In the summer of 1982 I went to my first Elvis Costello concert. He and The Attractions played an all ages show at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. I was 17 years old. My hair was cut in a severe chin length bob. I wore black and white saddle shoes that were meant to represent me as one who enjoyed ironic throwback fashion and was sort of into ska. My friend Val and I danced in our vintage pencil skirts. The crowd was young and rowdy and new wave. Someone was kicked out for smoking pot.
Elvis wore a suit and tie and his signature black framed glasses. His dark hair was shiny and slicked back. It was a grand performance. He played my favorite song, “Alison.”
I kissed a boy.
After the concert, Val and I sneaked into the bar at the Holiday Inn where we heard Mr. Costello was staying. We giggled as we watched him drinking beer at the bar. When we finally got the courage to say hello, he was kind. The night was magic.
Last Tuesday I saw Elvis Costello at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara. He played alone on the stage with his guitar. I am 45 years old and my hair has been dyed to cover the gray. I wore a vaguely business casual ensemble with a colorful scarf to keep off the chill. I sat in my assigned seat and clapped appreciatively between songs. The crowd looked like the population of a 30 year high school class reunion. More than one of the men resembled Mr. Belvedere with a ponytail. Someone got kicked out for taking a picture with his i-phone.
Elvis wore a suit and a tie and his signature black framed glasses. His temples were graying and under his hat, a receding hairline. It was a grand performance. He played my favorite song, “Alison.”
I kissed my husband.
After the concert, Jeff and I talked and laughed on the long ride back home. When we got to the house, I tiptoed into the room of the little boy who had he been born a girl, might have been named Alison. The night was magic.