Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink

  • by Elvis Costello
  • Narrated by Elvis Costello
  • 17 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, written and read by Elvis Costello.
In a career spanning four decades, Elvis Costello (born Declan MacManus) has made himself a huge reputation through his tunes, lyrics and occasional bad behaviour. Now, for the first time, he is telling his story.
From miming on Top of the Pops to becoming one of the industry's elder statesmen, Costello's memoir - which he has written himself and will promote assiduously - is a one-man history of British music.
A warm, deep and surprisingly funny insight into an amazing life, it is rich with anecdotes about family, musicians and the creation of his famous songs.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Must for Music Lovers

The cover of this title shows a 20-something Costello relaxing on a hotel bed, guitar in hand, notebook lying close by, waiting his turn to hit the stage with his band The Attractions. And this turns out to be a very apt picture, as the tone of this excellent book is very much in the style of a casual conversation.

Rather than tell his story in chronological order as you might expect, Costello instead looks at the components and aspects of his long career in which the telling of one story triggers a memory of another one and so he digresses for a minute before returning to his original theme.

For instance, he talks of his father, a professional session singer and long-time member of the very popular Joe Loss Orchestra. As he tells the story of how he would spend some childhood Saturdays watching his dad work the afternoon crowds at the local Locarno Ballroom, he is reminded of a time years later when he and his band ran into his dad at 3am at the Blue Boar Services on the M1, a popular stopping place for working bands after a hard nights playing. Whilst recalling his initial recording experiences in the late 70s, he is reminded of how his dad was booked to sing the “R Whites Lemonade” theme tune for a TV ad (“I’m a secret lemonade drinker”) and how Costello himself, only a teen, was roped in to provide the now famous “R Whites” chant on backing vocals.

Train journeys similarly evoke memories for him, be he on the way to an important meeting with his record label, a court appearance following a publicity stunt that went wrong, or simply going home for Xmas. The overall effect is of listening to Costello tell tales whilst he sits on a hotel bed, strumming his guitar. It’s very engaging.

I was also surprised to find that Costello was not the snarling, punk wunderkind portrayed in his videos, but actually preferred listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash and Joni Mitchell, as he held down a series of day-jobs to support his wife and young son whilst all the time dreaming about, and working towards, a far different future.

Costello does a first-class job of the narration, and keeps the listener engaged throughout. At the time of writing this I’ve not yet finished the book, and am very much looking forward to my commute home for an opportunity to pull on my headphones, shut out the world and catch up on the next chapter.

Very highly recommended
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- Colin

A fascinating account of a creative life

A huge fan of this talented and passionate musician, this honest and entertaining account of a driven creative had me glued to my i pad for a week. Read by the man himself and peppered with his lyrics and short stories it gave a very personal insight into his inspiration and obsessions and provided a fascinating historical context for his musical outputs.
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- Nicky

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-10-2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd