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Old 05-09-2002, 06:56 PM   #1
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Zooropa Tour Kicks Off This Day In U2 History

May 9, 1993: The Zooropa tour kicks off in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Macnass, a theatre group from Galway, Ireland, are invited to perform a sketch prior to the support acts taking the stage. Other aspects of Zoo TV are changed to fit the European audience: images from Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi-propaganda film Triumph of the Will immediately precede the beginning of "Zoo Station;" as the show begins, the Zoo TV color bars that were used on video walls elsewhere in the world are now replaced by the 12-star blue logo used by the European Community - one star eventually falls off, and the entire logo collapses on screen; during "Bullet the Blue Sky," the flaming crosses seen on screen now turn into swastikas, prompting Bono to often urge "We must never let it happen again;" perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of MacPhisto, Bono's character who replaces the Mirror Ball Man and is dressed in a gold lame suit and wears platform shoes with red horns on his head. Bono will later reveal in interviews that MacPhisto is The Fly "when he's old and fat and playing in Las Vegas."

The Zooropa tour, the third name of the ZooTV tour officially begins this day, May 9, 1993 at Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and plays until August 28, 1993 at the R.D.S Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

The fourth tour name of the ZooTV tour is the Zoomerang tour which begins November 12, 1993 to December 10, 1993, with the culmination of the total ZooTV tour being captured live on video on November 27, 1993 with the recording of ZooTV Live from Sydney.

The ZooTV tour in its totality begins February 29, 1992 and ends December 10, 1993.

I would love to hear from any Interference fans who attended any shows of the Zooropa tour and tell us your personal thoughts about the shows you attended, especially the Dublin shows which sound amazing for those fans who have it. Any pics and wild dealings that fans must know about this aspect of the tour may also be included...so off with the horns, on with the show.

Chris


[This message has been edited by spanisheyes (edited 05-09-2002).]
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Old 05-09-2002, 08:22 PM   #2
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I really wish I could've witnessed one of those shows in person...

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Old 05-10-2002, 12:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en:
I really wish I could've witnessed one of those shows in person...
I second that. *sigh*

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Old 05-10-2002, 06:09 AM   #4
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I WAS THERE!

The first Zooropa show in Rotterdam (9 May 1993) was my first ever U2 concert! As it is already nine years ago my memory of the concert isn't that clear anymore. Of course I never forget how I liked it!
Unfortunately, only small tidbits remain. The weather was horrible that day, lots of rain. But when U2 started to play, the rain stopped. (Between the regular set and the encore the rain returned, but that did not take away from the magic before). I was on the field at the front of the second ring. You know the position where Bono goes in the audience during Until The End Of The World? Well, I was only 2 meters from that position!
I also know that during the acoustic set I yelled 'Edge! Edge!' and sticked my thumbs up to show how I appreciated the performance. Of course he heard me among the 50,000 people... sure... (I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who was standing near me at that concert for damaging their eardrums with my screams. Sorry, but I've wisened up since.)
One of the only other things I remember is the MacPhisto speech. In my memory Bono delivered that speech as the first thing of the encore, before launching into Desire (although I know now that they were played in the usual order).
All in all, it was a magical spectacle.

C ya!

Marty

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Old 05-10-2002, 11:38 AM   #5
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Hey Marty, thanks for sharing your experience...so the shots of MacPhisto and the band in the rain are from Rotterdam? By the way Marty, it seems that U2 has a great love for playing Rotterdam and for the fans of the Netherlands, and that many awesome shows have been played there...can you tell us about that? Thanks!

Chris
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Old 05-10-2002, 12:38 PM   #6
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DEVIL'S SHOES
"The spirit I have seen/ May be the devil:
and the devil hath power/ To assume a pleasing shape." ---Shakespeare: Hamlet

"From the introduction of MacPhisto on, it's all cabaret." --Bono

"...MacPhisto is the Fly down the line. When he goes into falsetto on 'Can't Help Falling in Love,' it's the little boy inside the corrupt man breaking through for a moment. Just like in that awful tape of fat Elvis slurring that song, there's a moment when he sings a bit of it right, and you hear Elvis's spirit coming through. That's what I'm shooting for [in MacPhisto]..."

