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(VideoSift)   Thirty-five years ago, Elvis Costello played Less Than Zero on SNL, and then decided there was no way he could do that song there   (videosift.com) divider line 48
    More: Cool, Elvis Costello, SNL, Radio Radio  
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4289 clicks; posted to Video » on 18 Dec 2012 at 1:34 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-18 12:54:05 AM  
Actually, IIRC it was more of a case that he never wanted to play Less Than Zero in the first place, figuring the lyrics were too obscure for an American audience, and wanted to play his newer single Radio Radio in the first place. But, SNL said no, so Costello decided to start off with LTZ, then take advantage of the fact he was on live TV and switch to the song he wanted to play in the first place.

And, Lorne Michaels got pissed off and decided to ban Costello from the show for 20 years or so, until the time was right to take advantage of one of the most memorable moments in the show's history.
 
2012-12-18 01:09:34 AM  
I like Costello. Guy has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and it's associated business and history, seems to relish the most unlikely collaborations, and most importantly, made dorky glasses cool.
 
2012-12-18 01:19:58 AM  

MisterTweak: I like Costello. Guy has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and it's associated business and history, seems to relish the most unlikely collaborations, and most importantly, made dorky glasses cool.


He was copying Buddy Holly.
 
2012-12-18 01:26:03 AM  

TommyymmoT: MisterTweak: I like Costello. Guy has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and it's associated business and history, seems to relish the most unlikely collaborations, and most importantly, made dorky glasses cool.

He was copying Buddy Holly.


Not for long, he wasn't. He could afford a better aircraft/
 
2012-12-18 01:38:34 AM  
Huh, didn't know Andy Dick could sing.
 
2012-12-18 01:50:08 AM  
Elvis Costello is a great writer and performer. WTF was Lorne Michaels' problem?
 
2012-12-18 02:44:28 AM  
In this case?? Well the show is timed down to the second. He switch songs which meant he switched song lengths. Which meant a commercial got cut. Which meant Lorne lost some serious change.
 
2012-12-18 02:49:28 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: And, Lorne Michaels got pissed off and decided to ban Costello from the show for 20 years or so, until the time was right to take advantage of one of the most memorable moments in the show's history.

He played it anyway, putting show off schedule and Lorne Michaels would make sure he didn't appear on the show again for another twelve years.


thanks for the story though, never heard about this one.
 
2012-12-18 03:35:43 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Actually, IIRC it was more of a case that he never wanted to play Less Than Zero in the first place, figuring the lyrics were too obscure for an American audience, and wanted to play his newer single Radio Radio in the first place. But, SNL said no, so Costello decided to start off with LTZ, then take advantage of the fact he was on live TV and switch to the song he wanted to play in the first place.

And, Lorne Michaels got pissed off and decided to ban Costello from the show for 20 years or so, until the time was right to take advantage of one of the most memorable moments in the show's history.


And here is the link for that second performance.
 
2012-12-18 03:53:59 AM  
Would you look at that.. No Lip Syncing. Kids these days have no clue that it used to take talent to play live.
 
2012-12-18 04:20:47 AM  
Graham Parker is better than this clown.
 
2012-12-18 04:31:19 AM  
It's apparently impossible to get this video to play on Chrome even when I allow cookie setting, and tracker setting, and javascript, and popups, so fark you subby, for giving us a video about the corruption of the radio industry, the subversion of SNL by Elvis Costello, but wrapping it in a sell-out, slow loading, soul sucking, privacy invading, bullshiat website like videosift.
 
2012-12-18 04:46:13 AM  
RoyBattyIt's apparently impossible to get this video to play on Chrome even when I allow cookie setting, and tracker setting, and javascript, and popups, so fark you subby, for giving us a video about the corruption of the radio industry, the subversion of SNL by Elvis Costello, but wrapping it in a sell-out, slow loading, soul sucking, privacy invading, bullshiat website like videosift.

First rule of avoiding crap like that. Never click the original link, just go into the comments because someone will invariably post a better/less invasive link.
 
