Twitch twitch, set teeth, baulk, parry. What a confrontation, what a joke.
Elvis Costello being interviewed by Mavis Nicholson on Afternoon, London's afternoon TV magazine programme. They both looked nervous, the one no doubt in fear of the other's reputation as recalcitrant, difficult interviewee. Elvis fearsome of his first TV interview. He sat with his guitar in his lap and tried, I suppose, not to laugh.
Mavis was condescending, aunty — like with the sort of horrific bustles and I'm-so-reasonable attitude that I would have thought Elvis would have scorned. In fact he was polite and restrained, with just the right amount of curtness thrown in to keep his image bouyant.
Mavis got flummoxed only once or twice, most notably when Elvis tried to explain why he didn't care if people understood his words or not.
"But surely surely you have to understand words? You have something to say." Ooh, she was earnest. And she tried to get Elvis to put down punk: "I find It insulting the way they sing." Elvis: "I don't."
He did a couple of songs, one the new single — the reason for doing a programme so utterly lacking in credibility — "Watching The Detectives" and a number about the Hoover factory on the Western Avenue. He did both with just a voice and guitar. They sounded great. The housewives must have creamed.
Oh Mavis, If you really want to know, his real name is Declin and he used to work at Elizabeth Arden in Wembley as a you-know-what. Or more likely you don't have the faintest idea.