EC on Steve Wright/Sarah Ferguson show transcribed

Pretty self-explanatory
laughingcrow
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EC on Steve Wright/Sarah Ferguson show transcribed

Postby laughingcrow » Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:32 pm

Here is the transcribed interview (yes I had nothing to do today) of EC on the Steve Wright show today, for all you guys who didn't hear The Man on this irritating radio show.


EC = Elvis Costello.
SW = Steve Wright, presenter
SF = Sarah Ferguson, a woman who was once married to some member of the English royal family.
Other man and woman = 2 miscellaneous members of the show's production team



Steve Wright: Hi, Elvis Costello is here everybody, (applause) and that is now Elvis' real name. Elvis is in the building, how are you Elvis?

Elvis Costello: I'm very well thankyou.

SW: Now listen, I saw you do that David Letterman Show and you were the host!

EC: I was the host.

SW: You were the host, doing funny!

EC: Yes?

SW: How was it for you?

EC: It was great, It was great...I've been on the show a lot of times as a musical guest and when David felt sick they came on and said would I like to host it. I've always known that I could do that, I mean you talk on stage, and I always had the idea I could be on TV if they would just let me, and it was really good fun. I mean I cheated a little bit, I had some people write jokes for me...

Other man: As he (SW) does.

EC:...but I had Mike Scully from The Simpsons wrote me one line, and another friend of mine wrote me some jokes, and another friend of mine who's a scriptwriter. So I had a pretty knockout monologue.

SW: Well it was great and it was such a surprise to see you doing it, and I was watching it, it was on ITV2 over here, and I'm seeing you doing it, and there was one point when you just closed your eyes and felt the laughter and the applause. That must have been...

EC: The roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd.

SW: (laughs) It really is. Now listen, I've heard the whole of the new album, and I love it because I wanna listen to it late night, it's a perfect late night kind of deal.

EC: It's a definite autumnal, 'leaves falling off the trees', 'raining outside' kind of record. I wrote the songs in autumn and it's coming out in autumn, so maybe that'll help people with the mood. We live in a world where everything is shouting at you very loudly for attention and I've tried to make a record that's the world at...

Sarah Ferguson: (interrupting) When you wrote 'North', were you in a good mood, or an...

EC: I think it actually marks a transition in my self, and that other people will see themselves in. Between a less hopeful place, to a more joyful place.

SW: By the way Elvis, that was the Duchess of York asking you a question there...

EC: Yes, I...

SW: May I introduce you...Duchess of York, Elvis Costello.

EC: Yes, (to SF) how are you?

SF: I'm Sarah actually...

EC: Sarah, how are you? Nice to meet you.

SF: Hi Elvis (SW laughs). I always wanted to say 'Hi Elvis'.

SW: 'Hi Elvis' yes.. (laughing)

EC: I've always wanted to say 'Hello Sarah'. (SW and SF laugh)

SW: So, the album is on DGG, why?

EC: DD.. DGG, which I can't say, is Deutsch Grammaphone, which is obviously better known for releasing classical records. It says more about Deutsch Grammaphone than it does about me that this album is on their label, because as time goes on they have to do something other than release more versions of Beethoven symphonies, and they are good enough to try and think about the other kinds of music that can credibly be on their label. These songs really took me over as I was writing them, I didn't even realise what I'd written until I'd finished.

Other man: What do you mean you didn't realise what you'd written until you'd finished?

EC: Well, I didn't recognise that...

Other man: Did you finish the whole songs?

EC: Yeah I'd finished all of the songs and before I took a step back they came to me very quickly, and I didn't realise that they told any kind of story, or the transition we talked about was happening. I just liked each one as I was writing it, I knew they were very intense, and they preserved the initial voice of the song. Sometimes when you write songs quite late at night, you're singing to yourself but imagining a big loud sound with drums and bass and everything, and you take the key up, and project your voice out more over that accompaniment. With these songs I kept it in that first intimate voice, and that was very true to the feeling of the songs.

Other man: Jazzy isn't it...it's all very...

EC: Well there's a lot of jazz musicians playing on the record, obviously it's not improvised, I composed everything and I did all the orchestration, and even waved my arms around and allegedly conducted the orchestra. That looks very grand, but what you're really doing is just giving the musicians where the emphasis lies, and as a singer and a writer you know better than anybody.

SW: I've listened to the whole album earlier on today, can I just play my favourite track?

EC: By all means.

SW: It's called 'You turned to me'. Here's Elvis Costello from the album 'North'.

'YOU TURNED TO ME' PLAYS

SW: (applause) See now, to me that's lovely, that's great, I'm chilled now.

SF: I'm going to go and buy it straight away.

SW: I'll see if I can get you a copy.

SF: Can you?

SW: You won't have to buy a copy Sarah.

SF: Do you think Elvis could sign it?

SW: Err.. well I don't know, you'll have to ask him. It's not up to me.

SF: Could you?

EC: Yes of course.

SF: Would you? Ah bless you.

EC: Yes of course. Is it with an 'h' or without?

SF: With.

EC: With an 'h'

SW: (laughing) It's not 'HRH'.

