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"I find someone like [James] Joyce quite rock 'n' roll, because he was bending and messing with words."

-- Bono

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Column: off the record..., vol. 8-302

@U2, April 13, 2008
By: Liseth Meijer


off the record, from @U2

After a few slow news weeks, I guess I struck it lucky this time, since there was a lot going on this week in the world of U2.

Last time I wrote about the events surrounding Bono and Edge's plans for The Clarence; recently the national tourism board Failte Ireland offered criticism of the plans, saying they weren't part of sustainable development. The articles about the subject didn't exactly say what the consequences of that opinion are, but I'll keep following this soap opera and see what happens during the hearing on April 16.

One of the bigger news stories was additional info on the reissues of Boy, October and War. They'll be remastered and include liner notes, overseen by the Edge, and rare photos. I'm still not really sure what I think about this. If the trend continues, U2 are probably going to re-issue all their albums, from the '80s at least. I was thinking about this and tried to come up with some ideas of what kind of extras would make the new versions worthwhile for me. Some never-heard-before songs from that period would definitely be interesting, preferably with Larry's old school drumming action. And a couple of funny pictures, but that shouldn't be a problem, considering Bono and Adam's hairdo at the time... ; )

The best bit, of course, was that U2 are in the studio, working on their next album. Everyone around the band is hoping that it will be out this year, so I guess U2 have moved beyond the stage of "just playing music without thinking what we're going to do with it." That's a good sign, and as a drum fan, I sure hope Daniel Lanois will encourage Larry to do some extraordinary drumming. It should be a possibility, since Danny is a fan of Larry's playing, like he said in the documentary Classic Albums: The Joshua Tree.

Apart from the album, even better, of course, are the prospects of a 2009 tour. The downside is, as I read about it, I was already feeling a bit nervous about the rollercoaster ride of getting tickets. But in any case, it probably won't be U2's last tour, since they've made that 12-year deal with Live Nation. Do you remember the soundbyte from Bono here on @U2, about the possibility of U2 touring when they're in their 60s? I guess we'll all be able to see whether Larry really keeps looking 14!

Last week, Bono was present at the commemoration of the Good Friday agreement (I'm sure you all remember that picture of Bono holding up the hands of John Hume and David Trimble). Bono offered some kind, Bono-esque praise of Bertie Ahern the person, as well as Ahern's policy on poverty reduction. He didn't say he was a fan, though, unlike what he said about Germany in March. That quote led to this funny comment in the Canadian press.

Another bit of trivia: a local symphonic orchestra is planning to do a U2 tour in the summer of 2009, playing U2's music around the country. Apparently, they've already done something similar with Led Zeppelin's music, drawing about 17,000 visitors. A U2 tour will probably draw a larger crowd. The director is hoping Bono will cooperate. Well, I think it's not such a crazy idea. U2 usually tour Europe in summer, so it shouldn't be too much trouble for Bono to hop on the plane and pay the orchestra a visit in August. In any case, if this plan goes ahead, I'll be sure to get some tickets.

And finally... Personally, I liked John Legend's version of "Pride (In the Name of Love)," I thought it was very moving and calm. But there are more U2 piano covers circulating on the 'net. Check out this one for an excellent version of "Streets".

© @U2/Meijer, 2008.

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