Ask Elvis

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Between May and July 2002, Elvis Costello answered 237 fan questions through the "Ask Elvis" feature on his official website. The questions and answers can no longer be found on the official site, but they are archived below.

Q Hi Elvis. Just got your new LP today, fantastic. Any chance of another collaboration with Paul McCartney- your previous songs were great. As I'm a fan of your previous collaborative efforts- how about one with Brian Wilson? Cheers! Adam Powell
asked by Adam on Saturday, May 4
  A It is pretty hard to plan these things in advance and I'm not sure that Brian Wilson needs my help. I'd always be glad to work with Paul again.
answered by Elvis Costello on Saturday, May 4 1:21 PM

Q The noisier your music, the shorter your hair. Coincidence?
asked by vulturesong on Saturday, May 4
  A It's when hair grows on the inside of the skull that you have to worry.
answered by Elvis Costello on Saturday, May 4 2:11 PM

Q What songs of yours wouldn't work with a Brodsky Quartet arrangement?
asked by Jared Colinger on Saturday, May 4
  A We never attempted "Lipstick Vogue" but Paul Cassidy did a very fine arrangement of "Rocking Horse Road".
answered by Elvis Costello on Saturday, May 4 2:12 PM

Q in when i was cruel how much of un bacio e troppo poco was acually used.thanks
asked by tim on Saturday, May 4
  A The first two bars of the record ending on the opening word of the title.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:12 PM

Q When I was 11, my only aunt flew me to NYC. While visiting her, she allowed me to choose 1 album from Columbia House Record Club, which she had just joined. I chose your first LP. My FIRST real record(besides Mom's Elvis P. and Ricky Nelson (I'm Walkin') 45's). Thanks. That record influenced all the friends I grew with into musicianship. Despite the jobs, kids, distance, we still find time to play together once a year. And of course, to be E.C. diehards. So, my question.....why not Buffalo? That poor hometown of mine needs you. And you haven't been there since your first tour. Please, for the sake of a dying town whose only hope is the Goo Goo Dolls, remind them you still give a damn about them.
asked by Billy Legal on Saturday, May 4
  A On my 1999 tour with Steve Nieve we returned to both Indianapolis and Louisville after an interval of 21 years. I haven't given up hope of returning to Buffalo one day.
answered by Elvis Costello on Saturday, May 4 2:13 PM

Q You finally made the trek to St. Louis on your tour with Steve and promised that you would be back. I noticed that you're not coming through on this tour. Did something go wrong again in St. Louis? Why are we deprived of your great live show? Hope to see you live again! Thanks
asked by Tim Erickson on Thursday, May 2
  A It was not possible to fix a date in St. Louis on our May/June tour but we hope to return on our second trip in October 2002.
answered by Elvis Costello on Saturday, May 4 2:17 PM

Q Big fan in Houston, Texas. Great show about a year and a half ago. When will you be beck?
asked by David on Friday, May 3
  A Hope to be back in October 2002
answered by Elvis Costello on Saturday, May 4 2:17 PM

Q who is your favorite living lyricist?
asked by fasteddy on Friday, May 3
  A Don't have one favourite above all. I'll name four great writers on the evidence of recent records: Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Lucinda Williams and Bob Dylan.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:19 PM

Q what is your favorite album done by you and your favorite album altogether
asked by dickege109 on Friday, May 3
  A I'm sure you know that these change almost every day. My current choices (apart from the new record) is "Blood and Chocolate" and "I never loved a man the way I love you" by Aretha Franklin.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:22 PM

Q I started colleciting vinyl records last year (I'm 17) and there are a couple of your records that I don't think ever came out on LP that seem like they are BEGGING to be put out on a vinyl format (Kojak Variety, Brutal Youth, Painted From Memory, For The Stars)-- Any chance that you can talk the record companies into putting them out as a limited edition?
asked by Jenny Farmer on Saturday, May 4
  A Good suggestion. I'll put it to Rhino Records and see what they say.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:22 PM

Q Thank you for the new album Elvis. Can you give me more details of Mina the singer sampled on 'When I was cruel no2'
asked by Dod on Saturday, May 4
  A Mina is one of the great Italian pop vocalists. She began recording around 1963/4 and continues to make records today. I recommend one of the many compilations from the 1960's when you might say she was an Italian counterpart to Dusty Springfield.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:24 PM

Q I was wondering if you knew when the rest of the Rhino re-issues will be coming out. I'm particularly interested in 'King of America'
asked by Martin on Friday, May 3
  A As soon as I have finished writing the booklet notes! I think that "King of America" should be out by the end of the year.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:25 PM

Q Why relase different tracks in diffrent countries. I.e Norwegian single had "when i was cruel" but the Norwegian album had no "oh well". In UK it was the other way around. I bought the single in Norway and the album in UK but why not release the same album tracks everywhere?
asked by Frode Hønsi on Thursday, May 2
  A I have no idea. Perhaps it is something to do with the magnetic poles.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:33 PM

Q during the interview you mentioned music you're listening to - in particular Ethiopian, NE African, and Middle Eastern. Can you provide a correct spelling of the Ethiopean musician's name? Sounded like Katanan Mechanam but I've had no luck searching it out. gracias...Fels
asked by Fels Naptha on Friday, May 3
  A The phonetic English translation appears as "Ketama Mekonnen". I have only been able to find one CD of his work. Most of his recordings seem to be issued on cassette.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:33 PM

Q Will you every work with Brian Eno again? "My Dark Life" is my absolute favourite track of all time.
asked by Brad Wilson on Saturday, May 4
  A Would work with Brian anytime, anywhere but there are no current plans.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:33 PM

Q Which relative unknown recording artist is worth seeking out?
asked by Adam on Thursday, May 2
  A Check out the band "Amsterdam" and the singer, Steven Kennedy (both from Merseyside). They opened up for us on our recent Amsterdam and London club dates.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:37 PM

Q My husband and I love your music and have for many years. My 13 year old son recently "discovered" your music and now I find all of your CDs in his room. We see your live show everytime you're in town and I hope that you'll make it back to Dallas, Tx. with this upcoming tour. I noticed so far that you have no Texas dates yet, will you be adding more stops on this tour?
asked by Sandi on Thursday, May 2
  A Look out for a date in October 2002.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:38 PM

Q When are you coming back to Scotland?
asked by Linda on Thursday, May 2
  A Early September 2002.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:39 PM

Q Elvis, are you going to be touring Australia's main cities after your run in Japan? Cheers,
asked by Badger on Friday, May 3
  A We hope to be in Australia in early July.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:40 PM

Q elvis did a track with Lucinda Williams on a cd called Crossroads I'm in Australia and can't get much info on it can you assist with Label etc?
asked by tony on Friday, May 3
  A "Crossroads" is actually a C.M.T. (Country Music Television) concert show. Lucinda and I recorded a one-off special with her band in which we performed a number of songs together - both hers and mine. Hopefully, a station near you will buy the series and broadcast it.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:42 PM

Q Will the "Orchestra" version of "Alison" ever appear as a bonus track or be re-released? It is the only track I do not have on CD and would very much like to as no one believes it was ever relesed that way. Thanks for being the best!!
asked by Randy Blake II on Friday, May 3
  A I think your memory deceives you! The "Orchestra" was a nasty string synth overdubbed on the re-mix at the request of Columbia Records. I don't think we need to inflict it on the listerners a second time.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:48 PM

Q The last time I saw you in concert you played songs from "The Delivery Man." Any chance you'll get Lucinda and Emmylou to sing on the album with you?
asked by Colm Harris on Saturday, May 4
  A That would be ideal but there are no plans to make that recording just yet.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:50 PM

Q In the new CD you listed the guitars that you used, but what amplifiers did you use?
asked by Mike Scordino, Atlanta, GA on Friday, May 3
  A I used a secondhand Sear Roebuck 15-Watt amplifier that I picked up in a store in Redbank, New Jersey. It blew up on the last day of recording.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:51 PM

Q I can't find any tour dates for the UK apart from Liverpool, where can I get the information, or when are you touring the UK ? and what Cities / venues ??
asked by Evie on Saturday, May 4
  A Liverpool is the only date so far! Watch this space.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:55 PM

Q I just got done listening to "I Want You" for the 100th time in a row-- where are you typing this from? (Just kidding. When is that Italian orchestra album coming out?)
asked by Tommy Boy on Saturday, May 4
  A I think D.G. want release the recording by Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra in the Spring 2003 but only time will tell.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 2:59 PM

Q I love the songs, performances and sound of When I was Cruel...and I've read some of your interviews where you talk about how bass-heavy you were aiming to make it...but there are some elements on it here and there that sound overmodulated to me...for example, your voice on Soul For Hire and the heavy bass interjections on Radio Silence. Were these artistic decisions or technical problems? Or a combination? Or did I buy a defective CD?
asked by HB on Saturday, May 4
  A Actually this is the way my voice sounds in the room. There is absolutely no accidental or deliberate distortion of the voice on "When I was cruel" - it is all in the throat. I hope your CD is fine but the bass on "Radio Silence" is as intended.
answered by Little Hands of Concrete on Saturday, May 4 3:04 PM

Q What record did you listen to when you woke up this morning? What record did you listen to last night? (I'm looking for new music to buy)
asked by Bruno Gerber on Saturday, May 4
  A Buddy and Julie Miller and a great new band called Autolux (although I don't think their record is out yet).
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 3:07 PM

Q how do i get a copy of Extreme Honey for a friend, who's a huge fan?
asked by Suzi on Thursday, May 2
  A I think that collection has been deleted but you might still pick one up secondhand.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 3:09 PM

Q Do you really think that young people have no clue who you are? Recently on the Daily Show with John Stewart you said to John that at the Grammys you told Beyonce of Destiny's Child that you liked her music. But you laughed because you thought you were an old guy with orange glasses that nobody under 25 would know about, LOL. I just want to let you know that I'm 20 and I've been a fan for about 5 years and I have 5 of your albums (OK OK CD's). I have Spike on Cassete, CD and I have the special edition version with all of the Demos (I got that for Christmas.)
asked by Timothy Pearson Wolfe on Tuesday, April 30
  A It is good to hear this - thanks for listening. I WAS sort of making a joke on "the Daily Show" (never could tell a joke) but you should never assume that anyone knows you just 'cos you made a couple of records. You might give someone a bad scare.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 3:15 PM

Q Will your tour be more like with the "Attractions" or will it be more acoustic.
asked by Luis on Wednesday, May 1
  A This tour will be more like "The Imposters", my new beat group.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 4 3:19 PM

Q I just met a girl that I fell in love with and I wanted to give her a tape with happy love songs by my favourite artist, but I couldn't find any by you, why? I have all your records but maybe I didn't search hard enough. (if you want to know which song I finally recorded it was Spooky Girlfriend). You, Beatles and J.S. Bach has made the most important music in my life!
asked by Thomas Renhult on Sunday, April 28
  A Pleased to see that you haven't lost your sense of humour
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 6:51 PM

Q I really love those songs you´ve written togheter with Paul McCartney!!! ("Veronica", "You want her too" etc.) Is there any chance for som more coming up?
asked by The Swede on Sunday, April 28
  A Maybe one day.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 6:51 PM

Q is he ever gonna play in Germany? I'm not German but i happened to land here and don't have the time or money to see Elvis in Japan or the States - apparently the only two places where he constantly tours
asked by little savage on Sunday, April 28
  A Maybe in September...but it's a long, long time etc.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 6:53 PM

Q I was wondering if you have listened to "Ethiopiques," the collection of ethiopian music? The song "15 peatals" on the new album sounds a lot like it may have been influenced by ethiopian music, particularly the bass and horn lines.
asked by PHIL on Sunday, April 28
  A Absolutely! I love these records and even went to Ethiopia with my wife to hear more wonderful music and to visit this beautiful country. Can back with 35 cassttes of music - all the titles in Ethiopian script - full of inspiring sounds.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 6:54 PM

Q Have you considered collaberating with Randy Newman? You seem to have a common subtle acidity. Second...are these two "Autographed" guitars of your's REALLY your autograph??...or just some 9 year old from Brooklyn's??? It's a good year for the roses. Pete
asked by DeclanMc123 on Sunday, April 28
  A I really don't think that the mighty Mr. Newman needs any help. Yes, that is my signature. Don't blame me, I'm a lefty.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 7:19 PM

Q Hve you ever planned to release a CD with live bits from all your specials, like duets with Emmylou or Lucinda. For all of us unfortunate ones who´s only heard about them in interviews?
asked by swarth on Sunday, April 28
  A Could be tricky because of all the record companies involved but it sounds like a great idea. Maybe one day.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 7:23 PM

Q hello elvis! i,m so glad and looking foward to seeing you live again. i really like the new album! i really loved your shows w/ steve in 99 we went to see you 3 times awesome! well my question is i lived in phoenix az for 4 years i was always looking for you to play there when touring but you don't tour there do you? believe me that was a major downfall living there. antway absolutly love your music!! don't go away.
asked by catherine on Sunday, April 28
  A May well return to Arizona in October 2002
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 7:26 PM