2012-12-18 05:00:46 AM  

The Man Who Laughs: FirstNationalBastard: Actually, IIRC it was more of a case that he never wanted to play Less Than Zero in the first place, figuring the lyrics were too obscure for an American audience, and wanted to play his newer single Radio Radio in the first place. But, SNL said no, so Costello decided to start off with LTZ, then take advantage of the fact he was on live TV and switch to the song he wanted to play in the first place.

And, Lorne Michaels got pissed off and decided to ban Costello from the show for 20 years or so, until the time was right to take advantage of one of the most memorable moments in the show's history.

And here is the link for that second performance.


Lemme guess... The Beastie Boys and Costello when Elvis interrupted "Sabotage"?
 
2012-12-18 06:14:24 AM  
They call it Saturday Night Live and it is broadcast live, but what's the point of doing it live when the timing is so tight you can't be spontaneous?
 
2012-12-18 06:56:12 AM  

red5ish: Elvis Costello is a great writer and performer. WTF was Lorne Michaels' problem?


There's your answer.....
 
2012-12-18 08:13:40 AM  
 
2012-12-18 08:17:28 AM  

fst_creeper: In this case?? Well the show is timed down to the second. He switch songs which meant he switched song lengths. Which meant a commercial got cut. Which meant Lorne lost some serious change.


I'm dismayed that I hadn't thought of that.
 
2012-12-18 08:21:30 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: TommyymmoT: MisterTweak: I like Costello. Guy has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and it's associated business and history, seems to relish the most unlikely collaborations, and most importantly, made dorky glasses cool.

He was copying Buddy Holly.

Not for long, he wasn't. He could afford a better aircraft/


Damn you.

/coffee, nose, etc.
 
2012-12-18 08:32:53 AM  
I'm a big fan of his wife, also. Link
 
2012-12-18 08:45:37 AM  

salsashark1: Graham Parker is better than this clown.


He's on tour right now with The Rumour. I haven't seen him so energized in years.
 
2012-12-18 08:59:25 AM  

LrdPhoenix: Huh, didn't know Andy Dick could sing.


It's a good thing nobody can reach you for a cock punch
 
2012-12-18 09:08:25 AM  
Crazier things have happened on SNL
 
2012-12-18 09:14:04 AM  

MisterTweak: I like Costello. Guy has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and it's associated business and history, seems to relish the most unlikely collaborations, and most importantly, made dorky glasses cool.


c305032.r32.cf1.rackcdn.com
 
2012-12-18 09:16:30 AM  

danielscissorhands: Crazier things have happened on SNL


You're telling me
Link
 
2012-12-18 09:17:31 AM  

MisterTweak: I like Costello. Guy has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and it's associated business and history, seems to relish the most unlikely collaborations, and most importantly, made dorky glasses cool.


And bagged Diana Krall in the process.
 
2012-12-18 09:18:22 AM  

salsashark1: Graham Parker is better than this clown.


Yeah, this, although EC gets points for his brilliant tv show. Anyway, Nick Lowe tops 'em both.

CSB: Bruce Thomas (the bass player from the Attractions) used to play in my dad's first band in the late sixties. The lead singer in that band was an unknown kid named Paul Rodgers.
 
2012-12-18 09:19:46 AM  

Crewmannumber6: danielscissorhands: Crazier things have happened on SNL

You're telling me
Link


Yes, I am.
 
2012-12-18 09:25:49 AM  
One of my favorite TV moments of all time.

/I wanna bite that hand so badly
 
2012-12-18 09:45:21 AM  
 
2012-12-18 10:00:53 AM  
U2's 3rd set. The week after Ashley Simpson got busted lip synching.

Skip to 9:00

Link
 
2012-12-18 10:07:09 AM  
Fake controversy over an 'angry young man' trying to get rich and is an jerk in the process.

This is less important than most anything else that has happened in the world.
 
