Special Report: U2’s Day at the BBC

U2 @ BBC Radio Theatre

Friday February 27th of 2009 was a brilliant day to be a U2 fan in London. The BBC brought us closer than we’ve ever been before for hours of brilliant coverage. My friend and I won tickets to the Radio 1 Live Lounge in the morning, and stayed until the end of the rooftop gig in the evening.

After waiting out in the cold from 9am we finally got into the BBC Radio Theatre and secured a spot at the front next to Edge. Everything was amazingly organised and fans were led into the theatre in the order in which they had queued up. Take note venues of the world!
Continue to read this special report by guest contributor Clare K.

U2 live on French TV – U2log.com was there

The French TV channel Canal + had been preparing for this for a week: the welcoming of U2 as very special guests of the daily show “Le Grand Journal”. This show has become a reference for political and cultural events, a talk show offering one of the most state-of-the-art musical set.

Monday evening’s show was an exceptional event, since U2 had never done any live performance on any French television set before. Canal + was totally themed around U2 for the night, even broadcasting their advertising jingles under the colors and design of U2.

Read the full rapport by U2log.com editor Fabienne

Sneak preview of U2’s Vertigo Tour

Lucky fans waiting outside the L.A. Sports Arena were let into U2’s dress rehearsal for the Vertigo Tour on Friday afternoon.

They were patted down, then let into the arena where they joined radio contest winners from all over the United States. Together they filled five first-level sections on either side of the stage.

Ruth Barohn was one of the lucky fans to get a preview of U2’s Vertigo tour. She reports for U2log.com:

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Hall of Fame: Rebels without a pause

U2 were surrounded by the people who have been instrumental in their career as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week. Among those supporting the band as they were ushered into the prestigious music organization were the band’s wives; manager Paul McGuinness with his wife Kathy Gilfinnan; many from Principle Management’s team (both past and present), including Keryn Kaplan and Ellen Darst; “band consultant” and friend Gavin Friday; producer Steve Lillywhite; concert promoter Barry Fey; sound engineer Joe O’Herlihy; and Until the End of the World author Bill Flannagan.

U2 owned the night, even though it wasn’t solely their party. Also inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame with U2 were Percy Sledge, The O’Jays, Buddy Guy, and The Pretenders. Sire Records exec Seymour Stein and talent agent Frank Barsalona were honored with the lifetime achievement award in the non-performer category.

In rebel style, U2 played by their own rules for the entire induction ceremony. They skipped the red carpet arrivals, disappointing the paparrazi and mob of fans who hoped to catch a glimpse of them. (They had arrived at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria, where the event was held, earlier in the day to rehearse and avoided the arrival hoopla.) Instead of playing the three songs they were scheduled to perform, they threw in a fourth — and, as usual, Bono couldn’t be contained on stage while they performed.

Cindy Trickel and Ruth Barohn report for U2log.com
(Includes full transcripts of speeches. Click on images for enlargements.)

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So Beautiful Tonight – Brooklyn’s First-Ever U2 Show

U2log.com staff members Ruth Barohn and Chris Conroy both attended the Empire Fulton Ferry State Park performance in Brooklyn on Monday, November 22nd. The following is their report on the show — text by Chris Conroy, photography by Ruth Barohn.

[click on images for enlargements]

They were not even remotely kidding when they said U2’s appearance in New York City today would “stop the traffic.” Ask any of the poor schmoes who got trapped behind the band as they spent the afternoon rocking away on a flatbed truck, driving the length of Manhattan Island from Harlem to the banks of the East River. As U2 made their way across the Manhattan Bridge into the borough of Brooklyn, helicopters swarmed their position, and a crowd of some 3,000-plus New Yorkers gathered in Empire Fulton Ferry State Park went absolutely insane as they figured out who that strangely flamboyant little speck on the back of the eighteen-wheeler was. And you’d be surprised at just how recognizable the silhouette of the Edge and his guitar is, even from several thousand feet away.

