“Radio Radio” – Elvis Costello and The Attractions (1977)


“‘Radio Radio’ (sometimes written ‘Radio, Radio’) is a single by Elvis Costello and The Attractions released in the United Kingdom in October 1978. … The song made waves in the USA after Costello’s appearance on Saturday Night Live. Originally, Sex Pistols had been invited to perform on 17 December 1977 broadcast (hosted by Miskel Spillman, an elderly woman who won SNL’s ‘Anybody Can Host’ contest), but problems with Sex Pistols’ various criminal records made getting visas in time difficult, and so the invitation was extended to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, who were touring Canada and the US at the time. Costello’s album was only available on import (My Aim Is True, released in the UK in July). A reference to Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren‘s inability to keep his band’s performance schedule was made by drummer Pete Thomas who, during the performance, wore a shirt with the words ‘Thanks Malc’, in reference to McLaren, ironed on. Costello wanted to play ‘Radio Radio’ on SNL. Columbia Records, however, was interested in having an already-established song performed on SNL, to increase interest in the band before the American release of My Aim Is True and This Year’s Model. In the event, Costello began the SNL performance by playing ‘Less than Zero.’ However, after a few bars, he turned to the Attractions, waving his hand and yelling ‘Stop! Stop!,’ then said to the audience, ‘I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no reason to do this song here,’ possibly referring to the fact ‘Less than Zero’ was written as a reply to British fascist politician Oswald Mosley. However, SNL music director Howard Shore attributes the move to Costello’s bucking pressure by his music company to play ‘Less than Zero’ on the show. He then led the band in a performance of ‘Radio Radio.’ …”
Wikipedia
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Radio Radio (SNL 1977)

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