Elvis Costello 6/30/21

Elvis Costello took a very mature and cool view to 18-year-old pop artist Olivia Rodrigo lifting his 1978 classic “Pump It Up” for her new hit, “Brutal.” When pressed about it on Twitter, Costello — who’s nothing if not one of rock’s most astute musicologists — tweeted back:  “This is fine by me, Billy. It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did. #subterreaneanhomesickblues #toomuchmonkeybusiness”

Costello referenced Bob Dylan‘s 1965 groundbreaking track “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” which was based partly on the rhythm and cadence of hero Chuck Berry‘s 1957 favorite, “Too Much Monkey Business.”

At his 2016 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Elvis Costello explained that he was forced to become a performer in order to sell his songs: [“This honor means all the more to me because I am probably the least commercially successful songwriter to have ever (laughter) been inducted into the Hall of Fame. I am, if nothing else, persistent (laughter). I honestly did start out with the intention of being a backroom songwriter, so I have to be grateful to all the music publishers who thoughtfully sent back my demo tapes, because this forced me out of my bedroom and made me raise my most argumentative voice and stand up for my own songs.”] SOUNDCUE (:32 OC: . . . my own songs)

Elvis Costello & The Imposters will next perform on August 27th in Kansas City, Missouri at the Uptown Theater.

Their only other show currently on the books is their October 16th appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

TL: DR

  • Elvis Costello is cool with 18-year-old pop star Olivia Rodrigo lifting his 1978 classic “Pump It Up” for her new hit, “Brutal” — underlining he borrowed from both Bob Dylan and Chick Berry for his own song: “It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did. #subterreaneanhomesickblues #toomuchmonkeybusiness”

DID YOU KNOW???

  • Olivia Rodrigo has come under attack from Coutrney Love, who cited Rodrigo’s album cover for Sour Prom as a direct steal of the artwork for Hole‘s 1994 Live Through This.

FAST FACTS

  • Elvis Costello dropped a surprise year-capping song in the waning hours of the decade, titled “Farewell, OK 2020.” The D.I.Y.-sounding track isn’t that far off from his critically acclaimed 2020 collection, Hey Clockface.
  • 2020 saw Costello snagging his second Grammy for his and the Imposters‘ 2018 album, Look Now, winning the award for Best Traditional Pop Album.
  • Costello and the band beat out with Barbra Streisand for WallsMichael Bublé for Love (Deluxe Edition); John Legend for A Legendary Christmas; and Sì by Andrea Bocelli.