Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live 12/17/1977

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Elvis Costello appeared on Saturday Night Live in December 1977 pretty early in his career as My Aim is True was only released in the States 6 months prior to this appearance. Actually he was a last minute replacement for the Sex Pistols. Of course the appearance is celebrated for the fact that Costello stops the Attractions a few seconds into Less Than Zero ("there's no reason for us to play that song") and launches instead into Radio Radio, a song which hadn't been released yet. The story is that Elvis wasn't allowed to play that song because it was "too controversial" for TV -- although Lorne Michaels disputes such claims. Funny, Costello didn't appear on SNL for another 12 years, so I think Michaels is engaging in a little bit of revisionist history in order to maintain SNL's counter-culture reputation.

I was staying over at my friend Chris' house when we saw this episode of SNL and his mom was watching with us. His mom thought that the whole Elvis Costello thing was a skit as she couldn't believe that this skinny, frentic guy in Buddy Holly glasses was an actual singer. She was dumbfounded when we told her that no, he was a real singer and came from England. Good stuff.

This is a pretty fast and furious version of Radio Radio heightened by the fact that Elvis does stop the previous song. This was difficult to find on-line as it's not on youtube. It's some Dutch site I think but works just fine. Enjoy

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