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Old 03-18-2002, 06:51 PM   #1
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Quote:
Originally posted by david:
They showed Bono's induction speech for Bruce Springstein back in 99, but they even went back further. They showed his WHO induction speech from 1990! Haha it was so funny to see Bono wearing a leather hat and decked out in a baggy pattern button up shirt and long black hair.

Who would of thought a year and a half later he'd totally change his image the way he did.

In regard to the image change, what do you make of it? I realize that this could be an entirely different thread altogher circa 1992, but I am curious.

I didnt like it at first, then I gradually became comfortable with it and realized that it was necessary and since he is a rock star he could get away with it.

However, I know people and have heard that Bono(and U2, but mostly Bono) cannot be taken seriously because they think he is a phony and has lost his integrity from the 80's. There is a point to that.

I didnt fully understand the whole image thing until I recently read Until the End of the World which seems to make sense of a lot of things that U2 has done.

You know, it's funny how U2 has spent so much time reshaping their public image in order to gain private protection and now they have seem to have come full circle and are now back at square one as being looked upon as a politically conscious, religiously inate, human rights, socially conscious band.

If you look closely, I dont think U2 has changed(intimately, that is) much at all in many respects....
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Old 03-18-2002, 07:57 PM   #2
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I think the image change was more personal and a little bit smart marketing. I mean you look at Bono in early 90 and he looked like a rock star, long hair, expensive clothes, leather vests, I mean yeah it was the style and all. Then all the sudden they go to Berlin and he comes back this weird manifestation of Morrison and Elvis. I think the reason he cut all his hair off was just because he turned 30, and it might of been symbolic in the sense of letting go of the past. I remember Lenny Kravitz said he felt this weight lifted off him when he decided to cut off his dreadlocks.

And at the time of Achtung Baby's release the whole alternative scene exploded and everyone had long hair and dressed almost the way Bono and U2 dressed during their Joshua Tree phase. I think it was smart that they did a whole makeover. I think Bono also had fun wearing leather all the time and his fly shades.

I dont think they changed any of their beliefs or whatever, I think they are very fashion smart.

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Old 03-18-2002, 09:14 PM   #3
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Bono didn't 'cut all his hair off' when he turned 30. If you look at the pics from that era, as we on PLEBA do constantly, you can see that it slowly got shorter over a long period of time. I could post some pics to represent this if you like. Even though I didn't like him cutting his long hair, I could deal with the AB look. It was still very hot. POP, no. WHY shave it all off? Oh that was bad. I am so happy he grew some more hair. I wish he'd grow it long again though but at least he has some.

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Old 03-18-2002, 09:41 PM   #4
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Okay David here is a documentary on Bono's hair in the AB era

Late '90, coming to Berlin



1991



The Fly 1992



1993- short to play MacPhisto, though at first MacPhisto had a little ponytail



other AB era hair pics





Yes I am one of the hair obsessed, hot pic obsessed girls, I confess and I'm sorry. I hope this has done some good in your curiosity about Bono's image in the early '90s.



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Old 03-18-2002, 10:23 PM   #5
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I think the point being made, regardless of how fast Bono cut his hair, is that it was necessary for both U2's continued success as well as letting go of the past.

Bono's look, circa 1987, would NEVER have worked on AB. Maybe he could have looked that way for "One" - and in the studio video, he does indeed have longer hair - but that's it. The JT look just wouldn't have worked for most of the songs on AB. Furthermore, as someone else pointed out, ALL the bands looked like U2 in '92 - so they wouldn't have stood out at all if their image remained the same.

It's frequently been noted how few 80's artists transitioned into the 90's. Some had some success at first (INXS, REM) but then slowly slipped as the decade continued. While U2 also slipped a bit, they were still producing - at minimum -Platinum selling albums, which is a LOT more than most 80's artists were able to claim.

Only U2 and Madonna have transitioned from the 80's to the 90's to the 00's. And both have two things in common - their ever changing sound and appearance. This gives the "illusion" (if nothing else) that both artists are relevant - a HUGE factor if one wants a top selling, critically acclaimed album.

