing out two nights before, but frankly kind of a crap song.



I LOVE this theory. Makes quite a bit of sense. Even the "service stations" line could be fit into a driving to Mexico scenario.

I can vouch for the tapes. Accidents and Olivers were premiered in London in April. Oliver's has no piano, Steve is playing the organ throughout. Accidents is played again at the Palladium etc.

Dave

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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:14 am

Has that April 78 show ever turned up on cd?

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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby sulky lad » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:21 am

The show has only ever been released on vinyl as either "Accidents" or the Toasted release called "Elvis Costello"

https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=Elvis ... d&type=all

https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=Elvis ... s&type=all

erey
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby erey » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:52 am

FAVEHOUR wrote:I LOVE this theory. Makes quite a bit of sense. Even the "service stations" line could be fit into a driving to Mexico scenario.


Yes, the whole lyric of "Busy Bodies" resonates more with the story he tells in his memoir than "Accidents" does. Including getting back to the hotel and overhearing another couple getting busy in the room next door.

FAVEHOUR wrote:I can vouch for the tapes. Accidents and Olivers were premiered in London in April. Oliver's has no piano, Steve is playing the organ throughout. Accidents is played again at the Palladium etc.


So the story of Steve giving "Oliver's Army" the "Dancing Queen" treatment late in the recording of Armed Forces still holds up.

And, apparently, EC wrote "Accidents" perhaps six or eight weeks earlier than he now recalls. Likely after a different night's misadventures ended in him feeling like a miserable, no-good... ;)

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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:04 am

sulky lad wrote:The show has only ever been released on vinyl as either "Accidents" or the Toasted release called "Elvis Costello"

https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=Elvis ... d&type=all

https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=Elvis ... s&type=all


I searched for a vinyl rip but couldn't find one. Anyone here have it?

johnfoyle
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:11 am

https://www.awn.com/animationworld/keep ... qus_thread

Keep it in Motion - Classic Animation Revisited: 'Accidents Will Happen'

Every Thursday, Chris Robinson takes a look at films from animation’s past.

Today: Accidents Will Happen by Annabel Jankel & Rocky Morton.

By Chris Robinson

Thursday, October 26, 2017


'Accidents Will Happen'

Since the early 1990s, I’ve seen a titanic load of animation films every year. We’re talking over a couple of thousand a year of late, so I’m always pleasantly surprised when I stumble upon something (good) that I’d never seen before. That’s this case with this stunning video from 1978 for Elvis Costello and The Attractions’ song, “Accidents will Happen”.



The video is divided into three segments. First we have choppy pop art footage of the band that has a distorted colour lines look you’d see on old televisions. Second, we see a series of common daily accidents ranging from burnt toast, cups smashing, and bathtubs overflowing to the accidental launching of a nuclear assault. Third, there is final short ‘green’ computer footage of Costello.



Costello has said that the song itself is about infidelity… and I assume the philanderer’s inability to own it (“Accidents will happen, I only hit and run”) …and to just casually write it off in a typically English ‘sweep it under the rug’, ‘nothing to see here manner’. Today, the song takes on a different meaning in this age of liars, phonies and hucksters, people not owning their shit… where we live in a society of endless ‘accidentally unpurpose’ moments followed by faux apologies. As Costello sings:

And it's the damage that we do
And never know
It's the words that we don't say
That scare me so



The video was directed by Annabel Jankel & Rocky Morton. Not knowing much about the video or the directors, I tracked down Annabel Jankel (who co-created the Max Headroom character) to toss her a few routine questions about how the video came about:

How did this song land on your laps?

I recall the producer Martin Baker had a promo company called Rock Biz Pics and he approached myself and my co-director as we owned an animation company called Cucumber Studios, based in London. As Elvis was unavailable for a live action shoot, animation was presumably mooted. By the way, where we created it, was the same space in the same building that Ziggy Stardust is photographed outside of for the Spiders From Mars album.

There are, from what I see, three distinct parts:

1. The band performing

We sent a photographer to shoot 35mm still film on a motor drive - the band and Elvis, against a white cyc so we could use the source 35mm stills as material for the basis of a stylized designed rotoscope technique we developed for the film.


2. Various common accidents that grow from burnt toast to the nuke button being pushed.

Accidents Will Happen inspired a visually focused conversation that threw up a bank of ideas to do with Accidents - from the mundane Domestic to the catastrophic no-going-back. Accidents of course can be "Accidents" which is what we are wrangling with now, 40 years later - in the current political climate.



3. The green almost computerized looking part at the end.

It's not "almost computerized" looking. It's actually computer generated. I believe one of the first uses of CG in a music video - if not the first. It's a vector computer generated read out of Elvis, filmed with a 16mm Bolex off a monitor at the architectural dept. of a big London University. They were the only ones that had the technology at the time. It was a computer interpretation, or rendering - of a graphic composition, after the well-known Piet Mondrian painting. At the time - I was renting a studio flat where I lived, with my co-director, which was where Mondrian had had his studio, in Ben Nicholson's house, in London. I believe Piet Mondrian channeled the composition for the sequence - inspired by the built in bookcase in our one room flat.

The band footage has a pop art feel mixed with what looks like an old TV look..where the distorted colour lines keep 'interrupting' the image of the band.

That was inspired by the ongoing interference on TV at the time, late 70's, that was par for the course. And as such, the ongoing regular TV visual glitch became an integral part of the accidentally impaired visual image system. Rabbit ears were our means of gaining reception.


Did you compile a list of typical accidents that happen?

Many many accidents were bandied about, then were eventually pared down to the final ones included, and that were storyboarded for inclusion to be animated.

emotional_fascism076
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Re: Accidents/Arizona/ Mexico etc.

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:23 am

Interesting read.


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