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Column: off the record ..., vol. 16-749

@U2, November 13, 2016
By: Fernanda Bottini

 

otr-540

Tough week, but let's talk about something uplifting: music. I'd like to start by congratulating U2 for winning "Best Live Act" at Q Awards 2016. Last week, The Edge and Adam accepted the award on behalf of the band. It was a great conquest because in the same category were Coldplay and Muse and they had successful tours. The winner was chosen by popular vote, which makes it more special; it was a positive response of the fans.

The Innocence + Experience tour might be different in the future after U2 releases Songs Of Experience, but the first part, as we saw, was already a big act. During an interview backstage at the Q Awards, Edge and Adam talked about the production and how this tour was particularly unique considering it was about where they came from. Another reason I believe the I+E tour was good is due to its configuration; the band was closer to the audience playing in indoors venues. And, of course, we can't forget the show in Paris, a very emotional night.

The Edge was also honored with the Gibson Les Paul Award. He has a long story with Gibson, since 1978, when he bought his Explorer in New York. "The only guitar we had for the first album," he remembered. So, this award is well-deserved.

I think all U2 fans have already watched It Might Get Loud; it's an amazing film in which we could see and learn a little bit more of Edge's talent. To be honest, I wasn't so excited about the film at the time it was released. I'm not much familiar with guitars and I thought it'd be full of technical words and I wouldn't understand anything. I've always been attracted to drums, but it's never been intentional. When I was kid, I loved Phil Collins and my favorite Beatle was Ringo. Clearly it was related to their personalities, but also because of the fact they could sing and play at the same time, which isn't so common for drummers. It fascinated me. Then I grew up and destiny led me to work with a professional drummer for five years, and it was an extraordinary moment in my life. Going back to the film, I have to confess I was wrong. When I watched it, I had no expectations and it really surprised me. It Might Get Loud is on the list of Best Rock Documentaries, according to the Rolling Stone reader's poll. I totally agree.


The Edge is such a nice guy! One day after the Q Awards, he made a surprise appearance at a British and Irish Modern Music Institute graduation ceremony in Dublin. Can you imagine that? He delivered a speech giving advice about a career in music and his experience with U2. It was an excellent speech; you can check it here. I'd like to highlight two parts that can fit to any area, so it's a message for all of us:

1) "Success can be many different things, and everyone's definition is going to be different. If you try too hard to please, the world will lose interest."

2) "Criticism is your friend. I welcome it. It makes you better. The harder it is to hear, the more useful it is. But keep your ego in check - out of control egos break up bands, not musical differences."

Applauses!


Let me just say one more thing about The Edge. He donated a beanie for charity. The Rock'n'Roll Hat Auction will raise funds for Warrington BSL Signing Choir for deaf awareness. The choir aims to make learning sign language enjoyable, as well as bringing music to deaf audiences. The auction will take place at The Midland Hotel in Manchester on Nov. 21, and also online in this site. Edge's hat comes with a signed note.


To finish, I couldn't not mention the death of Leonard Cohen, one of the finest songwriters ever. U2 are big fans of Cohen. The band joined him to play "Tower of Song" in the documentary I'm Your Man, directed by Lian Lunson. Bono said once that "Hallelujah" is the "most perfect song in the world" and U2 played it a couple of times during the PopMart and 360° tours. Since this OTR is mostly Edge-related, I'd like to bring back his special performance of Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will" at the Sistine Chapel.

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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