2012-12-18 10:36:08 AM  
I was in high school when this happened, still staying up on Saturday nights because SNL was still relevant at the time. I remember this event vividly, it was the talk of school the following Monday. We had heard of Elvis Costello, a few weirdos in the school had his cassette, and for most of me and my friends this was our introduction to him. Everyone thought he was a Buddy Holly wannabe, but this made him look as non-conformist as anything we had seen. He went from dweeb to totally effiin' cool in one fell swoop.

/get off my lawn
//go on now...
 
2012-12-18 11:04:15 AM  
Elvis Is King Elvis Is King


Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True and Ramones / Rocket to Russia saved me from a midwest full of disco and crap music.

You kids have zero idea how limited the options for rock were. You had all the big stations gone full on Disco Top Ten, then you had if you were lucky an FM station playing nothing but Zeppelin and Rush, thats if you were lucky. If you were more typical it was things like Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles all day, 70s wussy soft rock for guys 10-15 years older than you were, the baby boomer demographic turning 30 .

For 15-20 year olds at that time unless you were plugged into England by some telepathy or snail-mailed taped shows, you were not getting punk or new wave. Not for a year or 3 more, and even then not really til MTV started picking it up. And that was about the same time the actual punk/new wave were dying off, getting replaced by Hair Bands.

Shout outs to Nick Lowe and Dave Edmonds who gave Costello his break at Stiff Records (If Its Not Stiff, Its Not Worth A Fk). Shout out to Graham Parker who if he's back touring is a must see. And RIP to Joey and Johnny.

// my lawn needs some weeds pulled, brb
 
2012-12-18 11:06:46 AM  

snowybunting: I was in high school when this happened, still staying up on Saturday nights because SNL was still relevant at the time. I remember this event vividly, it was the talk of school the following Monday. We had heard of Elvis Costello, a few weirdos in the school had his cassette, and for most of me and my friends this was our introduction to him. Everyone thought he was a Buddy Holly wannabe, but this made him look as non-conformist as anything we had seen. He went from dweeb to totally effiin' cool in one fell swoop.

/get off my lawn
//go on now...


Guess I was one of those Weirdos then. Saw Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True on sale and took a chance. I think he'd been in Rolling Stone once by then, but in general yeah, I was an early adopter. Or as they say now, I knew about him before he was cool, so you probably didn't hear about him yet.
 
2012-12-18 11:29:49 AM  

Generation_D:
Guess I was one of those Weirdos then. Saw Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True on sale and took a chance. I think he'd been in Rolling Stone once by then, but in general yeah, I was an early adopter. Or as they say now, I knew about him before he was cool, so you probably didn't hear about him yet.


Being from Detroit, we did not have much in the way of a good radio station unless you really liked Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger and Ted Nugent. We were continually 1-2 years behind the rest of the world in music, so we got our introduction to a lot of good stuff from SNL. Even then, you'd hear it once and it would fade from memory until a couple of years later, when you'd think "oh yeah, they were good."
 
2012-12-18 11:35:37 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: And, Lorne Michaels got pissed off and decided to ban Costello from the show for 20 years or so, until the time was right to take advantage of one of the most memorable moments in the show's history.


Although he and a giant beard did stop by way back in '91 to play So Like Candy.
 
2012-12-18 02:35:43 PM  

fst_creeper: In this case?? Well the show is timed down to the second. He switch songs which meant he switched song lengths. Which meant a commercial got cut. Which meant Lorne lost some serious change.



I don't know about timed down to the second.  Skits go awry often (actor can't stop laughing, etc.)
 
Was Radio Radio longer than Less Than Zero would have been?
 
2012-12-18 02:44:05 PM  

downstairs: fst_creeper: In this case?? Well the show is timed down to the second. He switch songs which meant he switched song lengths. Which meant a commercial got cut. Which meant Lorne lost some serious change.


I don't know about timed down to the second.  Skits go awry often (actor can't stop laughing, etc.)
 
Was Radio Radio longer than Less Than Zero would have been?


Album versions, Less Than Zero was 3:18, Radio Radio was 3:05.

So, yeah, Costello might have run over by 30 seconds to a minute since he started out with LTZ before going into a faster than album version of Radio Radio. 30 seconds to a minute really isn't that big of a deal for SNL... Just chop the host's goodnight speech and there you go.
 