So perhaps Bono's hair didn't get chopped off all at once in May 1990, it was slowly shortened for the right reasons.
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:16 PM   #6
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Another thread that starts out interesting and end's up being about Bono's hair.

Wow, his hair really was different in 1987. His style really has changed that much in only FIFTEEN YEARS!

I'm half-joking, but you get the point. I hope.

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Old 03-19-2002, 02:09 AM   #7
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Bono on VH1's Greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Moments

They showed Bono's induction speech for Bruce Springstein back in 99, but they even went back further. They showed his WHO induction speech from 1990! Haha it was so funny to see Bono wearing a leather hat and decked out in a baggy pattern button up shirt and long black hair.

Who would of thought a year and a half later he'd totally change his image the way he did.

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Old 03-19-2002, 02:38 AM   #8
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That was great! We PLEBA girls already knew about it. Yes, he looked so nice with his long hair and shirt and hat in 1990. He also looked good in the 1994 piece. Not too crazy about the 99 footage. The parts with him in the brown jacket were brand new. I taped it.
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:00 AM   #9
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I have to comment on the image thing: first, doctorwho, since when has Madonna ever changed her sound? Her look, yes many times, but she has never changed her sound, the type of music she does or the general image she presents to the public, which is very naughty and sexually provocative.

Second, david and doctorwho say how the Achtung Baby era was a smart move in a fashion and image sense. Even though I don't think it was just a move for that reason I do not disagree with you. But I want to bring up, probably unwisely, that in the same way perhaps POP hurt them with their image change, and it was a mistake. No, I'm not bashing the album, and I'm not just talking about Bono's hair- or lack thereof. I mean his clothes, all their clothes and cosutmes, and the outrageous, over the top stage setup. I am talking about the entire image they presented to their fans, the media and the public. I am aware that many of you here liked it, however, many fans and others found the rather flamboyant amd extreme fashion statements difficult to accept, enjoy or relate to. To some people, they appeared freakish and foolish, where AB had been cool. I have not only read about this from critics, I have heard it first hand from numerous people and U2 fans. I wonder if the album would have fared better if not for the way the band looked? You may think this is shallow, but people tend to be very visually oriented and influenced by things like that. When they 'sold themselves' at K-Mart, there were a lot of people not buying. I do not think I'm off base here at all.

On to ATYCLB- the band presented a very soft and cuddly, attractive, normal, subdued, or at least neutral, image to its fans and the public. It and the Elevation tour were very well recieved and acclaimed by the media, critics and fans alike. U2 is now acceptable to the masses and is a household word. Bono is at the White House. Was this another fashion move, or were they just mellowing out in their 40's? Maybe, just maybe, this newest image is the real U2, what they are, stripped down, no act, no covers, no facades, just the four guys the way they really are and want to be, just as they walked on stage with the lights on. If they are saying this is us, take us or leave us, I'll take them.

BTW- I loved seeing those Hall of Fame moments! I think I was the one who discovered it first and posted it. I'm so glad I did and I taped it too. More for my U2 archival footage collection!

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[This message has been edited by Veranda (edited 03-19-2002).]
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Old 03-19-2002, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Veranda:
I have to comment on the image thing: first, doctorwho, since when has Madonna ever changed her sound? Her look, yes many times, but she has never changed her sound, the type of music she does or the general image she presents to the public, which is very naughty and sexually provocative.

