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"As a band we have a giant collective ego. It picks us up. Anyway, I don't think I'd be a good bank clerk. Or a hot dog salesman. I might be a good president." — Bono

Column: off the record..., vol. 6-197


I guess the best thing about the internet -- easy access to information -- is a close relative to the worst: easy access to misinformation. There are just too many news outlets on the web, and they all have space to fill, and that's why when Edge says something to a Rolling Stone writer like

"The reaction to the shows has been unprecedented," says the Edge. "From a really great start, it's just built and built and built. I'm happy to say bye-bye, because I don't think we could ever top it."

every news site on the web jumps all over it, repeating the quote ad nauseam -- but, in almost every case, taking it out of context. Edge was specifically talking about the Vertigo Tour, not U2's career as a whole. But you'd never know it from the reporting and re-reporting that's going on. And the thing is ... if Edge was talking about U2 giving up touring altogether, don't you think Rolling Stone would've used that as the headline, rather than "U2 Look Back on U.S. Success"?

Pack journalism runs rampant on this kind of thing. One site sees the quote, repackages it as a new story, and then everyone else follows suit. And it happens all the time ... think back just two weeks ago when every news outlet on the web seemed to pick up the "Bono feared his campaigning would get him kicked out of U2" story, which started with comments he gave on BBC Radio right before the new year. And no doubt it'll happen again soon -- sooner than any of us care to see it.

On a semi-related note, let me clarify something I said in last week's OTR. In an asterisked note, I shared my opinion that it's a "pretty big assumption" that "U2 will continue to tour after future albums." First, that's said purely from my gut -- no insider info. or anything like that. And all I'm saying is that I think this is the last huge, worldwide tour -- visiting 4-5 continents -- they'll do. I don't think we'll see any more tours with 100+ shows in a year. My guess is that future tours will be shorter -- fewer shows in fewer countries.

And I sure as heck hope I'm dead wrong. :-)

A group called Bedouin Soundclash (can't say I've ever heard the name before, sorry) has just done a reggae-influenced cover of "New Year's Day." It's ... interesting. My jury's still out. They actually performed it live on TV at the Canadian New Year's Eve Party, which some of you in Canada may have seen. If not, and you want to hear, you can download it at the group's MySpace.com web page. (Thx Sabrina)

And finally ... If Fox News Had Been Around Throughout History. Hopefully a few laughs in there no matter where you stand on the political/media aisle.

See ya next week.

@U2/McGee, 2006.