2012-12-18 02:53:29 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: downstairs: fst_creeper: In this case?? Well the show is timed down to the second. He switch songs which meant he switched song lengths. Which meant a commercial got cut. Which meant Lorne lost some serious change.


I don't know about timed down to the second.  Skits go awry often (actor can't stop laughing, etc.)
 
Was Radio Radio longer than Less Than Zero would have been?

Album versions, Less Than Zero was 3:18, Radio Radio was 3:05.

So, yeah, Costello might have run over by 30 seconds to a minute since he started out with LTZ before going into a faster than album version of Radio Radio. 30 seconds to a minute really isn't that big of a deal for SNL... Just chop the host's goodnight speech and there you go.


Exactly, doesn't every live show have spots where they know they can speed things up or slow things down.  Take PTI on ESPN (good example, because you see the time alotted on the side- that's their gig)
 
They always go over some segments... sometimes by a good 30 seconds.  But you'll notice in later segments, they'll allot less time (sometimes an odd number like 1:22).  Obviously they've calculated how much extra time Tony and Mike had previously taken.
 
As well, they have the finishing segment, which has like 1-2 minutes of time they can add or subtract.
 
So if Elvis took more time than expected (something I assume happens often during musical segments)... the producer can see that he needs to shave 30 seconds elsewhere in the show.
 
Maybe pick an upcoming skit and tell the actors they have to compress it as much as possible to save 30 seconds.  Or 15 seconds in one, 15 in another.
 
I'm willing to bet the News segment is prime for this.  They can cut stories on the fly.
 
2012-12-18 03:43:44 PM  
For you younguns, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson were signed to battle Graham Parker in the suddenly relevant angry-young-man genre.

All of these guys' fist several albums are classics.
 
2012-12-18 05:46:04 PM  

downstairs: FirstNationalBastard 
As well, they have the finishing segment, which has like 1-2 minutes of time they can add or subtract.
 
So if Elvis took more time than expected (something I assume happens often during musical segments)... the producer can see that he needs to shave 30 seconds elsewhere in the show.
 
Maybe pick an upcoming skit and tell the actors they have to compress it as much as possible to save 30 seconds.  Or 15 seconds in one, 15 in another.
 
I'm willing to bet the News segment is prime for this.  They can cut stories on the fly.


Ok, I could have worded that better. The ending of the show is timed down to the second. The timing gets more critical as the show progresses. I believe that this set for them was late in the show (disclosure: I don't know for certain just trying to recall an interview with Lorne Michaels on the topic) and caused them to scrub a 30 second spot with fines attached. That said, it could also be that the song angered suits at the network cause they had a radio network at the time too. I doubt Lorne would ever admit that.
 
2012-12-18 09:55:17 PM  

Dear Jerk: For you younguns, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson were signed to battle Graham Parker in the suddenly relevant angry-young-man genre.

All of these guys' fist several albums are classics.


What the hell, this is a good place to put this link.
 
2012-12-18 10:29:04 PM  
*sigh*
I must admit that when the B-52s appeared, I thought they were another cast parody, like when Gilda kept sneaking "tits" past the NBC censors.
I was laughing my tail off at the doggerel lyrics.



/Still am.
 
2012-12-18 11:53:48 PM  
Good one, cepson. I just noticed I don't have Howlin' Wind or Squeezing Out Sparks in my iTunes. Thanks, YouTube.
Howlin' Wind full album
 
2012-12-18 11:55:47 PM  

danielscissorhands: Crazier things have happened on SNL


Wow. That's a thing that actually happened.

//TRU PUNX
 
2012-12-19 07:13:25 PM  

BafflerMeal: U2's 3rd set. The week after Ashley Simpson got busted lip synching.

Skip to 9:00

Link


I don't get it.
 
2012-12-20 08:53:51 PM  

douchebag/hater: Fake controversy over an 'angry young man' trying to get rich and is an jerk in the process.

This is less important than most anything else that has happened in the world.


0/10
 
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