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"When I first met Anton [Corbijn] I had one request . . . make me look tall, skinny, intelligent, with a sense of humor. 'So you wanna look like me,' was his reply." — Bono

Answer Guy: Getting ready for the U2 exhibit in Cleveland


From: Dave

I was just wondering, will you be doing a column next week?

Dear Dave:

I am in intense preparation for my "Answer Guy On Tour In Cleveland" gala set to coincide with the opening of the U2 exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I need to try on the tuxedos that have been sent to me from famous designers. I need to decide which supermodel(s) to have accompany me to the grand opening (I'll be sure to give Mr. Clayton a call for some tips). I am in negotiations with the posh Super 8 Motel Near Downtown Cleveland to see what kind of suite they can give me which will stay within the @U2 budget. With all these logistical concerns, I may not be able to compose the witty, informative, and spirit-affirming column that you are used to.

If you buy me a drink at the Hard Rock, we can talk about it.

From: Eric

I see that you're gonna be in Cleveland for the opening of the Rock Hall exhibit. Looks like they're gonna have some pretty rare and unique U2 artifacts on display -- can you give us a preview of some of the more interesting items from U2's history that we should be looking for?

Dear Eric:

In addition to the usual items that any rock band accumulates through its years together, I'm told the U2 Exhibit at the Rock and Roll HOF will also include these rare items:

  • A photo of an 8-year-old Larry Mullen Jr. with hair growing past his ears.
  • A plaster cast of Adam Clayton's baby feet, which shockingly were already a size 7 at birth. You know what they say about big feet...they require big shoes.
  • Photographic proof that for a one-week period in 1967, the Edge was overweight. He tipped the scales at an unbelievable five pounds over his healthy range during a week when he accidentally began taking pills for hyperthyroid, instead of the vitamins that were in a similarly-designed bottle. When doctors noticed the error and he went back to vitamins, he again earned his nickname and has weighed the exact same amount since the age of 13.
  • An empty can of Fosters that is said to be the "one too many" for Adam Clayton that fateful evening in Sydney.
  • An artist's rendering of Larry's youngest child drawn by the Baltimore police sketch artist based on four eyewitnesses. The child has never been missing, s/he has just never been seen outside the family's Dublin home.
  • Bono's bubble pants from the PopMart Tour, showing excessive wear on the posterior side where congressmen, cabinet members, and at least two sitting presidents have placed their lips.
  • Original notes, taken by Bono, in a spiral book entitled Soundbites. See how he arrived at "It's like landing a 747 on your front lawn" even though he began with "It's liking parking a Cutlass Ciera at the front curb." Or look on in wonder as "A religious latin-talking guy and an overpaid shorter-than-most-people-expect blue-eyed Irishman who sings for a living" morphs into "A guy with a funny hat in the smallest country in the world and a guy who never misses an opportunity to swear on national television" and eventually becomes simply "A pontiff and a pop star." Truly magnificent.
  • The original "Bedazzler" used by Edge's mother to create the rhinestone jeans and numbered jerseys for the Elevation show.
  • The highly sought after hair clippings from the first haircut Bono got after deciding his Live Aid mullet was too much even for him to take.
  • The termination notice of the employee of Graceland who, against strict Elvis Presley Enterprises rules, allowed a charming Larry Mullen to sit on one of Elvis' Harley Davidsons.
  • The poker chip vest worn by the blonde woman Bono kisses in the "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" video.
  • A diorama which includes the stuffed Moose from the "Electrical Storm" video.

I, for one, can't wait to see some of this stuff.

From: Jules

I've always wanted to know if U2 are Christians or what their views on religion are in general. They've used God, Jesus and some Bible verses in many of their songs. But there's a difference in just singing it and/or believing it. I myself am a born again Christian.

Dear Jules:

Bono, Edge, and Larry are believers. But rather than take my word for it, I'd recommend you read the current book Walk On: U2's Spiritual Journey by Steve Stockman. And even more worthwhile is an old, out-of-print book by John Waters called Race of Angels. You can find it at abebooks.com -- read Chapter 13 in particular, maybe the best piece of writing about U2 and faith anywhere.

From: Dan

I just bought the Limited Edition of the Best of 1980-1990 and I was curious about how many of these were realeased, I don't think I've ever seen the Limited Edition version before. And also on the first disk what is that song after "All I Want Is You"?

Dear Dan:

I think "Limited" was a misnomer from the start. Back in '98, this 2-CD version was released in at least a 6-figure quantity, more likely a 7-figure quantity around the world. There's nothing "limited" about that.

And then it was just re-issued again within the last year or so.

The hidden song you've found is called "October."

From: Spencer

I see from reading Matt's column that you're a Raiders fan.

What the hell happened yesterday? Someone put Nyquil in their orange juice Sunday morning?

Dear Spencer:

Thank you for bringing up the terrible loss that my beloved Raiders suffered on Super Bowl Sunday. I had just about forgotten the awful things I saw that day (not the least of which was that beef jerky commercial).

The Raiders were outplayed in every facet of the game. The Bucs defense was much too fast, and their offense was better than advertised.

However, the media is getting it all wrong when they blame the loss even partially on center Barrett Robbins, who was dismissed from the team early Sunday morning. The wild speculation was that he was in Tijuana on an alcohol bender, then that he had taken too many of his prescribed psychotropic drugs, or that he was on round-the-clock suicide watch at a San Diego hospital.

I have it on good authority that Mr. Robbins, who bowed out of the Pro Bowl played today in Honolulu, spent much of his pre-game week listening to a collection of Elevation Tour CDs. (He is a big fan of the band, going so far as to send one of his jerseys to Edge, who found it much too large to wear on tour. His arms kept getting tangled during his solo in "The Fly.") Robbins has a history of bi-polar disorder, which means he's happy and hyper one minute, and then depressed and listless the next. During one of his high points, he believed that he had finally figured out the reason for Bono's "Ape Dance" during the last tour, and he was about to finally understand just who is fighting whom when Bono and Edge square off during "Until The End of the World." Just as this moment of clarity pulled into focus, his mood shifted downward and this understanding of Devil v. God or Good v. Evil or Rollins v. Bono evaporated before he could remember it. As there are three people in the world who know what the hell is going on when Bono pretends to have horns and Edge pushes his guitar at him and then Bono kicks it, the world at large may have to wait until Mr. Robbins again reaches a mental zenith before the rest of us can learn what is going on during that song. (The three: Bono, Edge, and Samuel Macintosh, a lending broker from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania). Answer Guy and the entire @U2 staff wish Mr. Robbins a quick recovery.

Have a question for The Answer Guy? Email today: answerguy @ atu2.com

Please take a look through old Answer Guy columns to see if your question has already been answered -- use links at the bottom of this page. And PLEASE, no more questions about Bono's sunglasses, Edge's shirts, Larry's shoes, Adam's pants, etc., or any other piece of clothing!

[Disclaimer: All questions taken from legitimate emails. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Legitimate responses are usually sent via private email prior to getting the humorous treatment here. Prices subject to change. Void where prohibited. Objects may be closer than they appear. Parental guidance suggested. Contents under pressure. Your mileage may vary. Do not write below this line. If condition persists, see a doctor.]

@U2, 2003.