Elvis being cruel, 1983

Pretty self-explanatory
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Elvis being cruel, 1983

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:55 pm

Just to prove Elvis once used to bite and snarl here`s an interesting old item ; of particular interest are his comments on his present day good
buddys David Bowie and Bono...

http://www.elviscostello.info/articles/ ... 31201a.txt

MusikExpress, Germany, late 1983.
The interviewer plays the candidate 10 songs and, without being told who the artist is, they must comment on each one.

Paul Hosken

This time the 'Blind Date' candidate isn't fumbling in the dark. Declan
McManus, aka Elvis Costello, our man under the headphones won the music quiz easily with 7:3 points. But showed himself as being not just well
informed, but got really stuck in to sorting out the 'deaf nuts', 'wind
bags' and other rough stuff from his colleagues.

Carmel: "Bad Day"

(After the first few notes he had identified the artist). "Much too easy.
Maybe you didn't know, but my keyboard player, Steve Nieve, plays organ
on this number. OK, I find "Bad Day" very, very good.A really excellent
song. On my US trips I always had the EP with me for the radio programs
where musicians took over DJ-ing. Everyone was impressed, but gave
Carmel little chance, maybe because they sometimes venture into really
black gospel. I don't like all the tracks on their debut album, but "Bad
Day" is great."

Tom Waits: "Swordfishtrombone"

(Frowns) "God, that must be Tom Waits. Do you think I could keep the
cassette? Then I could listen to this track more often. Is that a song
from his new album? Great! The way he uses that double bass and a marimba. I'm a Tom Waits fan. People criticise him for being the "singing
Kerouac", but he really lives that kind of life. Have you seen him live?
Waits is the perfect "mover". Mick Jagger is supposed to be a great
performer, but Waits is a real ballet dancer. With just a few movements
he can illustrate complete stories. And he is an extraordinarily good

Willpowers: "Adventures In Success"

(Listens for a few minutes, rewinds, and screws up his face). "Terrible,
these are those old hippies that have taken too many drugs. Don't like
it at all. Can you tell me what it's supposed to be? That isn't a song,
that's nonsense."

PIL: "This Is Not A Love Song"

"Simple. John Lydon and PIL. Mr. Lydon always knew that he was neither a
singer nor a musician - and he never pretended to be otherwise. I found
the early PIL albums quite good, when the band tried to go in a new
direction. In the meantime they've run out of steam. How can they
possibly issue a live double-album of old material? Are they that lazy,
or do they think the record shops are that stupid?"

Troy Tate: "I'm Mad"

"Who's that? Paul Haig? No? In any case someone's trying real hard to
imitate John Cale. Terrible text - just soap bubbles, blown up nonsense. I ask myself why all these pop songs sound the same? The sound is old. They're chasing after long out of date ideas, and drowning anything original in a wash of synthesizers. Tell me, who is this? Then I can quickly forget them."

David Bowie: "Modern Love"

"4:2 to me, that's Bowie. I find it absolutely boring. In my mind the
whole "Let's Dance" album is just an excellent production job - the
songs are hollow and say nothing. Yeh, there's no songs there. I lost
interest in Bowie sometime after "Heroes". "Lodger" was an LP that got
better with each listening, but "Let's Dance" bored me more and more. When I compare Iggy Pop's version of "China Girl" with Bowie's remake, it
just doesn't match up. It's just flat production without feeling and
edges. I left this year's Bowie show after a quarter of an hour."

XTC: "Love On A Farmboy's Wages"

(Laughs) "Wonderful - XTC. I like the band because they always do the
opposite of what you expect. XTC is a lesson in real English cleverness.
The boys are so clever and smart that the press have great problems with
them. I don't like everything on their albums, but you can find some
absolute jewels. I think "Great Fire" and this song are fantastic. I also
love the sound of their acoustic guitars."

U2: "40 (How Long)"

Who is this? He's continually singing "40 How Long" and then nothing
happens. Overblown bombastic arrangement. Could Steve Lillywhite be
behind this? He ruins everything with his monster productions. I have
nothing against hard, crashing drum sounds, but when it's used just for
the sake of it...? No, I can't get this one, who is it? ... Oh, U2!
Never liked them. No subtlety. Solid sound-wall. Mush."

Gary Numan: "I'm Render"

"That must be Gary Numan. You can't take him seriously, can you? Have you seen this cover with the idiotic warrior outfit? Stupid! I never thought
he was all there. Here he's posing as well: "I'm Render, I'm Mad", blah,
blah, blah. With Tubeway Army he only ever just messed around. At least
here he's trying to bring a rhythmic change into things. But despite that
- no!"

Joachim Witt: "Maerchenblau"

(Smiles) "It's obvious that I can't guess this one. But I assume that
it's by a German. The melody reminds me of something - it sounds like
"Love Is A Drug". I find German, as a language to sing in, very hard
sounding. Here he could be singing the tenderest of love songs, but
still I'd have the impression that he'd be shouting at me.

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Postby alexv » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:05 pm

Great post!! This is when EC actually made sense. The thing is that I am convinced that Bowie and Bono probably agree with his assessments. I know that Bowie is on record saying pretty much the same thing EC said about Modern Love.

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Postby Poppet » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:19 pm

i would say that Bono likely would NOT agree with EC's assessment of his band.

but bowie? yeah.

however, that said, i still like Modern Love. evokes a certain time, and it was a happy one. i actually saw bowie (only time) on the Modern Love tour. it was strange, i remember that.
... name the stars and constellations,
count the cars and watch the seasons....

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Postby laughingcrow » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:05 pm

Lovely stuff...cheers John.

