Elvis Costello live acoustic "Every Day I Write the Book" and memoir conversation.

Elvis Costello Talks About His Angry Young Man Days—and Sings! (VIDEO)

Elvis Costello Talks About His Angry Young Man Days—and Sings! (VIDEO)

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 29 2015 9:20 AM

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

Elvis Costello at Sixth and I, Washington DC
Elvis Costello at Sixth and I, Washington DC, Oct. 15, 2015.

Courtesy of Sixth and I

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.

Dan Kois edits and writes for Slate’s human interest and culture departments. He’s the co-author, with Isaac Butler, of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, and is writing a book called How to Be a Family.