Friday, May 29, 2015

Elvis Costello: Radio, Radio

Declan Patrick MacManus is an English singer-songwriter. You may not know him by this name. You most likely know him by his stage name Elvis Costello.  He began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and new wave movement of the mid-to-late 1970s. His critically acclaimed debut album, My Aim Is True, was recorded in 1977. Shortly after recording his first album he formed the Attractions as his backing band. His second album, This Year's Model, was released in 1978, and was ranked number 11 by Rolling Stone on its list of the best albums from 1967–1987. His third album, Armed Forces, was released in 1979, and features his most successful single "Oliver's Army". His first three albums all appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Costello and the Attractions toured and recorded together for the better part of a decade, though differences between them caused a split by 1986. Much of Costello's work since has been as a solo artist, though reunions with members of the Attractions have been credited to the group over the years. Steeped in wordplay, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader than that of most popular songs. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopaedia", able to "reinvent the past in his own image".

Costello has won multiple awards in his career, including a Grammy Award, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male. In 2003, Costello and the Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Costello has been married three times, the first time in 1974 to Mary Burgoyne, with whom he had a son, Matthew. Toward the end of his first marriage, Costello became embroiled in an on-again/off-again romance with Bebe Buell, then-girlfriend of Todd Rundgren (and mother of Steven Tyler's daughter Liv). Buell has said she was the inspiration behind some of Costello's most bitter love songs from the Armed Forces era, though Costello countered by claiming most of those songs had been written before he ever met Buell.

In 1985, Costello became involved with Cait O'Riordan, then the bassist of the English/Irish group The Pogues, while he was producing The Pogues' album Rum Sodomy and the Lash. They married in 1986 and split up by the end of 2002.

Costello became engaged to piano-vocalist Diana Krall in May 2003, and married her at the home of Elton John on 6 December that year. Krall gave birth to twin sons, Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James, on 6 December 2006 in New York City.

"Radio, Radio"
On December 17, 1977, when he appeared on Saturday Night Live, Elvis Costello was 23 years old. His debut album, My Aim Is True, had just come out in America a month earlier. When the Sex Pistols were unable to appear on the show as planned, Costello and his recently formed band, the Attractions, got their big break. They were supposed to play his single “Less Than Zero' but only a few bars into the song, Costello put a stop to it. “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “but there’s no reason to do this song here.” At that point he and the band launched into “Radio Radio,” a song that takes a jab at corporate-controlled broadcasting. Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels was furious. According to some reports, he raised his middle finger at Costello and kept it up until the unapproved song was over. Costello was banned from the show for nearly 12 years. Elvis admits that he was copying Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix had done the same thing on the Lulu Show, when he went into an unscheduled rendition of the Cream song 'Sunshine Of Your Love'.

On SNL's 25th anniversary show in 1999, Costello burst in on Beastie Boys — 'sabotaging' their performance of "Sabotage" — and they then performed "Radio Radio" together.

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