EC: No, I meant Sarah.

SW: (laughing) Oh I see. Now listen, I know you wanted to ask Elvis a pertinent question, because you were telling me Sarah that you really like 'Watching the Detectives'.

SF: I loved 'Watching the Detectives' and 'Alison', and I wanted to know, after 'Watching the Detectives' , suddenly the punk rock period exploded, didn't it? How did you feel about that?

EC: I think I was sometimes mixed up with it in people's minds, but all of those people had their own idea about the music they were doing.

SW: Do you think you were part of it?

EC: No, I don't think anybody thought they were part of it, except untalented people who wanted to jump on a bandwagon that had already left town.

Other man: What's your favourite song from that period?

EC: I like the record 'Watching the Detectives' actually, I think it still sounds pretty startling, and it was one of Nick Lowe's best productions, and he's probably the best producer of that time and a really under-appreciated songwriter.

SF: Who was Alison?

EC: Well Alison is an imaginary character, an ideal really.

SW: Are you sure?

EC: Yeees.

SF: And Veronica?

EC: Veronica was about my grandmother. Any other names?

SW: (laughing) Uh oh Elvis. (to SF) You could be getting personal. Quick move away from that! How much time do you spend on making an album like this? I mean, you talked about the writing, and the songs, many of the songs almost sound like classics, and I was gonna ask you... you pre-empted me... I was gonna say, how many of these songs were previously written? How many did you write? Because, several sound like classics that I may not have heard. Do you know what I mean?

EC: All of these songs were written between late september and new year's day of last year, and then when we entered the studio, I suppose we completed the work in about a month.

Other man: You said this is reflecting on very personal events. Does this album in particular reflect on personal events in your life, of which we may or may not have read about?

EC: How diplomatically put!

SW: That was a fantastically put question.

EC: That was a so peculiarly English way of saying that you read the tabloids.

Other man: I don't wanna upset you (everyone laughs).

EC: You've seen that look in my eye. Everything you write is personal, there is no more personal place than inside your head, and having said that, I obviously know that the emotional transition in these songs is one we can all experience. I to some degree have experienced it. Life is a lot more complex, messier, takes longer, and if you recite it literally it will involve long periods of sleep, which are not that interesting to listen to. As a consequence, you can only write OF life, it isn't life itself.


Other woman: (laughing) Very diplomatic answer.

SW: See that's a better answer than my question, yeah... and give our very best to Diana Krall of course. (other man laughs)

EC: Thankyou. Very very nice of you.

SW: Elvis Costello's new album 'North' is released next Monday, September 15th. You're doing a thing for Radio 2 as well?

Other woman: I'm really looking forward to it actually, because in that you're going to be particularly going to be focusing on the song, it's not just a gig.

EC: It's called 'Sold on Song', and it's a concert mixed with a discussion. It sounds a little dry when you say it as if I'll be coming out... I'm actually assuming the identity of Robert Donat in 'Goodbye Mr Chips' (everyone laughs). Gonna have a very nice greying moustache and a mortar board and gown, and I'll lecture the audience on songwriting. No, I'm performing and I'm actually going to have a discussion with Mariella Frostrup, which I think will be fun.

SF: Do you feel that you are an inspirational character, for people out there?

EC: I'm not aware of it. You know, people say I listened to your record while I was doing this or that, or something in their life, or another musician, but I don't go around thinking 'Yes I am an inspiration to people'.

SF: When you started off did you just suddenly go into music?

EC: I'm the third in four generations of musician in my family. Music's been the thing I think about all the time, all of my life, even before I picked up an instrument.

SW: And your dad of course was a secret lemonade drinker!

EC: He did, among other.. he also sang some of the big martini adverts in the 60s.

SW: Did he?

EC: Yeah, he sang a lot of big adverts at that time. I think Martini or Cinzano, it was one of those. He sang with the Jailhouse Orchestra of many years and also had another line in being the voice of cover's records in the commercials.

SW: But it wasn't your dad coming down the stairs? It was his voice?

EC: No, no, it was his voice and mine. I was singing on that, first session I ever did.

SW: Were you? That's great isn't it. Elvis Costello's new record 'North' is released next Monday, September 15th, and fantastic to talk to you. Can you sign Sarah's stuff now?

EC: Absolutely.

SF: I haven't got one!

SW: Well, we're gonna get you one in a minute.

SF: Thankyou.

SW: Elvis Costello everybody...thanks Elvis!
Last edited by laughingcrow on Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:51 pm

- He sang with the Jailhouse Orchestra of many years and also had another line in-


Should be `Joe Loss Orchestra` , I presume.

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jillbeast
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Thanks for the transcription!

Postby jillbeast » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:51 pm

Thanks for transcribing this...what an awkward interview!

Jill

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Postby Goody2Shoes » Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:06 pm

Sweet Jesus! How does he not flee, screaming, from such an ordeal? I was embarrassed just reading it.
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A grand achievment

Postby A rope leash » Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:10 pm

Elvis just blows them away with the eloquent commentary, doesn't he? If he doesn't think he's a particular inspiration to people, then maybe he's never seen this site.

