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"[T]he lyrics aren't literature; they are only part of the story."

-- Bono

@U2 home page

Column: off the record..., vol. 14-603

@U2, January 26, 2014
By: Tassoula E. Kokkoris


off the record, from @U2

If I had to give Guy Oseary a report card thus far for his efforts as U2’s manager, he’d be scoring a solid “A.”

The fact that there’s so much buzz around this band not just in our tribal circles, but everywhere, speaks well of what lies ahead. Friends and colleagues who have no interest in U2 have scrambled to “inform” me that they are releasing an album, going on tour and cooking up something special for the Super Bowl.

Yeah, I’ve heard. :)

And how exciting is it that the Super Bowl cat is out of the bag? On Thursday, Twitter erupted with news that the band will release their new song “Invisible” for free via iTunes on Super Bowl Sunday, following a commercial set to air between the first and second quarters of the game. (RED) and Bank of America are partnering with them to make it a fundraiser. For every download, Bank of America will donate $1 (they’ve made a commitment of $10 million) to fight AIDS; other groups have joined in to pledge support, and the total expected amount is $22 million.

Get the full scoop here.

Speaking of Twitter, did you all enjoy the inaugural @U2 #U2Chat on Friday?

We sent out an alert via... well... Twitter and posted the announcement on the site for all to join, and on (somewhat) short notice, had a lovely turnout of guests from all across the globe. Topics ranged from arenas vs. stadiums to the band on social media to “surprise releases” a la Beyonce, and the mood was jovial and fun.

We hope to host more of these in the coming months, perhaps with set topics for easier conversing, but we’re open to suggestions.

If you have feedback for us on the #U2Chat, we’d love to hear it. Drop us a line in the @U2 forum.

And, if you wanted to join in, but didn’t know how, here are some tips for our next time around:

You can download software such as TweetChat, enter the #U2Chat hashtag and follow their prompts to stay in the conversation.


You can log into the Twitter platform directly and type #U2Chat into the search bar (the one with the magnifying glass), then hit “enter.” This will pull up three options for viewing: “Top,” “All,” or “People You Follow.” For the full experience, I’d recommend you view “all,” but obviously, tailor the stream to suit your preferences.

By the way, if you haven’t had enough Twitter U2 talk for one column, this may be the time to close your browser.

You may remember Matt mentioning in his column a few weeks back how disappointed we were not to receive approvals for our press credential requests to the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Golden Globes, respectively. After all, our team has attended dozens of events, reporting in a professional and informative way for our readers, and we want to be on the front lines to deliver the most accurate, current news about the band at every turn.

Since I’m the resident film buff here at @U2, and I have a lot of red carpet experience under my belt, we attempted to get a press pass for me to attend the Oscars on behalf of the site. U2 are nominated for the second time, and in my humble opinion, they have a good chance of taking home the prize.

The problem? By the time the nominations were announced, the deadline for credential applications had passed. We tried anyway, but predictably had no luck.

So, I got to thinking: How on earth can I get a press pass under these circumstances?

And then it hit me: The host of this year’s show is one of the kindest, most generous people on the planet. Ellen DeGeneres, Goddess of Comedy, Queen of Social Media, Granter of Miracles and Wishes for Many.

I watch her show religiously; I follow her Twitter account like a hawk; I absolutely adore her... and I bet she could help.

That’s when I came up with The Ellen Plan™—a nonintrusive, yet persistent campaign to ask Ellen to pull some celebrity strings and grant me access to the show.

I heard her say on Larry King Live years ago that she wanted to interview Bono, so I’m certain she’s a fan of the band. And I’m not asking for plane tickets or hotel stays or anything monetary: just a spot with the rest of the press dedicated to reporting the event.

I began with a humble email, sent through her website last week, but I have no idea how often her producers catch up to those in-boxes, so just to be safe, I’ve begun Tweeting her daily. Sharing little stories and anecdotal moments from my U2 life to convey the purity of my request. Fingers crossed she’ll find me a worthy cause.

Best-case scenario, I’ll report first-hand on every moment of U2 at the Oscars; at the very least, I’ll have fun sharing my stories with the Twitterverse, so it’s a win-win.

Wish me luck!

Finally, Kelly Eddington created a Twitter-themed Achtoon Baby this month. If you haven’t taken a peek, watch for some special cameos within. You can see it by following this link.

(c) @U2/Kokkoris, 2014.

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