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Invasion of the mindsnatcher: Sun Ra on ‘Saturday Night Live’ 1978
11:08 am


Sun Ra
Saturday Night Live
Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Sinéad O’Connor rips a picture of the Pope art piece
01:22 pm


Saturday Night Live
Sinead O'Connor

An ode to Sinéad O’Connor’s infamous televised “fuck you” to the Pope in 1992, Mick Minogue‘s “Sinéad” is one of the many featured contributions at Gallery 1988‘s Saturday Night Live-themed group art show.

Watch “Sinéad” in action, below:


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
One of SNL’s best and brightest: Tom Davis has died

Jane Curtin, Al Franken, Tom Davis and Gilda Radner.
Comedian and writer Tom Davis of Saturday Night Live fame has died of throat and neck cancer at the age of 59.

Davis, along with his partner Al Franken, was responsible for some of the funniest and weirdest routines during SNL’s glory days, including the hugely popular running skit The Coneheads, which Davis said was inspired by one of the many LSD trips he took as a teenager in the late-1960s and early ‘70s. It should come as no surprise that Davis was into psychedelics. His humor was often laced with the kind of down-the-rabbit hole surrealism that arises from seeing things through a lysergic lens. Having Jerry Garcia as a friend also provided him with access to all kinds of cool shit, including an introduction to Stanley Owsley.

Davis retired from being a performer in the mid-1990s - although he briefly returned to SNL as a writer in 2003 - and focused on the writing of his memoirs, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There, and a book he was co-authoring on Owsley. Davis, an unrepentant psychonaut to the end, continued to embrace life even as he was leaving it. I hope his last trip was/is a good one.

I wake up in the morning, delighted to be waking up, read, write, feed the birds, watch sports on TV, accepting the fact that in the foreseeable future I will be a dead person. I want to remind you that dead people are people too.”

Here’s a fun clip of Davis as Keith Richards and Franken as Mick Jagger doing “Under My Thumb” at Stockton State College in New Jersey, 1983.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band perform “Hot Head” and “Ashtray Heart” on the November 22, 1980 episode of Saturday Night Live.

Alex de Large introduces the bolshy banda.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Patti Smith performing at CBGB on the club’s closing night

Patti Smith in front of CBGB on Oct. 15, 2006
Today is Patti Smith’s birthday and a little over five years since CBGB closed. So in commemoration of both the goodness of Patti and the sad fate of a great rock venue, we present:

Patti Smith playing the final night at CBGB on October 15, 2006. Five songs from a three hour show.

01. “Piss Factory’
02. “Pale Blue Eyes”
03. “Birdland”
04. “Rock N Roll N******
05. “Gloria”

Patti performs “Gloria” on Saturday Night Live after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Devo performing live on TV in 1978: Secret teachings of the SubGenius

These clips are hard to find on the Internet and who knows how long they’ll last out there before the dark corporate forces wipe them from view. The teachings of the SubGenius are under relentless assault!

Devo’s appearance on Saturday Night Live on October 14, 1978 was a visitation from a rock and roll galaxy far far away and yet so near. It was as if aliens from another planet had created a concept of Earthlings based on old television transmissions they’d hijacked of industrial training films, Triumph Of The Will, episodes of Hullabaloo and Saturday morning cartoons and then spewed it all back at us in a digitized replication missing a few ones and zeros. It was an attempt at communication, not unlike Klaatu’s failed efforts in 1951.


Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The performance that got Elvis Costello banned from America’s favorite late night comedy show
09:04 pm


Saturday Night Live
Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello and The Attractions appeared on Saturday Night Live on December 17, 1977 as a last minute replacement for The Sex Pistols, who had run into problems getting into the USA because of some prior legal hassles in the UK. Costello’s performance on SNLwould become the stuff of rock and roll legend.

Costello’s record label, Columbia, wanted him to perform “Less Than Zero”, the first single from his as yet unreleased (in the U.S.) debut album My Aim Is True. Elvis wanted to perform “Radio Radio,” his attack on corporate control of the airwaves - a punk move that would have been in the spirit of The Pistols. Columbia disapproved and SNL producer Lorne Michaels allegedly also did not want the song performed as per orders from his employer NBC. Costello was told in no uncertain terms not to play the song.

Come showtime, the band started playing “Less Than Zero” and then abruptly stopped and shifted into “Radio Radio.” At the end of the tune, they defiantly walked off the set.

Michaels was furious. According to first hand accounts, he was flipping Costello the bird through the entire performance. Michaels ended up banning Costello from ever performing again on SNL. The ban lasted 12 years, which in TV years is an eternity. SNL was an essential promotional venue for jacking up a band’s record sales. Costello bit the hand that was supposed to feed him even before he even got a nibble of commercial success. In the long run, it didn’t stop him from becoming one of rock’s enduring forces.

Elvis and The Attractions do a killer version of “Radio Radio” in Detroit six months after SNL banning. Check it out after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday John Belushi

Happy Birthday John Belushi, who would have been 62 today. Born in 1949, Belushi’s big break came in 1971 when he joined The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago. Cast alongside Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest in National Lampoon’s Lemmings (which Richard Metzger wrote a great article on last year), Belushi’s natural comic talents shone. He moved to New York, with his girlfriend Judy Jacklin, and became a regular on the National Lampoon Radio Hour, working with such future Saturday Night Live performers Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. The rest we know.

It’ll be SNL and The Blues Brothers that Belushi will be remembered for best, and watching clips of his TV or film work now, only re-enforces what is so sad about his early demise.

Previously on DM

A Young John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest rock out in National Lampoon’s ‘Lemmings’

Bonus clips plus interview with Belushi and Dan Ackroyd after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment