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Elvis Costello: The ‘Secret’ Truth.

Elvis Costello: The ‘Secret’ Truth.

Above Photo: Elvis Costello, a Secret Lemonade Singer.

I was a very early fan of Elvis Costello, and excitedly bought his debut album My Aim Is True, in 1977.

Only a couple of years later, as I recount in my Punk and New Wave Memoir, Bombed Out! I was working in Eric’s Punk club in Liverpool when Elvis Costello bought me a pint when I was first introduced to him. That was definitely an unexpected act of generosity to a fresh-faced 17 year-old glass-collector.

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Elvis on the road in 1977.

And continuing with the theme of Elvis and drinks, many Punk and New Wave aficionados believe Elvis Costello’s single, Less Than Zero, released in March 1977, was his first recording.

Not so.

British readers of a certain age will remember a great TV advert for R White’s Lemonade, which aired in the mid-1970s and early ‘Eighties in the UK (see You Tube link below) using a catchy song called “I’m a Secret Lemonade Drinker.”

bombed out liverpool punk and new wave 1970s 1980s memoir 1970s british culture

A screenshot from the advert showing Julian Chagrin doing his thing.

That song was written and performed by Elvis Costello’s dad, Ross MacManus, who was a musician in his own right, and Elvis Costello (then called Declan MacManus) actually sang backing vocals on the track.

bombed out liverpool punk and new wave 1970s 1980s memoir 1970s british adverts

Ross Macmanus, Elvis Costello’s father.

Looking at the photos accompanying this article, of Elvis, his dad and Julian Chagrin, the actor playing the Lemonade Drinker, I’m interested to see a common trait of thick black glasses…

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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