In the ephemeral world of social media, weeks can seem like centuries. So you may have missed our mini social media push to get Elvis Costello to appear on Hinds Plaza on April 18 in a Record Store Day event with Princeton Record Exchange. About two weeks ago now, inspired by an appearance here by social media author Mark S. Babbitt, I decided to see if we could use Twitter and Facebook to appeal directly to the artist to return to Princeton. Why Record Store Day? And Why Elvis Costello?
The answer to the first is obvious. PREX is a great neighbor and in 2012 we were thrilled to host They Might Be Giants on a perfect April Day. We’d like to do that again with a national act. Which leads us to Question No. 2: Why Elvis Costello? Well, for starters he hasn’t appeared here since an April 13, 1979 gig at Dillon Gym and we thought 36 years was long enough. Plus, there’s the fact that I used to be one of those intense young men who would attend multiple shows of each tour and spend the time in between debating the lyrical subtleties of songs like “Man Out Of Time.” (Thankfully, these were pre-Internet days or I would have frittered my time away in forums like the one in the link.)
Anyway, to take the temperature of Princeton about this possibility, I created the artwork above, pushed it out on the library’s Facebook page and waited to see what would happen. We also started a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #ECprinceton. The response was overwhelmingly positive; shares and retweets abounded. Everyone thought it was a great idea, with the exceptiom of the artist himself, who was in San Francisco performing the role of The Narrator in Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale.” Mr. Costello has yet to respond to our collective entreaty, but we haven’t given up. I’ve written to someone the Internet says is his manager and even made a modest offer to the agency that handles his booking. If we hear anything, we’ll let you know.
This whole effort has taught us that EC is obviously one of many notables who pay someone to manage their social media presence. That means it’s a one-way conversation, which I guess is necessary if you’re famous. It’d be nice to get an answer. Even nicer if they answer was, “Yes.”