Q What did you discuss with Artie Shaw at the Vanity Fair party?
asked by tim on Sunday, April 28
  A The piano players that he liked and music in general. Not a long conversation but a few wise words from a great man.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 7:31 PM

Q When will you be tour in England again?
asked by Larraine on Monday, April 29
  A September 2002
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 7:31 PM

Q Does Elvis have any plans to release a DVD of either concert performances, music videos, or any of the older material that was on videotape, but is no longer available ?
asked by MattRock on Monday, April 29
  A No plans at present for a concert film collection but we hope to compile comical old music videos to DVD in the near future.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 7:35 PM

Q Big E! In my own brutal youth, spinning "This Year's Model" & quoting freely from "Armed Forces", I was - I must confess - quite well thought of by my peers, music-wise. Now I'm a boring old suit-and-tie type with a wife & 5 kids, the oldest entering his teens! Help me, E, please! At 39, with my hair receding and my waist band expanding, HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I ONCE AGAIN BECOME COOL? I know I can count on you, E. Please help. Best, Stube. P.S. I'm probably the millionth fan to tell you this, but I named my oldest daughter "Allison" because of your song. Yeah, we added an "l", but I trust you don't mind. She's sung your song since she was a toddler. We used to sing to her, "this world is [KISSING] you", but that didn't fool her. She'd tell me, "Daddy, other world's are killing other Allisons, but this world's not killing me." A goofy story perhaps, but to me its endearing. I imagine its strange for you to hear how your music touches people in such unexpected ways. Good luck & have fun, E. Hope you visit Grand Rapids, Michigan on your next tour.
asked by Stube on Monday, April 29
  A I'm afraid I have no useful advice for the first part of your question. Sounds like you should ask your daughter.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:36 PM

Q Are you going to be using Danelectro guitars on your tour?
asked by MIke on Monday, April 29
  A Among the guitars I'm using there is a new Danelectro Baritone and a '60s Silvertone.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:40 PM

Q Was it difficult recording this album in the Fall '01 in NYC? Were you here on Sept. 11?
asked by braggtastic on Monday, April 29
  A Only the horns and Bill Ware's vibraphone part on "When I ws cruel No.2" were recorded in New York. It was good to see how my downtown pals were doing. A big thanks to the NYPD for letting Bill retrieve his instrument from a club inside the disaster zone.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:45 PM

Q i was wondering what the song "alibi" is about?
asked by moika on Monday, April 29
  A Alibis, lies...all lies
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:46 PM

Q Of all the albums you have recorded, solo or otherwise, is there a favorite?
asked by Matt on Monday, April 29
  A Changes frequently but I don't really listen to my old records unless preparing for a tour or if I am asked if a song may be used in a film. Consequently, "Trust" has come into my mind recently.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:50 PM

Q When are you coming to play Newcastle(UK!)? You can drop round mine for a cup of tea!
asked by Michael on Tuesday, April 30
  A In early September 2002. Make mine a pot of Bewleys best.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:50 PM

Q When will Elvis be playing in the U.K? Will he be playing throughout the U.K, small venues etc? Any info greatly appreciated.
asked by SueDixon on Tuesday, April 30
  A Further UK dates for September will be announced shortly.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:51 PM

Q Hi Elvis, You sang 'My Youngest Son Came Home Today' during a Melbourne concert in the mid '80's. At the time I didn't know it was an Eric Bogle song (I only discovered that a few years ago & he's a local songwriter too!!!!).How do you know the song? I presume you discovered it round the time you produced The Pogues ' And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda'. Will you ever release a version of it ? I've enjoyed your music for 20 years.Thank you (my Bank Manager thanks you too)
asked by Gavin on Tuesday, April 30
  A I had heard another version of "And the band played Waltzing Matilda" prior to working with The Pogues but after we recorded it I began checking out other songs by Eric Bogle.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:53 PM

Q Tell me anything you can about the inspiration or process of creating the amazing songs on Mighty Like A Rose.
asked by Pete on Tuesday, April 30
  A Your question is a reminder that I must soon begin a sleeve note for the upcoming re-issue of this album. Hopefully, by that time I will be able to answer something of your question.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:53 PM

Q Elvis, What's your favorite Charles Mingus album and/or era? I prefer "Mingus At Antibes" myself, or anything with Eric Dolphy (especially his European tour from 1964).
asked by Parisian Criminal on Tuesday, April 30
  A I'm with you on "Mingus at Antibes" but among my other favourites are "Mingus Revisited", "Let my children hear music" and "Blues and Roots". "Thirteen Pictures" is a good compilation for travelling, if that is still available on Rhino.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 9:59 PM

Q Why did you release different versions of your new album? I'm delighted it's out, but I wish we had the extra tracks "Oh Well" and "Smile." Will we be able to get these songs in America on a CD single?
asked by Lennox on Tuesday, April 30
  A This is a question for the record company. Everything is available somewhere all of the time - or at least that is my impression. "Smile" was commissioned by Fuji Television to be included in a drama series and it is quite a contrast to the new record. It was added to the album as I am told CD singles are rare in Japan. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to release it elsewhere in the future.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:03 PM

Q How do you feel about the fact that "Pump It Up" has become a standard crowd-revver at American sports events?
asked by Bill on Tuesday, April 30
  A I'm not a big ice hockey fan myself but would YOU tell them to stop playing it while they have those big sticks in their hands?
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:03 PM

Q What are some of your favorite cities in the U.S. to stop by, either on tour or for fun?
asked by Claire on Tuesday, April 30
  A This is a loaded question, any place I leave out should not feel slighted. However, the cities that made us welcome back in '77/'78 are still among my favourites; San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis...then there are the towns that I've only been to one or more occasion but to which I would like to return; Des Moines, Tulsa and Biloxi. I hope to visit Jackson, Miss. one day. I like Los Angeles much better than I did 25 years ago - it is an impossible city to see on foot. One way or another, New York is pretty hard to beat.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:05 PM

Q Did you try out an arrangement of Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter with the Imposters? I'm sure it would've sounded great, as does the whole new album.
asked by Mike on Tuesday, April 30
  A None of the songs on "When I was cruel" were written on the piano and this is probably why "Burnt Sugar" didn't seem to fit into my plans for the album. I hope to record the song one day, if someone doesn't beat me to it.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:14 PM

Q Hearing you in witty autobiographical mode on "45" makes me think of Loudon Wainwright III, one of my favourite singer/songwriter/performers. I'm sure you're familiar with him through his Demon albums at least. Do you like his work? If so, any favourites?
asked by Mike on Tuesday, April 30
  A No singer likes to hear this but I really loved Loudon's first two albums on Atlantic. His third record also has some lovely songs on it and a good band. I am less familiar with his later work but have heard good songs along the way.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:16 PM

Q When will you visit Denmark again. The last concert with Steve Naive was fantastic.
asked by Troels on Wednesday, May 1
  A There is a chance I may appear in early August.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:16 PM

Q Dear Mr. Costello: Will you ever produce an album of your wife's material, with her singing? She has shown great potential in the past. Cheers! Craig
asked by Craig on Tuesday, April 30
  A One person in this business in our house is probably enough. Cait has written some beautiful songs - 'Baby plays around' is really her song - I just worked out the changes. Many people would be happy to have written one tune that good, so perhaps less IS more.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:18 PM

Q If you could own one guitar, what would it be and why?
asked by Nathan Post on Wednesday, May 1
  A Probably my Gibson 160E "acoustic". I've written lots of songs on it and it serves as an electric guitar when some is available. My Jazzmaster isn't much use when the shilling in the meter runs out.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:19 PM

Q When are you coming to Glasgow, Scotland (not Missouri)?
asked by Karen on Tuesday, April 30
  A Look out for a date in early September 2002
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:21 PM

Q Please come to dallas or new orleans on your tour. or even better shreveport, La. and play at the old hayride with our own james burton like the first elvis did!
asked by Lee Perkins on Wednesday, May 1
  A Hope hit Dallas and New Orleans in early October. Would love to play the Hayride but would they have us. Perhaps we could stop by James' place in Shreveport
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:21 PM

Q When's the new album going to come out in New Zealand? This isn't your revenge for Sweetwaters, is it?
asked by turo on Thursday, May 2
  A Auckland doesn't return our calls, so I'm afraid I can't tell you.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:25 PM

Q I think you and the Brodskies could do a cool version of The Left Banke tune,Pretty Ballerina.Whadd'ya think? Fantastic new album,too... Congradulations
asked by Paddy from nz on Thursday, May 2
  A Very good suggestion, Next time we get together I'll put it to them.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:26 PM

Q To What do you credit you longlasting appeal?
asked by Simon on Thursday, May 2
  A Animal magnetism
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:27 PM

Q Declan, whats with this sudden guitar fetish?? 20 years on the Jazzmaster, and now I see you with Tele's, Silvertones, a Dano, and was that a Burns you were using at the CBS Early Show gig? PS I've been a fan since March 78 when my big sister bought me My Aim is True, for my 17th birthday, thanks for never letting me down.
asked by Nick Dean on Wednesday, May 1
  A I've always used a lot different guitars on record, but the they seem to be getting louder. The "Burns" that you saw was probably a "Magnatone Typhoon". Crazy name, crazy sound.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:29 PM

Q Two years ago I saw perform at the tabernacle in atlanta georgia. it was your self and a piano player accompaniment. I must say that the perfomance was brilliant. Do you have any plans of doing a similar tour? Cheers.
asked by Domenic Pace on Friday, May 3
  A Thank you for that. The next tour is with The Imposters, a beat group but I would like to tour again with Steve Nieve in the future.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:29 PM

asked by ALLEN LAURO on Friday, May 3
  A As far as I know, I never made a proper recording of this song. In truth it might be better forgotten.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:34 PM

Q i listened to "tommy's coming home" on a bootleg. it was one of the best songs i have ever heard, and my question is: will you ever record this song for an album, and should i feel guilty that i already have it?
asked by lovely rita metermaid on Saturday, May 4
  A In reverse order: Yes. It is an odd little song. Maybe one day a version or two will be released.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 12 10:36 PM

Q Dearest Elvis, Can I be your spooky girlfriend?
asked by Betty on Thursday, May 2
  A Now you know that's not possible
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:38 AM

Q What is it that makes Tom Waits so great? I bought "Bone Machine" and it scared the hell out of me. I wanted to bring it back to the store, but the damn thing wouldn't let me, i kept playing it until it is my favorite record of all time.
asked by Treat Morris on Saturday, May 4
  A Listen to "Poor Edward" or "Lost in the harbour" from "Alice" and all will become clear
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:41 AM

Q If you couldn't play with any of the Imposters, who would be your DREAM band? You can pick anyone, living or dead.
asked by Wendy Martini on Saturday, May 4
  A Muddy Waters' band from the 1950s but I don't think they'd have me.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:42 AM

Q I noticed that "Dissolve" is a good friend of songs like "Pump it up" and "13 steps lead down." What songs do you think hang out with "Radio Silence"?
asked by Judy Fishman on Saturday, May 4
  A "Big Sister's Clothes"..."The Sound of Silence"? I don't know you tell me.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:43 AM

Q new album is cruel, yo. i like the beats, and i hear you dig destiny's child. i don't know if you ever heard of da brown pound, but my newest heat's maybe gonna do a cover of end of the world but like a hip-hop version. whats your fave hip-hop group? out
asked by Da Brown Pound on Saturday, May 4
  A Cannibal Ox. Look forward to hearing "End of the world". The Skeeter Davis song, right?
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:46 AM

Q Do you think you'll ever offer "exclusive" cds that you can order through your website? I'm thinking of those legendary Wendy James and George Jones demos, which are I have heard are brilliant.
asked by Dermot Kavanagh on Saturday, May 4
  A Some of those recording will be issued in the next twelve months. "Exclusive" cds are hard to imagine unless you mean that on one in every 10,000 or so discs all the music is different. Always liked THAT idea.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:52 AM

Q The new album is your best one since your last one. I had a weird experience lately. I was listening to "Veronica" and my friend pointed out that the drum beat in that song is RELENTLESS. I said "no it's not" and then I listened and that beat was like a spike through my head. I said to my friend, "thanks alot" and now I can only listen to the demo version. (thank god for the reissues) Do you ever hear an old song of yours and think "why did I record it like THAT?" (specific example pleeeeaz)
asked by Tabatha Martin on Saturday, May 4
  A You friend is right. That snare is pretty impossible to miss. Maybe it helped make the songs a hit... not that it is in my hit parade these days. I have had the feeling you mention a few times but now I am getting the chance to illustrate what may have gone missing now and then by issuing the demos. Thanks for listening.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:53 AM

Q Was your recording of "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" influenced by the Wolfe Tones' recording?
asked by ECRC on Saturday, May 4
  A Never have heard that version
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:53 AM

Q Will "Party Party" be turning up on one of the Rhino reissues? (Presumably on Punch the Clock or Imperial Bedroom?)
asked by Charlie Sedarka on Saturday, May 4
  A You asked for it. Played a show at Robert's Wyatt's Meltdown festival last summer with Annie Whitehead's band - she lead the horn section on trombone. Maybe the time is approaching.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:54 AM

