Elvis writes about the '04/'05 tour etc.

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Elvis writes about the '04/'05 tour etc.

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:57 am

This kind of lost in another thread here -


Elvis tells all -

http://www.elviscostello.com/081505.html



I want to send my apologies to all the people who had tickets for our cancelled concert at the O’Shaughessy Theatre, St. Paul on the 4th August.

This cancellation was at the doctor’s order after I picked up a serious case of laryngitis in St. Louis. Truthfully, the show in Kansas City on the 3rd August should probably not have gone ahead. I only played that night at the Uptown Theatre because it was already a replacement date for an earlier postponement.

The doctor was able to use very drastic measures that allowed me to sing for that one evening on the understanding that I rested my voice completely on the following three days.

Until my most recent world tour, I had only cancelled on three occasions in the previous twenty-seven years. None of those cancellations had been due to a vocal strain. The fact that I have had to postpone on four separate occasions during our eleven months on the road has been a cause of some concern to me.

However, I don’t want people imagining that I am having serious vocal or health problems, so I think that it appropriate to state some of the facts.

Just prior to the Spring U.S. tour, I was obliged to undergo some very serious dental surgery. Due to the nature of my schedule, this was condensed from a six-week series of appointments to a single, intense three-hour procedure. Four days later, I was on stage in Florida.

Needless to say, this has remained a factor in my occasional vocal vulnerability and this lead to a number of lost shows during the spring and summer dates.

Following, the cancellation of our Paris show in June, I sought a consultation with a top vocal specialist in London and was told in the kindest terms that I was a freak.

In the consultant’s opinion, singers half my age could not attempt a third of my schedule. Being as I am already a non-smoker and abstain from alcohol, he told me that I could only improve my vocal health was through less singing, more rest and avoiding all drinks containing caffeine, as they seriously dehydrate the throat.

He also recommended spraying water laced with one drop of dish soap into my throat between songs. So, now you know the secret of my success.

Nevertheless, as you might appreciate, a singer is the middle of such an examination is staring at the abyss. Such an investigation might reveal any number of career or possibly life-threatening conditions.

Thankfully, I merely had a slight swelling of the vocal cords that has occasionally been aggravated during a relentless schedule of concert and television appearances. A summer break now approaches and I will be properly rested before singing again.

I take my responsibilities very seriously and hate to disappoint people who have been good enough to pay to hear us play but this is to concentrate solely to a handful of disappointing evenings. I must acknowledge The Imposters and all of our touring crew and also management and agency representatives who have made the rest of this long tour what it has been.

We have played from Adelaide to Assissi, from Buxton to Berlin and from Copenhagen to Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. Along the way we had had wonderful guest artists. Wanda Jackson joined us at Cain’s Ballroom for a great version of “Cryin’ Time” and Hubert Sumlin showed how to really play Howlin’ Wolf’s “Hidden Charms” in both New York and Memphis. John McFee, who played guitar and pedal steel on both, “My Aim is True” and “Almost Blue”, joined us for a good part of the set at the Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles in March.

For one week - while Steve Nieve was away in London recording his opera - David Hildalgo deputised on guitar and viola and the shows then included David’s songs “A Matter of Time”, “Mas Y Mas” and the Grateful Dead’s “Bertha”.

In July, both the Brodsky Quartet and former Bhundu Boys, guitarist, Rise Kagona were our guests at Kenwood House, London. Rise inspired a unique version of “The Scarlet Tide” and we closed the show with a joint Brodsky Quartet/Imposters version of “God Give Me Strength”.

If I were asked to name my favourite show of the tour, it would probably be the following night at the StaatsOper in Vienna as part of the Wien Jazz Festival. It’s hard to say why but everything fell into place that night. We played songs ranging from “Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)” to “No Wonder”.

The end of that final week in Europe saw us make our Turkish debut at the Istanbul Jazz Festival and glimpse some of the beauties of that remarkable city. Our travels have taken us to several other towns for the first time and the welcome he received has only made us look forward to our return. These places include; Bilbao, Knoxville and Sioux Falls.