This show transcript reads like straight-up pabulum talk-show foo. Where can I get a video?

Laughingcrow gets an "A". Nary a misspelling to be found. Decent punctuation as well. That must have been tough.

laughingcrow
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Postby laughingcrow » Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:05 pm

Joe Loss Orchestra :oops: whoops... I actually plead ignorance on that one!

Glad to be of service to all non-UK friends, fingers crossed cos I'm planning on doing the Jonathon Ross/Terry and Gabby/Richard and Judy ones as well for you all. His interview with Jonathon last year was pretty good, but I can only imagine the other two will be as weird as this one...questions about Alison and the like!

To think that Sarah Ferguson loved Watching The Detectives. Ha!

Is it with an 'h' or without?


:D :D :D

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:50 pm

I love the way he handles her first interruption! She's so dim. Elvis is cool. steve Wright always was a wnaker. 'Other man' is an arse too. Thanks for the transcribing, that saves hours of listening to the online programme. Though of course now I wanna hear that for real. Keep 'em coming!

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Postby PlaythingOrPet » Wed Sep 10, 2003 6:29 pm

"Is it with an 'h' or without?" He was completely taking the piss there. Only Elvis would do that to a "royal's" face. Good ol' Elv.

It's always crap when an appearance on Wright's show comes up. Listen to Wossie on Saturday and prepare to be entertained (that is, if Wossie is in the right mood).

Do you know Bowie's on his chat show soon, Otis? Of course you do.
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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:02 am

The TV one? No, I didn't know it was back on, but it's a safe assumption that a new Bowie LP = Bowie on both of his shows. Ross resolutely sticks to the inclusion of one Bowie song per radio show, bless 'im.

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:34 am

Thanks Laughing Crow - much appreciated as I didn't get a chance to listen to the show.

I agree with Plaything - of course Elvis was extracting the urine about Sarah being with or without an "h".

Elvis is so eloquent isn't he? And diplomatic.

And isn't it typical that she gets a free signed copy AND her favourite songs are WTD and (yawn) Alison...
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Postby Gilbert » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:31 pm

Elvis was interesting and more tolerant of the fools around him than you might expect. Steve Wright himself was nauseating and I'm glad I don't listen to him more often.

He was so fawning over the former wife of the Duke of York that I wanted to barf. He laughed at her non-jokes and even commented that "Beatrice and Eugenie - what great names for kids!"

The music was dreadful as well, with bland efforts like "Pilot of the Airwaves" by Charlie Dore and that unspeakable song by Heart with the trite lyrics about walking in gardens, planting trees and sowing seeds.

Apart from that it was great!
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Postby Jackson Doofster » Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:51 pm

Yeah..........that Heart song is bloody terrible. I assume it's about a woman whose hubby is impotent and so she shags around with anyone she meets on lonely dark roads in the rain?

I know...who cares..........
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Postby DrJ » Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:51 pm

Life is a lot more complex, messier, takes longer, and if you recite it literally it will involve long periods of sleep, which are not that interesting to listen to.


Now that's funny.

DrJ
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PlaythingOrPet
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Postby PlaythingOrPet » Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:20 pm

Life is a lot more complex, messier, takes longer, and if you recite it literally it will involve long periods of sleep, which are not that interesting to listen to.


I've never heard it described like that before! :?
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Postby laughingcrow » Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:14 pm

Pilot of the airwaves...here is my request...you don't have to play it, but I hope you'll do your best...I've been listening to your show on the radio...and you seem like a friend to me!

Don't you think EC should cover this?

Joke!
:D

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:46 pm

Actually, I'm amazed that someone as dim and thoroughly bland as Fergie would even have heard of EC let alone like Alison and WTD. I can only think of her as the moron in the Ruy Wax programme having her ridiculous bedroom with her row of pink knickers, then white, etc. being rifled through and sent up by an utterly manic Wax. And then she locked her out of the house and the last sight was SF looking in through the window in bafflement.

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Re: EC on Steve Wright/Sarah Ferguson show transcribed

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:16 am

Looking up something else from '03 I happened again on this. It's bizarreness prompts me to 'bump' it for the amusement of more recent members of this forum.

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Re: EC on Steve Wright/Sarah Ferguson show transcribed

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:31 am

Thank you for exhuming that. It must have had a lifelessness about it while it was actually occurring in real time because it reads like it was still born. I have to applaud EC's graciousness and seeming tact. He, and others like him, must have a professional life that is filled with moments like this, when one is forced to interact with people who clearly have no clue as to who you are or what you are about or any reasonable familiarity with your work. They have heard a few song titles in the distant past and are vaguely aware that you are noted for something or another but they have no real emotional interaction with your work or a context with which to enjoy it. Painful to say the least. I would not trade places with EC for a minute as I do not suffer fools with his ease and graciousness.

Do note that comment from him about two thirds of the way through where he states that all songwriting is 'personal'. Puts to the lie his long running pretense in his writings in the reissues that one should not put a personal spin on a given song. :wink:
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: EC on Steve Wright/Sarah Ferguson show transcribed

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:26 am

Elvis's appearance on Steve Wright's show today has reminded some of us of this previous one .


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