|12-17-2001, 08:10 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Echosphere
Local Time: 12:46 AM
Blast From The Past
I don't know how many of us here are Usenet afficionados, but I thought it necessary to let you guys know that Google has recently archived over 700 million Usenet posts dating back to its birth in 1981.__________________
Alt.fan.u2 wasn't actually created until 1993, but it is still interesting, especially for us young'uns who weren't aware of U2 at the time, to go back and see what people were saying about Zoo TV and all that when it was actually going on. (What is the "McPhesto" character all about?)
It's also funny to see that it took a whole three threads before the Old U2 vs. New U2 flame war started.
Anyway, click on the link below and you'll be taken to the very first alt.fan.u2 posts.
Click on "Prev 100 threads" and you can go through them in chronological order. I think the search I'm linking you to only covers '93, but you can go to "Advanced groups search" and search for other time periods.
Have fun. Alt.fan.u2 has never been as wholly entertaining as PLEBA, but it's worth a look.
*Echo the Pimpstress* ... Proud Owner of Animatronic Edge!
This is it! I've been waiting two hours for this! It's a revolution! Blood runs! Flags wave! Come on everybody, throw down your tools and throw up a barricade! Run into the Winter Palace and stand on the tables waving bits of paper at each other! "Hello, are you the Czar?" "Yes, I am actually." BLAM BLAM! Ha ha! Tough luck, FASCIST! That's what happens to people who aren't working class!
Bono-Man! An Epic Superhero Adventure!
The Official PLEBA Glossary: Delicious AND Nutritious!
Go lí neach neamhshaolta do dhiosca crua. - May an alien being lick your hard disk.
|12-17-2001, 08:32 PM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Echosphere
Local Time: 12:46 AM
Here's some stuff I dug up, for those of you who aren't able to or aren't interested in scouring the archive yourself (it's a full-time job). This first one's a bit Bono wrote for Hot Press back in 1980.__________________
The U2 Way
"Where were you last night?" asked my ol' man. "We played a
concert in Trinity College". "How did it go?" "Well" I said "we
had a bit of trouble from a few sixteen years olds in the
audience". "You weren't very polite yourself at sixteen!" he
Yeh, I know at sixteen boys turn into men and get confused, I do
remember. I remember I felt bullied by the need to succeed, to
find a good job, and a pretty girl. Forming U2 was a way out - it
was also a way in to expressing how I felt constructively, as
opposed to banging my own or somebody else's head off a wall. The
fact that neither Bono, Adam, Larry or the Edge could play or sing
was an obstacle to overcome. (It hadn't bothered Lou Reed, Bob
Dylan or Bob Geldof.) Just do it!
Dublin in 1977 was not as receptive to a new rock group with new
rules as was London Town: the old story of Dublin living in the
shadow, failing to make its own mind up. Even the music scene
(man!) was loathe to jump up and down to what must have seemed
like their little brothers. No the group that sprayed "The Hype"
on their Mount Temple Comprehensive school bags and shouted 1, 2,
3, 4 at the Celebrity Club were, to say the least a threat to
one's cool. How dare they enjoy themselves!
A manager was needed before we learnt our next lesson. Paul
McGuinness was his name and he wasn't very good at football! He
told us not to over expose ourselves while we were still
underdeveloped and not to rely on gigging and our status in Dublin
(which wasn't very high at the time). He also arranged for Barry
Devlin to produce our first demo and organised record company
interest. Yes he's quite useful around the house! (in between
sueing various non entities).
This was a foundation - it was up to the music to build the rest.
Musically we were trying to combine the energy of the new wave
with an added sensitivity and emotion. For this reason I feel we
have more in common with say The Who than the Pistols or the
Progressing, though, is the name of the game and if you don't know
how, then find someone who does. Myself and bass player Adam in
particular sought as much advice as we could from both established
musicians and music "biz" people. Stephen Rapid of Radiators fame
was great help, as were the three Bills: Bill Graham (Hot Press),
Bil Keating (RTE) and Bill McGrath (Stagalee + Atrix). Abroad,
people like Johnnie Fingers, the Rats, the Lizzies were also glad
to lend a hand. After we pushed a little too far, and there was
one incident where Adam got Phil Lynott out of his hotel bed to
answer a few questions about the universe. Philip was helpful but
nobody's at their best at 7.30am! The point was and is "make
allies before you make enemies".
Originality is the keyword. In terms of presentation, on stage I
try to catch peoples attentions, like an actor I try to get across
the atmosphere of the words and the setting. Sometimes I fail,
sometimes people don't want to know, sometimes I don't even know
In the end it's up to you the audience to decide for yourselves,
is it relevant or irrelevant, can you see the potential in U2 or
not? So far you have decided yes and put our first record in the
charts, "U2 three". Thank you.
Our debut tour in England was an incredible success; things look
good for U2 and I feel confident that our February concert tour of
all the major towns in Ireland will be successful too, we also
release our second single here.
In March we undertake a second English tour in time for our first
record release over there. Yes, it's an important time for me;
it's also time for tea!
"What are you doing?" asks my ol' man. "I'm writing a piece for
the Hot Press". "The who?", "a music paper". "How's it going?"
he continued, "Well", I replied, "I had a bit of trouble..."
Not sure where this is from, but it's Bono and Edge evaluating a critic's choices for U2's best recordings
Before reacting with the Edge to my list of the 10 best U2
moments on record, Bono had a question of his own.
