Casey Kasem was an American vocal legend. He was known throughout the country for his weekly countdown shows, wherein he would showcase the top forty singles on the pop charts and provide commentary between the songs. He was also the voice actor for nearly every incarnation of Shaggy of Scooby Doo fame, as well as the voice actor for Batman’s sidekick Robin in a variety of cartoons.
He was the friendly, laid-back, helpful person that everyone knew. But when the microphones weren’t supposed to be running, he had a temper.
In the 1980s, before the modern internet, people would pass around recordings which were never authorized for release. Unaired pilots of television shows. Anime programs not licensed in America. Blooper reels. And in one case, outtakes from Casey Kasem recording sessions.
Negativland, a San Francisco area band that specialized in “found footage” and experimental music discovered the rants. They incorporated it onto various songs sampling from U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and released the songs as an EP titled “U2”. The name of the album was in large letters, the name of the band in small, and people were understandably mistaken when they believed that the band U2 had released a new album called “Negativland”.
They hadn’t. U2’s record company sued Negativland, as did Casey Kasem. U2 later admitted that they hadn’t really minded the sampling. Perhaps this was because they weren’t the ones being portrayed as an angry, incoherently raving lunatic.
For the curious (warning, there’s some offensive language) here’s the most famous track from Negativland’s U2 album:
Question of the night: Who was/is your favorite radio host, and why?