"I want to bite the hand that feeds me," sang Elvis Costello on his punky protest song "Radio Radio," which the angry young man was strictly forbidden to play when he was invited to perform on Saturday Night Live. Replacing the Sex Pistols (who were having visa problems) on the show, the bespectacled singer cut off his band after a few lines of "Less Than Zero" and led them into the verboten song. His subsequent ban from SNL wasn't lifted for more than a decade. "My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant," he once said. Originally considered a member of punk's second wave, Costello has confounded fans by writing and performing in many different styles, from country to chamber music. He also ran counter to punk's nihilistic tendencies by singing a memorable version of Nick Lowe's hippie throwback tune, "(What's So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding."
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