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"You know, my first-ever gig was with a country-and-western band. I made 10 pounds." — Edge

Column: off the record..., vol. 14-626


off the record, from @U2

Are you watching the World Cup? All the matches that I've seen have been fantastic, and no doubt the last couple matches will be, too. There are four teams left, so that means two semifinals and then the championship.

From what I understand, at some point soon -- maybe the semifinals, maybe not until the final match -- ESPN/ABC will be doing some music-based highlight montages and Jack White will be the featured artist. He has a new album out now called Lazaretto.

Here's what else I understand: It was this close to being new U2 songs instead of new Jack White songs.

We heard through the grapevine that U2 and ESPN were discussing the use of two or three new songs, plus access to some songs from U2's library, for inclusion in various highlight montages and commercial "rollouts." Those are the segments that play before and after commercial breaks. We didn't hear anything about titles, but the songs were described as "anthem-like" -- the kind of stuff that works well with sports highlights.

We also don't know why this arrangement didn't happen, but we understand that talks were ongoing even after the World Cup started.

You probably recall that U2 and ESPN partnered up for both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Shame that they couldn't do it again this time, isn't it? I'm sure we all would've loved to hear some new U2, even if it was only short clips of songs over sports highlights.

As long as we're discussing rumors, we added a song called "The Light" to the list of potential titles on our new U2 album page. Christy Dignam, vocalist in the long-running Irish band, Aslan, has reportedly told friends of a conversation he had early this year with Bono -- a conversation in which Bono mentioned a new song with this title. We'll see.....

Bill Carter -- of the famous Zoo TV tour satellite links during the Bosnian War -- lives in the Sedona, Arizona, area and is profiled in the new edition of that area's local magazine, Sedona Monthly. You can read the interview online. Chances are pretty good that you're already familiar with his story, but Bill shares some details about tracking down U2 at the Verona concert that I don't recall hearing before. You'll also learn about his current job teaching at Northern Arizona University, and how he got it without having the right degrees to teach at the university level.

And finally ... on a website called Fun Trivia, here's a quiz called Extremely Tough U2 Questions. (Some of you would no doubt use a different adjective, but it's not your run-of-the-mill U2 quiz.)

Until next time...

(c) @U2, 2014.