Q Are you excited about doing another rowdy tour?
asked by Kathy Brenner on Saturday, May 4
  A Absolutely beside myself
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 12:54 AM

Q Elvis, We're all sad to hear about your guitars being flooded out. Did you lose anything especially precious? Peter BTW I was lucky enough to attend 'Later' with Jools. You were great and so was Mary J
asked by Peter on Saturday, May 4
  A A couple of great old acoustic guitars were ripped apart and I lost my Rickenbacker six-string but it was possible to restore most of electric guitars. Perhaps I had accumulated too many instruments - last time I looked, I only had two hands. Fortunately, I like to keep my favourite acoustic guitars close at hand for songwriting at home, along with a couple of good electric guitars when the mood strikes. I enjoyed that "Jools" show. Mary J. was fantastic.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:00 AM

Q Do you think the video of your 1981 concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ever be released? I've seen "I'm Your Toy" from that show and it is fantastic! I'm sure lots of people would love to see it.
asked by Gary on Saturday, May 4
  A It was a spectacular folly, perhaps better remembered than revisited. Then there is a question of the expense - I seem to recall that the broadcast fees to the orchestra were such that we could only afford to show one song from the concert. It might be time to look at that again.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:02 AM

Q Why is "imagination (is a powerful deceiver)" such an overlooked song...I think it's one of your best ever!!
asked by anjabro33 on Saturday, May 4
  A Thank you for the compliment. I think this is a song I had to write on my way to "Alison".
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:08 AM

Q Hi Elvis. Was wondering if there are any plans for more gigs at UCLA's Royce Hall next year. I know a few people who saw the Mingus concert and said it was phenomenal. (I also concur with the "young fans" comment... I'm 18 and a huge fan.)
asked by Kevin on Saturday, May 4
  A The next UCLA event is a show with The Imposters at the Ackerman Ballroom on May 28th. It also happen to be my first standing-only show for nearly 25 years in Los Angeles, if that matters...hope you can make it. If not I will be back with two more concerts (playing different music) in early 2003.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:10 AM

Q Having given you a wide berth since 'Spike' I listen to the BBC 2 Radio Theatre Special and find I've wasted a decade or more. You were bloody amazing. So, how do you pull off that kind of intensity, what's the mind state when you walk on the stage? PS Straight down the music store tomorrow for a copy of the newie. Congrats, your back (in my life)!
asked by Mike C on Saturday, May 4
  A Good to hear from you again. A good show can shake you up but only in a good way. Sometimes I feel like I could play the show all over again. Sometimes I do.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:13 AM

Q you're one of the best lyricists (or poets-whichever sounds better to you)in the world. (I even translated 'The Julliet letters into russian)Who's your favorite writer or poet? and I'm curious if you ever gonna come to Germany.
asked by little savage on Saturday, May 4
  A Curious to know why you tranlated "The Juliet Letters" into Russian. However, there are no current plans to visit Germany but things can change.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:16 AM

Q Elvis: Your songs often state articulate disdain for femme fatales and lawyers (Jackson Monks and Rowe, Soul for hire). As a man I understand the femme fatale thing, but what did lawyers ever do to you?
asked by Terry on Saturday, May 4
  A Some lawyers have done plenty to deserve worse than "distain". However, "Soul for Hire" is actually about a decent but overworked and ultimately failing public servant - which I think you'll catch when you listen again. In fact, I wouldn't be so sure about those "femme fatales" in every case either.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:19 AM

Q I'm a writer - believe it or not, a writer in Manhattan - and your songs (albums, "movements") have been the inspiration for many of my works, yes even the published fuckall literary journal out of Wisconsin ones. Well, here's my thing - you've got a sense of humor, it's easy to tell, and comedy seems to play an important role lyrically in many of your works, and beyond all that you're a wordsmith of theh highest caliber. How d'yer feel about your songs inspiring stories, novels, and (dare I say it?) screenplays? Do you find it strange when an author cites you as a source? Are all of us NYC-Boho freaks resting upon the acme of foolishness to quote your works? I'd like to know from the man himself.
asked by Rob Rabiee on Saturday, May 4
  A I do remember one rather macabre scene in which an author want to use a line of mine as the smart pay-off - that seemed a little lazy. I feel you should write your own punchline. Then there was the climbing manual that wanted to use "After the fall". However, on the whole it is intriguing to find references to the songs in the plots and dialogue of literary works and even in the occasional newspaper story (other than those about my work). If a song of mine provokes another work of imagination, it is hard to regard it as a bad thing.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:20 AM

Q What do you think about bands like Radiohead and Muse?
asked by steven-even on Saturday, May 4
  A Thought "Kid A" and "Amnesiac" were two very fine records. Love "Morning Bell". Thanks for the recommendation on Muse.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:21 AM

Q A few months back Island had a video compilation listed as forthcoming but it seems to have disappeared. Any chance that you'll release some DVD's in the future, for example a compilation of all your old promo videos, or the Case for Song video, or the Juliets?
asked by DAVE on Saturday, May 4
  A Don't know what that was about. Maybe we will put out the old videos on DVD one day, along with the concert specials but most of them look like silent movies these days.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:24 AM

Q Will you be adding New Zealand to your tour? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?
asked by Napolean Blownapart on Saturday, May 4
  A No plans at present.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:27 AM

Q Elvis, with all of the great work that's been done on the reissues, has there been any thought of releasing a DVD containing all of your music videos? Having all of your videos in one place with great picture and sound quality with a commentary track from you (telling us your thoughts and remembrances of the videos as they play) would make a lot of your fans very happy. Also, how about a release of the film of your performance with the RPO in 1982?
asked by CM on Saturday, May 4
  A I did do something like the commentary you mention on stage at the National Film Theatre in 1995 but it is hard to take those clips seriously - perhaps the reason to do it in the first place.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:27 AM

Q You were sick when you came to Eugene, and you said you'd be back. When?
asked by Pat on Monday, April 29
  A It wasn't possible to schedule a concert for the first US tour of 2002 but hope to be back later in the year.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 13 1:28 AM

Q How did the B-sides to your latest single ('The Imposter vs.The Floodtide' and 'Revolution Doll') come about? They sound like somebody else remixed your songs, but I don't see anyone listed as 'remixer'. I'm asking because they sound unlike anything I've ever heard from you, even more so than the tracks on 'Cruel".
asked by Remco on Thursday, April 18
  A These mixes are the work of The Imposter, a shadowy group of individuals including Ciarán Cahill, Leo Pearson, Kieran Lynch and myself
answered by The Imposter on Friday, May 17 1:58 AM

Q You've said that John Prine was an early influence. I managed to see last year in Manchester. What was it like working with him early this year and is he really the nicest man on the planet? Elvis - Thanks for 25 years of fabulous music.
asked by andrew moorhouse on Thursday, April 18
  A It was a real delight to share the stage with Mr. Prine. He is the very gentleman you imagine.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 2:03 AM

Q From Spain: I'm only fourteen, but I wish you knew how I like your songs and I want to know if we'll be able to hear you in a concert here in Spain. I'm sorry if my English is not good. Thank you very match.
asked by Alejandro Ramos Soto on Saturday, April 13
  A It is very good to hear from you. I hope to visit Spain later in the year. You see, your English is much better than my Spanish.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 2:06 AM

Q What name is your using Silvertone guitar on "WIWC" ?
asked by I will get danelectro soon on Saturday, April 13
  A It doesn't have a name - except maybe "Gladys". My Magnatone Typhoon is called "Minnie Pearl" because it still has the price tag in the head.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 2:08 AM

Q Dear Elvis where d'ya get that groovy 'elephant-motif' guitar strap as seen on the website pic?!? Can I suggest you also use it with a Jumbo acoustic or a Fender Nelliecaster...?
asked by Trunk rocker on Tuesday, April 16
  A Lucinda Williams gave me that strap at the CMT "Crossroads" taping. Yeah, I used it when I was playing "Trunken Angel". Now are you satisfied?
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 2:24 AM

Q Hello, sir. I'm 15 years old, and my Dad's been a tremendous fan of yours since 1978. I wanted to thank you for signing my Dad's, but now mine--"Kojak Variety" CD. (He says you autographed it after he saw you music shopping at Tower Records in Hollywood, just a few hours before your concert at J.A. Ford. I've got a great appreciation for your music, and my Dad is taking me and my not-so-spooky at all girlfriend to your concert at the Kodak Theatre. (I've seen two of your shows with my Dad--& once with his somewhat real ex-"Spooky Girlfriend"--at the Universal Ampitheatre with BB,and a show at the Wiltern. My Dad's very cool, and it's been just the two of us for the past 11 years (He's a great single-dad). Anyway, I wanted to know why you picked the Kodak Theatre, and what were some of the reasons why you picked that venue? Thanks very much for taking the time to read my long message, and all the best to you and your family (and for your new record)! God bless,` Your fan (but not a "trainspotter," FYI... Jordan
asked by Jordan Secia on Wednesday, April 17
  A Good to hear your story and that you get along with your old feller so well. My folks and I talk about music constantly and always have done. Same goes for me and my son. To answer your question, the Kodak is the new theatre in town so we thought we'd give it a spin. We're are also playing at the Ackerman Ballroom at UCLA for the first time.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 2:28 AM

Q how tall are you?
asked by adrian on Saturday, April 20
  A Five foot ten and shrinking
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 2:30 AM

Q In regards to the following comment attributed to you: If you're a carpenter and you make a chair, and then somebody comes around your workshop and takes the chair away, you call the police. There isn't any gray area. It's just stealing." When a carpenter makes a chair he sells it ONCE. Then he has to make another one. What gives you the right to create a product once and then sell the same product over, transfer the rights to a corporation or your offspring and let them sell it over and over until 100 years after you are dead? That's fair? Or are songs somehow intrinsically more valuable than chairs? The current business model is broken. CDs and LPs are obsolete. Distributers and other middle-men are no longer necessary. BTW, your songs are already available in mp3 format all over the place. Why not make them available on your own site for a small fee. You might be surprised.
asked by Joe on Tuesday, April 23
  A If I were polite, I could say both our arguments are flawed but you are talking through your arse. We don't live in a world full of individual hand-crafted objects and we both know it. If you steal a mass produced chair they still call the police. If someone steals my song I suppose I still have the right to call them a thief. In my opinion songs ARE more valuable than chairs but they are much less comfortable to sit on.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 17 3:13 AM

Q Elvis. I'm 17 and I love your music. Don't get discouraged because I'll bet good music is gonna sift into the youth culture again. I was wondering if you know how great Mighty Like a Rose is?
asked by Andy on Saturday, May 4
  A Thank you very much. Kind words - much appreciated.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 18 1:54 AM

Q Thanks for the new album, Elvis? When I hear "Spooky Girlfriend", I can't help but picture Britney Spears auditioning for a sleezy record exec (with her overambitious mother). I can see her in her lttle Catholic schoolgirl outfit sitting on his knee. Did you have her in mind when you penned the song?
asked by Michael Lewis on Sunday, May 5
  A Cold shower for you, me lad.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 18 1:56 AM

Q I saw your appearance on Bravo and wondered if the "impostors" are the techno tools you used in that performance or whether they're real people?
asked by Rob Golum on Monday, May 6
  A The Imposters are large as life and twice as handsome. On the other hand, I will be appearing in the form of a cartoon.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 18 2:03 AM

Q Hi Elvis. I just wanted to say that I'm 13 and I've been a big fan of your music all my life, I guess, because my parents are. I love the new album! I'm getting my first guitar(acoustic) and I'm wondering what type I should get. What do you recomend?
asked by Gennie on Sunday, May 12
  A You are the age at which I started to play the guitar. I would recommend getting the best instrument that you can afford and there are many good brands. Yamaha used to make relatively inexpensive instruments that sound good. Very cheap guitars don't tune well, sound bad and the strings can be too far from the neck - this can be very discouraging and frustrating for a novice. Another tip. If you want to play songs right away, don't start by playing in the key of C (as many instruction books tell you to do). The second chord you will have to learn is F and that is tricky one for a beginner. Many people give up at that second chord! If you are playing by ear (as opposed to from music), start in the key of G which requires you to learn easy chords like G, Em, C and D in order to play many songs. You'll get singing right away and once you strength your fingers you can go back and tackle "difficult" barre chords like F and Bb. I've found that it is also good to learn to read music but you'll be able to play a lot of songs on the guitar quite quickly this way. That should give you the encouragement to practice and learn more, not to mention, enjoying yourself.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 18 2:23 AM

Q Elvis, Macintosh or PC?
asked by Tristano-ite on Saturday, May 11
  A Mac Man, as you might expect.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 6:59 PM

Q I had tickets to your show at UCLA last fall but got sent to Afghanistan instead. I am currently working in Jerusalem (all the hot spots!) but will be home in LA for both of your shows. Do you have particular reasons (acoustic or nostalgic) you like playing UCLA or should I go see you at the Kodak? Any chance you'll be playing Hoover Factory?
asked by Jon Brady on Saturday, May 11
  A Sounds like you might work in T.V. news. The Ackerman Ballroom is the place if you want to throw yourself about. This is part of my so-called "Artist-Residence" season. "Hoover Factory" is not currently in the repertoire.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:03 PM

