Costello’s Spectacle Episode with John is Now Available

John’s appearance on the acclaimed Sundance Channel music TV series “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...” is available for download now exclusively at the iTunes Store, with DVD release set for Nov. 3.

The episode with John also stars Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash and Norah Jones. Unlike earlier epidodes of the series—which focused mostly on a single artist like Elton John and Smoky Robinson--it took on the nature of a Nashville “guitar pull,” where several songwriters sit around swapping songs and stories.

Ever the charming host, Costello joked that he and John could “arm-wrestle” for the role of Waylon Jennings in The Highwaymen—the country music superstar quartet made up Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings—being that Rosanne could take the part of her father and that Jones, besides her Grammy-winning pop albums, fronts a country band named after Nelson--the Little Willies. He then sparked a friendly banter with John regarding critical comments Costello made in the late 1970s regarding the then Johnny Cougar’s stage name.

John, of course, had lived in London briefly during the height of British punk rock and the start of Costello’s career. A contrite Costello conceded that he should be the last one to question a fellow rocker’s stage name, since he himself works under one. He also hailed John’s then new “Life, Death, Love, And Freedom” album as “one of his very best.”

“It was an honor and a joy to be on that show,” John later recalled. “Elvis Costello is arguably the best songwriter of our generation, and an engaging host who showed interest in all of us. It was so interesting to me that I forgot I was on television, because I was so interested in what everyone had to say. Then I looked up and saw myself on the monitor and said, ‘Oh, shit!’”

Costello’s second season of “Spectacle,” incidentally, has just begun taping. Among his guests this year is John’s Australian tour mate Sheryl Crow.

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