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Elvis Costello Responds to Paul McCartney Hearing Costello’s Voice Inside His Head

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Elvis Costello attends the screening of "Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool" at AFI FEST 2017 Presented By Audi at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 12, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for AFI)

Back in September, GQ published a cover story on Paul McCartney—yes, the one with the anecdote about McCartney and John Lennon masturbating together. Elsewhere in the interview, McCartney revealed that he has an unreleased track produced by Ryan Tedder, the unfortunate pop institution behind Egypt Station dud “Fuh You,” in which the ex-Beatle sings with a heavy dose of autotune. McCartney credited none other than Elvis Costello(‘s disembodied voice) with convincing him to keep the track private, explaining, “At the back of my mind I’ve got Elvis Costello saying, ‘Fucking hell, Paul!'”

Costello responded to the shout-out in an interview published today by Rolling Stone. He suspects McCartney remains haunted by the making of Macca’s 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt, which includes several songs co-written by Costello, an arrangement long rumored to be contentious. Costello sounds amused and humbled that he left a strong enough impression to save the world from the Tedder monstrosity in question:

I love that quote! “McCartney, no!” We had those kind of conversations when we were producing together, not when we were writing. The writing was completely flowing. But I wanted to keep the Flowers in the Dirt record very basic, and then we agreed to disagree about that. So maybe that’s what he’s referring to, because I was the guy that was always tipping toward the stripped-bare kind of approach. And he doesn’t have to explain anything to anybody. He can do exactly what he chooses.

Costello also discussed with the magazine his October album Look Now, learning to read and write music, and death. You can read full the full interview here.