Lies & Inventions

August 11th 1977

Elvis Costello and the Attractions make a two-day trip to Belgium to play the Bilzen Festival with The Damned and The Clash.

August 31st 1977

Due to a commercial airline strike, Elvis Costello and the Attractions fly in six-seat chart plane from Glasgow to London and then back to Edinburgh in order to make their first appearance on weekly chart show, "Top Of The Pops".

They mime and lip-synching to new Stiff single release, "Red Shoes".

The performance fails to improve the fortunes of the record.

October 3rd 1977

"A Bunch Of Stiffs" tours opens in High Wycombe, England.

The rotating bill features, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Wreckless Eric and Nick Lowe and the Last Chicken In The Shop, featuring Pete Thomas on guitar and Dave Edmunds as one of two drummers.

"Pump it up", written on a fire escape in Newcastle and debuted at Lancaster University in the last days of the tour is recorded at Eden Studios, a week later in the first of nine days of sessions which result in the album, "This Year's Model".

November 15th 1977

U.S. debut at the Old Waldorf, San Francisco, followed by dates at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, Hollywood, Jed's in New Orleans and other cites including, Chicago and New York and concluding at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

The bill at the tiny, Capri Theater, Atlanta, is shared with Talking Heads, while the date at the Riviera Theatre, Chicago is in support to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Neither of these shows is a sell out.

Columbia Records attempt to promote their recording artist Eddie Money with the, "Elvis n' Eddie" double bill at the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland. Tickets cost $1.99¢.

The Stiff Records single, "Watching The Detectives", reaches #16 in the U.K. charts.

December 17th 1977

Elvis Costello and the Attractions make their first U.S. television appearance on "Saturday Night Live", deputizing for the originally booked musical guests, the Sex Pistols.

The substitution of "Radio Radio" for the second scheduled number, "Less Than Zero", results in banishment from the programme until 1990 and from any NBC show until 1984.


Recording of "This Year's Model", produced by Nick Lowe, is completed at Eden Studios, London.

U.K. Top 30 chart positions for singles, "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea", #16, "Pump It Up", #24 and "Radio Radio", #29.

January 25th 1978

Second North American tour opens at the Armadillo Headquarters, Austin, Texas and closes on the March 7th at the "El Mocambo" club in Toronto.

March 1978

The "substitute" version of "My Aim Is True", recorded with the Attractions, erroneously pressed and issued in Uruguay and Argentina by Columbia Records.

The album is quickly withdrawn, when it becomes clear that rights only extend to "North America".

March 26th 1978

Elvis Costello and the Attractions play the Stella Cinema, Rathmines in Dublin and tour theatres and clubs in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

When bassist, Bruce Thomas cuts his hand in a bizarre juggling accident, Nick Lowe deputizes on bass for the final shows of the U.K. tour.

April 15th and 16th 1978

During the first of a two-night stand at the Roundhouse, Camden Town, Elvis Costello and the Attractions are joined on, "Mystery Dance" by Phil Lynott, the bassist of Thin Lizzy.

April 19th 1978

Third North American tour opens at the State Theatre, Minneapolis with Johnny Ciambotti of Clover deputizing on bass at this date and in Madison, Wisconsin until Bruce Thomas recovers and rejoins the band.

The triple bill features, Rockpile with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds and Mink Deville and plays both "early" and "late" shows in Royal Oak Theatre, Michigan, Massey Hall, Toronto and New York Palladium.

The tour also makes a stop at "Cain's Ballroom", Tulsa, Oklahoma - former radio broadcast home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and one of the few U.S. venues visited by the Sex Pistols.

The tiny local punk rock community is startled when Elvis Costello and the Attractions open the show with the Hank Williams songs, "Honky Tonk Blues" and "Honky Tonkin'"

During the tour "Accidents Will Happen" is written in Phoenix, Arizona and debuted six days later, with just Steve Nieve's piano accompaniment, at the opening of the show at Hollywood High School on June 4th 1978.

June 7th 1978

The tour closes at the Winterland Ballroom, California.

June 21st 1978

Elvis Costello and the Attractions are taped performing "live" in a European television studio for the first time at an edition of "Rockpalast" in Cologne, Germany.

All previous U.K. and European television appearances have been mimed or filmed at club or concert locations.

July 1st-12th 1978

Scandinavian tour includes an appearance at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark