Gavin, Bono, Shane McGowan
We’re still recuperating from our whirlwind trip to New York City, where we attended the “Gavin Friday and Friends” concert at Carnegie Hall. By ‘we’ this time I don’t mean the editors of U2log.com, though some of them – past and present – were among us. By ‘we’ I mean the International Brigade, a group of friends who met online, through their love of music and Gavin Friday in particular. Some of us are into U2. Some of us aren’t. Since the late 80’s we have seen Gavin play live on many occasions, in various cities, on different continents. We all have to travel to see him play, because he doesn’t come around that often. When we heard of this event there was no question about it – we were there.
As sure as we were, many others were confused as what exactly the night was about. A charity gig? A tribute? An Aids benefit? A Hal Willner extravaganza? U2 were going to perform. Or not… the band was billed as separate members. The Virgin Prunes would reform. Or not. They said they never would. Who the hell are Flo and Eddie? Some U2 fans seemed unfamiliar with widely acclaimed artists like Rufus Wainwright, his sister Martha and Antony of Antony and the Johnsons, while others rolled eyes at the mention of Scarlett Johansson, Courtney Love and, well, U2.
For us die hard Friday-fans this concert was always about Gavin’s 50th birthday and those in the know gleefully looked forward to see an audience subjected to an evening of songs from his repertoire and influences. (“I hope U2 play their new single”, one fan wrote on a message board. Eh, no. “Is this a family show?” another asked. Not likely.) We were also very keen to find out how the other artists would interpret the songs that mean so much to us.
Continue reading the review
Gavin Friday tells U2.com:
“The thing with [U2] is that I know them all individually, so they’re all taking part but what’s unusual is that they aren’t going to be U2, so I think we’ll see something pretty different, which is something that always happens with Hal’s events.
“Dik, Edge’s brother will be there, who was in U2 before they were U2, and Guggi of course, so I would love Dik and Guggi and myself to do some Virgin Prunes songs – it won’t be the Virgin Prunes reuniting because we don’t do that, but let’s see what happens. When Hal is involved you never know how it’ll work out.”
So if you want to see the brothers Evans on stage together, tickets for ‘An Evening with Gavin Friday and Friends’ (October 4th) are still available from the Carnegie Hall box office and website.
U2’s final Vertigo show in Japan on Monday (Dec. 4) focused on paying respect to the country and its people. Early in the show, Bono expressed the band’s genuine love for the country, noting they had a wonderful stay in Tokyo. Bono spoke of his visit to Kyoto, where he toured the Church of Light, designed by Tadao Ando.
Bono was so charmed by Kyoto that he brought back three of its residents to Tokyo with him for the final show. During “Mysterious Ways,” Bono invited the three to dance with him on stage. Mouths dropped open when they saw Bono’s guests were geishas (perhaps actually maikos [geishas in training]) in full traditional wardrobe and makeup. Morleigh Steinberg ran alongside the women in the pit, directing them to dance with their fans, to the delight of the audience and Bono, who grinned from ear to ear. At the song’s conclusion, he bowed to them sweetly.
Another highlight of the show was a particularly moving performance of “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” which Bono dedicated to his father and the fathers of his friends Gavin and Guggi, who watched the show from the mix desk.
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo – She Loves You (snippet)
Out of Control
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – In a Little While (snippet)
Angel of Harlem
The First Time
Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
Bad – Ruby Tuesday (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky – When Johnny Comes Marching Home & Hands That Built America (snippets)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
With or Without You
The Saints Are Coming
Window in the Skies
Vertigo (“For us!”)
I know many fans are curious to know what the band have been doing in Japan when not performing or doing media interviews. Larry Mullen spent some time shopping in Gwen Stefani’s favorite area of Tokyo, Harajuku. He shopped at Kiddy Land, a famous toy store, presumably for gifts for his children…Adam Clayton visited with Eric Clapton, who is also touring in Japan now and staying in the same hotel as U2…Bono enjoyed a traditional Japanese meal at Gonpachi with his friends Gavin and Guggi. Kanye West was also seen at the same restaurant. Rumour has it that Kanye will perform with U2 for the final show in Japan on Monday…Edge, the zen master, has been keeping a low profile, meditating and such.
All band members have been generously signing autographs and posing for photos with Japanese fans around the city. The band seem to be truly enjoying their visit to Japan.
It’s old news to faithful readers of U2log.com, but Billboard.com is finally reporting on the Johnny Depp inspired and Hal Willner produced sea song and chantey album ‘Rogue’s Gallery’ that Bono’s involved in.
