Brow Beat

Elvis Costello Talks Childhood, Angry Young Manhood, and His Love of Cheap Trick

On Oct. 15, Elvis Costello came to Washington, D.C.’s Sixth and I to talk with Slate culture editor Dan Kois about his new memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. The pair discussed the moment when 8-year-old Declan MacManus first understood that music was a thing you could hold and love; how the Attractions were influenced by Neil Young, David Bowie, and Cheap Trick; and how his appearance in the Spice Girls movie reflects his feelings about the difficulty of pop songwriting. Plus, an audience member asked the most important question: “How do you really feel about Sting?”

And at the end of the evening, MacManus made everyone get happy by pulling out the guitar for a very appropriate solo performance. Thanks to Sixth and I and Blue Rider Press, you can watch the complete conversation, and song, above.