Talk:Biography

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Rework of early sections

I've been doing some fact correction, reorganization, additions of the early sections. While I liked to think I'm making these sections better, in some ways I think I might be making them worse. The "Nine-Year-Old..." section, in particular, seems kind of jumbled now. It seems to me what's needed there is:

- a brief bio of Ross as a musician, maybe in the previous section or in a section of its own.

- then, after that, an account of EC childhood from a musical point of view. IOW, the music he was exposed to and loved: his parents' tastes (jazz and pop standards), the acetates of the hits of the day Ross got from work, the Tamala-Motown records he loved so much as an early teen, etc.

- somwhere, the concrete facts of his childhood, like where he lived and the schools he went to. Hopefully can be included without making it too herky-jerky.

I'll take a crack at it myself, but I wanted to give you, thepopeofpop, first try. ERey (talk) 14:37, 25 October 2017 (CDT)

Update: I just did a big edit on the form "Flipped Out in the City", now renamed, section. More to come soon. It's still got a long way to go to come up to 2017 standards. It will no doubt end up being more than one section. A lot went on in this timeframe and it might be hard to get it to flow -- e.g., we now know EC was essential pursuing a solo/songwriter career in parallel with leading Flip City. For the personal stuff, I tried to stick to things with at least one verifying source outside UM&DI. I didn't link to them, but I could. ERey (talk) 18:07, 25 October 2017 (CDT)

I'm going to let you have at it. There was a bit of a gap between Rusty and Flip City that needed adding, which I see you've done. I agree that we need a separate bio for Ross. thepopeofpop (talk) 21:28, 25 October 2017 (CDT)

I wonder if we don't need a section before EC's birth. That's certainly how he sees his biography. I'd love to fit in the quote from Lilian, from the 2009 GQ profile, where she says she knew EC would do something great in music before he was even born.

In any case, I built out the 1973-to-Stiff period a bit more. Obviously, it needs more work, but it's a start. We know a lot more about this period than we used to, and how various songs from this time eventually surfaced, whole or in part. And I definitely wanted to refute the widespread canard that EC made a "comfortable" living at EA. ERey (talk) 23:43, 25 October 2017 (CDT)

Thanks! I've made a few other minor changes in the following sections. It also occurs to me that the period after 2010 is very thinly covered. Of course it's harder to talk about him when he doesn't do any albums, but I could probably say more about what does exist (eg, WUG and one-off singles). thepopeofpop (talk) 04:42, 26 October 2017 (CDT)

About the later sections

I think one way to deal with last 7 or 8 years is to note that after National Ransom, he said he wasn't making records anymore and has largely stuck to that. So, if you were modelling this biography on a discography (some of it reads like that), the trail goes pretty cold. But in reality, it doesn't. It's just that, from here on it, he's writing songs for other modes of distribution (his owns shows, plays, etc.)

Also, the solo/Detour tours now seem like a discrete phase of his career, related to the memoir. The memoir itself seems like a pretty significant milestone, too. (EC in the top 10 at last!)

Not very concrete suggestions here, but I hope they help. ERey (talk) 10:21, 26 October 2017 (CDT)

- I've rewritten parts of "Congratulations. You have bought my worst album..." to remove overt references to a particular person. Costello's memoir makes it pretty clear that she was hardly the only one, or even the most significant, of his paramours. Rather than dropping their names in, since EC avoids doing that in his memoir, I've decided not to name any names for this period.

- I've expanded the Wise Up Ghost section a bit already, but I think that both WUG and NR will eventually get some more analysis along the lines of some of the earlier albums. I should also reference EC's contributions to The New Basement Tapes in a bit more detail.

- The memoir gets its own little section. I suppose I could do a brief description of it, given that its approach and style are fairly idiosyncratic. I also take the point about it being connected to the "Detour" shows.

- I could quote from some of EC's more recent interviews, to give the last sections a bit more shape. This could cover off the "not making any more records" angle, plus a few other things. thepopeofpop (talk) 21:32, 2 November 2017 (CDT)

A General Note regarding the Bio

I've been quietly adding in extra external links into the bio lately - this will be an ongoing process. Reading the whole bio again - it crosses my mind that I wrote the original version of it back in about 1999 - and although I have slightly alerted the tone of certain passages over the years, it is hard to escape the fact the some of it is just a matter of opinion. Sometimes the opinion is mine, sometimes it is Elvis' and sometimes it's a kind of "group-opinion" of the hard-core Elvis fans on the 'Net. However, a listing of "mere facts" would be pretty dull. I know what Elvis thinks of other people trying to tell his story - and I certainly did my best to avoid dwelling on certain events (without entirely ignoring them) or trying to psychoanalyse Elvis. As Elvis won't cooperate in any attempts of others to write a biography of his life, there's no point trying to interview him. What inevitably happens in the large-scale biographies is that other "concerned parties" end up talking to the writer instead - eg, Bruce Thomas and Bebe Buell, and that tends to send the scales reeling in the opposite direction. It's not that their viewpoints aren't valid, but there are many others. It's easy to get lost in the deep dark hall of mirrors... thepopeofpop (talk) 00:40, 24 July 2014 (CDT)

Please Please Me vs. Fame At Last

Regarding the change from At the age of nine, Declan bought his first record, the Beatles’ “Please Please Me” to At the age of nine, Declan bought his first record, the Georgie Fame EP "Fame At Last", there may be some confusion from Elvis describing "Please Please Me" as the first record he ever owned and "Fame At Last" as the first record he ever bought.

But simply changing the name of the record isn't sufficient, since "Fame At Last" wasn't released until 1965, when Declan was at least 10, possibly 11. And if you change the age, then the "Nine Year Old Puts His Money Down" heading no longer makes sense. --Nunki 10:23, 7 August 2006 (CDT)

Fame At Last might be more literally accurate but does rather ruin Elvis' line about being nine years old! I could probably rewrite the sentence to include both records...

I've added a tiny bit of biographical detail about Jake Riviera, corrected a few typos, and added a new section at the end which will no doubt grow soon --Pauli 12 November 2006

I've toned down some of the comments about Columbia in the mid-eighties. I've been talking to somebody who worked for them at the time and it looks like Costello's opinion of their promotional efforts is at odds with the actual efforts made to promote KOA and B&C in the US. thepopeofpop 22:46, 26 June 2007 (CDT)

Brutal Youthy

I wonder if youthy is a misprint or a word that escaped me. --Hans555 11:16, 13 April 2008 (CDT)

It's a pun ... combining the titles of "All This Useless Beauty" and "Brutal Youth". The two albums go together as they were the result of Elvis reuniting with the Attractions in the 1990s. Most of the chapter headings in this biography are puns of one sort or another, which seemed appropriate given Elvis' love of wordplay (particularly in his early songs). thepopeofpop 10:53, 5 October 2008 (UTC)