The Penguin Podcast

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello brings his first guitar, musical mementoes from his Dad and a referee’s whistle to the Penguin Studio as he talks about his memoir Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink.

Some of the topics of conversation include his many and varied musical collaborations; the importance of being able to perform live; the art of the lyricist and how his mother had an argument about a record player with Orson Welles.

Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink

Elvis Costello

The deluxe eBook edition of Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink features two hundred additional photos and images, including more from Costello's original lyrics notebooks and a selection of his family's most intriguing documents and vintage photographs. Pages from his father's scrapbooks from the early '50s Merseyside jazz scene are contrasted with a ledger of setlists and meagre fees from the author's early musical partnership in Rusty on the Liverpool club scene and other mementoes from Costello's musical apprenticeship. There are numerous candid shots of the artist and his collaborators, both on stage and behind the scenes, along with a touching collection of signatures, mostly dedicated to the young Declan MacManus in his autograph book from the 1960s, all of which charts a journey from fan to pop star and back again. Over an hour of excerpts from the audio edition are also featured, including several wonderful anecdotes that were ultimately omitted from the book. These additions serve to enrich the story of an incredible life in music, phenomenally well told.

Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.

Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and had taken the popular music world by storm before he was twenty-four.

Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of the day. His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band on your television screen and performing in the world's greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company. Unfaithful Music describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom.

This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.

Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic, idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man.

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