Q I'm 7 years old and my parents are flying me across Canada with them to see your show in Toronto. I've been listening to you since I was in my mother's tummy. Was wondering if I need to bring ear plugs? Looking forward to it - please say "hi" to me. Thanks, Emma.
asked by Emma on Saturday, May 11
  A Glad to hear that the younger generation will be in attendance. Our show can get loud, ear defenders might be a good idea as you will want to be able to hear music for your whole life.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:08 PM

Q First off I just wanna say I love the new album! Great stuff, methinks! I read the interview in Guitar World about the guitars you used on the album getting destroyed...Out of all of the guitars you've used thru the years, which are your most beloved? Thanks, keep pumping out the great music!
asked by Poppy Robbie on Saturday, May 11
  A Thanks for your concern about the guitars. Actually, things did not turn out quite as drastic as first feared. Several acoustic guitars WERE destroyed and a vintage Rickenbacker but my main electric guitars from the record (Jazzmaster, Magnatone and Silvertone) all recovered after drying out (always a good idea) and some re-wiring. Big thanks to Chandler's of Kew for their excellent work. Most guitars have a few good tunes in them - my old Harmony Sovereign contained much of "My Aim is True", my current Gibson 160E most of "Brutal Youth", so it is hard to choose a favourite. I'm glad that my Jazzmaster survived the flood but it is dangerous to get attached to objects.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:12 PM

Q Will we ever get to hear "Having It All"?
asked by Paul Dupree on Friday, May 10
  A Have always wanted to re-record this song - orignally written for a musical and later intended for inclusion on "King of America". Only one rough piano version exists. Perhaps it is time to release it.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:17 PM

Q I was intrigued to see that you used a Silvertone(Sears and Roebuck special) on your latest release. I have not seen that axe listed in liner notes since the late 60's when Randy California of the great band, Spirit used to abuse one and got all that great feedback and that terrfic throbbing hum. I had one also and the case that came with it had an amplifier built into it!( joy!). How did you happen to discover all the virtues of this wonderful squealing brute and that deliciously horrible amp? BTW, Ill be seeing you for the 23 and 24th time at Boston, MA and Wallingford, CT. Nice to see you back in the New England area!
asked by narbawlz on Saturday, May 11
  A A number of years ago I went guitar shopping with my agent's teenage son. He was looking for the suitcase model to which you refer. I picked up the guitar used on "When I was cruel" on the same day but didn't start to use it full time until about two years ago. I am a fan of "Dr. Sardonicus" but know little else of Spirit or other Randy California recordings.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:20 PM

Q i"d like to know what other things you enjoy doing when your not writing or performing you know at home on a lazy day
asked by Lynda on Friday, May 10
  A Walk in the hills or down on the coast. Watch a football match ("soccer" to U.S. readers). Call friends that I haven't seen for a while. Nothing special. That's about it.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:22 PM

Q I've enjoyed reading the latest Q&A posting.Hey what is it with all these requests to go to all these obscure American towns? Next time you're in the UK how about a trip down to the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone? The M20 motorway has been finished since you last came down so there is no excuse. You have relieved me of wallet loads of ticket money over the last 25 years so a return trip to Kent would be fair reward.Do you have any fond memories of the 'Get Happy' tour with all those exotic dance halls from Margate to Fishguard.Why did you forget the words in Hastings...dodgy fish and chips or something more sinister? Thank you for your time.
asked by Alan Mummery on Saturday, May 11
  A The "Get Happy" tour was planned to play the towns that bands usually miss out. We had many great nights on it. "The Frenchman's Motel", Fishguard stands out. As to the diaster at Leas Cliff Hall - I'm afraid that had something to do with "Depthcharges" - a tot of Navy rum dropped into a pint of dry cider. Clearly not good for the memory. Since then I have never liked to play over water OR under it.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:27 PM

Q Do You have plans do come and sing in Poland? You have lots of fans here. Perhaps You do not know. By the way - "When I was Cruel" is a lot of joy.
asked by Slimak on Saturday, May 11
  A Must confess I was unware that I was known in Poland. I will pass this information on to my agent and see what we can do about it.
answered by E.C. on Friday, May 24 7:29 PM

Q I've heard you play live with the imposters a couple of times now, and apart from the great passion you and the band are playing with, it strikes me that your playing a lot more guitar than usual. Am i wrong, or are you going into a guitar hero faze?
asked by Shane on Thursday, May 9
  A I’d say more like anti-hero
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:51 PM

Q Elvis, what was that great-looking guitar you used on the opening number of your 'Later with Jools Holland' set?
asked by Geoffrey-T on Thursday, May 9
  A A Magnatone Typhoon
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:53 PM

Q Can you, do you or will you play any of the tunes from Juliet Letters with a band? They're brilliant, the lot of them.
asked by Cormac on Thursday, May 9
  A The Imposters don’t play any songs from the “The Juliet Letters” but Steve Nieve has done a couple of great piano arrangements.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:54 PM

Q What is your favorite Beatles album?
asked by Lefty825 on Monday, May 13
  A “Revolver”
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:55 PM

Q I know you must be partial to (or sick of) Midsummer Night's Dream, but are there any other of Shakespeare's plays that you quite enjoy?
asked by hotspur on Monday, May 13
  A If you are speaking in terms of musical inspiration, then I would say, “Macbeth”
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:56 PM

Q Do you really think..."we just become a speck of dust"?
asked by Danny boy on Thursday, May 9
  A That is my suspicion
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:57 PM

Q Elvis, Did you meet Tom Waits on your first visit to the U.S.? When did you first become aware of his work?
asked by Jeannie on Monday, May 13
  A I first met Tom passing by the check-in desk at the Tropicana Motel, West Hollywood in 1977. I’d known his work since his first record.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 10:59 PM

Q Was the song "Shot With His Own Gun" directly influenced by the Joni Mitchell song "Blue"? I can't help but hear Blue's lyrics' "Everybody's saying that hell's the hippest..." fit in there somewhere.
asked by D Maloney on Monday, May 13
  A The was no conscious influence but I spent an awful lot of time listening to “Blue” when it was first released.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:00 PM

Q Will the "Hollywood High" live tracks be available as bonus tracks on an upcoming re-issue (I'm assuming "Armed Forces" is where they'd fit); or should I start searching E-bay ?
asked by The Crestfallen One on Monday, May 13
  A The “Hollywood High E.P.” will resemble a 10” album when it is included in the Rhino re-issue of “Armed Forces” later this year.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:01 PM

Q Do you have any favorite jazz artists?
asked by Lefty825 on Monday, May 13
  A The list could go on and on but here are a few of those whose records I return to constantly; Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, Thelonius Monk, Chet Baker, Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis, Mulatu Astaqe, Coleman Hawkins, George Russell and Louis Armstrong.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:03 PM

Q Elvis, can you please tell me what the current situation is regarding the Delivery Man project and was the song "When I Was Cruel" (as opposed to When I Was Cruel No.2") originally intended for that suite of songs??
asked by Dave Edney on Monday, May 13
  A “The Delivery Man” is still being written and “When I was cruel” was issued on the CD single of “Doll Revolution” in the U.K. – future release elsewhere is a possibility.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:03 PM

Q When in Nashville last time, you performed a song called "Heart-Shaped Bruise", I believe - it was gorgeous. Has that appeared on CD somewhere (and I've missed it), or will it see the light of day soon? AND - big question - when will you be gracing the stage of the Ryman here in Music City again????? Your last show here took the top off my head....
asked by judy on Monday, May 13
  A “Heart Shaped Bruise” is from an unfinished set of story songs called “The Delivery Man”. When the piece is complete I hope to record it. I also performed the song with Emmylou Harris at the Kennedy Center during the “Island” festival of Irish Music which I believe was televised on P.B.S.- you might catch a re-run sometime. Hope to return to Nashville in October.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:04 PM

Q A few weeks back you played the WXRT show in Chicago. I heard that Steve Nieve played a theramin, an instruament I've always loved, but I've never seen anyone play it. Since I'll be going to the June 8th Chicago show (and seeing you perform for the first time) was wondering if I'd see the theramin, too! And thanks for coming back.
asked by Carmel on Monday, May 13
  A Steve has been known to cut loose on the Theremin on this tour.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:06 PM

Q I am enjoying the new album, but I have to say that the past few albums have worked wonders for my marriage. My wife doesn't care so much for the "Blood & Chocolate" "Hurry Down Doomsday" noisy aspect of your work, but PAINTED FROM MEMORY, "She", and especially FOR THE STARS have really forced her to change her mind about you. The funny thing is, after loving all those ballads, she is now really getting into the rowdier stuff on WIWC, like "15 petals." Is this a trend? Are you picking up more female fans after the crooning years?
asked by Ben Falcone on Monday, May 13
  A You guessed my evil plan
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:06 PM

Q Who is Charlie Sedarka?
asked by LastBoatLeaving on Monday, May 13
  A An imaginary lounge singer who adopted this name to appear closer to fame
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:08 PM

Q I love FOR THE STARS. It is a great "Sunday Morning" record. The title track may be the most joyful piece of music you've recorded. Are there any other artists you'd like to produce records for?
asked by Basilton P. Bagelbrook on Monday, May 13
  A I felt that I had “retired” from outside productions after between working with The Pogues in 1986, after all I married the bass-player – how can you beat that. It took Anne Sofie von Otter to make me want to return to that task. I’m glad you like the record that we made. I have no one else in mind at present.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:10 PM

Q When I Was Cruel is a pretty funny album. It reminds me of LOVE & THEFT in that respect. What is the funniest thing you've ever seen? What song makes you laugh out loud?
asked by Stinky Pete on Monday, May 13
  A Thank you for this flattering comparison. That IS a funny record. I think I last laughed out loud at the verse in “High Water” in which the singer says “I’m no pig without a wig” and advises someone to “throw your panties overboard”
answered by E.C. on Saturday, May 25 11:10 PM

Q I have a vague recollection that John Lennon name-checked you in one of his last interviews, saying something about "What's So Funny . . ." Am I remembering correctly? And did you ever get to meet him?
asked by Phil on Tuesday, May 14
  A People have told me that this but I’ve never read the interview myself. I never did meet the man.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:03 AM

Q Elvis, I just remembered a question that I have wanted to ask since September, 2001 after hearing you sing with the Mingus Orchestra at UCLA (what a great two shows!!) Will we ever get to hear your "Hora Decubitus" again? It really was a life affirming piece and so special to hear at the time. Jill
asked by Jillbeast on Tuesday, May 14
  A Thank you. That seemed to be the right song to sing on those nights. The Mingus music has the stuff of life in it. I hope this version of “Hora Decubitus” will be recorded one day.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:04 AM

Q How involved are you in the graphic design of your releases? Don't you mourn the loss of the LP in terms of the design opportunities it afforded. I'm a massive Barney Bubbles fan, by the way. He did such a fantastic job on your early stuff.
asked by Orrin on Tuesday, May 14
  A I have worked closely with Steve Averill on his excellent designs for every album design since “Spike” (which was done with my consultation by Jeri MacManus (no relation) at Warner Brothers). In fact I have enjoyed working with all the designers since Barney Bubbles. Barney was an extraordinary fellow and a wonderful artist. I was extremely fortunate to have known him and miss him very much.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:05 AM

Q As a Catholic, I still go to the Traditional Mass in Latin. I read you were able to sing the whole Mass in plainsong as an Altar Boy. Is this true?
asked by Kathy on Tuesday, May 14
  A The mass was in Latin in those days and we did sing our responses and parts of the Mass such as the Agnes Dei, Gloria and Credo.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:06 AM

Q Elvis, apart from "Hidden Shame", which other song of yours has Johnny Cash recorded?
asked by Mark on Tuesday, May 14
  A Johnny also cut “The Big Light”.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:07 AM

Q Your new album was on sale in Uzbekistan at the US Army base exchange. All three copies sold. Would you like to come out here and play a gig? There's a big tent city, and we could probably get the American government to fly you for free.
asked by Baldwin on Wednesday, May 15
  A My vision of this type of gig is mixed up with newsreel footage of Marilyn Monroe in Korea and certain scenes from “Apocalypse Now” – somehow I feel that I might not fit the bill. I also doubt that I would get through the security clearance - as I can’t even get through a domestic airport with a non-U.S passport these days - but thanks for asking.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:07 AM

Q Loveable Elvis! when will you come to Israel?! (It won't be considered as a political action!)well I wish I could write Engilsh as good as I listen to your's. with great love and peace we shall be blessed.(you make it all much easer to understand)
asked by Amitay on Wednesday, May 15
  A Thank you for your message. Unfortunately there are no plans to visit your country at this time. My wife was working in Eilat last year and loved being there. Maybe when peace comes we can visit.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:10 AM

Q Did you know that the Quisling Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin has been converted into a fancy-schmancy apartment complex? Apparantly no one ever complained about the fascist name, because it's called the "Quisling Terrace Apartment Homes." Sigh...
asked by sally on Wednesday, May 15
  A Never mind the name – this is impossible to sing.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:13 AM

