Besides being one of the most respected bespectacled songwriters of his generation, Elvis Costello is also a part-time Vancouverite. The British singer/songwriter lives here at least part of each year with his wife, Vancouver Island native/jazz singer Diana Krall, and their two sons.
Perhaps proximity is why the city is lucky enough to host Costello in a rare non-concert appearance; on Nov. 23, the Vancouver Writers Festival presents Elvis Costello in Conversation with Stephen Quinn, an exclusive event at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Rd., University of British Columbia).
The occasion, besides the fact that Costello is conveniently located in the city, is the publication of Unfaithful Music Disappearing Ink. In the 2015 memoir, the author born Delcan McManus recounts stories about the origins of some of his songs as well as encounters with marquee names like Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Dylan. The New York Times called the book “some of the best writing – funny, strange, spiteful, anguished – we’ve ever had from an important musician.”
We also have it on good authority that the musician will, following the talk, sign books.
Host/interlocutor Quinn is a host of CBC Radio’s On the Coast. Tickets are between $35-55 and available in advance at tickets.ubc.ca or by calling the Chan Centre box office at 604-822-2697 between 12-5 p.m.
The Costello event is one of two special Vancouver Writers Festival events featuring well-known musicians with recently-published books. The other is an evening with Robbie Robertson, a musician with an acclaimed body of solo work as well as a former member of The Band. Published in November of this year, Robertson’s Testimony is a look back at his origins as a touring (and, in the U.S., underage) guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks through session work with Neil Diamond, touring and recording with Dylan, and the rise of The Band and, finally, the ultimate tribute concert, documented by Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film The Last Waltz.
The Robertson event takes place Dec. 6, also at Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard St.).
According to the Writers’ Fest website, “advanced online sales have ended. Limited tickets may be available at the door starting at 6:30 p.m.,” the day of the event.