I don't mind some U2 stuff, One, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Sweetest thing, etc...but I agree that they Bone is a bit pompous! :lol: Like Sting except cooler, and without the funny sex.

Hey, PIL....that is such a good song! I love to play that loud when the neighbours are in the garden!!!

Gary Numan has done some good stuff ....anyone heard the track Music for Chameleons off of the album Exposure, that's cool!

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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:28 am

Another early opinion of U2 newly unearthed by Rocks Back Pages -

http://www.rocksbackpages.com/article.h ... leID=11221

Echo & Bunnymen, U2, Delta 5: The Lyceum, London

Chris Salewicz, NME, 27 September 1980

ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN dwell in the magical land between life and art that is the territory of great rock'n'roll. Making music alone isn't enough to guarantee entrance to this area: what is required is an almost four-dimensional comprehension of this rock'n'roll stuff, a sufficiently developed understanding to unerringly, and without deliberation, send shivers of tingling excitement up the spines of an audience. This is the simple, but ultimate, test of the finest rock'n'roll.

Echo And The Bunnymen probably would've laughed at the silliness that preceded their Sunday night set – or the silliness of the groups I saw, anyway. There was an anachronistic air about the evening, a sense about all these groups playing to a lot of very drugged and/or drunken people that was not at all dissimilar from a Roundhouse Sunday afternoon gig ten years ago. It was very hot.

Unexpected visitors to my home prevented me from catching The Books and London Transport didn't want me to see The Au Pairs, I arrived just as they were leaving the stage.

Delta 5 specialise in those off-key school choir descant vocals that are often a feature of Squat Rock as performed by young ladies. Naturally, they have two bassists, both of whom are girls and look like they were probably prefects. The deliberately gamin-like girl singer wears a T-shirt which says "We Are All Prostitutes" which really does seem too novel a piece of thinking. She looks as though she'd like to go to drama-school. The guitarist and strong drummer are both chaps and very nondescript fellows at that, which I hope isn't a sexual statement on the part of the gels.

Short set, short songs – but though they did make me laugh at their earnestness, which is really all a bit jolly hockey-sticks, they did make me dance too...

...Which is more than I can say for U2 who are basically little more than nonsense, or perhaps the new Boomtown Rats – one of the two, and they both amount to the same thing, anyway.

This four-piece Irish group are nothing more than a very traditional hard rock outfit with a singer – one Bono by name – who'd love to be Rod Stewart, in imitation of whom he moves much of the time, when he isn't busy imitating the inevitable Iggy, of course. He also delivers Bob Geldof raps. After 'Stories For Boys', a song of forced poignancy heavily reliant on Hawkwind's 'Silver Machine' bass riff, Bono histrionically bellows: "We're giving out a lot of flesh and passion up here!" And more in similar vein. Ah, those luvvable, lyrical Oirish kissers of the Blarney Stone. I bet that Bono writes poetry and thinks that Van's The Man to be sure.

U2 really are quite awful, though the young people – particularly the mutant punks – at the pop concert seemed to enjoy their tired old fakery.

Did I say the new Boomtown Rats? Make that the new Taste!

Whereas U2 are just copyists, Echo And The Bunnymen have absorbed and transcended their influences, moving on to an area where their music is totally of their own making. Like a large amount of today's supposedly innovative bands, The Doors and Iggy Pop are prime source material – the vocals of Ian McCulloch attest often to the influence of Iggy, who learnt his vocal mannerisms by listening to Jim Morrison anyway. The music of Love lies also at the heart of the repetitively undulating, tangential sound of The Bunnymen, an initially awkward noise that is uniquely their own.

Echo And The Bunnymen are sprung taut with a purposeful, confident discipline that carries with it a deflating humorous edge. They smile knowingly at each other onstage. Echo And The Bunnymen are enriched with invigorating inner strength!

This is probably because they are exceptional musicians. Pete de Freitas is a hard drummer, conniving towards extremes of lunacy and still staying in control. The other instruments dance off his sound, though sturdy bassist Les Pattinson, the Man With The Golden Grin, dances with him, too. The serious guitarist with a chemistry student's Watt Tyler peasant haircut is the studious Will Sergeant, the occupant of stage right. He alternates his lead and rhythm work, and Ian McCulloch when playing his guitar – mostly he plays chord sequences – bounces off him.

McCulloch, though, is The Man, the group's ace face and teen heart-throb even though in profile he's really a bit chinless. He is the frontman for this welter of sound which contains every emotion you can think of and is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Hence, its ability to send shivers etc etc...

Echo And The Bunnymen played just about everything they have ever recorded, as well as a new song called 'The Puppet' which is their next single.

I'm pleased I haven't had to use that silly word "psychedelic".

You should be told, incidentally, that Echo And The Bunnymen used dry ice, which is most culturally confusing, particularly as it is very effective but a trifle smelly.

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Re: Elvis being cruel

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:20 am

I've only just noticed that the original of this is on wiki -


Still amusing.


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Re: Elvis being cruel, 1983

Postby ice nine » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:32 pm

Does Elvis like U2 now?
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think that you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt
- M. Twain

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Re: Elvis being cruel, 1983

Postby docinwestchester » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:47 pm

ice nine wrote:Does Elvis like U2 now?

They chat now and again:


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Re: Elvis being cruel, 1983

Postby Top balcony » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:20 am

Sadly the link in this earlier " EC talks on U2" thread no longer works, so we can all make up what he thought of them in 2011.

unlike Elvis I haven't changed my mind one bit...

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Re: Elvis being cruel, 1983

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:03 am

There's the EC that I first got into :) Funny hearing what he said about U2 after seeing the Spectacle ep with them.

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