Record Mirror, October 15, 1977

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Record Mirror


Elvis versus Mavis: but who won?

Tim Lott

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.

Tags: Good AfternoonMavis NicholsonWatching The DetectivesHoover FactoryElizabeth ArdenJake RivieraNick LoweStiff RecordsDave Robinson

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Record Mirror, October 15, 1977

Tim Lott reviews Elvis' first TV appearance on Good Afternoon with Mavis Nicholson on Thames TV, Friday, September 30, 1977.

Tim Lott reports on Jake Riviera's departure from Stiff Records.


1977-10-15 Record Mirror page 16 clipping 02.jpg1977-10-15 Record Mirror page 16 clipping 01.jpg

Stiff rift

Tim Lott

Jake Riviera, dashing entrepreneur of the new wave and renowned Brylcreem boy, has, it seems, split from Stiff, taking superstars-in-the-making Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello with him.

He apparently now manages Lowe and Costello and has left former partner Dave Robinson to assume sole control of Stiff Records. Attempts to check these facts led to the following exchange between myself and Mr Riviera.

Hello, Jake.


I want to check some facts…

I don't talk to Record Mirror.

Pardon …

YOU think I'm a … don't you?

No, you've got it the wrong way round Jake. You think we're …

Oh? Is that what it is? (Begins to shout) Why don't you bury me?

Why don't you just let me rest in peace? What…

Not making any sense of this reply, I hung up.

Cover and page scan.
1977-10-15 Record Mirror cover.jpg 1977-10-15 Record Mirror page 16.jpg


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