Watching the Detectives – Elvis Costello

Elvis said that he spent all night listening to the new music release from The Clash, their debut album “The Clash” on the headphones and all hopped up on caffiene for 36 hours straight when he wrote this song, “Watching the Detectives.”

Although now seen as an intelligent and gifted songwriter far different from the Sex Pistols, he was originally marketed as part of the Punk Rock movement. This image was fostered by onstage rudeness and evasion of the press, as well as his sneering lyrics.

In the video recorded in Koln, Germany around 1978, we see and hear Elvis on the guitar in his punk prime. He screeches and wails in a call and response to the keyboard. In the dynamic break, the bass underlines his cocky sarcastic sensibility. He’s mad at this chick as far as we can tell.