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13 November 2014

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You are in: Tees > People > We Are Teesside > The Elvis Costello Connection

Elvis Costello

Tees Law Firm Fan? Elvis Costello

The Elvis Costello Connection

BBC Tees had an e-mail from someone called Neil, "Jacksons Monk & Rowe, the solicitors in Queens Square... immortalised by Elvis Costello in his track Jacksons Monk & Rowe!" Could it be true? Did Elvis Costello really write about a Teesside law firm?

It was time to play detective. Had Elvis Costello ever lived here? Not as far as our research could show.

Then, we came across an web article that suggested Elvis Costello had written the song because of something to do with the cellist from the Brodsky Quartet, who play on many of his songs.

The cellist in question is called Jacqueline Thomas and guess what? She's a Middlesbrough lass. Now it looked like we were getting somewhere, but how do we find her?

A little research later and we had a name. Suzanna Ivanic at Hazard Chase Limited, the music management company, represents the Brodsky Quartet.

We gave her a call. Could Jacqueline shed any light on the mystery?

Yes she could. Jacqueline confirmed the song was indeed written about her.

Jacqueline is originally from Linthorpe and told BBC Tees' John Foster her story.

"The song was actually co-written by Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet.

"We collaborated on an album called the Juliet Letters in 1992 and every song on that album was written by all five of us pretty much.

"My dad had an office in Queen's Square, which was Linthorpe Insurance Brokers... and they were next door to Jacksons Monk & Rowe and one day when I was about five my dad came home, and because I'm Jackie, he just nicknamed me 'Jacksons Monk & Rowe' and that sort of stuck!

"Then much later when we started writing this album together my brother Michael, who was in the quartet then, wrote the song. 

"He actually wrote the essence of the song to which we all added little bits and it was all about me and my childhood growing up."

So that's one Teesside urban myth confirmed.

Yes the Elvis Costello song is about the firm of solicitors in Queen's Square in Middlesbrough.

One ticked off the list. But do you have any others that you would like us to investigate?



Tees True or False

last updated: 25/11/2008 at 15:17
created: 05/11/2008

You are in: Tees > People > We Are Teesside > The Elvis Costello Connection



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