(young Elvis Costello wearing some RED!!)
The autumn of 1981 in London meant a new season for many. So, of course, the art crowd was having its new season too. I was invited along to an art gallery opening -- somewhere hip, in London -- but I do recall it was a nice “lig,” with free food and drink. Of course, living on very limited means and wanting to win friends and influence people, I was there.
Also on hand were my Squeeze pals, Glenn Tillbrook, Chris Difford, and probably John Bentley. Best of all, I got to hang a bit with the affable Elvis Costello and his then-wife, Mary. They -- and I -- proudly sported our red cowboy boots. I kept thinking of the Elvis Costello song, “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes.” I wondered if they were the SAME red shoes that he and she were wearing. For myself, I just liked the novelty of red shoes in high heeled cowboy boot form, and thought they looked cute with puffy tiered skirts above the knees. I guess it was one of those ‘80’s trends or aberrations, bright red footwear.
Elvis as I recall was laughing and drinking a lot, and Mary, his wife, seemed nervous -- but seemed really warm and kind to me. Earlier in 1981, I was balancing my armpits on crutches that I padded for comfort, watching from the wings of the stage at the NY Palladium, enjoying a spirited Squeeze/Elvis Costello concert with my right leg in a full leg cast. I reminded Elvis of that and how he and his band signed the cast for me, and he laughed and said he certainly hoped my leg had healed. A real nice guy, that Elvis.
I wish I could recall more about the art at this opening party -- but as I hadn’t the means to buy anything and was so involved with the socializing aspect, I can’t remember it. Well, I could say they were generous to provide refreshments for a whole lot of liggers, the likes of us musicians and whatnot.
I am sure there was press there, snapping pictures and getting good captions for the next week’s NME or Melody Maker. Who knows, could have also made it into the Daily Mail or The Sun. (How about the caption, “Pop! Goes the Art Scene”??) I was more of a Guardian reader if truth be told. . . .