Austin Vanguard, June 1978

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Austin Vanguard
  • 1978 June


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Elvis Costello / Nick Lowe

Municipal Auditorium

Nick West

I KNOW SHE LOVES ME so I'm all fired up. (She's 16 and has a punk rock homemade t-shirt and she just smiled big at me.) How can I ignore such a potent sign?? I run to the front where the energy source is gushing: COSTELLO and his Ace Disposable Band, jerking and punching out music and ideas that haven't been seen in years! This stuff is so old it's NEW: "Watching The Detectives" is 10 minutes of tight frenzy — the band almost fades into psychedelic hysteria before snapping me back into the song so hard my bones crunch. I'm surrounded by leaping crazies — AUSTIN IS UN-MELLOWING OUT — when suddenly (WHAT THE FUCK?!?!) the goddam cops start pushing us out of the aisles! Elvis screams "This looks like a fucking POLICE CAMP in here!" BUT: the energy keeps coming! After 10 minutes of electroshock screaming me and 100 other maniacs single-handedly bring him back for an encore. "YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO MAKE AS MUCH NOISE AS YOU CAN TO KEEP US PLAYING!" Elvis yells and launches into "Chelsea" and "Miracle Man." This is great but the second encore is incredible: a breakneck "Lipstick Vogue" that leaves me beating my fists in the air and then "I'm Not Angry": at the end Elvis shouts "I'M NOT..." and the crowd shouts "ANGRY!" and THAT is fucking music to my ears, friends!

I'M LEAVING DRIPPING sweat and my anonymous high-school lover zips up and sez "I like your t-shirt!" and melts into the crowd before I'm able to say anything intelligent like "I love you insanely!"...goddam, goddam, GODDAM, I'm kicking myself for letting her go...


Tags: Municipal AuditoriumAustinThe AttractionsNick LoweWatching The Detectives(I Don't Want To Go To) ChelseaMiracle ManLipstick VogueI'm Not AngryJake RivieraHollywood High SchoolMillikan High SchoolRaul'sWillie NelsonRadio, Radio


Austin Vanguard, No. 1, June 1978

Nick West reviews Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Tuesday, May 23, 1978, Municipal Auditorium, Austin, Texas.

West talks to Nick Lowe and EC after the show.


1978-06-00 Austin Vanguard cover.jpg 1978-06-00 Austin Vanguard pages 02-03.jpg 1978-06-00 Austin Vanguard page 04.jpg
Cover and page scans.

New wave mastermind
to build secret lab in CenTex?

Nick West

A multitude of trendies and bore-o zorros are here at the Driskill, so I pry a pint of rum away from some woman in tails... this blinds me enough to lunge into Nick Lowe's path and blurt DID YOU HAVE FUN TONIGHT?

He sez "Yeah!" This seems like a nice thing to say to a drunk like me, so I go ask him some more questions:

What do you think when people like Rolling Stone say that you're "just pop"?

"Well, it's not just pop. It's more like calculated pop — I calculate it to iritate people."

You should play high schools!

"Yeah, we are! We're gonna play Hollywood High School and Laguna Beach High School in LA. I think that's a really progressive thing."

Have you been to Raul's?

"I loved Raul's! It would have been too small for us to play in.

We were going to play at Willie Nelson's place but that fell through...

"OH! By the way! Jake Riviera and Elvis and I are buying an old warehouse in Austin! We're gonna fix it up, we may live in it, whatever, I don't know, we want to make Austin our second headquarters."

This excites the shit out of me so I steel myself to talk to Costello (much more intense, not the kind of guy you talk about last week's humidity with.)

Are you going to set up a warehouse in Austin with Nick Lowe?

"Yeah, we might do that."

Why is "Radio, Radio" on your American release?

"The record company thought 'Chelsea' was too English... I wrote 'Radio, Radio' for England but when I heard the stations here, the same thing applies.

What did you think when the police started clearing the aisles?

"Real crap."


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