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"People would not react if I went out and carried on like Elvis Presley or Mick Jagger or David Bowie. People do react if I go out and carry on like Bono. And I like that."

-- Bono

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Inside the Achtoon

@U2, March 09, 2018
By: Matt McGee



Kelly Eddington's latest Achtoon Baby cartoon offers a feast for the eyes and a tug on the heart. Presented as a children's book, the artwork and story serve as a sort-of lesson about what it's like to love a band and how that kind of deep relationship can stay with you through life's peaks and valleys.

When we posted it last week, our introduction mentioned that there are "plenty of inside jokes and references" for us grownup U2 fans to uncover, too. They were the subject of a lot of discussion on our social media channels as fans pointed out which album covers and other music-related artifacts they recognized.

To help us appreciate the effort that goes into an Achtoon Baby, we asked Kelly to make a list of all the references she included so we could share them with you. Did you catch them all? Compare the list below to each panel as you read through the latest Achtoon Baby.

Panel 1

1. (cover) October album

2. (bedroom) Under A Blood Red Sky propped up on record player; posters of Prince, B-52's, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello; Creem magazine with Madonna on the cover and David Bowie's Let's Dance on the back.

3. (needle with coins) Record is Under A Blood Red Sky -- label says "Mini LP" at the top.

4. (with Prince) Purple Rain-era costume and guitar, Edge in Red Rocks flannel, Bono in "A Celebration" video red jeans, Larry in denim vest he wore in promo photos that year, Adam in leopard pants that he wore in an early-days photo, Adam in a Joy Division T-shirt.

5. (one-hit wonders) Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons, Aimee Mann from Til Tuesday, Nena.

6. The Supremes

Panel 2

7. (fantasy Irish landscape) Ballycarberry Castle

8. (record store) Posters: LL Cool J, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam, The Cure, Nirvana, Pixies, Madonna, two Achtung Baby posters at checkout with Trabbie in the display case. Records: Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion 1, Massive Attack Blue Lines (you just see a bit of it), Depeche Mode Violator, John Coltrane My Favorite Things, Prince "Diamonds And Pearls" single, Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque, A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory, My Bloody Valentine Loveless, R.E.M. Out Of Time, Primal Scream Screamadelica, The Velvet Underground and Nico, Dinosaur Jr Green Mind, Morrissey Kill Uncle, Guns N' Roses "Welcome To The Jungle" single, The Beatles Rubber Soul, Metallica The Black Album. Cashiers are wearing Nirvana and The Cramps T-shirts. Stacks of Achtung Baby on the counter. Record store layout loosely based on an illustration by Philip Marsden and Champaign-Urbana's Record Service ca. 1991.

9. (opening the packaging) Zooropa, front and back of album.

10. (grid with evolution of band members) Eras are War, Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, Pop, All That You Can't Leave Behind, Songs Of Experience.

Panel 3

11. (learning to paint) The Joshua Tree poster, Prince Sign O' The Times movie poster.

12. (dorm room) Zooropa and Achtung Baby posters, ZooTV on the television, Prince love symbol poster, Zooropa CD near computer.

13. (art teacher) Picasso, Van Gogh, Warhol and Pop posters.

14. (crying Zebra) All That You Can't Leave Behind CD.

15. (apartment with red couch) "Vertigo" single poster, "Vertigo" video on computer, U2 iPod, BUN;;;;;

16. (wedding) No Line On The Horizon CD.

Panel 4

17. (painting) Songs Of Innocence, my artwork including Bun, a painting of gumballs titled Pop, and an iris painting (song on SOI).

18. (house) Songs Of Experience album with young fox and rabbit on cover, irises growing under windows.

19. (SOE songs) Dinosaur -- "The Blackout," Bono and Ali in heart -- "You're The Best Thing About Me," Statue of Liberty -- "Get Out Of Your Own Way," Lightbulb -- "13 (There Is A Light)," door with road -- "Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way," birthday cake -- "The Showman," Ali with trophy -- "Landlady," book -- "Book Of Your Heart," rose -- "Summer Of Love," drum/bass -- "American Soul," baby -- "Love Is All We Have Left," house -- "Lights Of Home," clock -- "The Little Things That Give You Away."

Panel 5

20. (texting) That's my friend P.J. DeGenaro, seen previously in the summer/fall 2017 Achtoon.

21. (concert) Mostly I+E tour costumes. Limited edition Adam Clayton Signature Bass from Fender, Edge Fender guitar.

There ya go! And one more time, here's the full Achtoon Baby.

(c) @U2, 2018.

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