"Is it true that "One" was played over the radio a lot during the Los
Angeles riots?" the singer asked, referring to the most acclaimed song
from the "Achtung Baby" album, and one of the songs on the list.
"That's what I heard from some friends," he added, "which is
surprising because I never saw the song as something hopeful or
comforting. To me, it was a very bitter song."
If Bono is continually surprised at how a song takes on its own life
after being released, it also pleases him, because he likes music that
is slightly out of focus and open to broad interpretation.
"I didn't grow up in the tradition of pop songwriters who feel it
essential to make everything clear to the listener," he said. "All of
us in the band were always interested in abstraction . . . letting
things be out of focus."
In the following exercise, Bono and guitarist Edge were asked to react
to my 10 favourite U2 moments from the band's albums through "Achtung
Baby" -- including how high they would rate the selections on their
personal lists of U2 material. The moments are listed chronologically:
I WILL FOLLOW
From the debut album, "Boy" (1981)
Edge: I think I was happier with that song than anything else we
recorded on "Boy". Musically, it's strength is that it is so simple.
Of our early works, it would be high on my list.
Bono: I didn't begin spending a lot of time on lyrics until halfway
into the '80s, so this and a lot of the early songs were written very
quickly -- in just minutes in many cases. The idea here was really
just a very personal feeling, a song about unconditional love: "If you
walk away, I will follow." It would be high up on my list.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
From the album "War" (1983)
Edge: I'm quite fond of "New Year's Day" because it was probably the
first time that I started feeling confidence in the band as
Bono: The piano gave the track a sort of icy feeling, very European,
and the image I came up with was one of striking workers standing
outside in the snow in Poland during the time of Solidarity, when Lech
Walesa was imprisoned and cut off from his family.
PRIDE(IN THE NAME OF LOVE)
A top 40 hit from the album "Unforgettable Fire" (1984)
Edge: Here's a case when I think the song is better than the record.
It never fully sat right for me as a recording. I thought we touched
on a rhythmic approach that we could never follow all the way down. It
may have been our limitation as musicians. On my list, it would be
somewhere in the middle rather than near the top.
Bono: I read a book on the life of Martin Luther King and it told
about him as this aggressive pacifist, and it just seemed to fit the
From "The Unforgettable Fire"
Edge: I think the version we released was the first take -- one of
those real magical moments in the studio. It was a very minimalist
piece; the idea that a pattern that is repeated over and over for a
period of time builds its own momentum and character. This would be
quite high for me.
Bono: The idea was about a friend of mine who was strung out very
badly on smack. The song was made up on the spot. Unfortunately, we
never went over it, because it was felt the recording was a moment and
it should be left that way. I don't think I have ever sung the exact
lyric that is on the record. I play with it every night, which is
something I like.
WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME
From the album "The Joshua Tree" (1987)
Edge: We never captured "Streets" in the way of "Bad", through
improvisation. We started working from the rhythm backup -- the
guitar, then the drums, then Adam [bassist Clayton] last. It got to
where it was hard to justify spending so much time on it. In fact,
Brian wanted us to erase the multitrack at one point because he felt
it was taking too much time out of the record. He didn't, thankfully.
I would put it well up there.
Bono: I love the idea of the song -- about taking someone on a
journey, because that's what a concert is. It's saying to the
audience, "Yes, we may be in a car park or a stadium or some other
absurd place to listen to music but the music can take us somewhere
else. It can transcend time and place." As a piece of music, it is
very near the top of our stuff for me.
This is the interview that Edge unwittingly gave to one of the guys from Negativland. If you don't know the U2/Negativland story....well, I'M certainly not explaining it. *whew*
U2's The Edge Meets Negativland
INTERVIEW BY MARK HOSLER, DON JOYCE AND R. U. SIRIUS
MONDO 2000: So you had some stuff you wanted to talk about?
THE EDGE: Well, I just like the magazine. I've seen a few issues. And
it's just so boring, the usual magazine kind of angles, so well-trodden.
I just thought you might have an interesting angle on what we're
doing which would be a little bit more imaginative.
NEGATIVLAND: I was wondering was the whole band really
involved in the design of the Zoo TV tour, or has that been more just
yourself and Brian Eno, or is there a whole other crew of people that
are doing that?
E: Well, it started really with "The Fly" video. It started when Bono
walked into the studio one day with those fly shades. He said that
when he put them on everything became very clear. We were working
on the lyrics of that song, and it was like a turning point in the making
of the album. It was like a whole moving into a more ironic point of
view. The lyric development was kind of interesting. It started out as
being a list of truisms, and then we all instinctively felt that it was too
on the nose, so we started having fun with it. All these untruisms
started entering in to the lyrics. So when we were doing the video, we
worked with a guy called John Kline, who was a partner of Mark
Pellington's in a thing called Buzz TV. We took the text idea a bit
further with John. He started adding other lyrics and using them in the
context of a video on big monitors. And we started to really get off on
this. So when we were putting the show together for the tour, we really
liked this idea of text. So Mark Pellington did some stuff for us, and
the whole thing started taking on a momentum of its own. We got
Brian involved, and he was really instrumental in refining the thing
into a real clear idea, both technical and what have you. And between
Brian, Pete Willings, who's our lighting guy, and the members of the
band and Mark Pellington, it kind of started to take shape. It's really
a state of mind more than a single show. It's constantly changing.
