Actually Elvis very generously spent 2 hours on the air with Belle and I one Saturday evening, leaving the studios only an hour before hitting the stage. Whether you know this or not this is extraordinary behaviour for a traveling, working performer. Even with a sore throat, he talked extensively on and off the air, and left here even more hoarse than before. Why? why spin records for 2 hours and talk, answer questions? why not rest, hang out, take it easy? First, his intense love of music and a desire to make people aware of what they are not musically aware of, seems to be a primary motivation. I've never met anyone who knew more about or cared more about music. His range of musical interests seemed to cover all that is good. The records he selected to play either in the day (at Village Music in Mill Valley, "Best record store in the world") represented what music may have inspired his sound, a marvellous amalgamation of styles.
Compliments for artists he liked flowed easily from Elvis and I couldn't help but think he really wanted us to like them too. It was almost as if he was saying "If you like my music, you should like these people too." I was impressed with his compassion for his fellow artist. Of course, at the same time he was very critical of music he found lacking in redeeming values (e.g. Journey, Styx…). As a matter of fact, we were talking about the Flying Burrito Bros, and I mentioned that that Band and the original Poco never got the credit they deserved and he quickly said, "I wouldn't mention them in the same breath as the Burritos". Now wait a minute. All of a sudden we weren't best friends. His attitude seemed to imply Poco was the REO Speedwagon of country Rock. Where does he come off? Who is he to say? Why I oughta…
And I think that's where the "Bad Boy of Punk" image comes from. The man is very opinionated. He presents his opinions as fact and that really can alienate insecure critics who don't want to be told they have stupid values. But is this arrogance? Was I really offended? No. Elvis Costello knows more about music than 99% of the people he meets. Most of his opinions are fact. So you get used to being right most of the time and present your opinions as fact, because generally speaking they are. In the case of the original Poco not being in the Burrito's league, he was wrong, but I decided to let him be my best pal. Because it did appear he is an extremely nice guy. Not cool and condescending, or aloof. More like shy, opinionated and fervent. If you're insecure and easily offended and hold your opinions as sacred or important Elvis can put ya off (i.e. critics). I believe its unintended though and he was really quite a gentleman during his 2 hours at The Quake. He signed autographs, shook hands, thanked us and gave of himself and it was impressive. Whether he's trying to make up for past indiscretions or past misinterpretations, he seemed sincere. So if any body says " – yeh, his music is good, but personally he's a jerk," tell them no, he's not, he's Tim Bedore's best new pal so he couldn't be a jerk.