Wilfrid Laurier University Cord, November 9, 1978

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Elvis Costello — clean & honest

Stan Switalski

Last Friday night at the O'Keefe Centre Elvis Costello performed a double bill with Battered Wives. Playing to a capacity crowd, the British songwriter was ready once again to deliver the goods. If you were there you probably remembered the protest occurring just outside the centre, against the punk-rock group Battered Wives. Filled with cops and cruisers, paddy wagons and billy clubs, Metro was there to protect. Females of all ages were pretesting the name "Battered Wives": stating it should not be used as the groups name, for it was offending the women of society. Though the marchers demonstrated peacefully, at times individuals were removed by the force. But let's forget what was happening outside, for thousands of fans were only concerned to see one thing ... Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, the Prince Charming, King Elvis II.

Elvis Costello, alias Beklan McNanus, not long ago a computer programmer for Elizabeth Arden and part time song writer decided his aim was Rock and Roll. Elvis, not yet 25 years of age has risen to stardom almost overnight. This was recognized by the crowd as they worshiped their idol by wearing Elvis Who? teeshirts, Harry Fenton jackets, and horn rimmed glasses. For Elvis is a celebrity, a toss up between Buddy Holly and Woody Allen. About a year ago, Elvis was playing a novelty act for the Bottom Line in New York City. His own style of music and performance stimulated the audience in ecstasy. There is no pins, no swearin, no blood, just clean honest downright good humored music. He twitches, spits unintentionally, mechanically jerks his body and glares at his audience almost as if to show he has Charisma. The Band (the Attractions) consisted of drummer Pete Thomas, bassist Bruce Thomas, and keyboard player Steven Young, distributed a compact simplicity of great rock and roll songs. My Aim is True, Elvis' debut album was named Album of the Year by critics and Canada was the first country to have him go gold. The second album to his credit This Years Model is quickly rising to the top of the charts.

Elvis entertained his fans with a selection of song from both albums including "The angels wanna wear my red shoes," "Radio Radio," "This years Girl" and "Alison" — a soft and melancholy rock ballad to "Watching the Detectives." Elvis Costello is taking the nation by surprise, so stay tuned, he's only just begun.


The Cord Weekly, November 9, 1978

Stan Switalski reviews Elvis Costello & The Attractions and opening act Battered Wives, Friday, November 3, 1978, O'Keefe Centre, Toronto.


1978-11-09 Wilfrid Laurier University Cord page 06 clipping 01.jpg

Photo by Stan Switalski.
1978-11-09 Wilfrid Laurier University Cord photo 01 ss.jpg

1978-11-09 Wilfrid Laurier University Cord page 06.jpg
Page scan.


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