Notch up another first for wily Jake Riviera and his squinting protegee Elvis Costello ... Thrills presents the proof that when it comes to publicity stunts, these boys can lick the lot.
Our pix show what went on last November when Elvis went shopping for trinkets down Tokyo's main drag, Ginza Street. Rather than merely picking up souvenirs like any normal western rock star, Costello decided to do something for the Japs in return — so he and his Attractions turned up on a lorry, tuned up and ready to go, and hammered out a free and furious set of venomous rock 'n' roll. Featured classics naturally included Costello's best known songs, such as "Ripstick Vogue" and "Ladio Ladio."
This is what we journalists call Ye Olde Flatbed Truck Stunte.
Not content with using this tried and tested old favourite, Elvis then went on to perform Ye Olde Publicke Arreste Stunte. After exhibiting himself to the astounded populace throughout Ginza Street, Costello managed to attract the attention of a passing policeman, who arrested him and fined him 4,000 yen (about £10) on the spot for making a noise in the street.
Incidentally, the highly enviable fab gear sported by Costello and cohorts, fashion fans, is actually regulation Japanese high school uniform. Beats caps 'n' blazers anyday, huh?
Incidentally (revisited), the sign on Elvis' truck reads: "Elvis Costello is now touring Japan". Which he was. He and the Attractions did five dates in Tokyo and Osaka, becoming the first new wave artists (remember them?) to visit Japan and also the first visiting western musicians to play small clubs instead of large halls.
Elvis went down a storm with punters and police alike, despite adamantly refusing to do interviews or have his picture took.
"If Bob Dylan did it," he said, "then I can do it too."
Just as long as they don't do it together.