Q Have you ever been to a baseball game?
asked by Jim on Wednesday, May 15
  A No, but my Dad used to play in a local league on Merseyside in the late 1940’s – he played for the Bidston Indians – I believe the game was introduced by the G.I.s during the Second World War and flourished for a few years afterwards.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:14 AM

Q I heard you had recorded "Edith And The Kingpin" for a Joni Mitchell tribute album? Did that ever come out?
asked by Jo Jo Dancer on Wednesday, May 15
  A Warner Brothers seem to have scheduled and delayed this record several times. Maybe it will appear one day.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:14 AM

Q Hey, I noticed that the Rhino reissue of Blood and Chocolate didn't include the Big Nothing song. Are the other Rhino releases going to omit some of the Rydodisc bonus tracks as well? Or will these missing tracks appear on one of the other reissues?
asked by Tyler on Wednesday, May 15
  A We have tried to make the second CD of each Rhino re-issue have a closer relationship to the original album. “Big Nothing” will appear on a future release.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:15 AM

Q Do you get to look at all the questions people submit or are the questions sifted through by the time they greet your eyes?
asked by Thereza on Thursday, May 16
  A I have access to all the questions but it would be almost impossible to keep up and answer every one, even if I so desired.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:15 AM

Q What is the peculiar sound at the beginning of "Hand in Hand"? It sounds like you recorded something in the studio and then played it backwards to intro the song.
asked by Syl on Wednesday, May 15
  A It is a satanic message, silly…no, seriously, it is the title line backwards
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:17 AM

Q Let me preface my question with a little info; You see, sir, I'm going to your show this summer with my two buddies, and that's three 16 year old girls at a concert. We're going to be, well, excited. So just how rockin' will this tour be? Will three teenage fit in?
asked by Cally on Thursday, May 16
  A We have three teenage girls, called The Like, opening the show at the Ackerman Ballroom, so draw your own conclusions. This tour is very rocking. That’s always assuming that you are not three middle-aged guys in disguise.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:17 AM

Q why do so many books, articles and websites (including Rhino's) say you were born in '55?
asked by wlc on Thursday, May 16
  A I think this is because I told the truth in my first interview and said I was 22, just a couple of weeks before my 23rd birthday. The miscalculation has continued since.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:25 AM

Q Dear Elvis: Met you at a recent signing and am happily rediscovering music I've always loved. Thanks for being so gracious there and on this site. My question: your favorite Joni Mitchell song?
asked by ark on Thursday, May 16
  A “Shades of Scarlet Conquering”, “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” and “The Last Time I Saw Richard” are three of my favourites.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:26 AM

Q Are you excited about coming to Japan this summer? I just heard that you will be touring in Japan this summer. Hope I can get a ticket and have a great time at your concert! One of your song, "Smile" is used in one of the pupular Japanese drama right now and you won't believe this....I hear your song everyday on radio. We all are looking forward to seeing you in Japan.
asked by ai on Friday, May 17
  A Visiting Japan is always an remarkable experience. Glad to hear that “Smile” is being played on the radio.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:27 AM

Q Have you seen U2's video for the song "Numb"? It is a total tribute (or rip-off!) of your video for "I Wanna Be Loved"! Have the guys every mentioned this to you?
asked by Benny on Friday, May 17
  A I think it is actually a running gag with the fellers that whenever their video makers are stuck for an idea they re-make “I Wanna Be Loved”. See: “The Sweetest Thing”
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:27 AM

Q Elvis, On your last few tours with the Attractions, you went 70-80 songs into your repertoire. How many songs will you guys (the Imposters) rehearse for this tour?
asked by Lee Rousso on Friday, May 17
  A The Imposters know over 100 songs but they are not by the same writer.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:29 AM

Q Do you wonder how your songs might affect people or do you care at all. If so, I'd like you to know how often I have listened to Shipbuilding since 911. Your words helped me deal with my feelings of anger, fear and hatred. Listening calmed me, comforted me and reminded me of the realty of an impending war. I filled my head with thoughts of the innocent in the world and instead of seething with vengence began praying for peace.
asked by Long Time Fan on Sunday, May 19
  A Thank for your note, I’m glad the song was of comfort to you. I wish you peace of mind.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:30 AM

Q Elvis, i´m from Mexico i really love your music, my favorite song is definitely "I WANT YOU", please tell me when are you coming to Mexico, if not when are you planning to give a concert in Austin Texas. P.S. I loved your songs in Lemper´s Punishing Kiss
asked by carlos audiffred on Sunday, May 19
  A Sadly, there are no plans to visit Mexico at this time but we should be in Austin, Texas in early October.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:31 AM

Q You're the only songwriter who improves my vocabulary (I had to look up "scarpering" on "Man out of Time) but what the hell is a "bandeon?" My Webster's won't tell me. See you at the Beacon, and consider this a request for "Episode of Blonde".
asked by Bill McCarty on Sunday, May 19
  A A “bandeon” is a kind of accordion heard in tango music
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:32 AM

Q I'm not trying to provoke you with this question, I'm genuinely curious. It's about "revisionist history", so to speak... It seems like you are now distancing yourself from the Attractions "reunion" of the mid-nineties, saying that All This Useless Beauty wasn't really an Attractions album because the band was falling apart as you made it. But when that record came out, you seemed so genuinely enthusiastic about how great the bad was on that record. And recently, you said you felt that your new Rhino liner notes were more positive because you wrote the last ones as the band was falling apart. But those first reissues came out during the Brutal Youth period, when sprits seemed to be high and you were still in the process of re-forming. I suppose it's a very natural human impulse, almost like when you've had a bad break up with someone, you want to just forget you ever even liked them. Am I barking up the wrong tree here, or have I actually picked up on something?
asked by colin hedler on Monday, May 20
  A Some big things are further away than they look. I see nothing “revisionist” about expressing my currently feelings – feelings change. Regarding interviews given in the mid-90s, I suppose it was hard to admit to yourself that you were wasting your time. The Attractions playing on some of “All this useless beauty” IS very good indeed, that doesn’t mean that the sessions were either easy or enjoyable. The record was very nearly scrapped in the autumn of 1995 and only saved by some re-recording and Geoff Emmerick and John Jacobs wonderful mix. I've always foound that amateur psychoanalysis is a very tedious and unrewarding pastime but thank you for your concern.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:32 AM

Q Your albums have given me a lot of enjoyment over the years. Thanks for mixing it up and making each one different from the rest. It makes life more interesting. If aliens came down from another planet and asked for one of your albums to take back to their people, which album would you choose to give them?
asked by bluefish2001 on Monday, May 20
  A The next one
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:33 AM

Q Dear Elvis, I'd like to ask how you and The Imposters create your setlists for the live shows. Are the songs more or less settled in the beginning or the tour, or do you let the particular country, the city, the venue, the occasion and the atmosphere have an effect on which songs you will play? I'm really looking forward to the gig at the Porijazz festival (Finland) in July: will we see a jazzy Elvis or the rocking Elvis?
asked by Mikko Väätäinen on Monday, May 20
  A The mood, the colour of the sky, the songs we played the night before and the shape of the room all play a part in deciding which songs will be performed. I will appear at Pori with The Imposters who play on “When I was cruel”
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:34 AM

Q Why have Steve & Pete lost their energy on the new CD & why didn't you use Bruce? You & the Attractions have been my favorites since I first discovered you around 1978. The new CD writing & vocals & guitar playing are great & get better with more listenings. But...the band is too down in the mix and has lost its edge. I am a huge fan of Bruce Thomas & his playing is sorely missed by me. Objectively, do you agree?
asked by Nick Novasic on Sunday, May 19
  A And we thought you were working on another book…
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:35 AM

Q What is the "massacred game" in Sulky Girl? ...and please don't tell me it's whatever I think it is :-) Thanks.
asked by Caliban10 on Wednesday, May 22
  A The “Massacre Game” is a reference to a painting by George Rouault
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:39 AM

Q I saw the performance at the mountain winery last night and it was brilliant! I hope the cold didn't bother you too much. It has been awhile since I last saw you with Pete. I forgot what a great drummer he is. How did you come to choose Davey Faragher? I only knew of him through his work with Cracker- he seemed to fit right in with the rest of the band. You don't happen to know his hometown, do you? Got a pint of Newcastle riding on this one. . . I've seen you in different incarnations over the years (Spike tour, Brodsky, you and Steve) and each time I am enthralled with the performance. Thank you,thank you, thank you!
asked by xander on Wednesday, May 22
  A Davey is from just south of Bakersfield
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:40 AM

Q When will you play a proper concert in Brasil?
asked by PTerron on Tuesday, May 21
  A I would love to return to Brasil for a full concert but have not received any requests to do so recently.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:41 AM

Q Hi Elvis, I read an article about your new album in a tech mag recently (sorry to hear about the flood..did anything get salvaged?) Anyway, I was wondering if you could go a bit more in depth as to which pedals you used when coming up with the tracks for your new album. Was that an EHX Memory Man pedal I saw you fiddling with on the Bravo Show (I work for them right now). Oh, and i'll be in the second row at your Wallingford, CT date and was wondering if i could (please!)request "Hoover Factory" in advance? Lastly, just wanted to say Thanks for your continuing fight against emotional fascism & keep keeping the youngsters on their toes.
asked by Tim Deadman on Tuesday, May 21
  A I’m using a variety of ancient and modern devices these days. You were correct in identifying the “Memory Man” – to which I’ve also added an vintage WEM Watkins Copycat tape delay. Distortion is from a yellow Line6 pedal (don’t know the name but four selections are possible. I have three Tube Distortion settings and one Fuzz-Face-style signal) and I have a couple of phrase/loop pedals, one green Line6 and a Roland Loop station. The final piece is a Danelectro Reverse Delay – which is creates a mad effect but I like it sometimes. I also use a RAT distortion across the line from my Gibson 160E “acoustic”.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:42 AM

Q Saw your show tonight.Did you see Fat Dawg while you were in town,or is that your usual collection of misfit guitars?Nice to hear the new stuff as well as things I don't think I've ever heard you play live."I Want You",was the perfect ending.Your guitar playing gets better everytime I see you.How much of that is from playing with people like Marc Ribot,Bill Frisell,James Burton,and....?Do you practice and study,or is it just osmosis and maturation?Thanks for the last 25 years, Spencer
asked by Spencer on Thursday, May 23
  A Those guys are all great but I just put my fingers anywhere and wish hard.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:45 AM

Q Hi. I just went to see you in Portland and Seattle. It was amazing, especially Portland where I was very close to the stage. You remember!(I saw you in Powell's Books, too, and said hi on your way out.) Anywhoo-- it seems to me that you have a lot of fans who are under 21, and I hope that in the future you try to play all ages shows in the U.S. I took my friend Ben, hoping we could sneak him in, but we couldn't- and he drove home alone by himself. (What drama!). It was a brilliant show, though, and I AM glad that you played such a small club. It was a very very big deal for me to get to meet you and see you play up close! It's just hard to dance and jump around when the guy squished next to you has a full pint in hand.
asked by Casey (eugene) on Wednesday, May 22
  A Thank you for your note. I like to play “all-age shows” but it is also good to play a club like “Roseland” now and again and most of them sell alcohol. Hope Ben got home okay.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:46 AM

Q Who is going to win the World Cup and are you going to watch any of it?
asked by Dave Edney on Wednesday, May 22
  A Until two days ago, I would have said Ireland. Now I’m not so sure. Oh well, it saves getting up early to watch it on ESPN.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:48 AM

Q Elvis, Just picked up "When I was cruel" and I was really impressed. It's strange, since your older albums are new to me, having unearthed them from my parents' unearthed collection to suddenly hear new things that's over ten years later. I was just wondering if The new album has been released on vynil, or if not, if you plan to? Also, Have you considered touring Canada anytime after the current tours.
asked by Bill on Wednesday, May 22
  A Thank you for your remarks. I know that a vinyl edition exists but I’m not sure if it available outside Europe. I will speak to IDJ about the possibility of releasing it elsewhere. We are playing Toronto on 12th June but there are no plans for further Canadian dates at present.
answered by E.C. on Sunday, May 26 3:50 AM

Q Elvis, I'm a very big fan of yours, mainly because of my dad. Some people think that I'm strange because I'm a 14 year old girl and I should be into boy bands or something. I love to listen to my collection of your music. It's just so wonderful. I wish there were more artists out there like you. But my question is where does the inspiration for your music come from?
asked by Jamie on Thursday, May 23
  A Music comes from life, observation or emotional response to events. This is last is the most tricky to deal with as those feeling may not be that interesting to other people. It seems we are all too wrapped up in ourselves - some element of fantasy or invention can frame these thoughts better. It is an inspiration in itself to receive word that two generations in your family are listening to the records I make. Many thanks.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 2:28 PM

