Elvis Costello Tells The Stories Behind The Songs

Elvis Costello. (Courtesy of the artist)closemore
Elvis Costello. (Courtesy of the artist)

Elvis Costello's new memoir, Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink, is a 650-page tome in which Costello describes everything from growing up in London and Liverpool to playing the "angry" pop star with The Attractions, to his later collaborations with the Brodsky String Quartet, Allen Toussaint, Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach, among others.

Costello joins World Cafe today to tell the stories behind songs like "Alison," "Indoor Fireworks" and "Veronica." He also recounts the story of busking at a Columbia Records convention in London to get the label to release his first album in the U.S., and explains the real reason The Attractions switched songs at the last minute during a 1977 performance on Saturday Night Live -- a move that got him banned from the show for years.

Copyright NPR 2016.


Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More NPR or Explore Audio.