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Sunday, February 22, 2004

Casey Kasem Retires from Radio, Profane Outburst Preserved for Posterity, and Mark Hosler Visits from Negativland, the Place that Kept Casey Safe

Founding member of Negativland Mark Hosler will be the guest of the SEAT Theater group on Feb 27th and 28th. Tickets are limited, so get a hold of them early. And now here's a little story about a man named Casey, his love of profanity and that band called Negativland...

American Top Forty host Casey Kasem retired in January 2004, after 34 years of hosting the radio music show. And while loyal listeners appreciated his unflagging support of bad music, he returned the love with his personalized dedications. From the ABC News article on Kasem's retirement, "You are a bit of a voyeur. You are hearing something that someone else is experiencing... ...When I do the letters, sometimes it takes me three, four, five times to read them until we get it exactly right. Every letter has its own feel, and none of them are just by rote."

However, some of his best readings never made it to the air. And for the owner of Snuggles, a deceased doggy, it was best that they didn't hear the first five times. The outburst that resulted was recorded for posterity and incorporated into a song that would never be aired on the show he hosted.

Negativland somehow found the Kasem outburst, covered the music of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", released a single and promptly found themselves sued by both U2 and Kasem. Why did they choose U2? Did we mention that while Casey was dissing the dead dog, he also managed to slam U2 as well...

"...that's the letter U, and the numeral 2. The four-man band features Adam Clayton on bass, Larry Mullen on drums, Dave Evans, nicknamed "The Edge", on --this is bullshit! Nobody cares!

These guys are from England, and who gives a shit?"

After numerous lawsuits, they eventually told their story in the book Fair Use : The Story of the Letter U & the Numeral 2, made the song (and remixes) available online and continue to raise the ire of the RIAA and like-minded copyright enthusiasts.

posted by Mr. Kimberly at