"Maybe that is the step forward on this record, to be able to have the freedom to have humour sitting alongside songs that are deadly earnest, and the two actually balance out each other."
-- Edge, on All That You Can't Leave Behind
Column: off the record..., vol. 14-613
April 06, 2014
I learned something new last week. Well, I learn a lot of new things every week, but here's one from last week that's specifically relevant to this column:
It's really hard to write one of those personality quizzes that are so popular now!
I'm talking about the Which member of U2 are you? quiz that we launched last Wednesday. It was actually a group effort involving a lot of the @U2 crew. I came up with four questions of my own and shared those with the group, then we brainstormed a bunch of ideas until the final set of 12 questions came together.
But that process was like the proverbial drawing blood from a shell. Coming up with question ideas was pretty easy on its own, but then you have to come up with possible answers that can be associated with each band member and that's where it gets pretty difficult. (Q: What's your favorite breakfast food? A: Pancakes. Okay, which band member is pancakes?)
Regardless, we got it all sorted out and we're approaching 18,000 completed quizzes right now, which is really cool to see. And we'll be doing some more quizzes in the future, so stay tuned for that.
The other thing I learned is that I have a little of all four band members in me.
I like some of the same music that Bono has said was a big influence on him, and we also share similar spiritual beliefs. I'm very into tech and gadgets like The Edge is said to be. I'm probably the least like Adam, but I do appreciate luxury like he's said to. And like Larry, I'm usually more than happy to skip the party and stay home with my family.
I've taken the quiz probably 10 times now, though, and Larry is the one I usually get. I can live with that. And judging from the replies we got on Facebook and Twitter, it seems like all but a few people are happy with their results, too.
A couple months ago, I mentioned that we're working on an update to U2tours.com. That's still in progress, but now it's getting very close to being ready for the doors to be opened wide. We already invited about 20 close friends and longtime @U2 readers to use and test the new site, and they provided us with some great ideas and feedback -- some of which we're now working on putting into place (and that's just about finished).
The next step will be to launch the site in "beta" mode, meaning that we know we're not 100% finished, but we want people to be able to start using the site and providing us feedback on what's working, what can be better, etc. We know we still need a lot of help on set lists, and we're prepared to hire new permanent @U2 staff members to help with that. So if you're really into U2's live shows and like tracking what songs they've played from show to show over the years, that could be a great fit.
Anyway, look for more on this in the near future. We're excited to get the site launched in beta mode and let U2 fans start using it and helping us get it finished.
There's no new U2 music coming out soon that we're aware of, but there is some U2-related stuff on the way. May 20th will see the release of Mystery Girl Deluxe -- an expanded version of the Roy Orbison album that features "She's A Mystery To Me," the wonderful song that Bono and The Edge wrote for Orbison during the Joshua Tree tour.
According to the official Orbison website, the upcoming release will include a studio demo of "She's A Mystery To Me" as one of the bonus tracks, along with both versions of the official video. There's also a documentary called Mystery Girl: Unraveled, which features some old video footage of Bono talking about Orbison. Here's the trailer:
Until next time...
(c) @U2, 2014.