Elvis Costello’s Tell-All

Elvis Costello will be releasing his first ever autobiography in October of this year. Writing has already commenced and there is set to be a lot packed into this little memoir… four decades worth of his career, in fact.


Elvis Costello. Photo Credit: Johansen Krause/Getty Images.


The memoir, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink will chronicle Costello’s forty-odd years in the music biz, to which he says he had: “somehow endured through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom.”

Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Costello decided at an early age that he’d go into the family business. He was the grandson of Patrick MacManus, a trumpet player from the White Star Line and son to Ronald Patrick Ross McManus. Costello’s father was an English musician and jazz player who had become successful as a radio dance band vocalist.

When Costello talks about what he hopes to achieve with his memoir, written exclusively by him without the employ of a ghost writer, he talks about a unique insight into what he deems his “unlikely” rise to fame (via The Guardian).

In his memoir he explores not just his career but the emotional foundations of some of his greatest songs. The book, as some memoirs inherently are, promises not to be a contrived dish of narcissism served no doubt with a side of dry British humour but, with reference to many of his other collaborators and co-conspirators, a comment on a lifetime of experiences. His collaborators span from Burt Bacharach, Bill Frisell, the composer Richard Harvey to the band The Roots.


Elvis Costello with drummer Questlove from The Roots. Photo Credit: Danny Clinch.


As an artist he’s always managed to combine the cynicism of punk with a layer of sophisticated lyricism representative more of new wave music. Case in point: ‘Alison’. Although this might be true of his music, his humour belies a depth that comes through on occasions, like in this interview by Monique Schafter for the ABC.

This month he’s touring all around the UK… and then it’s on to the US for the second leg. Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink will be published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, not long after he wraps up his tours.