Q If the string quartet segment of your CD collection were limited to a single composer, who would you choose? Just curious. Also, thank you for the great show in Portland on May 18. My only regret is that I didn't wait around afterwards (as a friend did) to say hello in person and have you sign a set list. I also read your journal entry, and whole-heartedly agree with your right to privacy once you have left the show. Frankly, I think your willingness to meet and greet after a show is refreshing. Again, thanks for the best concert I have seen in a long time.
asked by Stuart on Thursday, May 23
  A Thank you for your remarks. Regarding your question, I would have to say Beethoven (if only for the last five or so quartets) but on another day I might reply, Shostakovich. Or Mozart.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 2:31 PM

Q hey elvis, did you know that Davey Faragher was the bass player on Dusty Springfield's version of "JUST A MEMORY"?
asked by big bad bertha on Thursday, May 23
  A I do now.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 2:37 PM

Q Well, I know that you're a Beatle fan but I was wondering if you were also a solo-Lennon fan and if so what's your favourite Lennon album?
asked by Jerry Leger on Sunday, May 26
  A "Plastic Ono Band"
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 2:43 PM

Q Hey Elvis, I'm 19, and I was just wondering... what (or who) can you recommend as far as the blues go? I'm completely interested, not very knowledgable (as far as music outside of my own unusual tastes goes), and completely overwhelmed. It seemed like a good idea to ask you, since your listening tastes are extremely diverse. Can't wait to see you in Cleveland!
asked by Julie on Sunday, May 26
  A I just know what I know but here are a few things that I love: "Skip James" - 1930s recordings, really otherworldly singing and playing. "Otis Rush - Cobra Recordings" - wild guitar playing fro Chicago. Muddy Waters - Anniversary" - there are lots of compilations on Chess but look out for one with "Too Young to Know", "Still a fool" or "Just to be with you". So time in your life you should also hear Robert Johnson.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 2:54 PM

Q i like when you sing harmony vocals with yourself. you did this a lot on brutal youth, but not so much since then. did you get bored of this?
asked by val remens on Friday, May 24
  A I've done most of the vocal group parts on my records - sometimes with the help of Nick Lowe in the early days (but rarely with The Attractions!). It is an interesting sound to create a "group" using one voice but it can leave a hole int he live arrangements. The excellent Liverpool singer, Steven Kennedy helped out on several cuts of the new record. Davey Faragher is a fine singer and we are able have live vocal harmony more than ever before. Back in the studio, I'm sure I'll go back to the sound you like in time.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:01 PM

Q I vaguely remember reading somewhere that you had been in a studio with John Doe of X several years ago. Is my memory making up ideas again, or did this actually happen? If it did happen, was anything recorded, and is there any chance that we'll ever hear it? Most of all, thank you for the Seattle instore, and the Portland show - both changed my perspective on life as a whole. We do hope you'll come back to Seattle soon!
asked by H. Campbell on Sunday, May 26
  A John and I did write a song back in 1986. I'm not sure if it was ever recorded. I never cut it. I think we wrote it for The Knitters. I was sorry to have missed them the night we played in Seattle
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:01 PM

Q Will the tracks on the Courier soundtrack ever surface on CD in the states? p.s. the new stuff just rocked live in Reno
asked by mmarkov on Sunday, May 26
  A "The Courier" was a low budget Irish movie for which I composed the music in 1988. The orhestrations were done by Fiachra Trench, as I was unable to write musical notation in those days. There is a chance that some of this material will be considered for release by Rhino Records but there are no definite plans.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:03 PM

Q What do you usually do on your birthday? Do you make a big deal of it?
asked by LR on Sunday, May 26
  A I usually don't like to work on my birthday - hey, the Queen of England gets two, so the least I can do is be lazy for once. This year, I'm playing in Monte Carlo - which is almost the same thing.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:05 PM

Q My teenage kids are wild about Alibi, any plans to release it as a single?
asked by Woody Taylor on Sunday, May 26
  A I'll pass this information on the record company!
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:07 PM

Q The liner notes for the "Family Man" soundtrack gave absolutely no musician or production credits for "You Stole My Bell." Is there any chance you could reveal them here?
asked by Arnie LaFlamme on Sunday, May 26
  A This track was produced by the same "Imposter" team that made "When I was Cruel" and I play all of the instrumental parts.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:12 PM

Q What happened to "We Don't Even Try Anymore," the song you wrote with John Doe? Was it intended for one of X's records or yours?
asked by Marry a Carrot on Sunday, May 26
  A Well, at least someone remembers the title...
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:14 PM

Q Do you consider yourself a Stones fan, or was "Aftermath" the exception to the rule ? I heard that it was the primary inspiration behind "This Year's Model".
asked by Bob B on Sunday, May 26
  A "Aftermath" and "Between the Buttons" plus all the great 60's singles do it for me. After that, it's "Wild Horses", and most of "Exiles on Main Street plus the occasional gem like "Shattered" and "Start me up". They always were a graet singles band.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:19 PM

Q who is St. Telmo?
asked by mary on Monday, May 27
  A It's an neighbourhood in Buenos Aires where the tango bars are located.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:19 PM

Q What exactly is happening on the 'luu' part of revolution in the chorus? I can't find the chord.
asked by Peter on Sunday, May 26
  A In musical terms, I've never analysed it but there is some tension between the guitar chord and the MOOG bass line that I am playing. I don't have an instrument to hand at present but I think the guitar changes are E to A at that moment.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:20 PM

Q When I saw you 2 days ago in Las Vegas, one of your guitars still had a price tag dangling from its tuning pegs! I was just wondering if this was because you had just bought the guitar or due to laziness? P.S. The guitar that I'm talking about is the one that you used to play 45, Spooky Girlfriend, Chelsea, and Alibi, among others.
asked by R.H. on Monday, May 27
  A I keep it there because it reads "$400". Just a reminder.
answered by E.C. on Monday, May 27 3:21 PM

Q What is the name of the band that backed you on The Jonathan Ross Show - I understand they are from Liverpool - I heard one of the songs you played on John Kellys radio show the last time you were on with him - the one that is 'quite like' "The Warmest Room" by Billy Bragg. Have the band signed a record deal since they appeared with you? Thanks in Advance....any chance of an Olympia gig when you play Dublin?
asked by Mur on Tuesday, May 28
  A The group is called “Amsterdam” and their website can be found at the end of my first journal entry. No concert planned for the Olympia – I was barred from that venue after an altercation a number of years ago. Another Dublin date will be announced shortly.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:35 PM

Q I notice that several of the questions have been requesting that you play the song "Hoover Factory" in concert. Why do you think a song from such an obscure corner of your catalog seems to inspire such devotion?
asked by Absolutely Sweet Marie on Tuesday, May 28
  A I am surprised that this song has so many admirers. It celebrates a beautiful building that I used to pass on my way to work before I was a professional musician. The façade remains but it now contains a supermarket. Not that this is connected in any way but is not an easy song to perform in concert.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:40 PM

Q Hi Elvis. Listening in my car today to the Rhino reissue of Blood and Chocolate, I was struck again by how great the newer version of "Forgive Her Anything" is, much better than the Rykodisc one and much closer to my memory of it from the 1986 shows. I was wondering if you ever recorded the other beautiful ballad you sang on that tour, "The Last Time You Were Leaving Me." It was a lovely song. I assume it was an original and wondered why it has never been released.
asked by Dave on Tuesday, May 28
  A Thank you for recalling this song. Don’t believe that I ever did record it. Perhaps I should look at it again
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:41 PM

Q I see that the Fairfield Four has arranged some dates this year. Any chance you might meet up with them in Nashville this year and do "That day is done?" (A plus would be to have them open the show if possible so I could see two of my favorites together!) I will be third row center in Columbus on 9 June, but I want to share with the wife (and possibly daughter if appropriate :) in Nashville at the Ryman!
asked by Louis Davidson on Tuesday, May 28
  A Any opportunity to perform with the Fairfield Four would be wonderful. Who knows what the future brings.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:43 PM

Q Elvis, I've been a fan since 1977 when I saw you in Washington DC at the Warner Theater. Through the years, I've had the opportunity to see you whenever you appear in the Md-DC-Va area. (I'm looking forward to the Wolf Trap show.) I love the new album and would like to play the songs from it. Can you tell me if a book of sheet music containing the songs from the album will be published? Thanks for all the great music, Elvis! Chuck
asked by Chuck Lean on Tuesday, May 28
  A There are no plans for a sheet music edition of “When I was cruel” at present but I will pass on your request to my publisher.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:44 PM

Q Love your music, as well as your take on other people's music...Is it fair to say you have ambivalent feelings about Springsteen and his music? (based on comments I've seen in your interviews over the years) What do you think is his best work? Cheerio.
asked by Alan on Tuesday, May 28
  A I can’t imagine how you got this impression. I feel it must have come from some misinterpreted remark. Bruce Springsteen is a remarkable writer and recording artist and my favourites of his recordings are spread throughout his career; “The Wild, The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle”, “The River”, “Tunnel of Love” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. He is also an incredible concert performer and a very decent fellow with a charming wife who is also a tremendous singer. Just so you know.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:45 PM

Q I am a big Painted From Memory fan-- I know that you co-wrote the music with Burt on most of the album, but there were two songs you said Burt wrote ALL the music for. Which songs were they?
asked by Britney on Tuesday, May 28
  A I think there is only one song on “Painted from Memory” to which I contributed only suggestions, rather than any actual music that survived in the finished composition – that is “This House is Empty Now”. The division of input into the other songs is obscure to me now as I rightly regard all of the songs as co-compositions.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:47 PM

Q I've read fanpages online, where you've been considered "emo"... do you consider yourself to be "emo", what do you think about the genre, and have you heard any emo bands like Saves The Day or Dashboard Confessional?
asked by Ross on Tuesday, May 28
  A When I first saw this term in a magazine I thought it was a reference to the comedian, Emo Philips. Perhaps in my case it is. I can’t say that I have heard the bands that you mention or have any opinion as to my “emo-ness”.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:49 PM

Q Dear Elvis: I'm from Buenos Aires and I see that you have some sort of connection with us. Have you ever been here by yourself? Are you planning a visit? What other things do you know about this town? Too many questions... Well, I really hope to see you performing here some day.
asked by Miguel on Wednesday, May 29
  A I have been in Buenos Aires on two, brief occasions upon returning from Ushuaia. It is a beautiful city and I hope to perform there one day.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:52 PM

Q It's so cool to see so many postings from teenage fans (I'm 42 and have been listening to you since '77 when I was in high school). For years, my Mom has been "pooh-pooing" my musical tastes and has shown particular malice towards you. However, on the occasion of her 75th birthday, she told my brother that she owes me an apology and thinks you are quite "interesting". Did you ever think your "evil plan" to lure young female fans with your softer side would extend to the 70-something crowd? Also: Did Johnny Cash ever attempt "Complicated Shadows"? (love your "Cashbox" version). Thanks for providing the soundtrack to over half of my life.
asked by Loop on Wednesday, May 29
  A First of all, I send a big hello to your Mom. My “evil plan” knows no boundaries. I’m not aware of Johnny Cash ever recording or even rehearsing “Complicated Shadows”, perhaps it just didn’t appeal to him.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 3:54 PM

Q Hi Elvis, I saw an interview in which you were talking about an Ethiopian singer named Ketama Mekama? Just wondering how you spell that so I can look for his records? Also, which album do you recommend? Thanks. ps, you're my ideal man.
asked by Erin on Wednesday, May 29
  A The phonetic/English spelling I was given is “Ketema Mekonnen”. I have only been able to find one CD – which was manufactured in New Jersey but recorded in Ethiopia. The liner notes appear to speak of him in the past tense but I was unable to find out anymore about him when I visited Ethiopia last year. Much of the best music that I have by him is on cassettes which I found in an Ethiopian music store in Washington D.C.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 7:51 PM

Q Hello Elvis! I've been a fan all my life, though I'm only a teenager... My question; I was wondering if you'll be doing any older songs on this tour? P.S. The new album is wicked awesome!
asked by Addison on Wednesday, May 29
  A We are mixing it up every night with new, old and unknown songs. We have rehearsed a number of songs that we are yet to play.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 7:52 PM

Q Confirm something for me: The pic on the cover on the new album--the figures are something from Coney Island in NYC? Great album cover, and I was wondering about the origin of the pic right about the time I was going thru an NYC travel guide. What are they? Weird bees? They convey the sense of humor and impish malevolence I've always enjoyed in your music.
asked by BuzzinBee on Wednesday, May 29
  A The album designer, Steve Averill found the cover image in a photographic anthology and it just seemed to fit the album title. I am not aware of the original location, as it was not credited in the book.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 7:53 PM

Q Why can't "Daddy can I turn this" be a single? PS Its all great stuff, I was 11 years of age when Alison came out and it flicked on the music listening switch in my head.
asked by Andrew on Wednesday, May 29
  A I will pass on the suggestion to IDJ!
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 7:55 PM

