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Costello Honored by Composers

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to tour this summer

April 16, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Elvis Costello will receive the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' Founders Award at the organization's annual Pop Music Awards on May 20th in Beverly Hills, California. Costello joins fellow recipients including Quincy Jones, Tom Waits, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Sondheim, and duos Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, and Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

The ASCAP award is Costello's second big industry recognition of 2003. Last month he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though he cut his teeth as one of rock's angry young men, the forty-seven-year-old Costello has tempered that fire somewhat in light of recent honors. "Friends have been absolutely so thrilled for me," he told Rolling Stone. "And that has changed my mind from my natural disposition of the Groucho Marx view of clubs towards one where I think if people are good enough to invite us to a party it would be churlish and rude of us to decline. The other side of it is it's just some people saying so -- it doesn't make you better than everybody else."

In other Costello news, the singer-songwriter will hit the road with his backing band, the Imposters, in July. Six dates have been lined up so far starting with a July 2nd stop in Toronto.

Elvis Costello tour dates:

7/2: Toronto, Hummingbird Center
7/11: New York, Central Park SummerStage
7/12: Boston, FleetBoston Pavilion
7/13: Gilford, NH, Meadowbrook Farm Musical Arts Center
7/15: Sterling Heights, MI, Freedom Hill Amphitheater
7/23: Edmonton, ALB, Jubilee Auditorium

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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