It's been announced that Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney's younger brother, Mike “McGear” McCartney, are among those recognized in the new Queen's Honors list. The Huffington Post reported Costello will receive the prestigious O.B.E — Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medal for his services to music; with McCartney being honored with the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Merseyside area of Liverpool. The Queen's Honors are handed out twice a year, in June and at the New Year, and are awarded to people for all types of service, including the performing arts.
Mike McCartney, now 75, is a beloved British entertainment figure due to his work with his group the Scaffold, photography, and his children's books. He has recently performed a string of shows featuring a multimedia trip through his comedic, musical, and photographic history.
Elvis Costello posted a message to fans on his website (ElvisCostello.com) explaining that despite his political slant and lack of belief in royalty, he's choosing to accept the honor on behalf of his two grandfathers who fought in World War 1, writing in part: “I am happy to accept this very surprising honour. I have to admit that my first reaction, upon receiving an 'O.H.M.S.' letter was, 'Oh no, they’ve finally tumbled me.' . . . Reading the letter, I thought for a while, then folded the document and slept on the news until the morning when I could place a call to England and speak to my mother, Lillian MacManus.
He went on to wrote: “I began my call by telling my Mam that the Prime Minister, Mrs. (Theresa) May, had put my name forward for an O.B.E. 'But she’s rubbish,' Lillian cut in before I could complete the news. Well, that aside, I said, 'Of course, I won’t be accepting the award.' I didn’t get much further with that statement either. I listened carefully to my mother’s argument that if something is deserved then one must be gracious in acceptance.
Costello explained, “So, as a good lad, who likes to do what will make his Mam most proud, I knew that I must put old doubts and enmities aside and muster what little grace I possess.”
He went on to say, “It would be a lie to pretend that I was brought up to have a great sense of loyalty to the Crown, let alone notions of Empire. I used to think a change might come but when one considers the kind of mediocre entrepreneur who might be foisted upon us as a President, it’s enough to make the most hard-hearted 'Republican' long for an ermine stole, a sceptre and an orb.”
Costello ended by writing, “To be honest, I’m pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my 'Services To Music', as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different.”
To read Costello's full open letter, log on to: http://bit.ly/31i3Nxw
Elvis Costello told us that upon launching his career, he never set out to change or break the rules of rock and pop songwriting and recording: “I was just making rock n' roll records as I knew how to make 'em and ballads and all the music that I loved. And obviously over the years, the things that I can draw from has grown, because I've listened to more music, I've absorbed more music, more music has interested me. I've written a lot of different things, I've had all these collaborations of different kinds — some of them very far away from the world that I began in. But they've all sort of had some positive influence on the possibilities of music when I set out to write and arrange.”
Mike McCartney told us that coming from Liverpool in itself is an important attribute when traveling the globe: “They know I'm not London, they know I'm not high city, and Liverpudlians are a unique race. Even the majority of people, like you took my brother and his chums into your hearts when they first came — and still are. Liverpudlians are a unique race. So wherever we go, people know that we're not like these city slickers, we're not gonna kill 'em, and so they know instinctively.”