Q Do you still play the guitar Danny Ferrington made for you, &, has it gotten better with time? Do you have many guitars made by individual luthiers?
asked by Norman from on Wednesday, May 29
  A I fortunate to have four guitars made by Danny Ferrington: an ornate acoustic with my name inlayed in the neck, Nashville style, a miniature guitar of similar design for travelling and a fretless acoustic bass guitar that I have used on soundtrack work. The most prominent use of a Ferrington is on “When I was Cruel No.2” which features Danny’s wonderful baritone guitar – however due to the large body of the instrument it is difficult to use on stage (due to feedback problems) – so I have switched to a Danelectro for concert appearances.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 7:56 PM

Q I heard you when you were guest DJ on WXRT in Chicago. You played a song that you said that you co-wrote with Q-Tip. Will that song ever be officially released? Also, I believe you said it was from a movie. What was the name of the movie, and how can we see it? And, my final question...I will be seeing you in concert next week in Michigan. I heard that Billy Bob Thornton will be opening for you. How did that come about?
asked by Tom on Thursday, May 30
  A The song “Oh Well” was written for the movie and proposed “hip-hop opera”, “Prison Song”. It was scripted by director, Darnell Martin and Q Tip. He also helped me write the words of the song. The movie seems to have been caught in a production hassle and was later screened on BET minus the musical performances. My version of “Oh Well” was issued as an additional album track in some countries. Don’t ask me why? I ran into Billy Bob in Dublin and made a guest appearance at his show on the Leon Payne song, “Lost Highway”. We are glad to have him along on this leg of the tour – he has some very fine songs from his “Private Radio” album and a terrific band. Don’t miss him if you are coming to a show.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 7:59 PM

Q thanks for a brilliant show last night at u.c.l.a. i was with a couple other musician types and we were all knocked out by steve’s amazing chops on the theramin. i’ve never fooled around with a thermin, but for some reason i’d been led to believe it was a difficult instrument to master tecnically and to improvise with. steve’s pitch was fantastic, the notes were articulated in rhythm and his grooving, blistering, intelligent solo revealed exciting, funky angles on ‘radio silence,’ which is a great song, by the way. (hmm, i seem to be gushing.) so what’s the deal? did steve go down to the crossroads and sell his soul to a mad russian scientist? (see, there’s a proper ‘ask elvis’ question here.) in any case, brian wilson and everybody else who’s ever fooled around with a teramin in pop music have been instantly relegated to the second tier; steve is now the clear champ in the crowded jazz theramin category.
asked by ummg on Wednesday, May 29
  A The secret of Steve’s Theremin virtuosity is could not be extracted with hot coals but I can assure pious reader that it has nothing to do with Satanic pacts or rituals.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:00 PM

Q Elvis, you listed some of your favorite jazz artists. How about your favorite country artists?
asked by Jeff Tune on Wednesday, May 29
  A Growing up in England, my starting point for country music was The Byrds “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album. That made me very curious. As a consequence I will always return to the records of Gram Parsons and his recordings with Emmylou Harris, as well as her solo work. My other favourite country artists are George Jones, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, The Louvin Brothers, Loretta Lynn with or without Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Recently I’ve been listening to Buck Owens. Some other favourite writers and singers are hard to define but some call them “country”. These include Charlie Rich, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Buddy and Julie Miller, Laura Cantrell and Amy Allison. There is also all the great music like bluegrass, mountain music and other styles “from the country” and among these I love Dock Boggs, Jimmie Martin, The Cox Family and the early recording of the Stanley Brothers leading right up to Dr. Ralph Stanley’s wonderful new solo record on DMZ.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:03 PM

Q Before i get to my question, i just want you to know how great you are, i saw you in las vegas last friday, and it was unbelievable. Anyways, back to my question..... Would you ever consider doing a Behind The Music for vh1? Thanx, Brendan
asked by brendan patrick on Wednesday, May 29
  A There is not enough money in Fort Knox
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:03 PM

Q I enjoy your work, all of it. Q: Why not release "Daddy Can I Turn This" as a single for the Hard rock stations? It is truley a gift; how you can write material across all musical divides. I think you may have a hard rocker here. At the very least, it must have been fun to do eh? Also Kudo's for the fun Episode of a Blond!!! FUN FUN FUN.
asked by Jonathan L. Hernandez on Friday, May 31
  A Stranger things have happened. Maybe I should pass your suggestion to the record company
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:05 PM

Q Okay, so you've dumped my question twice now... but I can't hold a grudge... so I'll just say thank you for being for me what Frank Sinatra was for my mother. Your voice is an aphrodisiac. My husband and I saw your show at Ackerman.. and my girlfriend will get to see you for the first time, as i'm taking her to your Kodak show. It's a shame The Like can't open again for you... they were great. And if you get this message before you go on tonight... is there any chance you'll ever play "Charm School" in concert? I've seen you over 40 times, but have never heard you play it live.
asked by Lauren Michelle on Thursday, May 30
  A Well, a third question is pretty hard to resist. Thank you for your compliments. I’m glad you liked “The Like” – they are a good group. As to your suggestion of “Charm School” – I know it was in concerts during the 80s but I haven’t thought of it in years. Now I have, who knows what will come of it.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:07 PM

Q Allow me to tax your memory...I was wondering about the alternative lyrics to "Less Than Zero" on the El Mocambo album. I think they are great! Why did you rewrite them? When you perform it live (if you do at all), which version do you use? Also, ever listen to Guster?
asked by Jim on Friday, May 31
  A This was just a piece of mischief or youthful bravado – the original lyric for “Less than Zero” makes reference to a “Mr. Oswald”, the former leader of the British Fascist Party in the 1930s. Needless to say this was somewhat obscure to some U.S. commentators who took the song to be a about Lee Harvey Oswald. Although neither version of the song is factual and both contain deliberate elements of fantasy and distortion, I wanted to see if I could make this misinterpretation into a “reality”.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:07 PM

Q Has Eamonn Singer ever had an exhibition?
asked by wiley on Thursday, May 30
  A I certainly hope not, well, at least not without telling me
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:08 PM

Q Hi Elvis, A friend and I greatly enjoyed your concert in Saratoga. Wonderful to hear you sing under a bright moon! I've been to a few of your concerts (Warfield, Guiness Fleadh) but I haven't heard you perfrom Poisoned Rose, one of the songs I enjoy the most. Could you tell me if you save that for a special venue?
asked by Bierwench on Thursday, May 30
  A It is a tough song to place in concert. I only sing it when the mood is right. The last performance was a duet with Lucinda Williams on the “Crossroads” concert special on CMT. Lucinda sang her verse so well I just wanted to shut up.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:09 PM

Q Where was the "Clubland" video shot? It appears to be the world's seediest club!
asked by BevyOfBeauty on Friday, May 31
  A The video was made on the rather sedate Channel Island of Jersey. I believe the young lady in the pink champagne scenes was actually the very respectable daughter of a local magistrate.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:10 PM

Q My husband met you at the Philadelphia signing and gave you two old paperback books. Are you enjoying them?
asked by Jane on Friday, May 31
  A “Thurber Carnival” is one of my favourite books and this edition was very welcome while travelling (I carried a copy with me for years). Thank you again.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:11 PM

Q Elvis - I'm a huge fan and was wondering if at the end of your recent show in Los Angeles you had anything to do with the theater playing Roy Orbison as eveyone exited? I know you were a fan of his music...I have a tape of the Black and White show you did with him and other artists. Also, did you write your own version of "The Comedians" or was that Roy's? Thanks. Danelle
asked by Danelle on Friday, May 31
  A I can think of no better music to hear at the end of an evening than a Roy Orbison record. The Black and White Night was an incredible event and it was a joy to play in Roy’s band for that evening. I originally wrote “The Comedians” in what I thought of as Roy’s style but recorded it myself in a rather less successful arrangement. When Roy was working on the “Mystery Girl” album, I re-wrote the lyrics and adapted the music to better suit his singing style.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:14 PM

Q I was watching Saturday Night Live, the week before Xmas,1977. The next day I wasn't sure whether I'd dreamt about a guy called Elvis who danced as spastically and dressed as awkwardly as I. Two nights ago, a much older version of I saw a guy called Elvis at the Kodak Theatre who was much more refined in manner and style, and who (like me) had more meat one his bones but less hair on his head, than the one a quarter centry earlier. So my question is this: was I dreaming? am I dreaming still? If I am and it's really the 21st century, shouldn't I wake to class harmony, robot valets, and flying cars? If instead we're really at war with Afghanistan, shall I just put on some ABBA and go back to sleep?
asked by ChagnonDitLaRose on Saturday, June 1
  A I recommend “The Day Before You Came”
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:14 PM

Q In recent interviews, you have distinguished rock and roll from "beat music." What on earth IS rock and roll if not "beat music," "rhythm music," or "rowdy rhythm music," if you must?
asked by AJF on Saturday, June 1
  A I think I may have been misquoted. I think of “rock and roll” as leading into the “beat music” that I grew up with. It is a small distinction but I don’t care for the dull, square “rock” beat that doesn’t swing. It might be because they took the “roll” out of it.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:15 PM

Q Not to start a row, but after reading some of your interviews concerning 9/11, as well as other topics, I get the impression you are flirting with the concept that America somehow "deserved" what it got. I've also noticed you have some pretty "liberal" political views. I'm no conservative or flag waver myself, and I despise the "corporate culture" for more personal reasons, but I would like to invite you to actually educate yourself on topics of free markets, economics, military science, and world history, and not buy into the "propagandized" version of the world you seem to be receiving. For starters, try any of the writings by two great black american economists, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. They put to rest in plain language many of the utopian feel-good views of socialists and what we call "liberals" here in America. You can find links to their columns at the website of your "seperated at birth" twin, Matt Drudge. My question? Why is the United States, which has always clearly and responsibly marked its landmine fields during war, a badguy for using them? Is someone killed with a landmine somehow any less dead than someone killed with a bullet? Anyone with any military background knows that used in this fashion (in clearly marked fields, where they serve as a deterrent to movement of troops more than as a killing weapon), they rarely kill anyone, being used instead to force ATTACKERS to find another route, or better yet, not attack in the first place. In Utopia, we wouldn't need them. Unfortunately, this is a world with a lot of bad dudes in it. So, when you come up with a magic formula for getting the tyrants of the world to agree to landmine bans, let us know. Then we can talk.
asked by Bruce in Georgia on Saturday, June 1
  A I have always been amused by the unbelievably patronising attitude of people from the “Right”, as if it were a permanent condition rather than a simple orientation. You have either been misinformed or your reading skills are right up there with your spelling. I have not made any “statements” about “9/11” – no, I tell a lie, I performed a new lyrical version of the great Charles Mingus composition, “Hora Decubitus”, just ten days after “the events”. It contained the line, “Life is a beautiful thing”. You might say that was a “statement”. Oh yeah, I also read somewhere that there is a Commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” The lyric also contains the proposition, “If it’s wrong, it’s not right”. Take from that whatever you will, up ‘til now you clearly knew nothing about my beliefs, allegiances or “views”. As I have said before, this site is for fun and sport, it not a debating society, well, certainly not with a pompous clown like you. I can only direct you to: There you may read about the efforts of some of your countrymen and women, many of whom are actual veterans of serious conflict. They are seeking to learn from that terrible experience and improve the lot of the victims of “bad dudes” of every stripe – including a few of your own. Just occasionally, I am glad to live in a country that has only ever been on the receiving end of colonial aggression.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:19 PM

Q Hey Elvis, I saw you two nights ago at the Kodak for the 7th time... each time I swear up and down that's the best time yet and this time was no different... I found the show very edgy and powerful... "I Want You" was incredibly passionate and your guitar playing on that one slew me... I have a question about the first of the Mingus shows at UCLA in September... I felt like I was watching the melding of two great art forms through the course of the evening... it (please excuse me for saying so) seemed a little tentative at first and by the end it absolutely ROARED!!! It was so exciting to watch this process. It was an amazing night of ALIVE music. Was it difficult to meet those esteemed jazz guys somewhere in the middle or to find the common ground? I truly salute your bravery and artistry. Thank you for all the great tunes over the years... peace, robert_e
asked by robert_e on Sunday, June 2
  A Thank you for your compliments regarding the concert with the Charles Mingus Orchestra. As you probably know it is always difficult to get enough time to rehearse music that has as many possibilities as the Mingus compositions. Consequently, the music tends to come together “before you very ears”. If you read anything about Mingus you will find that this was his own experience of music throughout his career. Obviously, the involvement of so many talented arrangers gave us a head start. The members of the orchestra are all remarkable players who were very encouraging about my effort to find a musical agreement with them. Given the fact that several of the texts had been written a matter of days before the performance, I suppose it was inevitable that the ability to be expressive (rather than just singing approximately the correct notes and the right words) would grow as the performance progressed.
answered by E.C. on Friday, June 7 8:21 PM

Q Hi Elvis, My sister cannot understand my attraction to you. She says you're rather plain looking, though she admits to liking Irishmen. Beauty, I say, is in the eye of the beholder. But for the sake of understanding, I try and describe my attraction to you as a "Frank Sinatra effect." His voice makes me melt inside, I say. His words make me swoon. Are you aware of the effect you have on women? And how does it feel being an international sex symbol? Signed: Impatiently waiting for Wolf Trap:)
asked by Tereza on Monday, June 3
  A I try only to use my power for good and not for evil.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 12:40 AM

