10 Music Publicity Stunts Gone Wrong

Madonna's 'Sex'-capade, Garth Brooks' weird alter ego and other artist ploys that didn't go off as planned

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Elvis Costello Busks for CBS (1977)
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Elvis Costello Busks for CBS (1977)

Elvis Costello was making waves in his native U.K. in 1977 following the release of his debut album, My Aim Is True. Not so much Stateside. In an attempt to snag the attention of American record executives, Costello busked loudly outside a CBS Records convention in London, with fellow artists from the indie label Stiff Records holding up pro-Elvis placards. "I'm just off with Elvis to scare the hell out of CBS," Stiff head Jake Riveria told Melody Maker just prior to the stunt. It worked in getting CBS to notice Costello – but it also earned Costello a trip to the slammer courtesy of London's finest.

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