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"Flood is a fan of my guitar playing; he thinks I'm the only punk in the band, because I don't want to know everything about the instrument that I'm playing."

-- Bono

@U2 home page

Column: off the record ..., vol. 16-717

@U2, April 03, 2016
By: Matt McGee


off the record, from @U2

Let's start with the "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!" part of OTR.

If you missed the iHeartRadio Awards tonight, consider yourself lucky. I turned the TV off as soon as Bono and Edge finished accepting the Innovator Award and told my 18-year-old that I feel bad for him, because current music is so bad. He just laughed it off, probably like I would've 30 years ago if my dad said the same thing to me. (And to be fair, my son is a huge U2 fan and likes a lot of artists that I like, too.)

Speaking of 30 years ago, I can't help wonder to myself ... did my parents hate my music in the '80s as much as I can't stand the music of my kids' generation? I'm gonna guess that my mom and dad could've done without me playing bands like Van Halen, The Clash, Quiet Riot and The Scorpions. But I know they liked U2, and how could they possibly hate The Police, The Cars, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Bryan Adams and all the other artists I listened to back then?

Anyway, back to the awards. Huge credit to Bono for even showing up, right? The guy has been over in the Middle East for the past week and was spotted in Cairo just a day or two ago, according to local papers. (It's hard to figure out where the band members are based solely on their social media posts because photos can be held and posted long after they were taken -- like this photo of Bono in Cairo that was posted on Instagram during the iHeartRadio Awards.) Bono and Edge apparently walked into the building while the awards show was already underway, and it wouldn't surprise me if Bono was coming straight from the airport. Sherry is right -- he did look tired.

I'm not quite sure what prompted B&E to commit to showing up for this awards show. It was probably just to thank iHeartRadio and radio stations, in general, for support they gave U2 since Songs Of Innocence came out. Bono mentioned that specifically on stage. But whatever the reason, it was good to see the two of them again. Even if I did have to suffer through two of the worst hours of television history. :-)

The much bigger news this week was, of course, Edge's interview with where we learned that U2's progress on Songs Of Experience is nowhere near as far along as we all thought. Or maybe progress was as far along as we thought, but the band decided to go in a different direction.

Either way, ugh.

I think Tassoula made a great point when we talked about this on our podcast last week: It's frustrating, yes, but it really shouldn't be surprising. We all love a band that has its own schedule and no matter how much they talk about making progress on new music, we should know by now not to get too excited until we have a new CD in our hands ... or a new album unexpectedly on our iPhones, as the case was last time. If the Innocence + Experience tour continues later this year without a new album behind it, I'll happily go to a show or two in my neck of the woods. But I won't feel compelled to see a bunch of shows like I did last year. And our savings account will appreciate the break, that's for sure.

You probably read Ellen McGirt's profile of Bono in the latest Fortune magazine. You might also want to read her Facebook post today with a little more background on the process of putting the article together, and how it impacted her personally. It's a short and good read.

It's late Sunday night as I'm typing this, and likely Monday or later in the week when you're reading this. In a couple hours, I'll be posting the first set of results from the 2016 U2 Fan Survey, so look on our home page (or in the News section) for a story about that and link to see the numbers for yourself.

We'll be talking about the survey results on upcoming episodes of our podcast, and I'm betting you'll read some commentary from other staffers in upcoming OTR columns, too. Thanks to all 3,590 fans in 81 countries around the world who took the survey last month.

And finally ... you might recall a couple years ago there were reports that Bono and Edge would be involved in a movie about 1980s Ireland calling Sing Street -- possibly writing a couple songs for the soundtrack. As it turns out, their involvement never amounted to anything more than some early guidance for director John Carney. Well, the movie has now been released in a few parts of the world and will be in some U.S. theaters on April 15th. It currently has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes (with an average rating of 8.5) and looks like a fun movie, especially for those of us who were around in the '80s. Here's the trailer and a couple extra clips if you want to see what it turned out to be.

Any opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of @U2 as a whole.

(c) @U2, 2016.

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