My TIVO recorded a rerun of Elvis Costello's 1991 appearance on Saturday Night Live this afternoon and I sat down to watch it tonight. I remember seeing it back on it's original airdate of May 18, 1991 and being very excited to see a live performance by my new hero. I'd bought Mighty Like a Rose earlier in the year and I'd never heard anything like it. Back then I was 13 years old and the most radical piece of music I owned was a cassette single of "Stand" by R.E.M.

Then I heard "The Other Side of Summer."

I think I bought the whole album just for the line, "Was it a millionaire who said, 'imagine no possessions?'" I was a HUGE Beatles fan and I loved the reference. I'd also heard that Elvis had recorded with Paul McCartney so my interest was piqued. I wasn't really prepared for the rest of the tape, though.

If you've ever heard "Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs are Taking Over)" you know what I mean. That song could scar a 13-year-old girl for life.

So it didn't surprise me at 13 when Elvis Costello came onstage on SNL looking like a cross between a Hasidic Jew and Hank Williams Jr. His music was freaky enough for me think that this is what he must have always looked like.

But now the years have passed and I've grown more familiar with the classic EC look. He's stopped drinking, married a jazz singer and sung with Tony Bennett I'd forgotten about that brief early 90's craziness. But thanks to TIVO, I was reminded of the horror once again.

Honestly, just take a look for yourself.

Elvis on SNL, or is it Hank Williams Jr.? Posted by Hello


Anonymous said...

that looks like Merle Haggard! The big light came through my window/and it opened up my eyelids ... and I saw that Haggard face a' starin' back at me!"
why do women reject you when you tell them that you have tomato blight?!

Eileen said...

What the hell is tomato blight?

Anonymous said...

Tomato blight makes your leaves turn brown and curl up and then you die. Don't know how it affects humans.
What the hell is Coldplay?