Second, david and doctorwho say how the Achtung Baby era was a smart move in a fashion and image sense. Even though I don't think it was just a move for that reason I do not disagree with you. But I want to bring up, probably unwisely, that in the same way perhaps POP hurt them with their image change, and it was a mistake. No, I'm not bashing the album, and I'm not just talking about Bono's hair- or lack thereof. I mean his clothes, all their clothes and cosutmes, and the outrageous, over the top stage setup. I am talking about the entire image they presented to their fans, the media and the public. I am aware that many of you here liked it, however, many fans and others found the rather flamboyant amd extreme fashion statements difficult to accept, enjoy or relate to. To some people, they appeared freakish and foolish, where AB had been cool. I have not only read about this from critics, I have heard it first hand from numerous people and U2 fans. I wonder if the album would have fared better if not for the way the band looked? You may think this is shallow, but people tend to be very visually oriented and influenced by things like that. When they 'sold themselves' at K-Mart, there were a lot of people not buying. I do not think I'm off base here at all.

On to ATYCLB- the band presented a very soft and cuddly, attractive, normal, subdued, or at least neutral, image to its fans and the public. It and the Elevation tour were very well recieved and acclaimed by the media, critics and fans alike. U2 is now acceptable to the masses and is a household word. Bono is at the White House. Was this another fashion move, or were they just mellowing out in their 40's? Maybe, just maybe, this newest image is the real U2, what they are, stripped down, no act, no covers, no facades, just the four guys the way they really are and want to be, just as they walked on stage with the lights on. If they are saying this is us, take us or leave us, I'll take them.

BTW- I loved seeing those Hall of Fame moments! I think I was the one who discovered it first and posted it. I'm so glad I did and I taped it too. More for my U2 archival footage collection!

I agree with everything you just said concering POP. If U2 had kept their look from the Zoo TV/Zooropa era, I am convinced the album would've been much more well-received.
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Old 03-19-2002, 11:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mulholland Drive:
I agree with everything you just said concering POP. If U2 had kept their look from the Zoo TV/Zooropa era, I am convinced the album would've been much more well-received.
So do I, only I could get much more insulting LMFAO! I think too that if they had kept their Zoo TV look or a small variation of it up until today no one would be saying they look old. It's only because they had that big unecessary change in between. People who don't change seem younger longer because they look like they always have. A good example is Alice Cooper, also Ozzy. These guys are over 50 but really haven't ever changed much so they still look like themselves, which is themselves young. U2 did make a mistake with the POP look, and the album too IMO but that is another story.

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Old 03-19-2002, 03:17 PM   #12
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Originally posted by u2utah:

U2 and Madonna have stayed viable because they have repeatedly changed their images.
I think U2 has remained viable is because they are truly good and talented and special and are totally relevant and not a one trick pony or part of any one fad, such as hair metal, grunge, rapcore, etc. I don't believe the looks of a band have to change with the music. Led Zeppelin did a wide variety of songs but always looked the same and are legends. I also don't like to see anyone change just for the sake of it, just be yourself for God's sake!

Oh and I don't think Madonna is or ever was viable, she's just a commodity and a conversation piece.

Quote:
True the Pop image was not as well received (one has to question the wisdom of 4 guys who can't dance trying to do a dance inspired record ) While it's "failure" is largely overstated, that perception actually made their current triumphant so-called "return" possible. They were clever enough to use an image mis-step to their advantage.
Leave it to U2 to turn a misstep into an advantage. I do agree that if it hadn't been for the "down" of Pop, the "UP" of the new album and tour may not have been so dramatic. The irony of the irony was, the band is now more famous and popular than ever! Leave it to U2 to always come out on top!

Quote:
An artist has to keep moving forward. To bad fans are sometimes stuck in the past. I guess that's why Paul McGuiness says that the ability to bring in new fans is more important than keeping the old one's happy.


I strongly disagree with this, even if Paul himself did say it. Most "new" fans that are picked up turn out to be no more than bandwagoners who move on, fair weather fans, or at best casual fans. It is very important for a band to build and maintain a large loyal fanbase follwing through the years if they are to be a continued success. For the most part U2 has done this. What fans they may have lost they have mostly gained back now. Any band that doesn't care about their own fans and are willing to dump them thinking they can bank on new ones jumping on the bandwagon is really wrong. Bad form.
If fans have loyalty to a band, they deserve the same from the band in return.