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Bono Tells Portland Audience to Care and Get Involved


Bono speaks in Portland, Oregon, about Africa: a continent of tragedy and opportunity.

Darci Chapman Hanning reports for U2log.com. Photos by Peter Hanning.

Beginning his speech with a surprise announcement, Bono revealed that two women had returned the lyrics and notes that had been stolen from him 23 years earlier, just after U2’s first gig in Portland. The notes and lyrics were for U2’s then upcoming album October.

“People who could have published or sold my back pages, for absolutely no award, have handed them back. An act of grace, an act of goodness; you will never know how much that means to me. You will never know the contents of these letters because of the decency of these two women. They’re here tonight, and I want to thank them.”

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Bono’s stolen briefcase returned after 23 years

Readers should know something about U2log.com: We are damn good at being discreet. Almost a year ago, one of U2log.com’s editors was contacted by Danielle Rheaume from Olympia, Washington (now a Vancouver resident), who claimed a friend of hers, Cindy Harris, had found some “interesting U2 material” in the attic of her Tacoma home. Harris had found the material when she and her husband purchased the home many years earlier and had forgotten about it. Last year, however, Harris brought up her discovery in a conversation with her friend Rheaume, who is a U2 fan.

When Rheaume heard what her friend had in her attic, she was astonished because she recognized exactly what it was: the contents of Bono’s briefcase that had been stolen 23 years earlier in Portland.

The saga of the stolen briefcase is well known within U2 fan circles. It contained lyrics for U2’s second album ‘October’, and disappeared when U2 played a club in Portland in 1981. The theft influenced the making of the U2’s crucial second album, as Bono had to rewrite from scratch. Over the years, Bono’s briefcase has become the Holy Grail of U2 mythology. Only recently a U2log.com reader commented how finding it would be ‘quite the story’.

This is the story. Rheaume contacted U2log.com to help her and her friend get in touch with U2’s management so the two could return the material to Bono in person. Knowing that anyone would find their claim unbelievable, we asked for photographic evidence to provide to U2’s management and received the photos that are published with this report.

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Bono’s Trek to the City of Three Kings

Representative John Lewis (D-Ga) and Bono

The historic city of Memphis, Tennessee, with its shores resting on the mighty Mississippi River, keeps any resident or passerby out and about busy with everything from the musical legacy of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Sun Studios, Stax Records, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Beale Street’s jazz and blues clubs, to wondrous riverboat rides, museums, and sporting events. A visitor’s most important stop during a stay in Memphis, however, might very well be a motel.

Ruth Barohn reports for U2log.com

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Iconographer – Neil McCormick Spills the Beans

The hype surrounding I Was Bono’s Doppleganger by Neil McCormick is no surprise. With remarkable anecdotes about U2’s earliest days, it is essential reading for any U2 fan and a fascinating account of making it (or not) in the music business. Moreover, it shines out as one of the most candid memoirs one could hope to read–an incisive meditation on the lure of fame.

U2log.com’s Jack A was lucky enough to visit the doppelg䮧er in his London lair and get the inside line.

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Money and Lives (Senate hearing on AIDS)

On Tuesday (May 18), Bono participated in the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on AIDS in Washington, D.C. U2 fan and Jubilee USA activist Abbey Fisher attended the hearing. Abbey shares her story and perspective on the AIDS emergency with U2log.

I volunteer for Jubilee USA Network, a continuation of the Jubilee 2000 movement, part of a worldwide campaign to cancel debts of countries in the Global South (Third World or developing countries). Debts of these countries are far from being completely canceled. Debt is a large stumbling block for countries fighting AIDS epidemics, poverty, lack of education, unsafe water, unfair trade relationships, and so many other social and economic problems. Through my involvement with Jubilee, I have learned much about the global AIDS pandemic. All of these issues are interrelated, and I believe they should be addressed as such.

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