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Sweet And Lowe Down
As he gears up for a date with Vicar Street on February 15, Nick Lowe shares anecdotes about Wilco, Elvis Costello and his father-in-law Johnny Cash.
Roisin Dwyer, 31 Jan 2012
The long-player also includes a cover of Elvis Costello’s ‘The Poisoned Rose’. Nick still sees Elvis regularly and fondly remembers the early Attractions recording sessions.
“I can remember them fighting quite a lot,” he laughs. “There were regular physical punch-ups in the studio which were soon forgotten. It seemed to be part of the process!”
Lowe also famously produced the debut Damned album and the first ‘official’ punk single ‘New Rose’. Were they as well behaved?
“They used to call me grandad or uncle or something. I think I was 24 at the time!” he laughs. “They were a lively bunch but they were great. I still occasionally hear ‘New Rose’ or ‘Neat Neat Neat’ ‘on the radio. They still sound fantastic.”
As well as his production skills, Lowe is renowned for his song-writing and very often that talent is brought to the fore by a cover version, most famously Elvis’ ‘(What’s So Funny Bout) Peace Love And Understanding?’.
“I think it's been covered 30 or 40 times,” states Nick. “I have recordings of it by Tahitian fishermen, kids in a mission school in the South American jungle as well as some more conventional versions!”
The song was also a number one hit for Curtis Stigers when it featured in hit ‘90s film The Bodyguard.
“As a result Curtis and I have become very good friends!” laughs Nick. “And the money couldn’t have come at a better time!”
Most recently Wilco recorded his ‘I Love My Label’ as the B-Side to their single ‘I Might’. He was support for the American alt. country outfit on their recent tour.
“They had been extending the hand of friendship to me for a while,” explains Lowe. “I was in Chicago once and they invited me down to the studio but I was unable to go. Then last year they asked me to do the dates and I was very pleased because their audience are much younger than mine, but very musically literate. I was very anxious to put myself in front of them. I actually got a really good reception!” he says sounding genuinely surprised. There’s that modesty again…