There's new ideas coming in all the time. It's really hard to describe
where it's headed or the ideology behind it_
NL: You're doing the small club venues for this first tour. And then
you're coming back and doing the stadiums. So is it like you're
shaking down the whole thing and getting to try out a lot of different
E: We have to do the indoor show first, because we would have had
to wait a long time to go outdoors. Nobody really wanted to go out of
the stadiums, but we just started saying, "Okay, let's just see what
we're going to start indoors." We wanted to do this thing. We wanted
to start introducing visuals and making it like a whole multimedia
thing. So then we looked at the actual touring thing and realized that
if we were going to do indoors shows in every town and supply the
demand, we were talking about at least a dozen shows in every town.
So we quickly figured out that that would be unbearable. So what we
decided to do is not even attempt to supply the demand, but just
literally go around North America and Europe as quickly as possible,
one night or two nights maximum in each town, and then go home
and decide what to do. So halfway through the indoor tour we started
to think it was working and that maybe we should do some big shows.
So we started to put an outdoor show together, and that's what we're
going to do next.
NL: The Zoo TV outdoor broadcast?
E: We call this one outside broadcast and it's the same ideas, but
applied to the context of a stadium, which is of course completely
different and, on one level more problematic, but also, the potential
for complete information meltdown is_
NL: Are you physically scaling up the size of the screens and the
images, the letters, everything?
E: Yeah, it's going to be quite a different production.
M2: It's very hard to do a high-tech show without a roof.
E: But we're hoping that the technologies that do more or less the
same thing. What was really good about the indoor show was that it
was flexible. Although we had all this high- tech equipment, and there
were a lot of images set to music, we designed it in such a way that we
could really mess around with the arrangements of the songs. That's
a really important part of what we do live is being able to improvise
within the structures of songs. It took a little bit of thought, but we
ended up getting to that point where we weren't really that tied down,
which was great. And we're trying to apply the same principles
outdoors. It's a little more difficult, but it's important for us. It's that
sort of spontaneous thing that really makes it work for us, keeps us
from nodding off. Songs can actually on the spur of the moment be
NL: In the show are you doing what's interesting to you, or are you
also trying to bring out some things about technology and culture? Is
it an intuitive thing or are you trying to suggest something to the
E: It started out as a kind of feeling like the stuff here we can really
play with. It was more like we saw for a start that the technology was
there to do this for the first time. But we weren't quite sure at the
beginning which way it would go. But it's been such a lot of fun to put
the images and sections together. And it was almost like once we built
the hardware, once we'd actually put the system together, ideas just
kept popping up, and ways of using it. And it took on a life of its own.
NL: How do you as the band members experience what you're doing?
Do you watch films of it? How do you know what the actual impact
or how it looks or how it works?
E: Well, at the beginning of the tour in pre-production we had about
a week in Florida where we put most of the software into place, the
images and the ideas, and we watched videos back of the songs to get
some sort of feel for what was going on. And then the first couple of
shows we'd also watch videos back. And_ it's not something_ you
can't turn around and have a look in the middle of a song. To really
understand what's going on you have to watch it back on video laser.
NL: I got the idea from talking with R. U. that you were also
interested in talking about the impact technology is having on people
E: Our position is a very unique one. We are a very big band. We have
access to technology, access to the airwaves, be they TV, radio, or
whatever. We're a little more relaxed at this point in time about being
a big band, because we've turned it into a part of the creative process.
We're actually using our position in a way that gives us a certain
amount of amusement. It's turned it into part of what we do. A few
years ago we were almost uncomfortable with the idea of being a big
band. It seemed like maybe coming from where we did and being
interested in the things we were interested in, it seemed like a bit of an
anomaly, a bit of a contradiction.
NL: Was it like you were trying to reconcile what you were trying to
do when you started and what music was to you then, and then look
what it's turned into?
E: It was so different. When we started out we very influenced_ this
was '76_ by the whole punk thing of start again, wipe the slate clean,
and vitality was where it was at. No one was really thinking very
much. It was really about making the statement now.
NL: If you look at the equivalent, you're the next big thing that a
bunch of kids could say, "Turn that down. What's the next thing
E: And I think that's part of the whole regenerative thing of rock 'n'
roll and I think that's really important. We were that then, and now
we're in a position where we are big, and we want to do something
with this position that's imaginative and interesting, and has the right
amount of irreverence. We're not taking our position seriously in that
sense. We're actually being kind of subversive, and just manipulating
it. The whole TV thing and the access, but being where we are gives us
a lot of enjoyment. We're playing around; we've got TV specials
coming up that are really hilarious. We did this satellite link-up to
MTV where we beamed our show into somebody's front room. The
possibilities are only beginning to present themselves.
NL: I think what you're saying sounds great. If you get to a position
where you've got the power, the money to do something, and you still
maintain this idea of exploring and doing something interesting and
fun, that's really great. But it seems like when you get to be a certain
size_ you're an international cultural phenomenon_ and it seems like
a lot of what you're doing, when you look at it and analyze it, is pretty
subversive, but it ends up being lost on such a huge number of the
are following what you're doing. They're more following it as a
surface thing: What's the new top 40 hit from U2? I don't know if
that's something you just realize, and it's part of what it is.
E: Yeah. We're not shy about being big anymore. I think rock 'n' roll
should be big. It's about mass communication. The idea that it's kind
of a cult thing and that it's underground is all very well, but it's shame
if that's all it ever is_ that the majority of the airwaves are dominated
by music that's purely commercially motivated and does not go
beyond that, but is essentially one-dimensional. We're in a position
where we can do some more wild things and I would think it would be
a shame if we just accepted the standards and the way that most bands
go about their business, and didn't use this position in a different way.
