Time Capsule: Elvis Costello on SNL
April 3, 2010, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Time Capsule | Tags: , ,

In 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions filled in for the Sex Pistols on Saturday Night Live when the iconic punk band couldn’t get work visas to perform in New York.  Costello’s record label insisted he perform “Less Than Zero,” despite his desire to play the media-bashing “Radio Radio” (sample lyric: “You better shut up or get cut out/They don’t wanna hear about it/It’s only inches on the reel-to-reel”).  Never one to back down from industry pressure, Costello and his band played a few notes of “Zero,” before grinding to a halt and launching into a legendary version of “Radio Radio,” becoming one of the first acts to be banned from SNL and setting the stage for other groups’ future acts of rock n roll rebellion on live TV.

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