Among the many, many reasons I love rock n roll so much is that infidelity is strongly encouraged and is in fact essential to maintain a healthy bond. Sure, I may be in a committed long term relationship with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, The Kinks, Cheap Trick and The Replacements ECT.. But I reserve the right to have tawdry affairs whenever my throbbing biological urges become too much to take.
Or put another way, I may fix Lucinda Williams breakfast in bed every Sunday morning for all eternity, but get a few drinks in me on Saturday night and I transform into a rock n roll slut, content to jam (or Ram if you will) my tongue down Judas Priest's throat begging to hear "Electric Eye" at 120 db one more time. "Let me lick the frosting and someone else can have the cake", if you know what I mean. Ah yes, drinking and fooling around, the very essence of rock n roll.
I maintain an open relationship with thousands of bands and we have some harmless fun. Nobody gets hurts. No commitment. No drama. I may not reach out for months or even years and then suddenly bang on the"Rhapsody" door at 3am looking for a nightcap and just one kiss.
However, once in a while, one of these affairs turns into something a little more serious. It's an unsettling feeling falling for somebody new. I start to get a little jealous. Stalking the band on face book, watching endless clips on YouTube, boring my friends to tears with endless talk of how great they are. Suddenly I wake up needy. My other affairs don't mean as much. I stop texting Iron Maiden and blow off my date with Public Enemy just to sit at home wondering what they are doing.
This is where I am at with Elvis Costello. When I saw he was coming to Columbus with the Imposters this June, I knew this was my make or break moment. It was time for me to "Invest" in "us". Truth be told, I have been seeing his album "Blood and Chocolate" on the side now for a couple of years. I find myself sitting in my driveway alone at night listening to "Uncomplicated" and "Battered Old Bird" while my wife is inside asleep in our bed. These two songs are so powerful. So fearless. I find myself returning to them over and over. Yet, I couldn't seem to embrace the rest of Elvis's catalog with the same passion I had for this record.
I knew it wasn't him. He is great. Everybody I respect will vouch for what a great guy Elvis is. He has done so many interesting projects. I knew I was the one to blame for holding our relationship back. Commitment issues. (Again)
So I prepared for this concert. I wanted to build 'us' into something more than stale beer and wrinkled bedsheets. I wanted us to take the next step. I wanted to show Elvis I was serious about this and would be willing to do my part to help us succeed. So I listened and listened to his catalog preparing for our big date. I showed up at the concert with a dozen roses, a head full of Costello tunes and a 40oz draft beer in hand. I was ready to be swept off my feet.
And boy was I. I'm smitten. As he was tearing the roof off the LC with a blistering version of "Uncomplicated", I turned to my friends Brian Phillips and Joe Peppercorn and said, "If my ticket cost $100 and he only played this one song, it would have been worth it". It was that good. So Elvis and I are getting serious. Though officially our status is still "Uncomplicated" Here is a live version of "Uncomplicated" though the studio cut is essential. I couldn't find a free audio version of "Battered Old Bird" but here is the link to buy the MP3 Special shout to Nick Lowe for some of the greatest production in the history of rock n roll. Colin Gawel is a songwriter/baseball fan/drooling fanatic who moonlights as a hack writer and coffee shop owner. He plays in Watershed and fronts the Lonely Bones. Colingawel.com