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"Girls are wily. My girls give me lingering kisses on the lips, and I thought it was because they loved me, and I found out they were checking if I was smoking."

-- Bono

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Column: off the record..., vol. 16-751

@U2, December 04, 2016
By: Matt McGee

 

otr-540

Rumors have been circulating over the past several weeks that U2 might play the Bonnaroo festival in 2017. Separately, we heard that U2 might have some kind of "big announcement" in the next few days. But tying those two things together doesn't fit well -- for the past couple years, the Bonnaroo lineup hasn't been announced until January. And before that, it wasn't announced until February. So, if there's some U2-related announcement coming this week -- and I'd be surprised if there is -- it's probably not a Bonnaroo appearance. News like that probably wouldn't come out until next month.


The holiday season is in full stride here at Casa McGee, and perhaps at your house, too. Decorations were put up this weekend, Christmas gift lists have been made and circulated, and shopping is underway.

Just between us, gifts are not really a big thing for me. If you've ever heard of the concept of the five love languages, "gifts" scores very low for me. But I do enjoy finding unique and different U2-related items to put on my gift list each year. In fact, if you've listened to our podcast for a while, or if you saw some of the live video chats we've done, you may recall me talking about the Joshua Tree lunch box that I got for Christmas last year. I just stumbled on that one day while browsing U2 stuff on Amazon.com and it's become a favorite display item here in my U2 shrine ... ummm ... home office.

So, in the spirit of the season, and since there's a good chance a lot of you are looking for U2-related gifts for yourself or a friend/family member, I thought I'd put together a quick list of online places for your U2 gear shopping:

Amazon.com

An obvious place to start, but for some reason things like the Joshua Tree lunch box seem to get missed. That's not the only cool and unique U2 item I've found on Amazon. In the summer of 2015, I discovered this I+E tour t-shirt that's not currently available. It's definitely unofficial -- made in China by some company I've never heard of -- but it looks great and has survived a couple wearings and washings so far.

If you want to find some unique U2 stuff on Amazon, do a regular "u2" search but then make sure you click "Show all Departments" in the left-side navigation. And then, if you go into the "Home & Kitchen" section, you'll find that lunch box I mentioned above, along with this awesome four-piece U2 coaster set. Or if you go into the "Cell Phones & Accessories" section, you'll find this Achtung Baby case for your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone.

As always, keep in mind that Amazon includes some third-party sellers that are less trustworthy than others, so use your best judgment.

eBay.com / craigslist

Everything written above about Amazon applies to both eBay and craigslist. You can find all kinds of crazy and unique U2 stuff, much of which is used. I've noticed that craigslist items are recently showing up in my Google News Alerts for "U2," and there are some interesting collectibles to be found there.

Etsy.com

Etsy is a great site where small business owners and hobbyists -- many in the arts and crafts industry -- have setup their own shops, and a lot of them are selling U2 goods that you literally won't find anywhere else. Just do a search for "U2" on the home page and you'll find sub-sections for Prints, Collectibles, Paintings and more. I'm kinda partial to things like this Unforgettable Fire vinyl wall clock and this framed "Beautiful Day" song lyrics poster. You'll find a lot of stuff like that.

Imagekind.com: Kelly Eddington

Speaking of arts and crafts, I'm reminded that Kelly Eddington -- the artist behind our Achtoon Baby feature -- also sells her great U2- and non-U2 work online. Go into her U2 gallery to find several dozen of Kelly's best U2 works over the years available in different sizes, framed or unframed, etc. And a quick tip: Follow Kelly on Twitter or Facebook and every so often you'll get notified when Imagekind offers a discount.

CafePress.com

Several years ago, we launched an @U2 shop on CafePress -- it's still there but we've utterly failed to keep it updated with anything new. You should still be able to order something from there if you'd like some @U2 gear, but you can also search CafePress for other U2-related stuff. Likewise, sites like Zazzle.com, Spreadshirt.com and others may have unique U2 stuff.

Rock.com

I haven't made a purchase here yet, but this site has t-shirts, mugs, magnets, patches and more.

Others

Beyond the above, there are some other obvious places to find U2 stuff online. The U2.com shop is one. The (RED) website sells some apparel and other stuff. If you look to the right of this page, there are several links in the SHOP box where you can find U2-related posters, sheet music and more. Most of those are affiliate links and any purchase from them help support @U2.

And for those of you who live outside the US, your country/continent probably has some interesting places where you can find unique U2 gift ideas ... like Redbubble, which is based in Australia and has a cool bunch of U2-related shirts. And actually, it looks like that site ships worldwide, so I should've mentioned it above.

In any case, if you're looking for U2-related gifts, I hope the above is helpful and I hope you find/get what you're looking for!


And finally, a reminder that Christmas and the holidays are about much more than gifts that we get or gifts that we give. Props to Bono for giving us a reminder of this by taking part in the Grafton Street busking sessions that Glen Hansard organizes each year. Bono's been there six of the past seven years, and there's no reason to think he won't be there again this year.

This'll likely be my final OTR column of 2016, so on behalf of my McGee family and my @U2 family, here's wishing you and yours a peaceful, healthy and happy holiday season!

Any opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of @U2 as a whole.

(c) @U2, 2016.



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March 25 2017

07:30 PM - 09:00 PM - Unforgettable Fire Tribute Band Performance

Tonight in Hammonton

April 1 2017

08:00 PM - 09:30 PM - Joshua Tree Tribute Band Performance

Tonight in Marlborough

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