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Self-consciousness can make the face ugly. -- Bono

Column: off the record..., vol. 6-198



(Prediction: Seahawks 27, Steelers 21)

I'm one of a handful of people who receive the emails that are sent to U2tours.com via the contact form on that site. For the past week or so, 90% of the incoming emails have been from U2 fans in S. America who are somewhere between upset and enraged about the ticket sales last week for the Buenos Aires show next month. For the most part, it appears that the problems all fall on the shoulder of the local promoters. They're the ones who decided to partner with a supermarket chain to sell the tickets. Are the concert organizers there not prepared to handle a show as big as U2 the right way? That's what it sounds like according to some of the fans who emailed U2tours.com:

We Brazilians don't deserve to have U2 concerts in our country. Here in Brazil things are totally disorganised. It's impossible to accept that the greatest part of tickets is sold in a supermarket, not by the internet. Ok, there were tickets being sold by internet yesterday. But it was a minimum part of it and sellings were responsibility of a company (Ticketronics - ???????) that no one had never heard about before. We have Ticketmaster in Brazil. Why were not they the responsible for sellings? ... I've been to Vertigo in London on June and NY on October and I have no problems on purchasing both tickets. For a Brazilian it is easier to watch U2 overseas than in Brazil. (Joao B.)

I'm a big fan of the band and would very like to go to the show, but it's not going to happen, due the lack of organization and capacity of the company where it was contracted to organize the selling of the tickets in Brazil. (Helena S.)

U2 should pick better whom would be in charge for the local organization of their shows in Brazil. POP tour originated problems, especially in Rio de Janeiro. Now, ticket sales in Sao Paulo already started off badly. Inaccurate information, poor planning and gigantic queues with violence, quarrels, protestations and people getting sick due to the intensely high temperature have been noted. This is why I think U2 should require more strictly from their local organizers in order to preserve their fans. (Rynaldo G.)

You read the article about what happened, and it's just mistake after mistake ...and you wonder if maybe this is why they haven't toured the "rest of the world" very often.

After I mentioned the Bedouin Soundclash cover of "New Year's Day" in last week's OTR, Brady emailed in to say that Motley Crue (yes, that Motley Crue) covered NYD during their New Year's Eve concert in Detroit. Can you imagine what that sounded like?

Bookshelves will be bulging soon with another group of U2-related tomes on the way -- this one heavily themed toward faith and philosophy. It starts with Cathleen Falsani's The God Factor : Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, which is released in early March. You may recognize Cathleen's name -- she's the religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times who's written quite often about Bono/U2 in her column. Our good friend, the Rev. Beth, tells me that the Bono section in Falsani's book is from a new interview she did with him last summer.

Then there's Christian Scharen's One Step Closer - Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God - which is due on April 1st. Chris recently posted a book excerpt on his blog. And lastly, there's Mark Wrathall's U2 and Philosophy, listed on Amazon with a June 9th release date.

Sometimes it looks like Larry is smiling, but you can't really be sure. And then sometimes you stumble on an old photo gallery where there's no doubt about it whatsoever....

Okay...this is it for me, at least for a little while. I'm going to take a few weeks off from doing OTR, mainly just to get away from it, regroup, refresh, etc. I'll still be posting news bits on the home page and sending stuff out to the mailing list, but a couple of our news staffers will fill in and write under the OTR banner while I'm gone. I thank them in advance, and look forward to seeing you when I'm back at it.

And finally ... Coolest. iPod. Ever.

See ya in a few weeks.

@U2/McGee, 2006.