So says his royal horn'dness, Bono, in Flanagan's End of the World. While in Ireland not long ago, yer LV opportuned to meet her LV, Bono, and after I got over being thoroughly intoxicated by his cologne (ahem...), and after I got a really great hug (ahem again...), I had sense enough in my underfunctioning brain to query him about MacPhisto. He directed me to CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters. I did not mention I had already spent six bucks to buy Faust. It was a moot point. I would have to buy Screwtape.

Being the dedicated and good little fan that I am, I immediately began tracking down said Lewis manuscript. And, regardless of the fact that Lewis is an English author, seemingly no one in Dublin or London had ever heard of him, and more than one book store employee looked at me as though I were somewhat lacking in sanity and had a tattoo on my forehead that said, "Yes, You're Right, I'm Crazy." So I bought it at B. Daltons here in Oklahoma City. It was four dollars, less than I paid for Faust. All together, I had spent ten dollars on MacPhisto's origins, not counting the money spent to get to Ireland. Although... I didn't go to Ireland with the express intention of nailing Bono's butt to the wall and demanding he explain MacPhisto. I would never nail his butt. That might really hurt.

For those of you who have not read Screwtape Letters, I will give a synopsis. During the time of WWII, a senior devil named Screwtape gives advice to his nephew Wormwood as to how to corrupt a mortal soul. Going off on a momentary tangent (like I usually do), in 1986 it was rumored though not founded that the word Chernobyl translated into English was in fact wormwood. The book of Revelations states that one of the many signs of the end of the world will be a great flaming star polluting rivers and springs. Notice Rev8:10-11 "...And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11. And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter." So as we can all see, CS Lewis took the name Wormwood from the Bible, as well as from the bitter plant for which the star was named.

Moving right along. Bono mentioned in the first paragraph of this growing dissertation that MacPhisto is the Fly a few years down the line, overweight and singing in Las Vegas. Recall "Dissection of The Fly" where I spent a rather lengthy amount of time going on about the Fly and his origins. Summarized, the insect fly is the agent of the devil. He was once attributed to the pagan god Baal, to whom human sacrifices were made. Now, the little buzzing bug has taken on a facade of decay and disease, and his kind are generally looked on as unhealthy. Bono's Fly is much the same. Instead of decay, it's corruption he carries; instead of disease it's a dose of egomania. The Fly is Bono's obnoxious, self centered, egotistical, conceited, corrupt, swearing, smoking, drinking, devilish side. The Fly, in Bono's own quoted words (Rolling Stone 1 Oct 92), is "like a phone call from hell... And the guy likes it there."

Press fast forward on the VCR of life, and let's run ahead about twenty years. The Fly is still his corrupt, egotistical self, but he's starting to have these moments. He sometimes gets very sentimental in his old age, and the little boy, the purity in him comes out and sings, rather well I might add. The devil horns comment on his corruption, on his love of money and rejection of holiness. But when they come off ("Off with the horns, on with the show") he's letting his sentiment and soft side squeeze through the hardness. In effect, he is not The devil, he is merely a devilish character that happens to wear little red velvet horns on one of those awful plastic headbands. (No wonder Bono doesn't wear the horns long... Those headbands hurt.) As Salman Rushdie so well said, "Real devils don't wear horns." Yeah, and dead men don't wear plaid.

The Fly is the young rock star, the one who still has the energy and enthusiasm in him to do a good camera humping when the occasion arises (oh yie... arises... bad bad pun...). The Mirrorball Man was corrupt as well, perhaps a middle aged Fly, later down the line a bit, but not quite as old as MacPhisto. Late forties or so. His head is still filled with a love of money, a vision of television, glitter, glamour, glitz, everything but God. You notice that in MBM's "I Believe" speeches, God is never once mentioned. I promise, that was on purpose. He says "I believe in love... money... love... cheap cosmetics," et cetera, as though love and money were interchangeable. For love or money indeed. Hey, it's your world, and you can charge it.

MacPhisto, the Fly in his fifties or even sixties, is fully corrupted and doesn't know any other way. Therefore when he says, "What's wrong with... [insert despicable act here]?" Bono wants us to believe that the old rocker possibly just doesn't know that it's wrong. Bono wants us to believe that MacPhisto is so far corrupt that he's not conscious to any of the good that is inherent in us all. Money and fame has taken it all away. Corruption worked its way through the Fly, through MirrorBall Man, and finally turned MacPhisto's heart cold.

