How do we manage it? How does Thrills keep coming up with these great competitions and how do we get ourselves into a scrape like the one surrounding last week's Thrills competition in which we offered the original Elvis Costello demo tape as first prize in our NME/Oval Records comp, where five copies of Oval's Honky Tonk Demos albums were also up for grabs?
Following the appearance of the competition NME and Oval received a call from Elvis himself and manager Jake Riviera to tell us that no, they didn't think it was such a good idea after all.
The tape in question, they pointed out, was hardly ours to give away. In any case we might well be setting up a bootlegger with prime unreleased Costello material, some of which might yet be surfacing on future Elvis albums, and some of which EC considered substandard and did not wish to appear. "It's like someone printing the articles that you'd thrown in the wastepaper bin," said Jake Riviera.
Neither NME nor Oval wished to imply that Elvis Costello personally endorsed either the competition or the Honky Tonk Demos LP, as may have appeared to be the case. Respecting their wishes, Thrills and Oval withdraw the Elvis Costello At Home tape as our first prize. Instead, thanks to the good offices of Elvis and Jake, we'll be offering an alternative and equally fabulous special prize. What that is you'll have to wait until next week to discover, but rest assured it'll be something that will allow you to walk head held high at the school hop this Xmas.
The competition is now closed.