NL: One thing I really liked a lot was a lot of the production on
Achtung Baby, the whole sound of it. When you put the record on,
that first thing, it sounds like the drums are over-loading the input
amplifier on the mixer or something, and it sounds like everything's
totally fucked up. I thought this was great.
E: Yeah, we had a lot of people bring their CDs back and their Hi-Fis
back to the shop.
NL: It's all relative, but I thought that for the position this band has,
to start out their CD like that was terrific and unexpected. You're
generally used to the idea that the larger someone gets and the more
successful they are and the more money they make, the more
comfortable they become in a certain position, and they spin their
E: We could never relax to that extent. The only thing that really
keeps us going is when we're out of our depth and we're not really sure
what we're doing and we're working on instinct. So, for this album, we
started out not sure where we were gonna head, but for our own
survival as people within the band, we had to do something that was
different and that challenged us. We listened to a lot of industrial
music and pretty extreme sonic things. And Jelad(sp?), who's worked
with a lot of more techno bands, was working on the album. And we
just started getting into abusive technology, and that's how some of
those sounds came. That's what we did with some of the drum sounds,
overloaded the inputs on the channels.
NL: Well, it sounded like you were playing drum tracks through
guitar amps and putting a mike on the other side of the room_
E: We did that with Bono's vocals as well. We used the studio like an
instrument. It's just as creative a process as writing a song or
anything. When you're actually recording, there are so many things
you can do with the studio if you give yourself the time to experiment.
We did a lot of experimentation with sounds and approaches to
material. It was a lot of fun. We set up and didn't quite know where
we were headed, but when we got something good we'd follow it down
the road a bit. We didn't have a fixed agenda, just keeping ourselves
interested and doing things we liked.
NL: I guess you can be in the public eye so much that you have to shut
off all the noise that's telling you to make an album like this or that or
"We're your friends and we expect you to do this or that_"
E: There are a lot of people a bit surprised by the album. It was hard
for our record label to really figure it out, and I think a lot of people
thought we'd completely lost it. But when we were working on the
album, we didn't ask anybody what they thought, we just wanted to
do something for ourselves, something that was a representation of
where we were at the time, that was reflecting what we were into.
NL: One thing I read about Zoo TV that was never really clear to me
if this was really happening, was that you had a satellite dish so that
you could take stuff down live off of the various television
transmissions around the world?
E: Yeah, the system is we've got the big screens onstage, which are the
final images created. Down by the mixing board we've got a vision
mixer which mixes in, blends the images from live cameras, from
optical discs, and from live satellite transmissions that are taken in
from a dish outside the venue. So the combination of images can be
any of those sources. We've also incorporated telecommunications.
We've got a telephone onstage that Bono occasionally makes calls
from the stage, occasionally calling the White House or ordering pizza
or whatever, and phone sex.
NL: So you can kind of sample whatever is out there on the airwaves.
E: Yeah, it's kind of like information central, whatever that is,
NL: There's been lately in the music press more and more controversy
about copyright issues and sampling. I thought that one thing you
were doing in the Zoo TV tour was taking television broadcasts, which
is copyrighted material, and re- broadcasting right there in the venue
where people paid a ticket price. I wonder what you thought about
that and whether you ever had a problem, whether it came up that it
E: No, I questioned early on whether it was going to be a problem,
and apparently it isn't. In theory I don't have a problem with
sampling. I suppose when sampling becomes part of another work it's
no problem. If sampling is stealing an idea and replaying the same
idea, changing it very slightly, that's different. We're using the visuals
and images in a completely different context. If it's a piece of live
broadcast, it's a few seconds at the most. So there's very little_ in spirit
there should be no real cause to be upset.
NL: So you would say that a fragmentary approach is the way to go.
E: Yeah. Like in music terms, we sample things; people sample us all
the time. I hear the odd U2 drum loop in a dance record. I don't have
any problem with that.
NL: This is interesting, because we've been involved in a similar
M2: I should interject here. The folks that you are talking to, Don and
Mark, aside from being occasional contributors to MONDO 2000, are
members of a band called Negativland. I knew that they had been
sued by your record label, but they hadn't been sued by you. So I
thought we could engage in a conversation.
NL: We were sued by Island for a very fragmentary sample of one of
your records, and we were terribly offended by that. We ended up
sending some packages and letters to you, and I don't know what kind
of communication you ever got about it.
E: From what I can remember, as it was presented to us, it was
"Here's the record, here's the album sleeve; Island's on the case here."
They've objected because they feel because of the artwork-this is at a
time where a lot of people are expecting a new, huge record- they felt
that from a pure business point of view, nothing about art, they
thought there was a chance that people would pick up the album and
say, "Here's the new U2 album."