So, you ask, where does Screwtape Letters come into play? With the ideas of corruption. With the belief that a person "just doing his job" is just that. But when a person's life comes to focus on "just doing my job," even if it's employment as a rock n roller, then other important things get pushed out of the way. "The Job" becomes central, and with The Job, fuelling The Job, is money. Greed. Gimmie some more... Too much is not enough.

CS Lewis states in his introduction to Screwtape Letters:
"...The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpted, warmed, and well lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state, or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern...."

I thought that sounded familiar, and I could have sworn upon reading that passage that Bono had said something a bit like it. So, after a half hour of searching through my collection of articles and various U2 books, I finally found two sources. Observe:

"...the new fascism will come with a warm handshake, with gold fillings and a smile. And through the media, people will be manipulated en masse..." --Bono, Rolling Stone Magazine Nov 5 1987

and more recently...

"...This whole question about the nature of the devil is very important to me. But I don't necessarily see the devil in the kind of darkness most people associate with the devil. Like in those dens of iniquity or illegal drinking houses or wherever."
"For me you see it more in corporate life... There are probably countless guys in suits who have given up their soul to succeed in what they do. Because there is a great power people have if nothing will get in their way, if they have no morality, no uncertainty, no doubt. All those things trouble the spirit. This, to me, is where darkness lies..." --Bono, Hot Press Magazine, June 1993

Do you see a couple of parallels, or have I just entered the Twilight Zone...
So it's fairly obvious that if Bono had really wanted to portray his idea of The Devil, he would not have dressed as a rock star. He would have worn pin stripe pants, a matching vest, a pressed white shirt, and possibly nice suspenders. Oh, wait, that was 1988 Bono... Now that, my friends, is definitely the Twilight Zone... Weird...

Getting back to the big photo, MacPhisto again is not The Devil, but a devil, a minion if you will. Rock n roll is the devil's music, so why not send out a guy in horns? Is it a coincidence that Elvis the Pelvis, the one time scourge of parents and idol of teens once wore a tight black leather suit, an idea taken from Jim Morrison, Mr Lizard King himself, in 1968? Is it a coincidence that Elvis had a gold lame suit? No, it's not. Bono wanted to portray a rock star in all his glory. He wanted that idea of a manipulation of emotions, which was evidenced in the proliferation of television, and which Elvis knew how to do very well. Honest manipulation, obvious yet subtle manipulation, the off-guard kind that makes eyes sparkle. If Elvis had died in 1959, I would sell you the theory that Bono is his reincarnation, but he died in '77, and somehow I remember it. Bono didn't portray MacPhisto as an office worker because he wanted a devil to be recognized. Hence the rock n roll uniform and the little red velvet horns. Although, the horns were actually Gavin's idea... Ah Gavin, thou clever knave...

Bono is not the first to claim that mocking the devil will make him flee. Luther, the founder of Protestantism, said, "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to text of the Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." Thomas More said, "The devil... The prowde spirite... cannot endure to be mocked." Mocking the devil, which Bono is most certainly doing, could be his way of dispelling the demons within him. Purging them by acting them out in a harmless and humorous manner. By wearing this mask, he could be revealing that devilish side in all of us, as well as himself.

Therefore, the corruption taken from the devil in Screwtape is very evident in MacPhisto. But let's make one last illustration. We'll examine a portion of his farewell speech at Sydney, as it was transcripted in Bill Flanagan's At the End of the World:

"...Salman Rushdie [author of The Satanic Verses], I give you decibels! Good bye Squidgy [Princess Di's supposed pet name], I hope they give you Wales... Good bye Michael [Jackson] (the original speech included the phrase "I hope you get your new penis," commenting on the rumor that M.J. was going to have plastic surgery in order to elude the investigation into child molestation charges) ...Good bye all you Neo-Nazis... I hope they give you Auschwitz!"

The audience roars its approval. But what has MacPhisto done in this last statement about the neo-Nazis? He has directed us to do that very thing that the neo-Nazis are so famous for doing: Hate. I'm not saying we should sympathize with anyone who is racist. I'm simply saying that we should not hate them in return. Impress upon them that they are wrong, but not hate them. Feel pity for them, but not hate them. Hate is one of the greatest Evils. MacPhisto turns his metaphorical mirror around, and in it we see our reflections, dressed just as he is.