[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]
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Old 03-19-2002, 05:44 PM   #13
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orinially posted by u2utah:
An artist has to keep moving forward. To bad fans are sometimes stuck in the past. I guess that's why Paul McGuiness says that the ability to bring in new fans is more important than keeping the old one's happy.


Quote:
orignially posted by Desire4Bono:
I strongly disagree with this, even if Paul himself did say it. Most "new" fans that are picked up turn out to be no more than bandwagoners who move on, fair weather fans, or at best casual fans. It is very important for a band to build and maintain a large loyal fanbase follwing through the years if they are to be a continued success. For the most part U2 has done this. What fans they may have lost they have mostly gained back now. Any band that doesn't care about their own fans and are willing to dump them thinking they can bank on new ones jumping on the bandwagon is really wrong. Bad form.
If fans have loyalty to a band, they deserve the same from the band in return.


[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]
I don't think he meant it as not caring about loyal fans. That's not how I interepreted it so sorry if it came across that way. (I'll dig up the exacct quote if you like) It's just that you can't keep going if you don't add new people to your fan base and the fact that this forum is populated mostly with teens and 20 year olds shows that they've done this. Most of the people here can't possibly have been fans since Boy or War or even JT. (Okay I realize some of you came out of the womb loving U2 , but most came along quite a bit later) Some of the most dedicated and fanatical U2 fans I know are in their mid 20s and discovered U2 during Pop.

I think Paul meant that you can't stay commercially viable (which Madonna has been BTW whatever you think of her music) if you can't reach the young people.

A loyal following is great, but if you let yourself be creatively stifled by them then you'll die. If U2 had let fear of offending JT fans keep them from moving on to new things, I'd wager that they would not be around today. They have repeatedly said they have to keep it interesting for THEMSELVES, and when it's not they'll pack it in.

I'm not sure what a band owes to a "loyal following" except to make the best music they can and put on the best show they can. They don't owe them anything more, nor could they provide anything more. If U2 tried to base their decisions on "what the fans want" they'd be schizo in a week! Even the small number of fans on this forum can't agree on anything




[This message has been edited by u2utah (edited 03-19-2002).]
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:15 PM   #14
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I just hope they do what they want, and not do something ridiculous just to feel they must change and such crap. I believe they would have been a success today regardless. Though some fans came to them during Pop, many were driven away. I cannot count how many people I know who, when U2 is mentioned, say they used to like them in the 80's but not since. I have tried to win them back, some have come back with ATYCLB, some have not. I don't see the difference in losing fans and gaining new ones, if you kept some old ones you wouldn't have some new ones, and if you keep more old ones and gain less new ones, what's the difference? The number of fans is about the same. Very few teenagers I know accept U2, no matter what, they will always be 'old' and not hard rocking enough for them. The ones who love rap and rock/rap will never like U2. I constantly see teens posting here about how to win their friends over to U2. I try to 'witness' to them too. In most cases it's not going to happen.

I would hate to see, and actually fear, that U2 would do something so drastic as going rock/rap and get multiple tattoos and face and body piercings just to 'appeal to new fans' when 75% of them would only laugh at them, while others would be driven away. I dare say few of us on this board of any age would enjoy that. I just want them to do what is in their hearts and not feel like they have to do anything for any reason. That's what REM does, maybe they're not so successful anymore but they have nothing to prove.

Really now what can U2 do that they haven't done before except something that sucks like rockrap? That's why I fear another change. They don't need one, not anymore.

Remember too that with Bono being so involved in politics, he isn't likely to do anything wild with his hair or grow a scraggly beard or get tattoos or piercings or something like that. I know he will never compromise his style to kiss up to them but he's going to have to keep himself looking relatively normal.