NL: In the context that you're in, you have an idea of doing
something subversive, and we're scurrying way down low in the
underground of music, and we're doing things that we also think are
somewhat subversive. I actually have always liked the music that you
do. I've listened carefully to a lot of what you guys have done, and
really think especially the new record is terrific. But the thing that we
did was_ the lawsuit from Island dealt with us like it was a consumer
fraud, like it was intended to rip off innocent U2 fans, and that we
were going to make millions of dollars by selling these records. It
didn't acknowledge that there was any_ they may not like the artistic
intent of the record_ maybe even the members of the band might be
offended by what we did_ but no one ever acknowledged that the
record was anything else. And yet, actually, when you look at the
cover, listen to the record, look at the whole package, there's a U2 spy
plane on the cover_ it's pretty obvious that this is an artistic statement
E: I didn't have any problem with it. I think Casey Casem did more
than we did. The problem was that by the time we realized what was
going on it was too late. Once we did approach the record company
on your behalf and said, "Come on, this is really very heavy." But at
that point, on a point of principle, their attitude was, "Okay, we are
not going to look for damages, but we're not about to swallow our
own legal costs." The way it ended up is what they were looking for
were costs, not damages.
NL: But we didn't get a phone call from Island saying, "Look, we're
pissed. We don't like what you did. Our band has a new album
coming out and you'd better pull this thing or we're gonna smash
you." They didn't give us any chance to do anything. The first thing
we heard was 10 days after the record was out there's a 180 page
lawsuit. So it was like there was no negotiation. They went ahead and
were spending_ they've got $400/hour lawyers. You're quite right
about their main concern being the cover rather than the content. We
always felt that. And I think it was obvious from the way the lawsuit
was worded. But they never came to us and said, "Change the cover."
Instead they just smashed the whole thing including the content, which
is really a shame. We were naive, because we were a little worried
about Casey Casem, but we actually thought we're a tiny band; we sell
5 to 10,000 copies of a record. And we had a distinct impression that
U2 had a sense of humor, and that someone coming along and taking
the piss out of them a little bit was something they would find
E: I think we would have reacted in a different way, but the lawsuit
was not our lawsuit. Although we have some influence, we were not
in a position to tell our record company what to do.
NL: We were always wondering if that was really true? If U2 sells 14
million copies of an album for a label an album for a label, and they
are the main thing that keeps Island records in business economically,
then don't the artists_ or do they not? You could see from our
position how we would think that you would certainly have the
leverage. Why can't the artist have more influence over the label, do
This is just one of the many Old U2 vs. New U2 posts. I picked it out for the benefit of those PLEBAns my age and younger, who have no idea that there was once a time when it seemed Pre-Achtung U2 and Post-Achtung U2 simply could NOT live in harmony.
In article <CEJuu2.4nD@egr.uri.edu>, firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Kovacs) writes:
> Am I the only one there is?
**no, you're not.
> U2 used to be a band that meant something, there songs actually had meaning
> to them. But now, now they've turned into a German disco hip-hop band.
> It's absolutely horrible. I guess I'll just have to go on listening to all
> their old albums.
**vorsprung durch technik...it's not just for technology, but for
life: forward through tomorrow.
> And BTW, U2 could easily do an Unplugged session. They just couldn't do any
> of their new songs. (which I personally have no objection to).
**I agree with you there. But I posted the whole thing as a joke in
the first place!
> Also, I think that the Edge is a good guitarist, but if, perhaps U2 had a
> better guitarist, then they would be ALOT better. They shouldn't have to
> rely on distortion to make their songs great.
***whoa! Part of the reason why U2 has remained as constant and
strong as they have for the past 15 years is that they have remained a
strong, cohesive unit ever since their high school days. Sure,
they've added influences like Eno, Lanois, and Flood, but the core, or
the heart, is the four bandmates themselves. If you add another
guitarist, you will destroy that chemistry and sense of balance. In
the recent Rolling Stone article, Edge makes a comment to the effect
of (i'm sorry- i don't have the article in front of me) that they
haven't split up partly because they recognize the faults within each
other. For example, Bono isn't the world's greatest singer and has
admitted that his guitar playing is shitty at best, but he compensates for
Larry/Adam/Edge's 'shyness' if you will- or their willingness to be
the backdrop as Bono bares his soul to the audience (a concept
expanded on in Eamon Murphy's bio "THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE"). Edge is
a musical wizard- you shouldn't diss him for that. If it wasn't for
him, you probably wouldn't see them doing "BAD" and half the other
songs that require a little more tech to them in concert. Also, it
was he that added a better sound to the band when he first started
playing the piano on OCTOBER. Whereas the others couldn't (and still
can't) really articulate what they wanted to hear in musical terms,
Edge could and then take it that much farther. Adam/Larry both are
outstanding musicians, but neither can sing (at least until Larry
started singing "numb" and Irish drinking songs at concerts *grin*).
What does all this mean? It means that adding another guitarist would
destroy the sense of balance that has made U2 what they are.
Besides, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno both add guitar and vocals to a
lot of the songs on the albums that they have produced (Unforgettable
Fire up to and including Zooropa).
> Sorry that it may seem like I'm blasting U2. I really love this band,
> I've just had all this going through my head, and I had to get it out
> somehow. Sorry.
**that's what the newsgroup is for...you are to be commended for
airing your feelings
> Am I the only one who thinks all this?
***again, you're not.
just my humble $.05
***"Rock and roll is ridiculous- I mean, look at us: four jerks and a
police escort." -Bono
|12-17-2001, 09:25 PM||#3|
Join Date: May 2001
Local Time: 06:46 PM
thanks for posting some excerpts Echo, now that i am on break from school, i need to catch up on my 'u2' reading!
sunlight, sunlight fills my room
it's sharp and it's clear
but nothing at all like the moon..."