Occasionally, the circumstances were more unexpected. One evening, we found ourselves playing the ivy-covered courtyard of Hitler’s unfinished Congresshaus, a mere flaming torch’s throw from the Nuremburg Rally Grounds. A small but enthusiastic crowd redeemed the rather oppressive and sinister feeling of the venue.

Not every show can be a success. The indifference that we have come to expect in England was evident at Glastonbury but this contrasted sharply with the charged atmosphere of the 17,000 people spilling out of an open-side marquee at the Wechter Festival in Belgium. We also headlined the Park Pop Festival in Den Haag, which attracted a crowd in excess of 300,000 people.

Occasionally, life does imitate art and we arrived at a big-top venue in Konstanz, Germany to find ourselves on the bill with a puppet theatre, a detail I will include for all you “Spinal Tap” fans out there.

Beginning in Atlanta on the 16th July, the Imposters and I were joined for eleven concerts by Emmylou Harris as a guest vocalist and also by Larry Campbell who plays fiddle, mandolin and electric and pedal steel guitars.

Larry must take credit for his wonderful musical contribution. It was great to have another high harmony singer on the stage to compliment Davey Faragher one the song on which Emmy took the lead such as, “One of these days”. It was a real joy to gather around backstage and rehearse the vocal harmonies on songs like Jimmy Martin’s “You don’t know my mind” and Bill Anderson’s “Must you throw dirt in my face”

Obviously, our set featured the songs on which Emmylou sang from “The Delivery Man” but also included tunes from “King of America” and some songs that are more than fifty years old, such as the Stanley Brothers’ “Gathering Flowers For The Masters’s Bouquet”, for which Emmy, Davey and I gathered around one ribbon microphone with just guitar and fiddle accompaniment.

At our last date of the tour, at the Newport Folf Festival, we were supposed to reprise our performances with Emmylou but unfortunately she had to return to Nashville because of a family emergency. We were happy to find that Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were deputising that afternoon and following their excellent set they were kind enough to join us on three songs that we rehearsed backstage, shortly before the show.

The Imposters and I would like to thank Emmylou (and Larry too) for making these last few days on the road such a tonic to the spirit. We send our very best regards to those of you who attended any of our shows and if we missed you out, for any reason, we hope we see you again.

At 2am on the 21st July, I woke up and re-wrote a few lines of “The Scarlet Tide” to reflect the frustration that I sense with the disastrous and dishonest prosecution of a war, an action that might have been thought treasonous in saner times.

The original text adapted an arcane idiom:

“I thought I heard a black bell toll

A little bird did sing;

‘Man has no choice when he wants everything’”

Little birds are always telling you something in old folk songs.

At 5.15am, we were on stage at the “Today” show rehearing the new lyrics, the repeated verse of which reads:

“I thought I heard a black bell toll upon the highest dome

Admit you lied

And bring the boys back home”

You can never be certain of whether people will take things in at one hearing but there seemed to be a discernibly positive reaction at Rockerfeller Plaza.

The tour continued through Wallingford, CT., Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Ravinia, near Chicago – where 13,000 attended and people danced at the normally reserved summer home of the Chicago Symphony – then to Dayton and Columbus in Ohio and finally to Wolftrap just outside Washington D.C.

Every show approached just under three hours, with a finale that included the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses”, Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding”.

The final song of each concert was “The Scarlet Tide” and I has greatly encouraged by the cheers that these new lines received and was touched by the personal thanks that I received from individuals at the stage door regarding the change and the sentiment contained within them.

Naturally, not every one was in agreement. There were a few competing boos in Columbus and a woman reportedly stormed out in Dayton, vowing to never to return to one of my shows but I would regard anything else as “Un-American”.

I believe it is irrelevant whether I am an outsider, presuming to comment on American foreign policy or if I make my home in New York City. If such policies contribute to the instability of the world then they must be questioned just as surely as the berserk perversions of theology that are used to excuse mass murder.

