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"There's always room in rock 'n' roll for some stuff to start happening at a grassroots level, and the most interesting stuff seems to start there."

-- Edge

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Column: off the record..., vol. 13-552

@U2, February 03, 2013
By: Matt McGee / @mattmcgee


off the record, from @U2

Today's the once-a-year reminder I get that, by being the person who writes OTR on the first Sunday of each month, I'm always scheduled to work on Super Bowl Sunday. Ack! Who do I talk to about getting my schedule changed? Anybody???

My team (the Seahawks) wasn't in this game today, but one of my longtime friends (and @U2/U2tours staffer) Phil Romans lives in the Baltimore area, so I was rooting hard for the Ravens on his behalf. (Plus, the 49ers are mortal enemies to my beloved Seahawks.) Great game. And it was pretty cool to hear the Ravens take the field while "Where The Streets Have No Name" played in the stadium; as I learned from a lot of folks on Twitter, that's common practice for them. I like it.

Speaking of "Streets," I'm sure that a lot of you are the same as me: When you think about the Super Bowl, one of the first thing that comes to mind is U2's halftime performance back in 2002.

And at this time of year, there's always a lot of discussion about which halftime show was the best ever. If you're reading this, you're as biased as me, but it's always nice to see that even plenty of non-U2 fans put our band's performance at or near the top of those best-ever lists.

Yahoo Sports ran a long and great article a few days ago about both U2's Super Bowl performance and their post-Katrina NFL performance with Green Day in 2006. One of the interesting things in there for me is the mention that U2 joined a parade in New Orleans the day before the performance with Green Day. I can't find it now, but there's video of that on YouTube somewhere. It was shared with me when I was researching U2-A Diary, but I couldn't pin down a date for the parade, so it never made it into the book.

If anyone knows of that parade video, please let me know.

It's cool to see the U2 Conference taking shape with last week's release of the conference schedule and the opening of registration. If you're making plans to register, let me invite you (again) to think about being part of one of our mainstream sessions.

We have five sessions that are open for fans to be part of the discussion, including one ("Stories for Boys & Girls") which is designed to be a group/tribal gathering and sharing of stories. We've used terms like "pitch" and "presentation" and such, but it's really not as formal as that. Ask anyone at the first conference, and they'll tell you that it's very casual, relaxed and super fun.

The whole weekend should be great. In addition to the conference itself, there should also be a pre-conference event on Thursday night (April 25) and a post-conference event on Saturday night (April 27). And there's time built-in to each day's schedule to allow for touring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

It looks like we'll have around 8-10 of our @U2 crew at the conference, so we hope to see a lot of our readers there, too!

And finally, our friend and longtime reader Declan M. sent us a link to this Achtung Baby pillow on eBay UK. It's not an official item, but it's a heckuva lot cheaper than what Bono's old Mercedes was going for.

(c) @U2, 2013.

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