As some of you may remember, The Edge visited Russia on behalf of Greenpeace back in March of 1989. This was chronicled by Bill Graham in Propaganda issue number 11. What that story didn’t reveal was the following happening that we recently found in our u2log vault.
“We come to the studio, with all these musicians, and we’re hustled into a little room, down the hall, and we’re all cramped in, and there’s wires knocking over coffee cups, and I think that the result of it all was the fact that it put everyone very much at ease.
“It was very informal, but very sincere. The production level was not what you would find in the States for example. We didn’t have cue cards. We didn’t overproduce. People didn’t get pancake makeup. We were just there.
“And they’re asking questions and having people sing songs, and the tea cups were flying all over the place, and out there somewhere were 150 million viewers watching this whole thing happen, with the wires flying and the microphones in the way and everything else, and there’s a sincerity in all that. It’s not overproduced.
“All of this is new for people in the Soviet Union and I think it’s like the cork coming off a bottle of champagne; there has been a big release. Sure, let’s do a television show with these musicians. Let’s all get them in a room. Hey, here’s a camera, you know. Let’s take their photos and put it up and see what happens. It’s great. It’s all very experimental.
“At one point the interviewer asked The Edge from U2 to sing a song from U2’s album, of course, just sitting here on a couch with a cup of coffee in front of him was just mind boggling. It was… it’d never been done before and could never be done in the west I don’t think. The result of that was that he actually sat for a minute, I think stunned a bit. And then he said ‘Well, do you know the song “It’s a long way to Tipperary“?’ And he actually, on television, in front of 150 million people started singing the song.”
– Peter Bahout, describing a live performance that will never see the light of day on a U2 album.