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Old 12-09-2004, 09:14 AM   #1
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U2 Fandom -- then and now

With the Internet, it's easier than ever to know what the band's up to, when the new album's coming out, where they'll be playing -- mobilizing and etc.

I'm curious to know from the older fans -- 80s, early-90s -- before the advent of bulletin boards and the Internet, how did you guys used to do it -- come together, collect bootlegs -- and how does it compare to now? Is there a tighter sense of community with more centralized locations? Less of a sense of community with a larger pool to draw from? How does it compare?

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Old 12-09-2004, 09:43 AM   #2
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I was not into computers until very late. My brother had BBS's in the mid-late 80's but nothing to do with U2. Being that I was a teenager in the 80's I wasn't able to travel all around to get togethers, only see them when they came near me. Most of my fandom was just reading magazines, collecting, listening, and discussing them with friends who also liked them. The internet has changed things a LOT.

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Old 12-09-2004, 10:56 AM   #3
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I'm gonna' give this thread a bump--it's something that I've often wondered about, too. I didn't come around to computers for a while; not until All That You Can't Leave Behind was coming out. Prior to that, I really just--yes--read magazines and listened to the radio and just sorta' kept my ears pricked. Looking back on it now, I find it AMAZING just how much I knew about what was going on with the band...I always tell myself that being a crazed fan () would be SO hard without the internet, but then I remember that I got by JUST fine without it.

Even so, I wasn't around in the '80s (or even early-'90s), and I'd like to hear about those times, if possible. I mean, when Boy and October came out, how the fuck did people do it? And how did the bootleg trading work, in those days? Without the internet and massive CD-burning at underground record shops in/around Chicago, I'd be nowhere...

I could never afford a sub. to "Propaganda," personally....how big was that little 'zine, when it was still around or when it was first getting started...?
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:01 AM   #4
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I used to get to know about U2's new releases through Radio 1 in the UK. Up to including Pop, this was my main source, and Q magazine. For 1984 I heard the UF at college all the time, which was the first time I had the album although I had heard parts of the War album. The for the Joshua Tree there was a big feature on a programme called The Tube in the uk when they interviewed the band etc. So thats where the info came from thru TV, Radio and magazines etc.
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:27 PM   #5
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I didn't know any truly hard-core U2 fans in real life in the 1980s, although I knew a lot of casual fans I could chat with about the band. If I wanted information about the band I had to read music magazines. I kind of quit reading music magazines around 1990 or so when I started working out in the "real world" and other things suddenly seemed more important, so when AB came out it was a total shock - I had no idea U2 was going to do something so completely different! It made the whole experience more enjoyable than if everyone had been on the Internet back then and known exactly what it was going to sound like and the lyrics and everything else weeks ahead of time.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:59 PM   #6
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I never knew anyone who liked the same music I did, so I just read all the information I could find in magazines, newspapers, whatever. Also listened for any mention of them on the radio. I pretty much knew when things were coming out, but had no clue what form they would be in, except for whatever info the band released to various magazines, etc.

In some ways, listening to the music in more of a vacuum had it's benefits, as I really was able to make it "mine."
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:05 PM   #7
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I think part of the reason my fandom would go in spurts from the time I was 9 until just before POP was lack of info. The internet has kept up my interest just a little bit more.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:15 PM   #8
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Previously I met my U2 fans largely through the Grapevine ads in Propaganda. I put one in there looking to trade and I got about 25 responses from all over the world. Some of those people I'm still friends with and I will be attending shows with again next year. Also met alot of people at the actual shows.

The internet is great but there are parts of it I dont care for in this regard. Trading is nil and I think that is sad. It was one of the ways I met some great people and I got the BEST recordings that way. Now people just download low quality MP3 and dont care where it came from or what kind of work went into getting it. Its give me now, as easy as possible, I dont want to expend any effort. Its technology and its the new wave. But I thinks its kind of sad at the same time. I'm a dinosaur on this one. I still only trade through the mail, just now I do it on CDR and not cassette tapes. I still meet some good people this way and I typically get way better quality.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:25 PM   #9
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The "Grapevine" in Prop and the pre-Prop magazine is how I got in contact with other hard-core fans prior to the Internet. It took longer and obviously more effort to communicate with other fans via snail mail, but I actually was able to have some amazing U2 experiences as a result. I don't think this would happen today due to the huge volume of fans interacting online. The Internet makes things easier, but that extra effort was really worth it.
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:55 AM   #10
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I used to visit a U2 forum on "Prodigy" back in the early days (1992?)before the WWW then AOL came out and there were a bunch of fans in U2 chat rooms. Anyone out there remember Prodigy?...my nic was ZooDopa back then.

Before that...it was snail mail, bootleg hunting in indie record stores and "record conventions", Propaganda, and Pimm's magazine "Collectormania". God I miss Pimm.
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:08 AM   #11
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Originally posted by Paul Vox

Before that...it was snail mail, bootleg hunting in indie record stores and "record conventions", Propaganda, and Pimm's magazine "Collectormania". God I miss Pimm.
Those magazines were fantastic!

R.I.P Pimm
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:26 AM   #12
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My friend and I put up flyers and got people to come to a fan club that we had in an Irish pub, of course we did try to make it a "socially conscious" fan club. We had people speak that knew something about the band, that had perhaps done things with them. It didn't last long. That was in 87. She kept up with the music magazines, and in those days if you could get magazines from Europe you could learn a lot more.
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:28 AM   #13
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Oops, I just remembered. We also produced one copy of a fanzine that we gave out at a Joshua Tree show. That magazine was key in meeting Bono!
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:08 AM   #14
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do any older fans from the late 80's remember an australian magazine called 'into the heart'?
it contained both u2 and simple minds reviews and articles and you could buy it from virgin in the uk...
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:38 AM   #15
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I got Collectormania, and it rocked.

The internet is good because the information is instantaneous, literally. I remember getting a copy of the NY Eve 89 show from a Collectormania pen pal and that was the first I heard that they'd even toured for Lovetown and didn't come to the US!

But to really show my age, I didn't get tix to the Foxboro shows in the spring of 1987. So I went to a tiny record shop near my house who basically was a scalper. I gave him a deposit for 2 seats to the September Boston shows. A week before the shows I went back and paid $65 each for an $18.50 seat.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:52 AM   #16
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I never got to find any useful info about U2 in my pre-Internet days...


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