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"[I]f something goes completely wrong I can just phone Bono and find, again, that he's probably one of the best psychologists I know."

-- Ali

@U2 home page

Column: off the record..., vol. 13-563

@U2, April 21, 2013
By: Tassoula E. Kokkoris


off the record, from @U2

Only 5 years old when Mount St. Helens erupted, I grew up in an Oregon household that paid attention to small earthquakes. When we would feel a little tremor here and there, the discussion would quickly go to, "Maybe the mountain's about to erupt!" Any residents of the Pacific Northwest that remember May 18, 1980 as vividly as I do can understand that worry.

As a writer, I use earthquakes as a metaphor all the time.

Thinking this column should be no exception, I offer you this: I believe U2 is really going to release an album this year based on the tremors that have been surfacing recently.

Tremor #1: An increase in the always-present rumors.

Let's face it, the day after a U2 tour concludes, there are rumors that another album will happen in a matter of months. But when said rumors come in from Spain and Ireland in the same week, it's hard not to take notice.

Tremor #2: Everyone is talking about it.

Well, maybe not everyone, but the bass player and the wife of the lead singer are typically credible sources when it comes to such topics. I doubt they'd bring it up if it weren't somewhat top-of-mind for them.

Tremor #3: Bono is everywhere.

Seriously. Does this guy ever sleep?

Bono is scheduled to appear at a Robin Hood Foundation event in May, but in the meantime he's been seen singing at Coachella and at the Power of Love Charity Gala in Vegas. Seems like someone is putting his performance pants back on in anticipation of an upcoming tour.

Whenever the new album comes out, I'll be thrilled, but I do confess that I'd love to have it in hand around Thanksgiving of this year if a tour in 2014 is imminent.

I sincerely hope that those of you reading this column aren't tired of hearing about the U2 Conference, because I'm about to gush.

I'm honored to be interviewing former Rolling Stone writer Jim Henke that first morning in Cleveland, and thrilled that Miss Sarajevo director Bill Carter will now be joining us later that day. I thought it couldn't get much better than that until I heard Steve Averill had been also been confirmed. Really, every single item on the agenda is amazing.

For those who weren’t able to attend the first U2 Conference in 2009, a great recap of the event is here.

The conference later this week promises to be just as great – and the good news is that there is still time for you to register and submit your questions for our guests. Please join us!

When news of the Boston terror attack reached me on Monday, I immediately texted my family there to make sure they were OK. Thankfully, they were fine, but my heart still broke for all those who were impacted by the tragedy.

As the news got worse and worse throughout the week, I decided to counteract some of the terrifying footage that kept popping up on my social media feeds and populate my own with "happy" Boston stories. My friends loved it, I felt good about doing it and it reminded me of the city I've grown so fond of over the years.

Some of my best memories of Boston are attending U2 concerts there with my sister and some of my fellow @U2 staffers. One of my favorite U2 DVDs is Elevation 2001: Live From Boston. It's very hard to watch this performance and not feel hopeful about the future.


© @U2/Kokkoris, 2013.

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