[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]

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Old 03-19-2002, 09:30 PM   #15
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Originally posted by Desire4Bono:
I just hope they do what they want, and not do something ridiculous just to feel they must change and such crap. I believe they would have been a success today regardless. Though some fans came to them during Pop, many were driven away. I cannot count how many people I know who, when U2 is mentioned, say they used to like them in the 80's but not since. I have tried to win them back, some have come back with ATYCLB, some have not. I don't see the difference in losing fans and gaining new ones, if you kept some old ones you wouldn't have some new ones, and if you keep more old ones and gain less new ones, what's the difference? The number of fans is about the same. Very few teenagers I know accept U2, no matter what, they will always be 'old' and not hard rocking enough for them. The ones who love rap and rock/rap will never like U2. I constantly see teens posting here about how to win their friends over to U2. I try to 'witness' to them too. In most cases it's not going to happen.

I would hate to see, and actually fear, that U2 would do something so drastic as going rock/rap and get multiple tattoos and face and body piercings just to 'appeal to new fans' when 75% of them would only laugh at them, while others would be driven away. I dare say few of us on this board of any age would enjoy that. I just want them to do what is in their hearts and not feel like they have to do anything for any reason. That's what REM does, maybe they're not so successful anymore but they have nothing to prove.

Really now what can U2 do that they haven't done before except something that sucks like rockrap? That's why I fear another change. They don't need one, not anymore.

Remember too that with Bono being so involved in politics, he isn't likely to do anything wild with his hair or grow a scraggly beard or get tattoos or piercings or something like that. I know he will never compromise his style to kiss up to them but he's going to have to keep himself looking relatively normal.

[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-19-2002).]
Some good points are made here and I agree with you that they have changed their image enough and that they have now come full circle. In fact, I think the fact that they have come back to basics has garnered this renewed interest in them and has pushed them to a relevance like no other band---ever.
22 years, same lineup, critical, commerical, artistic success....nobody has accomplished that.

You mention that most teens you know won't accept U2. That is very frustrating to me b/c U2 is much more creative, stronger sounding, lyrically strong and even technically stronger than just about everything out there today. U2 has gained many younger, teenaged fans during this tour, which contradicts your statement somewhat(I get the point though).

The fact that they have ANY teenaged fans is an unbelievable accomplishment in the first place. In fact, I bet they have more teenaged fans than any other band from the 80's(and even many from the 90's).

The way I look at it is this: f--- 'em! Who needs 'em anyway?


I know that is rather immature and silly and Bono had the same attitude during the late 80's regarding the pop crowd(which falls into place here), but it is the truth. If you are a teen and you are not into U2, you are missing out. Simple as that. To each, his own. If you dont like U2 as a teen, you should at least respect them. I also feel that some of these teens may come to like them in the future b/c U2 will still be around and many of todays bands will be gone.

It is funny, but we couldve had this conversation about a million times regarding U2 in previous years and yet they still prove everyone wrong.

They were on a mission to regain their popularity while maintaining an image and creating great, inspiring music. They did that.....they are more popular and better than any bands that the teens listen too.

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Old 03-20-2002, 02:07 AM   #16
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i think bono has always had the showman in him, the desire to draw attention to himself as well. i mean look at the "from a whisper to a scream" documentry, U2's 1978 tv performance of life on a distant planet. bono is dancing like an alien character and he is wearing leather and of all things has on purple gloves.

he kind of downplayed theatrics for the 80's because U2 were just being honest, theatrics took a back seat to the music itself.

after seeing that the achtung baby era made more sense to me. they just wanted to have fun with their music.

i don't think the zoo tv look would of went well with the pop theme. i am glad they changed during pop and left zoo tv behind because it has it's place in time and seems more special now.

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Old 03-20-2002, 02:21 AM   #17
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Originally posted by Veranda:
I have to comment on the image thing: first, doctorwho, since when has Madonna ever changed her sound? Her look, yes many times, but she has never changed her sound, the type of music she does or the general image she presents to the public, which is very naughty and sexually provocative.

