Your book is about being in a band and in a marriage, but it’s also about infidelity. How has writing it altered your definition of infidelity? Oh, it hasn’t. Believe me. Cheating is the worst thing you can do to another person. Short of killing them, it’s the most violent act you can commit.
To write this book, you listened for hours to the band’s practice tapes. How would the process have differed if the tapes had been video? Videos are too real. You can’t change what you see. There’s something pornographic about that. With audio, there’s more elasticity. Hearing is more sensual than seeing, I think, which accounts for the power of music.
Elvis Costello shows up frequently in this book. What is his role? Elvis is not a muse exactly, but sort of a guide. He appeared and disappeared at all these really significant times in my life. To tell the truth, I’d not even noticed this until I’d nearly finished the book. But Elvis was there during all the important moments. And of course, the title of the book is a reference to one of his songs.
How do you think he’ll react to the book? He’ll like it. Elvis loves to talk about Elvis.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 6, 2004