On a whim I recently picked up the rock musician Elvis Costello’s 2015 biography, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, a strange and (as far as I can tell — only 100 pages into it) occasionally brilliant reflection on his life.
Costello, born Declan Patrick MacManus in 1954, began his career in London’s pub scene before becoming an important contributor to the British punk and new wave movement of the mid-1970’s. Long a darling of rock critics, Costello was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, and is known to contemporary jazz fans as the husband to popular pianist/singer Diana Krall.
The following excerpt from the book is a colorful story of Costello’s mother Lillian’s employment as a clerk in the record departments of two Liverpool retailers — first, Rushworth & Dreaper (a renowned seller of musical instruments), and three years later, Bennett’s, a smaller shop that catered to musicians. Along the way, you will discover how