Elvis Costello Says His Songs Aren’t Misogynistic


Elvis Costello maintains that his songs are not misogynistic. During a chat with The Los Angeles Times, Costello was reminded of a quote in the 2000 movie High Fidelity, where actor John Cusack is compiling a "Top Five Angry Songs About Women" and he explains, "You kind of have to start with Elvis Costello, but where?"

The line confused Costello, one of rock's greatest songwriters, who admitted, "I don’t get that myself. I think it’s in the eye of the beholder. (In the song) 'Alison' — It’s 'I know the world is killing you,' not 'I am killing you.' I’m not being pedantic here. It says, 'my aim is true.' I am responsible. It’s not like I want to kill you, but this love that we’re in isn’t going to work out. There’s a lot of songs that are like that. People want to hear them as angry."

He went on to say, "I’ve even seen the 'm-word' attached to my name lots of times. Misogynist. I think the songs are more about being a young man trying to work out what those feelings are supposed to be about. I’m not always writing the idyllic love song because maybe somebody does that better than me. Some of it’s from real life. I’ve lived parts of those songs. But I don’t think they’re misogynistic. I wonder if the people who think that are the ones with the problem."

During his 2016 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Elvis Costello gave thanks to the two people — other than himself — who can be credited for establishing him as a songwriter of note: ["Most of my songs have been written alone for me to sing. They have been my only companions in these uneasy hours. But, I should like to acknowledge Linda Ronstadt and Peter Asher (applause), for having introduced my song 'Alison' to the American public. I wasn't very gracious about it at the time, because I was too possessive of my songs, but that recording and the royalties that it generated, it kept. . . (laughter) it kept the gas in our tour bus, while I got to state my case, of which I'm certain."] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . which I'm certain)

UPDATED: Elvis Costello & The Imposters / Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets North American tour dates (subject to change):

May 6 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Elvis Costello only)
May 7 – Tulsa, OK – Cain's Ballroom (Elvis Costello only)
August 4 – Grand Rapids, MI – Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
August 5 – Evanston, IL – Canal Shores
August 6 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at The Heights (Nicole Atkins opening)
August 8 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
August 9 – Buffalo, NY – Artpark Amphitheater (Nicole Atkins opening)
August 11 – New York, NY – The Rooftop at Pier 17
August 12 – Bensalem, PA – Xcite Center at Parx Casino (Elvis Costello only)
August 13 – Ledyard, CT – Foxwoods Resort Casino (Elvis Costello only)
August 15 – Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion
August 16 – Northampton, MA – The Pines Theater
August 18 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap
August 19 – Selbyville, DE – Freeman Arts Pavilion
August 23 – Denver, CO – Levitt Pavilion
August 25 – Salt Lake City, UT – Sandy Amphitheater
August 27 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
August 28 – Thousand Oaks, CA – Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
August 30 – Anaheim, CA – City National Grove of Anaheim
August 31 – San Diego, CA – The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
September 2 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre

Elvis Costello On Gratitude Towards Linda Ronstadt And Peter Asher :