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"I'm really interested in and influenced by the spiritual side of Christianity, rather than the legislative side, the rules and regulations." — Edge

Column: Off the Record..., Vol. 19-779


OTR off the record 2019 1200px

Larry put up the note seeking band members who eventually became U2. Love you, Larry.

Matt McGee put up the notes seeking people who eventually became ATU2 staff members. One of those was very lucky me. Love you, Matt. 

My first favorite U2 person is Bono. My second favorite U2 person is Matt McGee. 

I know you won't like that, Matt.

But too bad, because you’re too good. This site wouldn’t exist without you, and now I’m supposed to take over for you?

Hi! I’m Karen.

In case you missed it, Matt, the founder and fearless leader/CEO/captain/boss/moderator/manager/mentor of ATU2, happily stepped down from his position in June because he’s burned out on U2, not having fun anymore and excited about other musical interests, but grateful for his stint here. It was truly amicable, and we miss him terribly. It’s a big loss of leadership — and a really great human being. I am grateful and humbled to be elected by the staff to inherit leadership of a site that is all because of him. 

I’m the new, well, I don’t even know what my title is. The new Matt? Nope. No one could ever take his place. Head? Leader? Boss? Or as Matt always said, “in charge of being in charge”? Sort of. But the ATU2 staff works so much as a team, and I will depend on them so much more than they will depend on me, that I’d rather stand beside them than above them. Sure, I’ll make some executive decisions, keep everyone organized, and suggest directions to pursue or give up, but I’ll also just keep editing and writing and posting news and, most important, loving this band we’re all crazy about.

Here at ATU2 I started out as a news writer and the soundbytes manager, and became the chief copy editor and assignment editor. You can read more about my U2 obsession in my ATU2 bio.

I will tell you five more things about me, and then I’ll be done with me, because I don’t love talking about me:

1) I live in the Los Angeles area (as I’m writing this, we just had a 7.1 earthquake — talk about rock ’n’ roll!). 

2) I’m a latecomer U2 fan — post-2000. 

3) I’m a journalist and editor in real life.

4) I love interviewing people who do extraordinary or even ordinary things, like Chloe Howard.

5) I believe this site is all about the band and the fans. We wouldn’t exist without them or you.

That said, I must acknowledge who ATU2 is. It’s not me. It’s all of these people, the staff who do all the work around here:

Brian Betteridge, Fernanda Bottini, Scott Calhoun, John Cropp, Kelly Eddington, Christopher Endrinal, Chris Enns, Braden Farmer, Eric Gifford, Aaron Govern, Kenny Irwin, Sherry Lawrence, Steve Lawrence, Marylinn Maione, Jill Marino, Liseth Meijer, Mason Merritt, Becky Myers, Tim Neufeld, Scott Perretta, Ross Perry, Jason Peterson, Phil Romans, Ian Ryan, Collin Souter, John Tuohy, Geoff Wilson. And yes, Matt McGee, who will never lose his title as founder.

Love you, everyone.

I must give a proud shout-out to our Tours team and staff member Aaron Govern for acquiring the earliest known recording of U2 performing live. The story was covered by media around the world, including Rolling Stone, RTE, Hot Press and  more. 

Thanks, Tours team, for all you do!

I’ll end with a favorite Bono quote:

[T]he thing that's most oppressive in our era is celebrity. And that's why people want to burn my house down… Celebrity is ugly. What it does is belittle real life. Which is where real heroism is. — Bono, Sunday Herald, 2000

Here’s to real life, and real people, like all of you.

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/Lindell, 2019