So what are all the things that MacPhisto tries to press into our heads that Bono supposedly got from Screwtape Letters? Vanity (which is also an issue in the Bible's Ecclesiastes), in his statement, "Look what you've done to me, you've made me very famous and I thank you for it" and when Mirrorball Man says to his reflection: "You know somethin'? You're fukking beautiful..." This vanity is overwhelmingly obvious, along with arrogance; indifference, corruption, mischieviousness, rhetoric, manipulation, defiance of logic, hatefulness, lewdness, and a desire to create unrest. MacPhisto is not Screwtape, he's not evil enough, he's too amusing to be the embodiment of evil. He still knows how to have a reasonably good natured laugh. But he wants to be Screwtape. His whole life, from his lewd days as the Fly to his false idolatry days as Mirrorbal Man, he's wanted to be Screwtape. He wars with himself, acting out the role of the corrupted rock star because it's the only thing he knows anymore. But sometimes his innocence returns full force, slamming him in the face, cracking his mask, bringing on his high, pure falsetto. Most times though he is content to make people laugh. They don't laugh to mock him, they laugh with him. And while they are laughing, MacPhisto is inserting ideas into their heads that his behavior is the way to go. And he's laughing at the fact that they don't know where they are going because of it. In light of his love of corruption and his adoration for Mr. Screwtape, is it really any wonder that MacPhisto laughs at these gullible humans? Hell, no. ---LV

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Old 05-10-2002, 01:43 PM   #7
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So who exactly are the U2 Massive Heads?

Just what they sound like - dancers with massive fibreglass heads modelled on the U2 members! They were created by the Galway performance arts company Macnas (specifically Mac Teo, a commercial company which has grown out of Macnas), and were then recruited by U2 to perform on the European leg of their ZooTV tour during the summer of '93 - they were used in 43 gigs to encourage audience participation before the band appeared on stage. They apparently caused huge confusion among the audience, and the media even speculated that it was the real band inside the caricature heads. The tour took the Massive Heeds to 17 countries with a total audience of 3 million people over four months. More recently, they made their appearance in the video for U2's Sweetest Thing.

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Old 05-10-2002, 01:55 PM   #8
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here are those mac shoes Chris! I can't wait to read what you wrote when I get a free chance





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Old 05-10-2002, 02:05 PM   #9
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Carrie...I love this picture you posted of the band...



...because for the first time I noticed that Adam has the 12 star logo used by the European Community on the back of his shirt, but instead of the stars being blue like at the beginning of 'Zoo Station', the stars are gold.

Chris

[This message has been edited by spanisheyes (edited 05-10-2002).]
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Old 05-10-2002, 02:27 PM   #10
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May 10, 1993: Concert: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Supporting act Einsturzende Neubaten is tossed off-stage in Rotterdam and
off the tour when one of the band members throws an iron bar into the sea of
booing fans. It is Bono's birthday, and one of his most memorable telephone
calls occurs tonight when he rings a local travel agent looking for a flight
out of town, anywhere "as long as it's sunny." After the show, management
will contact the agent again to explain Bono's call and offer her two
complimentary tickets to the show the following night.


Chris


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Old 05-10-2002, 02:29 PM   #11
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hey chris..check your hotmail account.
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Old 05-10-2002, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by spanisheyes:
May 10, 1993: Concert: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

It is Bono's birthday, and one of his most memorable telephone
calls occurs tonight when he rings a local travel agent looking for a flight
out of town, anywhere "as long as it's sunny." After the show, management
will contact the agent again to explain Bono's call and offer her two
complimentary tickets to the show the following night.

Chris

I have that phone call http://www.u2takemehigher.com/music/mac_phone.html

Chris thanks for that article (I'm assuming it was an article...?) it was very insightful and well written. I haven't made it through the screwtape letters myself and reading that synopsis was really nice. I think Fly/Macphisto are his most brilliant ideas.

plastic heads:


my favorite Fly pictures, it epitomizes everything the author talked about..fame and fortune and just having a good time..



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*Happy Birthday Bono*
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