The first challenge for 2008 on Monday Artday is “new year’s resolution“. I don’t make new year’s resolutions for a few reasons. First, I know I will not keep them longer than three minutes. I am too set in my ways. Second, if I’m going to change something about myself, I don’t need a “new year” as an excuse. I’ll change because I want to and because I feel I have to. That said, I decided to do an illustration inspired by my New Year’s Eve experience.
My wife (check out her ebay store) and my son (listen to him Fridays 3PM – 7PM EST on Y-Rock on XPN) and I went to see Elvis Costello at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. My wife and I saw Elvis Costello in 1982 and I was less than impressed. It was during his “Punch The Clock” tour and since that album was not one of Elvis’ best, the show was not great. His performance on New Year’s Eve was very enjoyable, though. He came on stage precisely at 11:00 o’clock and plowed relentlessly through song after blistering song. His song selection ran the full spectrum of his thirty year career, even if his stage demeanor seemed distant. The audience was responsive, if not frenzied, and absolutely entertained.
As I watched this 53-year old punk perform songs from my youth, I remembered what a great and goofy figure Elvis was when he burst onto the scene in 1977. He was an angry British bloke in a Buddy Holly costume. I’m not sure when the transition occured, but sometime between then and now, he became this elder statesman of rock. Although he released a slew of mediocre albums, some jazz compositions and a symphony, he has not forgotten (and still acknowledges) the music that made him popular – the music that his fans still want to hear.
My son, a big Elvis Costello fan, went to see Elvis this past summer. Elvis was performing selections from Il Sogno, his attempt at classical music. Around the time the concert was beginning, I received a text message from my son. It said “These fucking rock stars only want to be classical composers!” On New Year’s Eve, my son got the Elvis show he wanted to see – even if it was four months late.
Oh, a new years resolution? I’ll go another year without heroin.
Here is Elvis Costello performing “Alison” at Atlantic City’s House of Blues on New Year’s Eve 2007.
This is my first post of 2008. I was the Monthly Winner for December 2007 on Monday Artday, based on submissions for the month.