favorite SNL musical performances

  1. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, "Radio, Radio"; December 17, 1977
  2. Beastie Boys, "Sure Shot"; December 10, 1994
  3. Nirvana, "Rape Me"; September 25, 1993
  4. Fishbone, "Sunless Saturday"; March 23, 1991
  5. White Stripes, "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"; October 19, 2002
  6. Radiohead, "The National Anthem"; October 14, 2000
  7. (tie) Paul McCartney, "Hey Jude"; February 13, 1993; George Harrison and Paul Simon, "Here Comes the Sun"; November 20, 1976
  8. Joe Cocker, "Feelin' Alright"; October 2, 1976
  9. Robbie Robertson, "The Weight"; January 30, 1988
  10. Blind Melon, "No Rain"; January 8, 1994
Author Comments: 

if memory serves, the Joe Cocker episode is the one with John Belushi duetting as Mr. Cocker.
Of course, Elvis Costello interrupted "Less Than Zero" to give us all "Radio, Radio." Well, not to me; I wasn't born yet. But still.

update: I completely forgot about Fishbone! sorry, Weezer...

The only addition I would offer is Perry Farrel's surprisingly touching rendition of "Jane Says" with Flea on base and Chris Cornell on guitar. The best version of the song that I've heard. Not to mention Farrel's crazy get-up.

AAA, as a DC-area fellow you'll appreciate this . . . HFS pretty much ruined Jane's Addiction for me. I couldn't turn on the radio for longer than 15 minutes without hearing one of their songs (usually "Jane Says"). In fact, I drove down there on a recent business trip and as soon as HFS came into range what are they playing? "Jane Says." I immediately called my wife and held the receiver next to the radio. She was as amused as I.

Ah well, every station has their hangups. Up here the station I listen to has dutifully played to death The Red Hot Chili Peppers. A band I used to like but now loathe. Of course that may be because (a) my tastes have changed (b) their music has declined (c) you can't get away from that damn "duh na na na na na 'standing in line...'" song or (d) all of the above.

Back home in Austin it was Staind. I mean, of all the bands to play to death...

Here it's Our Lady Peace or something. I don't listen to the radio in this cowtown anymore... I prefer my own show.

I hate HFS with a burning hot erotic passion (err, scratch that last adjective). In the old days (before I existed) it was ividently an independent radio station like the great Annapolis based 103.1, now it's just a tool for the "man" (note irony and honesty in the same sentence). Their playlist (for a while) seemed to consist of "All Apologies" by Nirvana, "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction, "It's Been a While" Staind, and "Higher" by Creed. With two great songs played to death and two horrendous songs played past the point of tolerance, I gave up on HFS and decided to live upon WRNR and my own album collection.
By the way, if you know 98 Rock at all, it's a pretty spotty music station, but the morning show (Kirk, Mark, and Lopez) is a favorite of mine for the simple fact that Lopez is my godfather. He's been my dad's best friend since high school. Of course I'll only listen to him, not the rest of the station.
Are there any other DC-based listologists? If so, come, rant about anything. (example: so, how 'bout that guy shootin' people?)

change the nonexistant word "ividently" to "evidently".

Ha! I didn't realize you hated HFS. I know you'd been to the HFStival, but that's a different beast, I suppose.

I do not know 98 Rock, but I will definitely check out the morning show my next business trip.

HFStival had (at one point) great bands in its lineup, but as time wore on (and popular rock wore out), the quality greatly decreased.


That'll learn 'em to tell Mr. Costello what he can and can't play. I'm thrilled to see this entry on your list. A blazing performance from one of the most under-appreciated musical artists of the last few decades.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

The Replacements, "Bastards of Young"; January 18th, 1986 ~ Paul Westerberg says "fuck" on National TV.

Hm...haven't seen that performance. I have seen the music video. Genius.

I was super impressed by The White Stripes on SNL this past weekend.

So was I. My roommate's dad didn't care for 'em so much. Said that Jack was "jerky". I thought they were fantastic.

Apparently Nelly and Kelly Rowland were supposed to be the musical guests, but they cancalled. I think the 'Stripes were good pinch-hitters.

In the "Real Musicians" catagory, Pearl Jam doing "Alive" was always one of my favorites. The show where Simon & Garfunkle reunited was also great. An R.E.M. performance stands out too, although I've forgotten the name of the song.

In the "Musical Skits That Were So Bad They Were Great Department", Lily Tomlin doing "St. James Infirmary" with the SNL back-up band dressed as nurses and John Belushi playing Beethoven discovering Ray Charles, "What I'd Say?" are branded in my brain.

is the R.E.M. performance "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", cos that one was neat. as I recall, Stipe wore a shiny shirt.

Actually it was "Losing My Religion". While I'm here... I would vote the Rolling Stones performance of "Start Me Up" as the worst I ever saw. They had just came off tour and Jaggers voice was in shreds. It was embarrassing.

ugh...the 80s Stones. pardon me, I have to go shudder.

there. I'm done.

just wanted to second that "alive" performance by pearl jam. it was the first time i'd heard or seen them and i was addicted after that for two+ years. *sigh*

y'know, that performance was just on Comedy Central the other day. it was odd for some reason I can't elaborate on.