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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

Column: off the record..., vol. 12-516


off the record, from @U2

While many Americans view Memorial Day weekend as the official kickoff to the summer season, it's easy to forget that Memorial Day was designed to pay tribute to those who bravely gave up their lives serving in the armed forces. U2's music can once again provide the soundtrack for such a day as this. If you are looking to create a playlist, might I suggest "White As Snow," "Bullet The Blue Sky/When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again/Running To Stand Still" trilogy from the Vertigo tour and "Winter" as a start. To honor members of the United States Coast Guard who have fallen, the USCGTributeChannel on YouTube created a tribute video using "Walk On."
To all of the brave military families who have lost loved ones, you are in our thoughts.

In the words of Monty Python's John Cleese ... "and now for something completely different."

I wanted to update everyone on the pending case of Curt Schlesinger et al. v. Ticketmaster. The "et al" includes anyone who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster's website between Oct. 21, 1999 and Oct. 19, 2011. U2 fans would have used Ticketmaster for the Elevation, Vertigo, and U2 360 tours during that time. As a member of the class-action lawsuit, I received an email regarding this case on Dec. 5, 2011. While the final approval hearing originally scheduled for May 29 has been moved to July 24, I wanted to remind our readers of the case as it's easy to have missed the notification email.

To qualify as a member of the "Class," consumers must meet the following requirements:
1) Purchased tickets on Ticketmaster's website between Oct. 21, 1999 and Oct. 19, 2011.
2) Paid money to "Defendant Ticketmaster" for an Order Processing Fee ("OPF") that was not refunded.
3) Did not and do not opt out of the Class.
4) Were residents of one of the 50 United States at the time of their purchase.

If all parties agree to the settlement, members of the Class will receive Ticketmaster credits in the form of discount codes for future transactions. The settlement notice states, "For each transaction that you made during the Class Period, you will receive one code via email for a $1.50 discount, up to a maximum of 17 codes. This does not include the additional benefits, for the UPS Subclass members, which are described below. The Codes may be combined up to a maximum of two credits ($3.00) that may be applied on future transactions as described above. The Codes are non-transferable, expire 48 months from distribution, and may be redeemed only for purchases made using the email address to which they were sent (or an updated address provided to the Claims Administrator or Ticketmaster and verified as belonging to the Class Member)."

If you purchased tickets and used UPS overnight delivery, you are also entitled to the following according to the settlement notice: "Specifically, for each transaction you made using UPS delivery of your tickets (up to 17 transactions), you will receive one UPS code ("UPS Code") via email, for $5.00 off subsequent expedited delivery fees on purchases from Ticketmaster's Website (except for events at venues owned or operated by AEG as set forth in the Settlement Agreement) of tickets that are shipped via UPS or some other form of overnight delivery that Ticketmaster may offer in the future. These UPS Codes may not be combined, and only one UPS Code may be used per transaction. However, this benefit may be used for a ticket order together with the OPF Code described above. The UPS Codes are non-transferable, expire 48 months after they are first usable, and may be redeemed only for purchases made using the email address to which they were sent (or an updated address provided to the Claims Administrator or Ticketmaster and verified as belonging to the Class Member)."

If it makes you feel any better, the lawyers representing all of us have "asked the Court for an award of up to $16,190,605.76 in attorneys' fees and costs and expenses they have incurred. Lead Class Counsel has also asked the Court to award an incentive award not to exceed $20,000 for each of the two named Plaintiffs who brought this case. The money for the attorneys’ fees and expenses, and the incentive awards will not be paid by the Class Members or from the benefits provided to the Class Members."

To conclude, we get up to 17 $1.50 credits for future purchase and the lawyers get $16 million.

Earlier this month The Baltimore Sun reported that a local company, MissionTix, created a wristband that serves as your ticket into venues. Instead of a paper ticket or smartphone barcode screen, concertgoers are given a rechargeable wristband with an embedded communication chip that is wearable and reusable which will be scanned at the venue. Could this be the future of concert ticketing? Most of us already have a white ONE wristband, so it won't feel any different. Time will tell.

I am lucky to be heading to London for the Olympics this summer. Besides the competition, I am really excited to be visiting the Damien Hirst exhibit at the Tate Modern. Besides offering the "Even Better Than The Real Thing" visuals for U2's Glastonbury appearance last year, Hirst has been connected to U2 for quite some time. Bono said in 2003 that he's a fan of Hirst's work. Brian Eno said in 1996 that Passengers' "Always Forever Now" was inspired by Hirst, and after hearing some of the material from How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, Hirst suggested the titles "Vertigo" and "How To Deconstruct An Atomic Bomb" for the album. Hirst worked with Bono on the May 16, 2006, issue of the London Independent newspaper, and the two coordinated a charity auction for (RED) in 2008.

While I'm on the topic of museums, if you're not able to make it to the Little Museum of Dublin to see the U2 1978-1981 Exhibition, you can purchase a full exhibition catalog through museum's website. The first 1,000 are signed and numbered by photographer Patrick Brocklebank. The catalog is €11.95 and shipping to the United States is €8.00 (approx. $26). The museum does ship worldwide so the shipping rate will differ among countries.

Have a great week!

©@U2/Lawrence, 2012.