U2 Photo Album
|12-17-2001, 09:46 PM||#4|
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Echosphere
Local Time: 12:46 AM
Here's a bit encapsualting an ongoing debate from the early days of alt.fan.u2: the debate over whether Edge was a good guitar player! Believe it or not, this used to be a highly debated topic.
In article <CEp2sx.Iy4@egr.uri.edu>, email@example.com (Peter Kovacs) writes:
> Come on people, you can't really think that the Edge is the driving force
> behind U2? He probably gets lessons from Bono.
**EEEEK! Sorry, but if there is ever anyone who is shitty on the
guitar at best, it's Bono. Bono, repeatedly said in many interviews,
can play all of four or five chords..at best. He originally got into
the band in 1978 by saying to the boys that he could play guitar, but
he didn't have one. (source: Achtung Baby video collections tape)
Maybe he's improved
> but in the good ole' days, he was pretty bad. He almost seemed talentless.
> All his songs were repititions of triplets over and over again.
**as a fellow musician, I have to agree with you a little here. For
instance, that fantastic beginning of "Where the Streets Have No Name"
is nothing more than three notes repeated over and over again and a
little echo thrown in.
> I agree, he's gotten quite a bit better, and true his use of new technology,
> (yes I may sound like I'm contradicting myself, but it shows his lack of
> raw talent.) helps alot, but w/o Bono and Larry, this band would be
***well, I wouldn't go as far as "worthless"...but you forgot about
Adam. Personally, I think Adam is one of the best bassists in rock.
You really can't tell on the albums, but live, when you actually hear
the bass part, it's *great*.
> I agree, they have a certain "flavor", and you can't split them up at all, b
> because you would lose everything. But really, the Edge is NOT as good as
> everybody says. (Mind you, I'm judging him in a purely musical/talent point
> of view. As a musician myself I can sort of safely do this.)
**well, as I said before, I too am a musician...I am a failed
guitarist (God I wish I could play), but I have been singing and
taking private lessons and such since I was 10. Also judging him
from a purely musical/talent point of view, I think he *is* the
backbone of the band, as far as sound is concerned. He has a gifted
ear and can translate a lot of Bono's wild lyrics that express so much
as it is into breathtaking pieces of beauty that perfectly express
what Bono is trying to say. The emotion is there....it has made me
cry on more than one occasion.
> Once again, the Edge is good, but not that good.
**well, sorry, but I must respectfully disagree with you. But hey,
good for you for sticking up for what you think.
By the way, what do you think about U2's various producers? Steve
Lillywhite, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, Kevin Killen, Jimmy
Iovine&Shelly Yakus, Flood....with the exception of possibly Eno, I
think the producers of U2 have sort of been that fifth band member you
refer to, sometimes literally b/c on many of the tracks from
Unfrogettable Fire onward, Lanois and Eno have added backing vocals
and many insturmental backing tracks. I think Lanois and Flood are
very good producers and credit them with helping U2 find their new
sound and finding something different to say (yes, Achtung Baby is my
favorite album). In addition, I think Lillywhite should have been
given a lot more credit than he's given. He produced BOY, my second
favorite album--a fuckin' good one too (sorry about the language).
And OCTOBER and finally WAR, which many regard as their finest work (I
respectfully disagree on that one). It's my opinion that I think
Lillywhite is very good at producing the U2 songs that rock..for
example, he mixed a lot of the more rockin' and good songs on Joshua
Tree (where the streets, i still haven't found, with or without you)
and Achtung Baby (Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways,
In one thread, the question was posed:
If Edge and Joe Satriani were armed with chainsaws and put in a pit
slowly filling with piranha infested water, who would come out alive?
1. The Edge, of course.
2. All of them. Edge and Satriani would somehow make the chainsaws make sweet
music and lull the piranas into a trance, thus allowing Edge and Joe to
escape and leave the piranas to devour Guns and Roses, Rush Limbaugh, and
all the P.C.'s that are out there trying to make all of our lives a socialist's utopia.
3. The piranhas.
[This message has been edited by Echo (edited 12-17-2001).]
|12-18-2001, 12:54 AM||#5|
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Echosphere
Local Time: 12:46 AM
I found this one amusing. Way back in '94 people thought Bono had "gone too far." And this was YEARS before PopMart!
Is it just me, or does Bono look like Elvis did in his last years? He
obviously didn't even know what day it was during the [Grammy] awards, and he is
putting on incredible amounts of weight. He was definitely drunk, and
possibly stoned. I predict that within a year Bono will be found dead in a
bathroom, or will have become the "super clean" Bono of "The Joshua Tree'.
He has just taken the act way too far, even for him. And a dead Bono would
be much more famous then Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, but
not Elvis or John Lennon.
What?! Has anyone else ever heard of the following occurrence? It could just be a troll, but thats a pretty obscure way to troll if you ask me:
I just thought I'd pass this along....I read in the newsreader today
that a piece painted by Bono and Ali's 5 year old daughter Jordan
sold for $1600 at a charity auction in Ireland. The purchaser
was *surprise* a member of the U2 management. Ali attended the
auction and I guess also purchased a piece done by a journalist
This is an interesting one: Commentary on what were brought up as the "Least Discussed U2 Songs:
I Fall Down: Not really one of my favorites, but I think it's better
than most of the other songs on October. I'm sorry, but I'd have to
say that October is my least favorite U2 album; I just don't get the
same feeling that I get when I listen to The Joshua Tree or The
Red Light: I do like this song. The Edge plays some nice guitar
chords, and Bono's voice has a nice touch on this track. the trumpet
at the end sounds a bit out of place, but it does add an interesting
Indian Summer Sky: I love the way that it begins, but the song doesn't
seem to keep up the catchy quality the rest of the way. I love the way
the instruments go throughout the song; it's got a catchy tune. The
lyrics just don't seem to have the same effect on me as many of the
other songs on TUF (ie Bad, Promenade, Wire).
