Elvis Costello OBE

Pretty self-explanatory
johnanderson
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Elvis Costello OBE

Postby johnanderson » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:40 pm

As above really.

Maybe he should have been given a knighthood, but I guess that an OBE is a start.

https://www.elviscostello.com/?fbclid=I ... ews/298460

Pars
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Pars » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:40 pm

Good god. Is this is a joke ? If not, I feel I’ve been stabbed in the heart. Cheers EC you hypocritical c word.

when i was cruel
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby when i was cruel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:07 pm

I had a dream the other night that I was friends with EC (Good dream, right ?) and he was being KNIGHTED for his service to music. This isn't quite that but I had to get on here to tell someone, if they care to know haha.
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sulky lad » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:26 pm

I thought this was as likely as hell freezing over after "Tramp The Dirt Down" and the two vocal versions of "Pills And Soap"
Perhaps the best thing is to grin and remember Groucho's words.
To refuse might seem petulant and childish but there again, posting an attack on "the Empire" also seems a little ungrateful and gauche.
Personally, I'm proud Elvis has been recognised formally and hope he follows Lennon's lead and smokes a joint in the Buck House loos ! :wink:

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby MOJO » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:59 pm

Isn’t EC a US citizen as well? He seems to be one
International dude. Britain-US-CAN, right? Well deserved recognition. It’s about time.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Dr. Luther » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:06 pm

< ..."it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different."


:lol:

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:26 am

https://variety.com/2019/music/news/elv ... 203236352/

Elvis Costello Named an OBE by Britain — and Accepts With Bemusedly Mixed Feelings
"It confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words," he writes.

Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello has been named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire — an award that is leaving him with a thoughtful and sometimes hilarious array of mixed feelings.

Costello wrote in an open letter that he is “happy to accept this very surprising honor.” But he’s not doing so without a combination of cheekiness and doubt about becoming an OBE — as would be expected, given the many lyrics he’s written over the years that take a dim view of British policies and politics.

“To be honest, I’m pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my ‘Services To Music’,” he writes, “as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different.”

He explains his decision at length. “I knew that I must put old doubts and enmities aside and muster what little grace I possess. When I looked down the list of past honorees, those who have accepted and those who have declined for reasons of conviction or cantankerousness, I came to the conclusion that I am, perhaps, closer in spirit to Eric Morecambe than to Harold Pinter, as anyone who has heard me play the piano will attest. Even so, it is hard to receive anything named for the ‘British Empire,’ and all that term embodies, without a pause for reflection.”

Costello says that when he first discussed the honor with his mother, he told her, “Of course I won’t be accepting the award.” But his mum talked him into it — even in the same conversation that she called the current prime minister “rubbish.”

The rocker himself has been known to criticize past prime ministers, as in his late ’80s song “Tramp the Dirt Down,” which anticipated the satisfaction of stomping on the soil above Margaret Thatcher’s grave-to-be. Even his most recent album, 2018’s “Look Now,” includes a song — albeit a less severely pointed one — about the decline of the British Empire, called “I Let the Sun Go Down.”

But he says he thought about how both his grandfathers fought in France in 1914 and thought their service was worth honoring. “It is in memory of those two British Army soldiers, and because my Mam told me to do it, that I can proudly accept this award.”

The Beatles received a comparable honor, the MBE, with John Lennon famously returning his in 1969, writing with some cheek of his own that he was giving it up “as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”

Other musical OBEs include Eric Clapton, Elton John, Bono, Ray Davies, the Bee Gees, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, Sting, Jimmy Page, Annie Lennox, Tom Jones, David Gilmour, Bob Geldof, Bryan Ferry, Ian Anderson and Kylie Minogue.

Costello’s complete letter, printed under the presumably Bond-referencing headline “In Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (with British spellings and punctuation left intact):

I am happy to accept this very surprising honour.

I have to admit that my first reaction, upon receiving an “O.H.M.S.” letter was, “Oh no, they’ve finally tumbled me”. For those of you who enjoy irony, I was standing in my dressing room, at the “Queen Elizabeth Theatre” at the time. That’s Vancouver, British Columbia, you know. The pink has stained the map all over the world.

Reading the letter, I thought for a while, then folded the document and slept on the news until the morning when I could place a call to England and speak to my mother, Lillian MacManus.

Lillian is almost the same age as Her Majesty, so I regard myself as immensely fortunate that I am still able to seek her counsel. She suffered a severe stroke last year, just two days before my 64th birthday, but thanks to the prompt attention of an incredible NHS specialist ward and the sustained dedication and kindness of her home care team, she has recovered her wits and words to a truly remarkable degree.

“I began my call by telling my Mam that the Prime Minister, Mrs. May, had put my name forward for an O.B.E.”

“But she’s rubbish,” Lillian cut in before I could complete the news. Well, that aside, I said, “Of course, I won’t be accepting the award.” I didn’t get much further with that statement either. I listened carefully to my mother’s argument that if something is deserved then one must be gracious in acceptance.

So, as a good lad, who likes to do what will make his Mam most proud, I knew that I must put old doubts and enmities aside and muster what little grace I possess.

