"It's the most un-rock 'n' roll thing you could do, so I never ever talked about it, but that was actually my obsession before rock-and-roll."
-- Bono, on playing chess
Column: off the record..., vol. 12-508
April 01, 2012
Your guess is as good as mine regarding why Bono introduced Dierks Bentley at the Academy of Country Music Awards tonight. But there you have it.
It's been a couple months since I've written an OTR. My regular slot is usually the first Sunday of each month, but a month ago the McGee family was knee-deep in getting ready to move. Great thanks to Sherry Lawrence for filling in for me.
Casa McGee (AKA "@U2HQ") has relocated about two miles away from its previous location. One of the main changes for me is that I now have an actual regular-sized office; in the old house, I worked from a small, converted storage area that was exceptionally cramped.
I'm still decorating this new work space and struggling to decide what to keep and what to give away. (My son will be the main beneficiary of any U2 stuff that doesn't fit.) Once I'm done, I might share some photos of what it looks like. I already did post a photo of my new "U2 wall" on Twitter -- and I've had some fans asking where I got the frames, how it all came together, etc. So there might be a blog post with more details on that, or maybe I'll write it up in a future OTR.
As part of the making of that wall, I had to locate the one missing album vinyl from my U2 collection: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. For whatever reason, I never bought that vinyl when the album came out. (Actually, I know why: late 2004 is when I was in the process of selling off a good portion of my U2 collection and I decided I didn't want or need that vinyl.)
Let me tell you ... that is one difficult vinyl to find!
I've been out of the U2 collecting scene for many years now, so someone could probably explain why. I just know that none of the only music shops I contacted had it in stock -- not even the one that listed it as "in stock" and then had to issue me a refund after I placed an order.
There also weren't a lot of eBay auctions for that vinyl -- and the ones I found were, like, really spendy. I ended up paying right around $100 for the vinyl, plus shipping from the UK. Yikes. Of course, if you look at the photo I linked to above, it's not like I had a choice, right? You can't have a wall with every-U2-album-vinyl-except-one. How dumb would that look?
For some reason, I also remember the Best of 1980-1990 vinyl being hard to find back in the day. I'm glad I didn't need to learn if that's still the case. And from now on, I'll be buying every new album on vinyl as soon as it's available. It's not like I have a choice anymore!
Keep your eyes peeled on our home page this week -- we're getting ready to launch the fifth worldwide U2 Fan Survey. You may remember this from past years. We did the survey in 2005, 2006 and 2007, then took a break and did it in 2010. With the 360 tour and No Line On The Horizon now in the past, we figured it's time to do the survey again and see how things have changed in the past couple years.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the U2 Fan Survey is more than 100 questions about anything and everything related to being a U2 fan. Stuff like:
The feedback we get from fans is that it's really fun to do the survey, but also pretty difficult. So consider this a warning that it's coming soon -- we hope to announce it sometime in the next week. And when we do, be sure to read the intro so you know how it works (i.e., you can't stop and resume the survey later).
If you haven't done so already, be sure to read Chris Endrinal's essay on "One" for our Like a Video series. That version of that song has always been one of my favorites and, as I told Chris, he put into words a lot of the same reasons why I love it.
And a quick note about the "Like a Video" series: We've finally added a link to its archives as one of the options up above under the NEWS heading. So now it's much easier to find all of the previous "Like a Video" essays.
And finally ... 25 years ago this past Tuesday, my new girlfriend (and now my wife) and I drove from Pepperdine University down into Los Angeles because we heard that U2 was shooting a music video on a rooftop downtown. We got there about 20 minutes late. Ack! We all know about the "Where The Streets Have No Name" performance, but U2 also played a few other songs that day that we missed. Here's a pretty rare video of one of them: "In God's Country."
See ya next time!
(c) @U2, 2012.