Love and forgiveness are much harder to hold on to in these days but it seems as if this pursuit of vengeance, in the guise of justice, is doomed to fail, so long as our governments continue to be so selective about the despots they decide to depose and the people they presume to liberate.

There are just as many tyrants and repressive regimes that our leaders flatter, placate and, in many cases, finance and arm only to turn upon them, when it is politically expedient. It is then that the former ally or convenient bulwark is demonised and attacked with awesome military might. It is then that the dire and unnumbered civilian casualties mount.

It is also then that our own working men and women are asked to fight that dirty, thankless fight against an idea rather than a recognisable military foe.

It is also when the shameful waste of their sacrifice is shielded from eyes presumed too sensitive to accept either this sad truth or the shabby lie that caused these deaths.

On the 10th July I read a newspaper reminiscence of a young woman missing after the London bomb attacks. Her friends and family described her joyful spirit and mentioned that they had last seen her so elated on the previous Saturday night after she had attended our show at Kenwood House. On the following Tuesday, she was named as one of the victims.

While it is quite possible for us to imagine the life of such a person and just as impossible to fathom the sudden shocking loss for her family or the insane actions of her murderers, we seem unable to bring the other victims of this conflict into focus; the unnamed, the unnumbered and apparently unlamented, “over there”.

Fifty-two people are killed in London and we know all about them in a matter of hours. Fifty-two, supposedly liberated, people die in Iraq, two days later, and it barely makes a footnote in the paper next to latest blockbuster movie ad. Meanwhile, more foot soldiers fall in behind the standard of one or other pampered son of a dynasty.

One can only find humility in the face of such events, while hoping that our leaders resist the blasphemy that our self-interest is divinely ordained.

We are living in a time when it is our mutual responsibility to think and to question. If a song can provoke or make anyone feel less alone in their anxiety and despair then it is just a tiny part of that process. Nothing more. Nothing less. You can always turn your head away and disagree.

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Who Shot Sam?
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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:05 am

Excellent, there you go Emotional Toothpaste, straight from the horse's mouth. :wink:

And now we know what's in that huge plastic spray bottle EC's been toting around.

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:43 am

Great stuff but why is the only thing I can focus on is the "indifference that we have come to expect in England". :? At Glastonbury he didn't exactly have a headlining slot did he?

And trust one of the few concerts that he has cancelled in the last 27 years to have been one I was going to :lol:
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

martinfoyle
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Re: Elvis writes about the '04/'05 tour etc.

Postby martinfoyle » Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:08 am

johnfoyle wrote:This kind of lost in another thread here -


Elvis tells all -

http://www.elviscostello.com/081505.html



Not every show can be a success. The indifference that we have come to expect in England was evident at Glastonbury but this contrasted sharply with the charged atmosphere of the 17,000 people spilling out of an open-side marquee at the Wechter Festival in Belgium. We also headlined the Park Pop Festival in Den Haag, which attracted a crowd in excess of 300,000 people.



Elvis' paranoia about how he's perceived around here will probably be re-inforced by this barbed comment in this mornings Sunday Times

......Desert Island derivatives: Man of Action, Celebrity Choice, Across the Threshold, With Great Pleasure and Private Passions, which today broadcasts its 500th edition.
When Nicholas Kenyon, now the boss of the Proms, but then the controller of Radio 3, launched this in 1995 (with Elvis Costello as the first guest: the network sometimes tried to be trendy, even then), he was keen to preserve......

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:45 pm

That is depressing. Surely he doesn't feel indifference at the Hammy Odeon when 3,000 people are going mental over how good he is etc. etc.? OK, we're a bit reserved, and we know he's a revered but somewhat marginal figure here these days, but surely he's not feeling indifference from his considerable fan base here?
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

Richard
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Postby Richard » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:31 pm

As a disgruntled ticket-holder for the St Paul no-show, was calming to read the full story from Elvis. Thanks for posting this.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:25 pm

At least this calmed someone!
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more


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