Unknown publication 08, unknown date, 200x

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Elvis Costello


I've heard that Elvis Costello was (and still is) banned from Saturday Night Live for performing the anti-corporate song "Radio, Radio." Yet that track appears on a best-of-SNL compilation. Isn't that hypocritical?

  — Mike Turner, Denton, Texas

For his 1977 debut appearance, Costello started playing "Less Than Zero" but stopped short, saying, "I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there's no reason to do this song here!" (The track concerned British fascism.)

Then the band launched into "Radio, Radio" Lome Michaels and NBC bosses were fuming, partly because of the lyrics about the media trying to "anesthetize the way that you feel" and partly for making the show run too long. "We were told we'd never work on American television again and were physically chased out of the studio," Costello later recalled.

He was finally allowed back on in 1989, and the incident became fodder for a joke on the show's twenty-fifth anniversary. As the Beastie Boys were performing, Costello ran onstage and interrupted them, and they all began playing the offending tune.


Unknown publication, unknown date

Includes a reader question about EC's 1977 appearance on SNL.


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