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"Then [Jeffrey] Sachs and I, with my friend Bobby Shriver hit the road like some kind of surreal crossover act. A rock star, a Kennedy, and a noted economist crisscrossing the globe, like the Partridge Family on psychotropic drugs."

-- Bono

@U2 home page

Column: off the record..., vol. 14-617

@U2, May 04, 2014
By: Matt McGee


off the record, from @U2If all goes well, we're going to launch the new version of in the next couple days -- even though it's not quite finished. And I can't wait to push it out there and let fans like you start using it, testing it, kicking the tires, and -- we really hope -- helping us fix the things that still need fixing.

When I say that things still need fixing, the primary issue is set lists. On the old (current), we were limited in how much we could present in the set lists. On the new site, we have no such limits. Here's how we explained it on Facebook last week:

Our new @U2 Tours site will launch soon (i.e., in a matter of days) in "beta" -— meaning we know it's not quite finished, and we'd love your help in getting it finished. We'll be looking for help finding bugs, things not working correctly, and the biggie -- fixing/updating set lists.

With the new site, we'll finally have the ability to list EVERYTHING the band performs -- including all snippets. On the current/old site, the database (which was built in 2000 -- 14 years ago!) had limited space and prevented us from being complete in recapping U2's shows. So we'll ask for fans' help with adding any missing songs/snippets & we're also ready to bring on people as regular staff members if you're REALLY interested in getting involved with the new site. Stay tuned for more soon!

We started the project more than three years ago -- while the U2 360 tour was still going on. So I'm looking forward to opening the doors this week.

If you're passionate about U2's tours and concerts, and love following/knowing what songs the band plays every night, we'd love to have your help. There'll be two different ways you can get involved, one of which involves becoming part of the @U2 staff. So please be on the lookout for that.

If that's too much and you just want to use the site as a fan, that's super cool, too. You'll have a chance in the next couple days.

Once we get the Tours site going, the next project will be our mobile apps -- or, at least, our iPhone app. A few of you have noticed that it's no longer listed in the App Store. If you already have the app on your iPhone or iPad, it's still working and will continue to work. But if you want to download it as a new user, you're out of luck.

I'm not 100% sure why. I believe that Apple instituted rules in recent months that required all apps to be optimized for retina displays and the bigger screen size of the iPhone 5. Our app, several years old, doesn't meet those requirements. 

The reason doesn't matter. What matters is that the app is gone and we want to have an @U2 app back in the App Store. So we'll get working soon on figuring out the best way to make that happen. (Note: We might ask for some financial help; these things don't happen for free and a good developer or service will cost money.)

Our apologies to any iOS user that hadn't already installed our app while it was available.

Like many of you, I'm done getting excited by quotes from any band member about progress on a new album. They could announce tomorrow that the album will be released next week and I'll still raise one eyebrow in skepticism.

But I enjoyed Adam Clayton's appearance on The Late Late Show Friday night because of the non-album parts of the conversation. I thought he was particularly honest and forthcoming about some of his past struggles with alcohol, with missing the Zoo TV concert in Sydney in 1993 and how the band reacted to that. And I don't recall ever Adam talk about Eric Clapton being the person that prompted him to go into rehab.

After I was finished watching him talk about that, my appreciation for him and admiration for how he's gotten himself together went sky high. Good man, that Adam Clayton. I'm happy for him.

Check out the interview if you haven't already; it's only supposed to be online for the next three weeks.

The 12th annual "Build a Well for Bono's Birthday" fund raiser is coming to an end soon and the folks at the African Well Fund have a new plan to go out with a bang this year.

This Friday, the AWF is doing a 24-hour online giving drive that they're calling "Tweet a Well for Bono's Birthday." It runs from 3 pm ET on Friday until 3 pm ET on Saturday (Bono's birthday) and fans are asked to spread the word about the "Build a Well" effort by telling friends on Twitter, Facebook or publishing blog posts, etc. We're big fans of the AWF here at @U2 and look forward to doing our part to help.

You can get more information on the AWF's website.

Until next time...

(c) @U2, 2014.

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