London Daily Mail, November 8, 2007
'I don't care if I never play England again,'
Music legend Elvis Costello may never play another gig in Britain. In a furious attack on his native country, Costello, who now lives in New York, accused British music fans of being naive and ageist and said his experience of Glastonbury was so "f****** dreadful" he may never be back.
Speaking from his tour bus with Bob Dylan, the 53-year-old behind popular classics such as "Oliver's Army," "(I don't want you to go to) Chelsea" and "Watching the Detectives" said he "didn't get along" with Britain anymore.
One of his last shows in England was at Glastonbury in 2005. But asked about his experience he said: "F****** dreadful! I don't care if I ever play England again. I'll say that right now. That gig made up my mind I wouldn't come back."
The singer, who was born Declan Patrick MacManus in Paddington, continued: "I don't get along with it. We lost touch. It's 25 years since I lived there. I don't dig it, they don't dig me.
"A lot of good new bands still come out of England, but I just don't feel part of it."
He said British music fans lacked imagination and were ageist towards older musicians.
He said: "Music fans don't have the same attitude to age as they do in America where young people come to check out, say, Willie Nelson; they feel some connection with him and find a role for that music in their lives."
He said the final straw for his relationship with his homeland was in July when he played at Liverpool's Picket club.
He said: "On that tour the BBC asked Allen [Toussaint] and me to do an interview. They kept us waiting in reception for ages and then they said they didn't want Allen on the show, they only wanted me.
"So I said, 'OK, I won't do it!' Then they relented. What the f***? This guy is a guest in what used to be my country and you're just embarrassing yourselves."
His rant was part of an interview with Mojo magazine on his feelings towards Britain since he left in the early Eighties while Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.
Costello, who took his stage name by merging that of his musical hero with his mother's maiden name, won an army of fans with his often-political songs from the Seventies.
He was born into a middle-class family with his mother working at Selfridges while his father worked as a singer and jazz trumpet player.
He began singing folk songs and toured pubs, following in his father's footsteps.
Costello got his first record deal with Stiff Records in 1977 after adopting his stage name and has been credited with creating the Eighties sound broadly described as New Wave, fusing punk with electronica, ska and funk sounds.
The couple split at the end of 2002, and by May 2003 he was engaged to jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall. The birth last year of twin sons led to an uncharacteristically jovial declaration: "I'm definitely, unashamedly happy".
After spending increasingly more time in America since 1982, it seems Costello's popularity in his adopted homeland has been sealed with the news he is headlining at Hillary Clinton's 60th birthday party to help make it "younger, hipper, more fun".
Daily Mail, November 8, 2007
The Daily Mail profiles Elvis Costello.