Trip Through Your Wires: This is really a good song. Trouble is, it's
among so many other good songs that it probably doesn't get the
attention it should. It really fits right in with the whole Joshua
Tree album's desert theme. It also has a really catchy tune to it.
Desire: The first time I heard Rattle and Hum (only about a year ago),
I knew that this song sounded really familiar. I couldn't remember
whether it had been from a video or what, but I knew I'd heard it
somewhere before. It was and still is one of my favorite songs on that
album. It has the same kind of driving, anthemic quality as Pride.
Love Rescue Me: A friend of mine absolutely loved this song. He loved
it so much that he wrote out the lyrics in exquisite calligraphy,
painted a pair of roses above and the shadows a pair of kissing people
below. I have to admit, it is a fantastic song. The lyrics are
"I've conquered my past; The future is here at last; I stand at the
entrance; To a new world I can see; The ruins to the right of me; Will
soon have lost sight of me; Love rescue me."
Mysterious Ways: This song has an enduring quality to it that I can
listen to again and again without ever getting sick of it. It's the
epitome of Achtung. This was actually the song that really got me on
the road to becoming a rabid U2 fanatic a few years ago. Bono's vocals
sound fantastic, and the lyrics are great. The Edge lays down some of
the heaviest chords I've heard. Larry's drums really have a great
sound on this track.
Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World: This was never one of my
favorite songs on Achtung; there's too many other tracks that are
better, in my opinion. I do know a lot of girls that really like this
song, though. It has a different groove than the rest of the album. I
consider it almost an intermission between Mysterious Ways (great) and
Ultraviolet (GREAT GREAT).
This one might deserve its own thread, but I'll leave it for someone else to start. The title of the thread was "The Five Best Things About U2"
Keijo M Karjalainen -
1. Band's attitude
2. ZOO-TV (everything about it)
3. One (live-version)
4. The sound of Edge's guitar
5. Pride (in the name of love)
Kirsi Jokinen -
1. Christian themes in songs
2. Larry's drumming
4. yeah...well...Bono's voice that turns your intestines inside out (and
his, too, most probably)
5. passion. intensity.
Jason Curtis Layman -
1. Their music varies immensely from album to album and there
is something for almost any listening mood as a result
2. All the albums have cool covers (well, except Zooropa)
3. They did a cover of "Unchained Melody"
4. They are liberal and compassionate
5. Island decided to make lots of cool singles for me to
Chris C. H. Kim -
5. If Edge can have a goatie, we all can.
4. Larry singing "Dirty Old Town" in ZooTV concerts.
3. Ben Stiller
2. Zooropa was only supposed to be an EP, and it's still pretty good
as an album.
1. Bono let Edge play the guitar, and Edge let Bono sing (way back
when they began).
A guy named John Hlavaty posted this; it's the results of a little research he did about attitudes towards contemporary music. This was posted on January 11, 1995. Remember when music was all about REM and Pearl Jam? Woooo!
I haven't posted in a while (not since our famous "sell-out/didn't sell-out"
debates), but I did a little "research" that I thought my fellow U2 fanatics
might like to hear.
I noticed that many (not all) U2 fans listed either Pearl Jam or R.E.M. as their
second (or third) favorite bands. Keep in mind, I realize that we all listen to
a wide variety of music, but those two bands did seem to stick out. Therefore,
I was curious as to what R.E.M. and Pearl Jam fans considered as their
favorite bands (i.e. do Pearl Jam fans consider U2 and R.E.M. as their next
favorite bands and likewise, do R.E.M. fans like U2 and Pearl Jam?). So, I went
to those two newsgroups asking what bands these fans like (in particular, do
they like U2 as much as we like their favorite group). Those of you who read
either of those newsgroups may have seen my posts.
Well, the very unofficial results from my mini-poll are in. Keep in mind, there
was absolutely no tabulation on my part, I was just looking for general trends.
I've already posted these results to the R.E.M. and Pearl Jam newsgroups and now
I thought I'd share them with you. Yes, I can tell that you're all waiting with
baited breath (what does that mean anyway?).
Here are the general trends and observations I gathered from the posts on those
newsgroups and personal e-mail communications:
1) Just about every Pearl Jam fan loved U2. Almost all of them ranked U2 as
either their second or even first (that's right, first!) favorite band.
All of the Pearl Jam fans placed U2 among their list of favorite bands.
2) In contrast, few R.E.M. fans placed U2 as their second favorite band. However,
about half of the R.E.M. fans did list U2 among their favorites bands.
3) Pearl Jam fans generally liked "mainstream alternative" music (Green Day,
10,000 Maniacs, Tori Amos).
4) R.E.M. fans generally liked either very old music (Beatles, Who, Rolling
Stones, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan) or what I consider true "alternative"
music (this included numerous bands that I had never heard of).
5) Some R.E.M. fans despised U2 all together. However, no Pearl Jam fan
claimed to dislike U2.
6) Few, if any, Pearl Jam fans listed R.E.M. among their favorites. Likewise,
few, if any, R.E.M. fans listed Pearl Jam among their favorite bands.
