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Old 05-05-2003, 04:46 PM   #1
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Experience : Looking For Hansa Studios

[SIMG]http://bonovox.interference.com/experience/chandelierthumb.jpg [/SIMG]
By Shane O´Connell





“So, we would be wrong not to mention that we had, 10 years ago, a very special time in Berlin, in the Hansa Studios. This is a period when some of our fans reckon we got all weird on them. This is true, but you know, if you are four young men from the north side of Dublin, you know you need to get a little weird sometimes and we heard the weird and extraordinary and uplifting records that were being made in Hansa studios and we thought well.. We should go and …… become students there…. So we came to your city to study your rather ‘odd’ behavior. Because Berliners are not just straight folk, right? We like that. We like that very much.” - Bono, Berlin Elevation Concert 2001


I’ve been living in Berlin for the past two years but originally come from Dublin, and have been a fairly active U2 fan for about 10 years. Recently, I purchased the Achtung Baby video. I recognized the Berlin landmarks and became intrigued by the charismatic, dark shots in Hansa Studios from the video. I had also been listening to the album of late, and it some how parallels a personal atmosphere and circumstance in Berlin right now. With this thought, I decided it was about time to go for a walk and find the Hansa Studios U2 used, for myself.

Up until this point, it was said that the studios didn’t exist anymore. I searched the Internet for some related information, and was surprised how no sites had mentioned anything about the place, other than related song/album information. A friend and fellow U2 fan gave me the address of the building. I went down one evening last week after work to have a look around. I found the building and peered in the window. I pushed the main door and walked into the small lobby.

There are a number of companies in the place, including 'Hansa Tonstudios' on the fourth floor. I left the lobby through the ‘Meistersaal’ door and went up a stairs with a chandelier as it looked like a good bet. At the top I went through a set of double doors and into an old ballroom with a small stage. I was not sure until I looked up at the grand old lights that hung from the ceiling, that this was the room U2 used, where Achtung Baby’s songs was born, and where one of the versions of ‘One’ was filmed/recorded. It was quite surreal to have just walked into the room, directly from the street.



“It is just one of those great rooms for playing music” - Adam Clayton (Achtung Baby video).

“The biggest tip you can get is that when you are in the room playing and the music comes” - Bono (Achtung Baby video)

Soon afterwards, a lady appeared and I asked a few general questions. I told her that I was looking for the old studio U2 had used in the early nineties. She was not completely sure, and pointed to the bar area down the corridor where ‘bands used to record,’ as she put it. Just to double-check, I visited the Hansa Tonstudio offices on the fourth floor and rang the bell. The guy confirmed that there was only one ballroom in the building and that it was once a studio.



Yesterday I revisited Hansa, and asked one of the employees if it was okay to take a few pictures. He left me alone to take the pictures and walk about the room, listening to a strangely familiar echo. Looking back, I presume that only a hand-full of people (if any) have visited/found the old U2 studio. These days the ‘Meistersaal’ or Master Hall (a grand old ballroom) and adjoined bar are used for private functions only, and is not open to the public. The rest of the building is used as commercial workspace. It is located near Potsdammer Platz, Köthener Str. 38.

Maybe you have got lost in the songs that were made here, or have wondered what happened to the place - either way, I wanted to share this unique finding and significant part of U2’s history with you.


Regards, machts gut, legy jó,

Shane O´Connell - Berlin
shaneoc@web.de

Photos by: Shane O'Connell
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:58 AM   #2
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GORGEOUS Lordy! Mi a szar meleg csávó? Did U feed the pigeons over there? Try to find the Zoo Trabi! Und das ist gut so?
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:29 PM   #3
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Out of this world GORGEOUS!
thanks for sharing the beautiful pic's and story!
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:59 PM   #4
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Wonderful! What a step in time u took-for all of us! Thank u for reminding us, This Band is always right on time, on their time! Awesome, or should I say, Achtung Baby!!
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Old 05-08-2003, 01:45 PM   #5
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this was very cool...
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