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"I look more like an artisan than an artist. I have these big hands and this pointed face. Where's the glamour in all that?"

-- Bono

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Column: off the record..., vol. 8-323

@U2, September 07, 2008
By: Matt McGee


off the record, from @U2

I'll be paying attention to the tech news on Tuesday because I'm a big Apple user -- desktop machine, Macbook, iPods, iPhone, etc. The company has a big announcement planned on Tuesday, and it's all but guaranteed to involve the introduction of new iPods.

You may think this has nothing to do with U2, but you might be wrong. Apple's invitations for Tuesday's event included the slogan, "Let's Rock." And I'm reminded of this comment left on our blog several weeks ago:

I had an extraordinary chance meeting with a very close friend of Bonos on Saturday (26 July 2008) night in a bar in the outskirts of Dublin.... He added that the film crew in Cadiz are actually filming for a new i-pod commercial which Paul McGuinness has been instrumental in putting together with Steve Jobs over the past few months.

It could be wrong and there'll be nothing involving U2 on Tuesday. Then again, Edge was just spotted in Toronto this weekend, so it's reasonable to think he could be out in the Bay Area by Tuesday to make a personal appearance.

They've hit a songwriting vein? Hmmmm. Here's what's odd about the explanation Bono gave for the delay of U2's next album:

So, if the album was done in June/July, why would U2 be in position to hit a songwriting vein in August/September? Why would they even be writing at all? Anything's possible, but it seems odd to me.

Aside from U2 fans having to wait a few more months for new U2 music, do you know what this delay means? Do you realize the potential impact this has on U.S. politics? I'm serious. Reader Vic C. reminded me about this crazy piece of trivia. Check it out:

Every time U2 has released a new album in a U.S. presidential election year, the Republican candidate has gone on to win the election.

Seriously, it goes back to 1980 when Boy was released and Ronald Reagan won the election. In 1984, we got The Unforgettable Fire, and Reagan won again. In 1988, it was Rattle and Hum and George H. W. Bush. U2 didn't release a new album in 1992 or 1996. In 2000, it was All That You Can't Leave Behind and George W. Bush. And in 2004, it was Bush winning again and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb hitting store shelves.

So, all Obama supporters reading this ought to be thanking your lucky stars for this album delay. A McCain victory was all but assured if the album came out on schedule this year. (In fact, I would've liked U2 to claim that this was the reason for the delay. How funny would that be?)

Hey Bono fans -- we just published our updated and totally new Bono bio, written by news staffer Maddy Fry. We think she did a terrific job. This means that only the Adam bio is still in need of an update, and we're hoping to get that one wrapped up and published soon.

If you ordered the Amazon exclusive box set with the remastered Boy, October, and War CDs, Amazon is now confirming what we all suspected for some time: Under a Blood Red Sky will fit in the vacant fourth slot. It says so right there in the listing. Thanks to Jason W. for spotting this and letting us know.

And finally ... a couple months ago in this space, I linked to some amazing Etch-A-Sketch artwork. Then a reader emailed in to say that George Vlosich is even better than the guy I linked to, and I think he's right. (click on GALLERY)

Until next time...

@U2, 2008.

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