Come On, Let's Go.

There is No Reason

On December 17th, 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions filled in for the Sex Pistols on the still-nascent Saturday Night Live. The band wanted to play Radio Radio. SNL requested Less than Zero. The former was a blast at the power grab corporations were performing on the airwaves and within the record industry during the rise of punk rock, dictating, for all intents and purposes, what was going to be music and what wasn’t. The latter was Costello’s response to an unrepentant interview with former Conservative Member of Parliament Oswald Mosley. Outside of being an MP, Mosley happened to moonlight as the leader of the British Union of Fascists, who gained not insignificant power in the 1930. Considering SNL was an American television show, Costello’s response was perfectly reasonable:

Elvis Costello did not appear on SNL again until twelve years later, in 1989. However, the story isn't over just yet. Twenty-two years after the Radio Radio affair, the dawn was breaking over the new millennium. It was 1999 and SNL was celebrating its 25th anniversary, inviting the Beastie Boys, now Serious Musicians, as the musical guest. They opened with Sabotage...

...and now you know the rest of the story.


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