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"[A]ll artists ...  live off faith. You hear a note but have to have the faith that you will hear the next one. Or tell you where to find the next note." — Bono

Column: off the record..., vol. 8-298

off the record, from @U2

A happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. I hope you're wearing the emerald green, eating a bowl of Irish stew and washing it down with a pint of Guinness (or Magner's in my case) and spending the day listening to nothing other than U2. I wonder how our boys will be celebrating the day? I haven't seen any photos of them out on the town during Ireland's extended St Pat's Day celebrations, so let's hope our four favourite leprechauns are in a studio somewhere working on that new album, to be sure!
"I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again," or so the old John Denver song goes. Yes, I may have only been back in Australia for three months, but it's time once again to embrace the fun of jetlag and airplane food and head off on another adventure. And while this trip is primarily for work (or at least my other half's work), I will be squeezing in some U2 tourism along the way. I've already crossed the U2 holy-land -- Ireland -- off my must-see-before-I-die list, so this time I'm dragging my poor husband to another U2 landmark: Eze, France. Eze-sur-Mer to be exact. Home-away-from-home for Bono and the Edge. Scene of Edge and Morleigh's wedding in 2002. Quaint seaside village where in early 2004 the band lost a demo CD of their then unfinished, unnamed and unreleased latest album.

I'll be keeping my ears open as well because in 2006, fans taking a dip in the Sea of Eze heard the distinct strains of U2 emanating from a nearby villa, but they didn't recognise the songs. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, they recorded the music, which turned out to be the band rehearsing "Window in the Sky" before the final leg of the Vertigo world tour. If I hear or see anything interesting -- or find any misplaced CDs lying around -- you will be the first to know.

We had initially planned to visit Morocco as part of this trip, but it looks like we're going to have to leave Fez for another time. It's a shame -- I was looking forward to using the headline "From Eze to Fez" somewhere on the site over the coming months.
It was fun seeing Irish band Clannad hit the headlines this week. Where have these guys been for the past 10 years? Clannad have had a long connection with U2; they famously played Clannad's haunting "Theme From Harry's Game" after their live shows in the early to mid-'80s (the '80s equivalent of the Arcade Fire's "Wake-Up") and featured the song on the 1983 U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky video. "Theme from Harry's Game" was also famously used on the Harrison Ford movie Patriot Games. I loved the song -- a lot. I even wanted to walk down the aisle to it, but my dad said it sounded like "a funeral dirge." But I digress.

It was the beautiful duet Bono performed with Clannad for their 1985 album Macalla called "In a Lifetime" that had the Irish media in a spin this week. Clannad are embarking on their first tour in 10 years and vocalist Noel Duggan told one journalist that Bono would not be joining him on stage to sing the duet because Bono "no longer has the voice for it." Clearly this comment got up Bono's nose, and he called into radio station 2FM to defend his voice, telling the station's Colm and Jim-Jim that this was nothing more than a bit of inter-band rivalry from the "Donegal messers." I wonder if this could be a masterful piece of reverse psychology from Clannad and we'll see Bono on stage with them at some point during their tour proving to the world that he CAN still hit the high notes? Watch this space...

© @U2/Greer, 2008.