"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. 14-600
January 05, 2014
Happy New Year 2014!
It's only been a few days, but I sure hope your year is off to a good start. And if not, keep in mind that this year should bring us a new U2 album, the start of a world tour, and who knows what other surprises the band and its new manager might have in store.
Or if you want to be an Eeyore/Debbie Downer about it all, you can tell me, "Yeah, McGee, that's how we were thinking when 2013 started."
I can't argue with you on that point, so let's move along. And cross your fingers that my first OTR of 2015 doesn't start just like this one.
We're already 0 for 2 this year in requesting media access to U2-related events. The nice folks handling press for Saturday night's Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) didn't have room for one of our reporters to attend the awards ceremony and hang out on the red carpet with the other assembled media outlets. That was kind of a drag ... but I say "nice folks" because they really did want to help us cover the event and were able to share with us a few official Bono/Edge photos (which you can now see in our Flickr account), as well as some official video footage of Bono and The Edge from Saturday night. That's gonna require some editing if it's to be seen at all, so we'll be working on that as soon as possible.
We also requested press credentials to cover the Golden Globe Awards next Sunday, on the assumption that some or all of U2 will be there ... but that request was also turned down. The Oscars are coming up and, as the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed....
Back to the PSIFF events this weekend real quick: Altough we didn't get media access to Saturday night's events, we did have a staffer in attendance earlier today for the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom screening and the Q&A afterward that Bono and Edge took part in. Look for a recap of that event to be posted in our U2 news section soon.
If you missed Bono's semi-brief acceptance speech Saturday night when U2 was honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, the full text of what he said has been posted on Hitfix. And Entertainment Tonight also asked Bono about Friday's passing of Phil Everly, and they've posted video of his brief answer.
Looking ahead to 2014, we have a couple big things planned here on @U2. One of those things is already underway in our U2 fan forum, where we've just rewritten and republished our Rules & Guidelines. We're expecting an influx of new members as U2's album and tour approaches, and the new rules/guidelines will help us make sure that the forum is a welcoming place for all the new folks.
It's inevitable with any community (online or not) that people will come and go for a variety of reasons. If you were active in the forum before, but aren't now, we'd love for you to check in again, say hello to old friends, and re-join the community.
The other thing that's on the way is a new version of U2tours.com. This is a project that we've been doing off and on (and off and on) for the past couple years, and we're finally in the home stretch. We'll open the new site soon while it's still in "beta" testing, and we'll invite anyone interested to help us kick the tires, finish up the data entry and cleanup, etc. Look for more on that in the next couple weeks/months, if all goes well.
In the more immediate future, I need to finish up the "2013 Recap" article that lists the most popular news stories, song lyric pages, etc. of the past year. So I'll sign-off now on this, the 600th OTR column in our history and the 14th straight calendar year that we've been publishing these. Crazy, isn't it?
See you next time.
(c) @U2, 2014.