I received notes from people who loved 1920's jazz music as well as from
people who were completely unfamiliar with U2's music.
These results contrasted what I expected. Since R.E.M. formed approximately the
same time as U2, I thought that most R.E.M. fans would love U2. And since
Pearl Jam is a relatively new band with young fans, I thought that many
Pearl Jam fans would be unfamiliar with U2. Perhaps due to the fact that Pearl
Jam toured briefly with U2, U2 has now gained the love and devotion of this
"younger crowd." Why do R.E.M. fans seem to dislike U2? Perhaps U2's immense
success (to the likes that R.E.M. has never seen) has caused some resentment.
Some R.E.M. fans commented that U2 has sold-out. OH NO!!! NOT THAT TOPIC AGAIN!!
I nicerly reminded one fan that "Stand" and "Shiny, Happy People" were much
closer to selling out than anything U2 has ever produced.
Based on this info., what do you all think? Keep in mind, I did not include
what people posted to these U2 newsgroups in this poll. Nor am I trying to
insult any R.E.M. fan here. These are simply the general trends that I saw
from what was posted. After I posted these results to the Pearl Jam and R.E.M.
newsgroups, I received several more replies stating the same thing (e.g., "Yeah,
I love Pearl Jam and U2! They're my favorite groups!" or "I love R.E.M., but
U2 lost me after "Rattle and Hum."). I know this is a long post, but I am
curious what y'all think.
Here's a cute (but hopefully joking) post from a girl named Layla Dibe:
I think Larry Mullen should be the lead singer because he has a better voice
and is better looking than [Bono].
Larry should also start writing the lyrics that goes with their music
I know Larry will do a much better job GO LARRY
A humorous but entirely fictional news report:
> BONO'S MANSION, Dublin (AP) -- Rumors of the impending
>breakup of the Irish rock group U2 were confirmed today by the
>band's lead singer and founder Bono. In a press conferance in
>his palatial mansion on the outskirts of Dublin the singer
>confirmed reports that the band was dissolving.
> 'I just don't think we have anything more to say,
>also I'm really tired of singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday", it's
>hard on my throat.
> The band, awarded sixteen grammys in its fifteen year
>career, was world renowned for its powerful messages and dramatic
> 'Just a lot of reverb peddle,' commented the band's guitarist,
>'yeah just a lot of reverb. That's pretty much all there was to the
> 'Dont forget the flanger.' adds Bono as he drinks a Diet
> When asked about his future plans Bono sighs with a
>smile, 'I'm going to open a chain of weight loss clinics. I mean
>I'm basically so rich it doesn't matter what I do really.'
> 'I'm going to open a bar,' says the Edge, 'somewhere
>that has a pachinko machine.'
> Before being freed from it's multi-year contract with
>Island records, the band is to be required to give a benefit
>concert for homeless chemists. 'It's a real concern of us,' drolls
>Bono, 'all those chemists out there with nothing to do, day after
> 'We've been runnin' on fumes for years now, we knew we
>had to break up after my flanger broke.'
> The band is donating all it's old clothes to the Hard Rock
>Cafe a branch of which is opening in South Bend Indiana. 'I see the
>next big scene as being in Indiana,' commented Bono to close the
and someone else added:
"Adam Clayton, the band's bass player, from his hotel room in
London, admitted, "I never actually PLAYED the bass, really.
Essentially, I'd just stand there and bob up and down and the
strings would play themselves. Why did all of you think my parts
were so simple? Oh, yeah, I've finally run out of possible
hairstyles, which were, as much as Edge's reverb, essential parts
of the band. So, naturally there was nothing left but to break
up. I plan on buying out the Hair Club for Men, and see what
happens with that."
Larry Mullen Jnr, the drummer, known internationally for looking
bored to the point of intestinal discomfort plans on "sitting on
Elvis's Harley and greasing the wheels with my hair."
[This message has been edited by Echo (edited 12-17-2001).]
|12-18-2001, 01:10 AM||#6|
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: where I may rock, swivel, and roll. (Daddy Pants Parties on weekends.)
Local Time: 04:46 PM
Thanks Echo! This is good reading.
"The idea is to eroticize the male body instead of the female." - Bono
"Well, again, within that spirit of not-seriousness.....
To all intents and purposes, the mystery and power of the penis is, what will it become?" - Adam
|12-22-2001, 11:03 AM||#7|
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: My TARDIS - currently located in Valparaiso, IN
Local Time: 04:46 PM
In case any of you haven't figured it out, I am indeed that John (or "Ciao John" as I became known on WIRE).
I used to really enjoy alt.fan.u2 and alt.music.u2. But these days, the posts there are really from trolls. And WIRE is just silly. I place 99.99% of my posts on Interference now.
I remember doing that mini-survey. That was when I was in graduate school at ND. Hard to believe that was over 6 years ago! Odd how somethings in life change (jobs, income) while others do not (my dog, spending too much time on-line discussing U2 ).
Thanks Echo for the flashback!
[This message has been edited by doctorwho (edited 12-22-2001).]
|12-22-2001, 11:20 AM||#8|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Local Time: 12:46 AM
Thanks for putting this up Echo. It makes very interesting reading
|12-22-2001, 11:48 AM||#9|
Join Date: Sep 2001
Local Time: 07:46 PM
Thanks! Those were great. I'm always up for new and crazy readings about the boys.__________________
Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea
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