Q I particularly enjoyed your "giddy-up" gestures that accompanied the "But you never had a pony" line during your performance of "Alibi" during the Berkeley show. And I'm wondering, did you as a young lad suffer the want of a pony? You needn't respond if this is too painful a subject!
asked by Dirk on Sunday, June 2
  A Have only ever been on a horse on one occasion but I can honestly say I’ve never suffered from “Pony Envy”.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 12:43 AM

Q "All This Useless Beauty" is my favourite album of yours and I really love the song "The Other End Of The Telescope." In one line, you mention "Sweet Adelines." I was just wondering what this line meant. Thanks!
asked by Sarah Bauer on Sunday, June 2
  A Unless I am mistaken, they are a kind of sweet vocal harmony group. I was once trapped in a hotel that was hosting a convention of them, hence the lines in this song.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 12:45 AM

Q Hi Elvis. I'm a 22 year old Melbournian girl who is (hopefully) going to your July concert here. I was just wondering what kind of a set we might expect? Will it be entirely off the new album, or will it be a bit of everything? Cheers, tanz
asked by Tanzen on Monday, June 3
  A Last night’s set was a good illustration of what to expect. We opened with a song from “When I was Cruel” and followed with two songs from “My Aim is True”. We also included numbers from 1978, ’79, ‘ 82, ’86, ’92 and ’02. We change the set every night. See you there, I hope.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 12:48 AM

Q I was at your San Francisco solo show in '84; so was Bruce Springsteen, who is said to have been profoundly influenced by it. Anyway -- four live songs appeared on the "extended" version of Goodbye Cruel World, supposedly from this show. Was the entire show recorded? If so, are you considering releasing the entire show someday? I remember many highlights, but "Shipbuilding" was just stunning.
asked by Mark on Monday, June 3
  A I do recall that someone told me Bruce Springsteen attended the concert but I was not aware it had any profound effect on him. A number of the 1984 concerts were recorded – if in a rather lo-fi medium. There is a chance that some tapes may be issued in the future.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 12:56 AM

Q EC: I'll be seeing you on my 45th birthday (June 19th) at the Beacon in NYC. As I believe you've already passed that mark, tell me: does it start getting better at some point or is it just a slow and steady dissolve to a speck of dust?
asked by Tom Minet on Monday, June 3
  A I’m not making an promises, but I believe it may get better until the time comes
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 12:58 AM

Q Thanks for the amazing show at the Kodak theater and for twenty-five years of inspiration. It isn't mentioned often enough, but you have one of the best singing voices since Frank Sinatra (and maybe Richard Manuel). Did you sing the harmony vocal on Nick Lowe's "American Squirm?" Also, where do I recognize that lyrical quote from in "Episode of Blonde" "mother tell your children not to do what I have done"? It seems so obvious but I can't place it -- I'm sure I'll feel like a dork once I know but for now it's an itch I can't scratch. Thanks again, and keep up the amazing work.
asked by Gene on Monday, June 3
  A I do sing background vocal on “American Squirm” – I think you can tell from the line, “Deep, deep into the night”. The line in “Episode of Blonde” is probably reference to “House of Rising Sun” or a similar blues refrain.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:03 AM

Q On "...Cruel," you've created much more rhymthmic space in the arrangements than in many of your past recordings. As much as I always loved the tight rockin' & soulfull grooves, I've always longed to hear you loosening up the beats. "15 Petals," has a great way of moving through my body like a serpent, and the wall-of-sound "Daddy...," punctuates mostly offbeats. Do your current arrangements of earlier songs continue this trend? I'll be dancing in the isle to the Imposters beats in Toronto!
asked by Flip Phillips - Toronto on Monday, June 3
  A The songs are changing shape all the time. Look forward to admiring your footwork next week.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:04 AM

Q you worked with one of the dudes on the anne sophie von otter project, name a few abba songs you can admit to liking
asked by "fernando" on Monday, June 3
  A Those ABBA “dudes” have lots of great songs that I admire. “Mamma Mia” has a great chord progression. “Dancing Queen” includes a terrific piano part that we lifted for “Oliver’s Army and unbelievably joyous chorus with perhaps the second greatest single “yeah” in all pop music after the Mamas and Papas’ “I Saw Her Again”. Then there are the later, darker songs: “Knowing me, Knowing You” and “The Name of the Game”.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:05 AM

Q Which Prince song did you want Anne Sofie von Otter to record?
asked by Otter Pop on Tuesday, June 4
  A We did briefly consider “Condition of the Heart”
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:06 AM

Q I never write fan letters or anything, but I just got home from your concert in Minneapolis. All I can say is "thanks". Like the guy said tonight..."I want you, too!" Thanks for doing "Peace, Love, and Understanding"! The while night rocked!
asked by Bill on Thursday, June 6
  A It is always a pleasure to visit and perform in Minneapolis but getting kissed by that rockabilly guy who jumped on stage obviously made my night.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:07 AM

Q Dear Elvis, I'm 15. This may seem like an awkward question from a fan but here it goes. There's this girl that I love so much that it's endangering my health (both mental and physical), and I'm afraid that if I tell her that she'll take it the wrong way and dissappear from my life forever. My moodscape every day is similar to the one you described in "Almost Blue". I was wondering if you had any suggestions to my crisis. P.S. I didn't know who else to turn to.
asked by Max on Wednesday, June 5
  A I’d been the last person to offer advice but I think you might be right about not mentioning your health. I'm sure it doesn’t do any good to be told that you won’t always feel this bad. Maybe you’ll always remember these days because those feeling are real. Perhaps it is good that we do so - in the long run. We hurt 'cos we're alive. I suppose that is the reason to write and sing songs, whether they are joyful or melancholy. My only other thought is that you may regret it if you do not find the courage to express your feelings in an honest and unthreatening fashion.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:09 AM

Q Dear Elvis, Since Karaoke (to sing-along-to a vocal-less music) is one of the major entertainment industry in Japan, it didn't come to my surprise to find the "She" is as one of the request songs on the lists. Pretty soon the "Smile" might be added to them, as the drama features it seems to be doing very well. (in fact my co-worker could give me the name of that TV drama just by listening to SMILE.) How would you take this?
asked by teddy on Wednesday, June 5
  A I have no control over the contents of karaoke machines but it is fine with me so long as I’m not asked to sing with one.
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:10 AM

Q did you write 'i throw my toys around'?
asked by lefty825 on Wednesday, June 5
  A My wife, Cait and I wrote that song for No Doubt and "The Rugrats Movie".
answered by E.C. on Saturday, June 8 1:12 AM

Q I must say, I was tremendously disappointed at the atrocious sound quality at your June 2002 show at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia,PA, USA. The kick drum and also bass guitar were howitzer shells obliterating any musical tones below like 800 Hz. Also, their volume was so ridiculously high that we in the audience felt absolutely battered. Not much fun, lad!What gives? Please fire your sound guy immediately!. I can't imagine ever going to see another of your performances (this was my 2nd)-- there's no bloody point if it's 10% vocal, 10% guitar, and 80% atonal artillery barrage. What gives? It's such a bloody shame! Roger Cook, Durham, North Carolina, USA
asked by roger on Saturday, July 13
  A It's called rock and roll. Bye-bye
answered by The Finger on Saturday, July 13 5:28 AM

Q When are you going to answer questions again?
asked by Rasty on Monday, July 1
  A Now
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 6:54 PM

Q Mr. Costello, i am a teenage guitarist and a fan of yours. i saw i picture of you in entertainment weekly playing a gig with a guitar that appeared to look more like a mandoline with a spiraled body. it was very vintage looking. i was wondering who made it and where did you get it? ~ Conner G.
asked by Conner G. on Friday, June 21
  A It is a Gibson arch-top acoustic from 1914. It is decorated like a mandolin or a violin. It is the work of a very skilled luthier.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 6:58 PM

Q hi elvis, i just picked up "cruel" a few weeks ago and the more i listen to it, the more i appreciate it. thank you very much. however, i noticed in the liner notes of "breach" by the wallflowers that they accredit some background vocals to you. Which songs did you sing on?
asked by jas on Saturday, June 22
  A I recall recording a harmony line for the song called “Murder 101” in a Tokyo studio.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 7:02 PM

Q After reading a biography on Jeff Buckley, I found out you performed at his memorial. I was wondering what song you played?
asked by Ben Geier on Saturday, June 22
  A I sang “Flow my tears” by the Elizabethan composer, John Dowland. Jeff and I had discussed him performing it when I was directing the 1995 “Meltdown” music festival in London. In the end he decided to sing “Dido’s Lament” by Henry Purcell. It was a superb and unique performance.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 7:06 PM

Q Elvis, saw your show in Philly last night and wanted to know the name of the song and artist who sang the song that played after the lights came up at the end of the show. Cool tune!
asked by Bubba on Sunday, June 23
  A I think that’s Jimmy “T-99” Nelson and his song “I’ll miss showbusiness”.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 7:08 PM

Q Greetings Elvis! First I think it's great that you respond to these questions. It's nice to know that you take time to interact w/fans. I am wondering about your take on "alternative/underground" music in America. I am involved with college radio (the only true alternative to American radio) and I was wondering if when you are in the States, if you listen to it at all. I know that you were on the first issue of CMJ Magazine (the College Music Journal) back in '77 and now you are #1 again on the college radio charts with your new record (naturally, college radio has great taste!!). Do you ever encourage your American fans to support college radio?
asked by jez on Monday, June 24
  A My guess is that people don’t like to be told to listen to this type of radio, as everything else is screaming for their attention and this is some kind of alternative. I have spoken to a number of college stations throughout the tour. The conversations are invariably more interesting and the questions a fair bit smarter. Hey, it's called "college" radio, they are supposed to be smarter. I never went to college. I would like to think we might plan a concert tour of colleges before too long. Maybe I can get an education.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 7:12 PM

Q I've been a fan for 22 years, since I was 13 years old. Your songs and your voice I just love. Recently I was playing with my 3 1/2 year old daughter and as she was playing she was singing under her breath. When I listened closely I realized she was singing "Tart" and really to my surprise she was singing the words and adequately ad libbing what she didn't know. She has told me before that she likes that song. Though she insists your are saying "Tot". When I heard her singing I thought it might be cool as a singer and songwriter to hear something like that, is it?
asked by Jenny on Monday, June 24
  A Your daughter obviously has great taste in songs and natural musical talent.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 7:14 PM

Q Do you make a conscious decision to be lyrically vague sometimes? 'Still Too Soon To Know' is a wonderful, direct sad love song, but a beautiful arrangement and melody like 'Deep Dark Truthful Mirror' might scare some people off with all that Persian Cat/Butterflies feeding from a dead monkey's hand stuff!
asked by Neil2 on Monday, June 24
  A There are many ways to use words, just as you can draw picture with a sharp outline or with somthing with a less defined edge. These lines are very real to me. If they scare off some listeners, I suppose that I must accept that the song is not for them.
answered by E.C. on Tuesday, July 16 7:19 PM

Q the other day... someone told me that you claim your favorate CD is Canibal Ox - The Cold Vein... is this a true statement?
asked by Kasai Tha Vocalist on Tuesday, June 25
  A It is among the records that I have appreciated in the last little while but it is hard to say that any one record is my favourite.
answered by E.C. on Wednesday, July 17 2:13 AM

Q i am a big fan like everyone and i was trying to get a hold of some of you out of print cd's! Can you tell me if you are going to remaster any more cd's with rhino? And if so when? and what records? Thank you so much! The new record is great!!!
asked by Steven Elliott on Tuesday, June 25
  A The new editions of “Armed Forces”, “Imperial Bedroom” and “Mighty Like a Rose’ will be issued shortly. Three more titles will follow after an interval until all the albums are available again
answered by E.C. on Wednesday, July 17 2:15 AM

Q Hey I'm a 14 year old fan. Who recently discovered the attractions. Anyway Did you like any of the early 90' alternative rock bands? And how often do you use Jazzmasters?
asked by Devin DeGregoria on Tuesday, June 25
  A Would you consider The Replacements, The Pixes, Bikini Kill and Nirvana to be “alternative”? I like all of those bands but I don’t really understand these terms. I still use my Jazzmaster on every concert.
answered by E.C. on Wednesday, July 17 2:18 AM

Q Do you have a favorite Thurber story? Mine is "The Night the Bed Fell In". And being a fan of Thurber dogs, do you yourself have any? I have a wee Scottie and a gargantuan Irish wolfhound!
asked by Rachel G on Wednesday, June 26
  A My favourite is “The Dog That Bit People”. Wise words for the handling of all wild things. I think that it would be cruel to have a dog and constantly have to place it in kennels while I was away on tour. If you see me with a dog, then you will know that I have retired from the road.
answered by E.C. on Wednesday, July 17 2:21 AM

Q I wanna start an all-female led zeppelin tribute band... is this a terrible, stupid idea?
asked by Cassie on Wednesday, June 26
  A But first you must all shave your heads…
answered by E.C. on Wednesday, July 17 2:23 AM

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