people get in to rock n roll so they can get great girlfriend, I actually
got into it so I could meet Alan Hansen'.
Costello visits LFC Museum & Tour Centre
Costello is a Red, despite reports to the contrary that he follows Tranmere,
and when he paid a visit to the Liverpool Football Club Museum and Tour
Centre recently he confirmed that this was so. The rumour that he followed
Tranmere has probably come about due to the fact that his father was a
Prenton Park follower. However the young Declan (he took the stage name
Elvis in 1976) was given a clear opportunity to choose his own team by
his very fair-minded father:
dad was very fair, he took me - in 1962, alternate weeks - to home games
at Anfield & Goodison. So I could make my own mind up. The worse problems
would just not exist would they, if you could choose religion in the same
we went to Everton and they lost 4 - nil at home and we went to Liverpool
and they won 5-1 against Leeds and the record books might tell me I'm remembering
it wrong, but I believe it was the season they they went up from the Second
Division, so naturally at that age that's it, you're sold aren't you? A
team in Red that wins five-one, that's the one for me!"
records confirm that Elvis remembers this very nearly correctly - he was
taken to Goodison Park on September 2nd 1962 and saw Everton lose 4-0 to
Sheffield Wednesday, and then to Anfield on September 23rd to see a thrilling
5-0 victory with goals from Melia (1', and 46'), Ian St John (7'), Roger
Hunt (64'), and Kevin Lewis (70'). Everton went on to finish 4th in the
1st Division, whilst Liverpool won the 2nd Division championship and joined
Everton the following season in the 1st Division.
was visiting the museum to contribute to a football and music project currently
under development for the museum that will see audio listening posts within
the museum that will give access to match commentary from classic games,
interviews with players past and present, fans and other football related
subjects, interlinked with music created over the last 30 years by the
many brilliant musicians this city has spawned. The vast majority of whom
appear to all support Liverpool F C.
has agreed to use of "Shipbuilding" and "Oliver's Army" in the project
and recorded a great footballing anecdote about his love for the Reds.
Whilst at the Museum he signed a unique shirt as a memento of his visit,
and gave a wonderful insight into his passion for the game and the club.
I was a kid we lived [at first] in the South of England - my Mam's from
Liverpool, my dad was from Birkenhead, so obviously I used to spend a lot
of time with my grandmother up here on school holidays. Then I got the
the point when I was old enough to travel up here on my own on the train,
and I would plan half-term holidays, and if it was in season I'd be planning
my trips up here just to get to the games, and coming up as often as I
could - and then found my spot. First couple of times I came I went in
the [main] stand and it wasn't exciting enough so then the next time I
got a little bit bolder and I went on the Kop. Because I was only little
- I was not fully grown - so I had to get down to the front so I could
see over the heads of people. So we are talking about sort of mid-late,
well late 1960's really - '67 I think, around that time, right through
until the time I came to Liverpool in 1970. And then of course there was
nothing stopping me coming every week".
young Elvis was no footballer himself: "I have to confess my footballing
ability is all in the mind. Its like the brain is not connected to the
feet. I'm totally left-sided, I am completely left-handed, completely left-footed.
So, you know it's the old Puskas saying that 'the right leg is for standing
on', I could never kick a ball. But I loved to play. Absolutely useless
at it, so you love it all the more when you see how well its played."
enthusiasm took him on the long trips from London to Anfield between 1967
and 1970, when he came to live in Liverpool, and he clearly recalls the
impression the experience made upon him: "You grow from being a little
kid and grow to be big enough to even attempt to stand in the Kop for the
first time and then discover why you need very strong arms to stop yourself
from being torn in half in the crush of it! But it's good to have done
that and be in that sway in the singing and everything - it was unbelievable.
used to love the feeling in the ground, the expectation, I used to get
to the ground really early, sometimes like 1 - 1.30 or 1.45, or something
when the ground was just starting to fill up and then see it build up and
everybody coming in. Get a good spec' and also sort of just stand there
and listen to it all build up and then - when 'You'll Never Walk Alone'
is playing everybody starts singing".
unsurprisingly for a someone who has gone on to become one the greatest
singer/songwriters of the 20th Century, the singing and the atmosphere
created, the mood swings of the Kopites were capable of feeling, made a
can't remember half of the things - I wish I could, I wish I'd written
down all of the funny things that people shouted out over the years. Somebody
must have written them down.
great things that just happened on the spur of the moment, and I always
used to wonder just how on earth chants started, things would start on
the terraces about something that had happened on the pitch and you'd wonder
how could 10,000 people even start shouting this - next thing it would
be the whole crowd.
really instilled a sort of personality that everybody really loved and
the fact that even after he had retired they still used to chant his name.
I used to love that! And it was like a battle cry, you know. I think they
could scare other teams, the crowd, and there was one thing that I don't
know whether that its done so much now, was the singing of 'You'll Never
Walk Alone' in a dirge like way. Maybe I'm romancing it now, but it seemed
like sometimes it would get sung in a slower kind of fashion near the end
of a game when the team was losing. You know sometimes it would be like
a little bit of a 'Come on, keep going' sort of thing. I used to like that
when it happened. That had a good feeling about it".
and passionate, Elvis Costello's recollections touch a chord for all Reds,
and his view of the team is just as awe-inspired as the rest of us. Costello
maybe one of the greats in music, but he still finds meeting his heroes
as tongue-tying as anyone else, as delightfully summed up in this:
have gone to this gig - about 1990 - I have just been working with Paul
McCartney, we had written these songs together [on the album 'Spike'] so
I had gone to see him play at Wembley Arena, and one of his security guys
comes up and says 'would I come along before the concert ended?' So we
go to the backstage door of Wembley arena and the only other person that
has been given the nod in this way, to say goodnight to Paul and Linda,
is KENNY DALGLISH! So there is me and my wife and Kenny standing at the
backstage door and Paul and Linda and the band run off stage, covered in
towels and say 'Great! Thanks for coming!' and I'm saying 'Great gig, see
ya' and they are away, whoosh! Gone. Suddenly we are standing backstage
and they are still cheering in the hall and there is me and Kenny Dalglish.
I have stood five feet away from him once at something, but I could not
pluck up the courage to speak to him. Now I can do nothing but speak to
him. But he's still Kenny, and I'm saying 'I've got to be able to buy you
a drink, I've got to be able to say I've bought you a drink'. There is
a little backstage bar so we go there and we raise a glass of champagne
and I said 'Well great gig wasn't it?' and he said 'Ay I really loved it',
and I said 'Well here's to all the great games, all the great goals, the
pleasure you have given me playing football...but I've just got to say
one thing.' And he said 'what?' and I said 'I just don't know how you can
leave out Beardsley!'
the minute I said it I thought 'What am I saying?' Then he said 'What do
I know? I'm just the manager!'
it is something like football, it is completely beyond me when I meet them.
When I met Kenny Dalglish and Hansen, I was completely tongue tied, and
did not know what to say, and then I find that they are really great chaps
and they can tell you funny stories from their side. The reality of it
maybe. Just a little glimpse of it."
Costello's shirt will be on display in the very near future and the audio
listening posts are due for commission in late April 2000.