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"Our music is primarily uplifting, but at the same time there's a realism to our music as opposed to an escapism."

-- Bono

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Column: off the record..., vol. 8-303

@U2, April 20, 2008
By: Sherry Lawrence


off the record, from @U2

I've finally done it -- I've not only converted my pastor into a U2 fan, but he's done an entire sermon on "Beautiful Day" today. I feel like I've done my inner fan proud. My inner fan has been struggling as of late, though.

It's springtime in my neck of the woods, and along with the season comes a chance to do some spring cleaning. It's time to swap out the U2 concert sweaters and sweatpants and bring out the U2 concert T-shirts and shorts. While changing my wardrobe this year, I realized how much concert merchandise I bought during the Zoo TV tour. I have to say, that tour had the best merchandise -- 16 years later, the shirts and sweats still fit well, haven't faded and continue to make a statement. But I digress...

Spring cleaning also means I get to dust off the storage bins and surprise myself with what else I've managed to put away for "safe keeping" with the hope that maybe one day it might be worth something. I stumbled on an area in my basement where I've stored newspaper and magazine clippings of various U2-related stories. I've realized that I've got an emotional attachment to these. Part of it is that the only way you could find this type of news in the pre-Internet era was through printed media. The amount of searching for these magazines or papers was more of a treasure hunt with a sense of euphoria after finding that rare article. Nowadays, these can be pulled up online. So, why am I continuing to hold on to these? The collector's market has shown they're not worth anything, and if they meant so much to me, why do I have them in storage?

A few other fans on one of the U2 collectors mailing lists are going through a similar situation with the clippings they've saved. One friend of mine said he didn't have the heart to depart with them. It's a piece of history that served another time, another place. (Pun intended.)

This week where Bono and Edge are struggling with their remodeling of the Clarence Hotel and trying to make something old new again with the neighboring buildings, I am dealing with my own redesign projects at home. I have to make some pretty tough decisions regarding all the items I have in storage. Thank goodness U2 is the only band I've been collecting over the past 20 years.

"Walk On" challenges the listener about all that you can't leave behind, and my inner-fan is struggling with holding on to this past. But "God Part II" challenges the listener about glorifying the past while the future dries up. I'm at a crossroads!

At least I know I'm not alone with this struggle.

And's an oldie but goodie. 'Til next time!

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