When I looked down the list of past honorees; those who have accepted and those who have declined for reasons of conviction or cantankerousness, I came to the conclusion that I am, perhaps, closer in spirit to Eric Morecambe than to Harold Pinter, as anyone who has heard me play the piano will attest. Even so, it is hard to receive anything named for the “British Empire”, and all that term embodies, without a pause for reflection.

Both my grandfathers were sent to France in 1914 to fight for King and Country and, I suppose, the Empire too, despite the conflict not really being their family squabble. Jim Ablett ended up spending three years in a P.O.W. camp in Lower Silesia, while Pat McManus was left wounded in a trench, when all he’d started out to do was to play the bugle or the trumpet. Pat was posted “Missing, Presumed Dead” before turning up in a military hospital and upon his recovery, being posted to Imperial India.

I can’t say that the future and fortunes offered to such men upon their return home were anything more than an insult to add to their physical, mental and spiritual injuries. You had to make your own luck then but that’s the way it’s been ever since. One hundred years have passed and the British Empire doesn’t exist any more but our family is still thriving and playing music. So, it is in memory of those two British Army soldiers and because my Mam told me to do it, that I can proudly accept this award.

It would be a lie to pretend that I was brought up to have a great sense of loyalty to the Crown, let alone notions of Empire. I used to think a change might come but when one considers the kind of mediocre entrepreneur who might be foisted upon us as a President, it’s enough to make the most hard-hearted “Republican” long for an ermine stole, a sceptre and an orb.

To be honest, I’m pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my “Services To Music”, as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:37 am

Pars wrote:Good god. Is this is a joke ? If not, I feel I’ve been stabbed in the heart. Cheers EC you hypocritical c word.


At first reading Elvis’ post seems strange given his views of the establishment. Having seen Paul Weller reject his offer for services to music I had Elvis down in the same camp.

The oddity from personal experience is that two of my friends are CBEs and one is an MBE. They are all Labour voters and were senior public figures. Their reasons for initially rejecting and then accepting were because they were all working class and it was to make their mums proud (all 3 of them have lost their dads).

My 3 friends said their mums really enjoyed the day and the Princes who made the presentations were fantastic and well briefed. It’ll be interesting to see if Elvis’ mum accompanies him.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:38 am

It also made me wonder if Elvis has secretly been wanting this recognition...
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Neil. » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:41 am

I'm surprised it was offered, and I'm surprised that he accepted. But I don't mind that he accepted. I'm ambivalent about the royals - the fact we pay for them - but I quite enjoy the ridiculous soap opera of it all. Albeit a very expensive soap opera!

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Impatience » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:55 am

This makes me sad -- very sad, actually.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:41 am

I don’t know enough about the (political) situation the UK, but it seems rather strange to me that you kind of have to defend yourself for accepting this.
In Belgium this is a great honour and hardly anyone thinks of refusing this kind of recognition.
Last edited by sweetest punch on Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:56 am

I wonder if he put his own name forward or, if not, who did. You don’t simply receive a nomination. Your name is put forward and then considered.

I can understand the hypocritical arguments.

I just hope Elvis is not wheeled out to sing Oliver’s Army in the same way as Macca always is to do Hey Jude.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:22 am

In Belgium there is an independent commission who makes a short list of people they think deserves an award.
The minister of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet of the King decide who gets an award.
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Ulster Boy » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:30 am

verbal gymnastics wrote:I wonder if he put his own name forward or, if not, who did. You don’t simply receive a nomination. Your name is put forward and then considered.

I can understand the hypocritical arguments.

I just hope Elvis is not wheeled out to sing Oliver’s Army in the same way as Macca always is to do Hey Jude.


There are state and non-state nominations, the former where a name is put forward by civil servants, the latter where a person is nominated. In both cases, the same set of civil servants will then assess the citation before it goes to Cabinet Office/Number 10. Nominations are not always accepted first time round, they can be resubmitted usually a further two times.

The process in its shorter form can take around 6- 9 months (there are exceptions where e.g. a sports team wins a big international tournament, then there is some fast tracking). I have an uneasy feeling that ECs (mis) reported illness last summer may have been the trigger for this.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Ulster Boy » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:32 am


bronxapostle
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby bronxapostle » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:33 am

sweetest punch wrote:I don’t know enough about the (political) situation the UK, but it seems rather strange to me that you kind of have to defend yourself for accepting this.
In Belgium this is a great honour and hardly anyone thinks of refusing this kind of recognition.


I, like you sp, know little and care less. A typical case of people getting their panties in a twist over aspects of OTHERS lives, that honestly do NOT merit their opinion at all. Like i love to say, KEEP YOUR TWO CENTS IN YOUR POCKET regarding other people's life choices.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Offshoreram » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:46 am

I don't think an OBE has the same archaic meaning it used to have.

The British Empire doesn't exist anymore, it doesn't mean bowing and scraping to the monarchy and doesn't mean becoming part of the establishment.

