Elvis Costello Recalls That 1977 ‘Saturday Night Live’ Performance That Got Him Banned

Elvis Costello is looking back at some career highlights, including being banned from “Saturday Night Live” in 1977.

The music icon, 66, joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music and recalled that moment.

During his appearance on the long-running Global sketch show 44 years ago, Costello took advantage of the “live” aspect of the show and seconds into his track “Less Than Zero”, the song his label wanted him to play, the singer stopped and launched into “Radio Radio” instead. The stunt got him banned until 1989.

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Costello and his band the Attractions weren’t even meant to perform on the episode. They were filling in for the Sex Pistols, who backed out at the last minute.

“We did end up on ‘Saturday Night Live’,” he recalled, “and I just wanted them to remember us.”

He explained, “I didn’t really have anything against the show. I was more p***ed off at being told what to play by the record company than I was NBC, truthfully… I can’t remember whether I said what I was going to do but I think I just said, ‘Watch me.'”

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Costello returned to the iconic stage 12 years later and again during “SNL”‘s 25th-anniversary show in 2000, appearing alongside the Beastie Boys to goof the stunt.

Other stars to be banned from “SNL” include alum Chevy Chase, Adrien Brody, Rage Against the Machine, and Martin Lawrence.

“SNL” returns this Saturday for its first show of the year. Watch live at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

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