Elvis Costello will obtain an O.B.E. Award from the British government for his “services to music.” Costello, who can be acknowledged as an “Officer of the Order of the British Empire,” announced the news in a weblog publish on his web site earlier as we speak (June 7). “I am happy to accept this very surprising honour,” Costello wrote on his web site. “I have to admit that my first reaction, upon receiving an ‘O.H.M.S.’ letter was, ‘Oh no, they’ve finally tumbled me.’”
Costello admits that he sought his mom Lillian MacManus’ counsel on the problem of accepting the honour. “I began my call by telling my Mam that the Prime Minister, Mrs. May, had put my name forward for an O.B.E. ‘But she’s rubbish,’ Lillian cut in before I could complete the news,” Costello wrote. “Well, that aside, I said, ‘Of course, I won’t be accepting the award.’ I didn’t get much further with that statement either. I listened carefully to my mother’s argument that if something is deserved then one must be gracious in acceptance. So, as a good lad, who likes to do what will make his Mam most proud, I knew that I must put old doubts and enmities aside and muster what little grace I possess.”
“To be honest,” Costello added, “I’m pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my ‘Services To Music,’ as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different.” Read his full letter here.
Elvis Costello launched Look Now, his newest album with the Imposters, in 2018.
Read “An Ode to Elvis Costello’s Stellar Backing Bands, the Attractions and the Imposters” over on the Pitch.