Many recipients are now people who stand up for causes and rights of others. For example there are OBEs for Nimco Ali and Leyla Hussein in recognition their campaign against female genital mutilation and gender inequality. There is a damehood for Prof Charlotte Watts, a leading expert on domestic violence, and Prof Michele Burman, of the University of Glasgow, becomes a CBE for her work on gender-based violence. Sara Thornton, the anti-slavery commissioner becomes a dame.The founder of Operation Black Vote campaign, Simon Woolley, is knighted for services to race equality. Naseem Akhtar, who started culturally sensitive exercise groups for women in Birmingham, is awarded a BEM. Lorraine Campbell, who helps vulnerable witnesses give evidence at trial has been appointed an MBE. Sonia Watson, chief of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, who is trying to increase diversity in architecture in memory of the murdered teenager who aspired to join the profession, becomes an OBE.

Of course there will always be the undeserving and 'old boys network' but in general people should get their heads out of their arses before criticising Elvis for accepting the award that his mother wants him to have.

Now Fergal Sharkey on the other hand...
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby jardine » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:08 am

Conversations about accepting honours from the 'Empire' are worth discussing, clarifying, worth hearing many voices, sides, etc. This isn't just a 'life choice' but a choice ABOUT something in which we are all complicit one way or another.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Top balcony » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:33 am

I was gobsmacked this morning as EC's face loomed out of my Guardian newspaper amongst the newly named recipients of 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours. Elvis when you least expect it!

Good to read his 'explanation', good to see he still listens to his Mum, given the critical words he has uttered in the past on the subject of Royalty this must have conflicted him severely. Not my place to judge his decision.

Colin Top Balcony

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby bronxapostle » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:02 am

Top balcony wrote:I was gobsmacked this morning as EC's face loomed out of my Guardian newspaper amongst the newly named recipients of 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours. Elvis when you least expect it!

Good to read his 'explanation', good to see he still listens to his Mum, given the critical words he has uttered in the past on the subject of Royalty this must have conflicted him severely. Not my place to judge his decision.

Colin Top Balcony



Intelligently well stated and quite the sensible approach.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:42 am

It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby bronxapostle » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:42 pm

jardine wrote:Conversations about accepting honours from the 'Empire' are worth discussing, clarifying, worth hearing many voices, sides, etc. This isn't just a 'life choice' but a choice ABOUT something in which we are all complicit one way or another.


If he has elected to graciously accept, I THINK HE HAS MADE HIS CHOICE, in his current life!

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Neil. » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:19 pm

Offshoreram wrote:I don't think an OBE has the same archaic meaning it used to have.

The British Empire doesn't exist anymore, it doesn't mean bowing and scraping to the monarchy and doesn't mean becoming part of the establishment.

Many recipients are now people who stand up for causes and rights of others. For example there are OBEs for Nimco Ali and Leyla Hussein in recognition their campaign against female genital mutilation and gender inequality. There is a damehood for Prof Charlotte Watts, a leading expert on domestic violence, and Prof Michele Burman, of the University of Glasgow, becomes a CBE for her work on gender-based violence. Sara Thornton, the anti-slavery commissioner becomes a dame.The founder of Operation Black Vote campaign, Simon Woolley, is knighted for services to race equality. Naseem Akhtar, who started culturally sensitive exercise groups for women in Birmingham, is awarded a BEM. Lorraine Campbell, who helps vulnerable witnesses give evidence at trial has been appointed an MBE. Sonia Watson, chief of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, who is trying to increase diversity in architecture in memory of the murdered teenager who aspired to join the profession, becomes an OBE.

Of course there will always be the undeserving and 'old boys network' but in general people should get their heads out of their arses before criticising Elvis for accepting the award that his mother wants him to have.

Now Fergal Sharkey on the other hand...


I think this is a sensible response. The 'OBE' and 'MBE' terms are outdated - there is no British empire. These are just a way for Britain (not the Empire, cos there isn't one) to say thank you to its greatest citizens.

The empire angle isn't really relevant, and should possibly be scrapped from the name of the awards (I've no idea what the alternative name would be).

The fact that they're dished out by the monarchy is slightly separate issue. As the royals are now just a state-funded tourism magnet rather than acutal rulers, these awards are like "Every year, let's celebrate these great Brits and their contribution to the national welfare, the national identity or culture."

I like that. The empire slant doesn't really hold up, so they should really ditch the name, with all the negative connotations. Unfortunately 'The Pride of Britain' awards is already taken.

The equivalent in America, to a degree, are The Kennedy Centre Honours.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby jardine » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:31 pm

bronxapostle wrote:
jardine wrote:Conversations about accepting honours from the 'Empire' are worth discussing, clarifying, worth hearing many voices, sides, etc. This isn't just a 'life choice' but a choice ABOUT something in which we are all complicit one way or another.


If he has elected to graciously accept, I THINK HE HAS MADE HIS CHOICE, in his current life!



Totally agreed. He has made his choice and given reasons for it in his life. Now I'm left to ponder that EC has made this choice; I take his choice seriously as an interesting, maybe even informative, thing to have done, interesting reasons to have given. It is making me think through any of my own lingering assumptions about these matters of OBEs or MBEs -- first time I have had them on the radar since, well, 1965, and then Lennon returning his MBE in 1969.


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