Elvis Costello appeared on Saturday’s edition of “CBS This Morning”, and the “Pump It Up” rocker opened up about his recent health scare — and why he’s still dealing with the fallout.
Costello, 64, made fans fearful when he announced he was cancelling a few tour dates last year in order to deal with a “small, but very aggressive cancerous malignancy.”
While treatment was successful, some British tabloids began reporting that this “small” problem was a full-blown, life-threatening cancer scare, which wound up sending him scrambling.
“I was answering letters for three weeks, you know, ‘No, I am not dying.’ You know, but it’s not to make a joke of it,” he said. “Because you don’t have to walk very far to find somebody who you love who’s genuinely having a fight.”
Meanwhile, Costello is promoting Look Now, his first new album in five years, which finds him once again teaming with legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach.
“Sometimes I lead the way, sometimes he leads the way,” said Costello, who first collaborated with Bacharach 20 years ago.
“Sometimes the music is entirely his. In the case of the song, ‘Stripping Paper,’ which was intended for this show, I wrote all the music and sent it to him, said, ‘Burt, do you want to try and add something to this?’ He said, ‘No, this song is finished.’ So that’s a pretty good compliment, isn’t it?” Costello added.
Despite boasting one of the most recognizable voices in music, Costello admitted that he never thought of himself as a singer.
“No, not originally,” he admitted. “One of my favourite songwriters of my teenage years was Robbie Robertson. He didn’t sing in The Band. He was the main writer and yet there were three people in The Band that sang. I just couldn’t find a Rick Danko and a Richard Manuel and a Levon Helm to play with. So I had to do the singing myself. It was simple as that. You know it was forced upon me. Everybody took a step back and I was just left there.”