Tony Clayton-Lea writes about the enigmatic Elvis Costello, whose life as a singer/songwriter, composer and actor is still a work in progress. Elvis was born Declan MacManus in 1954 in London. His father Ross MacManus was a big band singer. Elvis got his start in the early 70's but it wasn't until 1977 that he recorded his own material under the name Elvis Costello. His producer was Nick Lowe, another new wave artist and the hits started coming from the release of his debut My Aim Is True.
Elvis was a tough task master and not fond of the musical press. His first marriage was an on again off again affair breaking for good in 1984. Elvis toured and released albums at a rapid pace in the late 70's and early 80's. He had his struggles against the usual show business demons; drinking, drugs, infidelity. His songs have held up nicely while most other new wave music is not palatable anymore.
His stamp has been placed on the music of others including The Pogues, the band his second wife Caitlin O'Riordon was a member of.
This report prepared by David Fletcher