Her sound has changed dramatically - at least to my ears. The pure pop sounds of a song like "Borderline" sounds nothing like the sounds of something like "Justify My Love" or, more recently, "Music."
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Old 03-20-2002, 02:37 AM   #18
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Originally posted by doctorwho:
[B]Only U2 and Madonna have transitioned from the 80's to the 90's to the 00's. And both have two things in common - their ever changing sound and appearance. This gives the "illusion" (if nothing else) that both artists are relevant - a HUGE factor if one wants a top selling, critically acclaimed album.[B]
doctorwho is right (as usual ) If U2 looked the same as they did during JT all these years they would have gone the way of Ozzy and Alice Cooper (who were strangely presented by ODB as "good?" examples of how musicians shouldn't change their looks ) Not much relevant music coming out of those two in the last 20 years. U2 and Madonna have stayed viable because they have repeatedly changed their images.

The AB/ZooTV thing was a stroke of absolute genius. They had to throw off the Oh-so-earnest image they had, rightly or wrongly, been given. Bono said it well, that if he took on the "hero" role he'd be crucified. Throwing it off for awhile saved them.

True the Pop image was not as well received (one has to question the wisdom of 4 guys who can't dance trying to do a dance inspired record ) While it's "failure" is largely overstated, that perception actually made their current triumphant so-called "return" possible. They were clever enough to use an image mis-step to their advantage.

An artist has to keep moving forward. To bad fans are sometimes stuck in the past. I guess that's why Paul McGuiness says that the ability to bring in new fans is more important than keeping the old one's happy.

It should be interesting to see what they come up with next.

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Old 03-20-2002, 05:48 AM   #19
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I'm not sure whether their current image is the band coming "full circle". It's very much stripped-down and casual, yes, but still in a "millionaire rock-star" kind of way. It's in the same way that Elevation was a "stripped-down" tour: stripped-down compared to the giant lemons and dozens of TV screens, but still involving intricate lighting and gadgets and stuff.

I agree that their POPMart look probably cost them; it was too silly, garish and just plain bizarre (although I LOVED Edge's electronic cowboy outfit). Which probably was the point, but you can't just expect people to love your look because there's a big clever concept behind it.

And IMO visual image is extremely important, whether it's your clothes, shows, album sleeves, etc. I'm not saying that it -should- be important or that it is more important than the music, but most of the great musical icons aren't just about the music; it's the look, the attitude, the memorable imagery - the entire package, so to speak.
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Old 03-20-2002, 06:12 AM   #20
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Local Time: 08:21 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Saracene:

I agree that their POPMart look probably cost them; it was too silly, garish and just plain bizarre
LOL I agree with you, Veranda, Mullhollan and ODB. That Pop look was terrible! Yes I hated Bono's h but that wasn't the only thing! It wasn't just what I think as far as physical attraction goes, it was much deeper. They looked like idiots to the average person, and combined with the trip-hop and otherwise odd music, they lost a lot of credibility and respect among fans and critics. It DID hurt the way the album was accepted. I find it very difficult to look at those garish pics, and wonder if they ever look back and go, 'oh GOD what were we thinking?' Desire- yes, have thought of that, with Bono making the rounds in political circles he won't be able to look certain ways. He'll likely keep his hair kind of shortish and combed back, not dye it other colors and not grow any facial hair. I'm sad because I wish he'd grow long hair again but at least his worldy attention and rubbing shoulders with important people will likely prevent any extreme out of this world look changes that I shudder to image LOL.

About the young coming to U2: I was 10 when I came to them in 1987, but now that they are (forgive me) older, and the age of most kids' parents, it's difficult for most kids to relate to someone that much older and they won't be accepted by at least 80% of kids and teens for that reason alone, but yes they should at least RESPECT them. As we can see on PLEBA, there are many teenagers coming to U2 and have started liking them just since ATYCLB came out! That is great and I am proud of all of them for having good taste, so it does happen but sadly they are the vast minority of their age group. We are grateful for all the new fans we get, but I don't think Paul McGuiness should ever bet the house on keeping the band alive through new fans anymore. Lord knows the Elevation tour has proven they have many adoring fans, so don't forget all of us!

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