negativland > U2 > lp

May 12, 2012 – I once had it, within my reach, but unfortunately the “staff” (Richie, Spencer, Aimee, Peter … random new hire?) at the store had been quickly ordered/instructed (lawyers) to pull this particular Negativland/”U2″ LP/CD – that day – that moment – just when I had decided to zip down Newbury St. (from Visual Research & Design (?) – w/a Don Gove – “worst” Boss in history/the wolrd.) and see if it had hit the Newbury Comics vinyl (yep, “record”) bins yet. I saw it. There it was, behind the counter and within view, a box with ALL the freshly sealed U2/Negativland 12″ (& cd’s?) ready to be shipped - BACK - to the distributors/record label?!?! I think I had made a quick, but useless plea. nada.

The “song” had been getting local play on college radio, so folk were aware of its release (an it’s humor), and I, for one, was looking forward to it’s purchase (I can be a record-geek sometimes, but nothing compared to some I know). But, the evil powers that exist in the music biz, began to buzz. Word on the street was that the U2′s lawyers/record label were a little miffed that someone would mess around with their (mondo money-making) hit – and went to work quickly pursuing the culprits – Negativland – the folks who had the gall to bastardize their merch!?! Have a wee … listen!

August 20, 1991: SST Records releases a single by Negativland called “U2″, a tape-collage parody of U2′s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (video here) featuring sampled and scrambled portions of the U2 song itself and a found tape of radio personality Casey Kasem losing his cool. As part of the joke, the CD packaging features the title – the letter “U” and the numeral “2″ – largely and prominently with the attribution “Negativland” in much smaller letters below it.

I saw them play once in Boston/Somerville (’92/Johnny D’s?+/-) where they had toasters on the sides of the (small) stage, the show began – then someone started to make the “toast”, which started to burn, creating smoke … etc. After that it was just fun seeing them perform the stuff I had listened to on WZBC (and WUNH, KFJC, WVUM, WBUR) during the 80′s.

*Special thanks to Le Spam for procuring this “rare” little item for me and also ending my obsessive search for it.

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*From the mind of Ashley Swanson / 2007 "Miami Beach, a sunny place for shady people."© / special thanks to WordPress!