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Friday, June 29, 2007

Elvis Costello ticks off Lorne Michaels

Thanks to YouTube here is the video of Elvis Costello performing Radio Radio on Saturdday Night Live way back in December 1977 (when I was a sophmore at the University of Minnesota - and had just met Steve of the linked web site Thus Spaketh Styopa).



From the web site www.zimbo.com on hosts and artists banned from Saturday Night Live by producer Lorne Michaels:

On December 17, 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions performed as a last-minute replacement for the Sex Pistols, who were unable to obtain passports. NBC and the show's producer Lorne Michaels didn't want the band to perform "Radio Radio", since the song protests the state of the media. The band defied them by beginning to play their song "Less Than Zero", stopping, with Costello telling the audience that there was no reason to do that song, and telling the band to play "Radio Radio" instead. It infuriated Michaels because it put the show off schedule, and the band were barred from performing again.

Note: Eventually Lorne Michaels put his grievances aside, lifting the ban, and Elvis Costello would appear as musical guest in 1989 and 1991. He also reprised his performance of "Radio Radio" with the Beastie Boys for a 25th anniversary special aired on September 26, 1999.


When you read the lyrics it's hard to believe that they were at all controversial.

"Radio Radio"

[Originally by Elvis Costello]

I was tuned into the light of the late night dial
Doing anything my radio advised
With everyone of those late night stations
playing songs bringing tears to my eyes
I was seriously thinking about hiding the receiver
When the switch broke cause it's old
Saying things that I can hardly believe
They really think we're getting out of control

Radio is the sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
Say you better listen to the Voice of Reason
But they don't give you any choice
Cause they think that it's treason
You had better do as you were told
Better listen to the radio

I wanna bite the hand that feeds me
I wanna bite that hand so badly
I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me
Some of my friends sit around every evening
And they worry about the times ahead
Everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
And the promise of an early bed

You either shut up or get cut out
They don't wanna hear about it
It's only inches on the reel to reel
The radio is in the hands
Of such a bunch of fools
Trying to anesthetize they way that you feel

Radio is the sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
Say you better listen to the Voice Of Reason
But they don't give any choice
Cause they think that its treason
So you had better do as you were told
Better listen to the radio

Radio
Radio
Radio

1 comment:

Steve "Styopa" Channer said...

As always, you are the man. Elvis lives, and we aren't talking the king, but the Emperor of rock and roll.

Accidents will happen, but Allison is my true love..