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"I don't think it's a big part of our music to be drunk, or out of it. We're out there enough as it is."

-- Bono

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Column: off the record..., vol. 12-543

@U2, December 02, 2012
By: Matt McGee / @mattmcgee


off the record, from @U2

It may be a really slow period for U2 news, but the @U2 crew is pretty busy with a couple projects that are coming along nicely and keeping us smiling.

First, we're working on some much-needed upgrades to That site has been mostly untouched since it launched back in 2000, so you can guess how much work is needed. One of the real challenges is that we've been wildly inconsistent over the years in how we type in the setlists for each U2 concert. We may even put out a call for help with cleaning up some of that mess and making sure we have all the setlists as correct as they can be.

Second, we're working on the mainstream/popular agenda of sessions for the U2 Conference next year in Cleveland. We had a few dozen fans send in ideas for sessions that they'd like to see on the agenda, and now some of us are going through those suggestions and deciding what to put on our part of the agenda. We've got about five sessions pretty much set for that, so still a few decisions left to be made.

When we're done, we'll post our part of the agenda and invite fans to apply to participate as speakers/presenters. I'm not sure on the exact timing of all this, butwe'll share news on our home page as we have it. If you're planning to attend, I'd suggest making your hotel reservations now. The conference is happening in late April, and I think the organizers will open event registration sometime after the new year. But you can secure a hotel room now to make sure you're on-site for the conference itself.

Meanwhile, it sounds like a lot of fans are understandably down about the band these days. It's been a long wait since we've heard any news of U2 doing U2 things -- any kind of U2 thing. So, when you hear about Bono and The Edge working on Spider-Man songs, not U2 stuff, and Larry landing another acting job ... it's easy to wonder what's going on. (Answer: apparently nothing.)

I long for the day when we can post some news about U2, not about U2's outside projects. Someday....

A couple weeks ago, we opened a competition to win a signed copy of the excellent book, Stealing Hearts At A Traveling Show -- a 2003 book about U2's graphic design and visual branding over the years.

Congrats goes to Sagar C., whose name was drawn from a little more than 300 entries.

We still have two autographed copies of the book remaining, and we'll aim to get those given away in the next couple weeks if possible.

Have you ever read Bill Carter's book, Fools Rush In? It's been out for many, many years now -- we interviewed the author and wrote about it back in 2004 -- but I only started reading it a week or two ago.

It's really good. It's very raw in discussing life, love, sex, war and politics. I don't find myself agreeing with some of the author's worldview, but there's no denying that his story and experiences are amazing and the book is hard to put down.

Even better for me is that I'm just now at the point in the book where Carter interviews Bono before the Zoo TV show in Verona, Italy. I trust that a good portion of the rest of the book is going to be about the satellite hookups that Carter organized for about a dozen Zoo TV shows in the summer of 1993.

And finally ... we mentioned on our blog a couple years that there's a horse named Joshua Tree, and according to this recent article, he's been having a good year in 2012. And shortly after that article, he finished first at the Canadian International. Coincidentally, the ninth-place horse has a Black Eyed Peas-themed name: Prince Will I Am.

This will be my last OTR of 2012; next one for is scheduled in early January. So here's wishing all our readers a happy and safe holiday season! Thanks for reading us even when there's not a ton of U2 news to read. We all appreciate it.


(c) @U2, 2012.

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