I was a high-school senior in spring 1979 (the exact date is lost to history – sorry) when I saw Elvis Costello and the Attractions at Boston’s Orpheum Theater for the first time.
This past week, I saw Elvis.
This time, the backup band was a six-piece country-bluegrass outfit (every man-jack an all-star, by the way, but that’s outside the scope of this post). The venue, on the other hand, was the same. I’ve been to eight or 10 Costello concerts, and most were at the Orpheum, a glorious old-school theater that holds about 2,700.
Heros are for kids, aren’t they? I find myself embarrassed to admit that I’ve got two: Elvis Costello and race driver Mark Martin. It can’t be coincidence that both are a bit older than I am (the former is 54, the latter 52; I’m bearing down on 49). MORE
On Facebook, I joked that in ’79, Elvis and I were both angry young men, whereas we’re now crabby old ones – with the ear-hair to prove it.
It’s a nice joke, but the truth is that it’s not only wrong – it is completely wrong, a full hundred and eighty degrees from the truth. Not only is Elvis Costello not a crabby old man; he’s a generous, bemused, gracious one who appears to be making a living doing precisely the thing he wants to do.