Check out the article, which includes the full stunning all star cast and tracklist of the album:
“Cape Cod Girls,” Baby Gramps
“Mingulay Boat Song,” Richard Thompson
“My Son John,” John C. Reilly
“Fire Down Below,” Nick Cave
“Turkish Revelry,” Loudon Wainwright III
“Bully In The Alley,” Three Pruned Men (Dave-id, Guggi, Gavin Friday)
“The Cruel Ship’s Captain,” Bryan Ferry
“Dead Horse,” Robin Holcomb
“Spanish Ladies,” Bill Frisell
“High Barbary,” Joseph Arthur
“Haul Away Joe,” Mark Anthony Thompson
“Dan Dan,” David Thomas
“Blood Red Roses,” Sting
“Sally Brown,” Teddy Thompson
“Lowlands Away,” Rufus Wainwright & Kate McGarrigle
“Baltimore Whores,” Gavin Friday
“Rolling Sea,” Eliza Carthy
“The Mermaid,” Martin Carthy & the UK Group
“Haul On The Bowline,” Bob Neuwirth
“Dying Sailor to His Shipmates,” Bono
“Bonnie Portmore,” Lucinda Williams
“Shenandoah,” Richard Greene & Jack Sh*t
“The Cry Of Man,” Mary Margaret O’Hara
“Boney,” Jack Sh*t
“Good Ship Venus,” Loudon Wainwright III
“Long Time Ago,” White Magic
“Pinery Boy,” Nick Cave
“Lowlands Low,” Bryan Ferry with Antony
“One Spring Morning,” Akron/Family
“Hog Eye Man,” Martin Carthy & family
“The Fiddler/A Drop of Nelson’s Blood,” Ricky Jay & Richard Greene
“Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold,” Andrea Corr
“Fathom The Bowl,” John C. Reilly
“Drunken Sailor,” David Thomas
“Farewell Nancy,” Ed Harcourt
“Hanging Johnny,” Stan Ridgway
“Old Man of The Sea,” Baby Gramps
“Greenland Whale Fisheries,” Van Dyke Parks
“Shallow Brown,” Sting
“The Grey Funnel Line,” Jolie Holland
“A Drop of Nelson’s Blood,” Jarvis Cocker
“Leave Her Johnny,” Lou Reed
“Little Boy Billy,” Ralph Steadman
‘Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys’ will be released on the Anti label on 22 August.
More on the ANTI records blog on MySpace.
Celebrities are so lucky. Not only do they have fame and fortune, they have luck too. Well, most of them have luck.
For U2’s second sold-out show at the Garden this November, a large number of celebrities scanned in Lucky Vertigo and packed the ellipse. Our non-celebrity staff (she’s a star to us!), who was also lucky and landed a spot in the ellipse, identified Lars Ullrich, Michael Stipe, Helena Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Guggi, and Charlie Rose enjoying the show from inside the ellipse. (For the record, Rose doesn’t rock out. He studies the performance. With a beer in hand.) Bono’s wife Ali and brother Norman were also spotted rubbing shoulders with the celebrities and peon fans at the show.
Meanwhile, back at the mix desk were Lenny Kravitz, Josh Brolin, and “a lot of models” whose tickets apparently did not scan Lucky Vertigo. Awww!
The show was similar to the previous evening’s performance with one difference — the dedications. Bono dedicated “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” to his brother, whom he referred to as “Normal” and credited as being the co-writer of the song; “MLK” was dedicated to JFK; and “Stuck in a Moment” was performed in recognition of the anniversary of Michael Hutchence’s death.
As with the previous night, show opener Patti Smith joined U2 to perform a long version of “Instant Karma.” At one point, Bono and Smith left the stage as The Edge began a spotlight guitar performance. It seemed the audience were expected to finish up the song with The Edge, but when that didn’t happen, Edge left the stage (still playing) and returned with the singers to close the song.
Although “Yahweh” and “40” were listed on the setlist, they were not performed.
We’ve managed to get our hands on a number of (unused, but a little worn with age) copies of the 1985 Virgin Prunes book ‘The Faculties of a Broken Heart‘ by Swiss author Rolf Vasellari. U2 content is limited: a few mentions and a drawing/painting, plus handwritten lyrics by Bono, but the book provides an interesting views on Dublin’s most outrageous sons in words and images. Contains many unique pictures of Gavin, Guggi and all the other members of the group, as well as interviews with – mainly – Gavin. Fans interested in ordering details should get in touch through our contact page. And from the attic of Mr Friday’s abode, we’ve also rescued a bunch of limited edition Gavin Friday ‘bleeding heart’ t-shirts if you’d like to stand out in the crowd…
‘Bono used to borrow my records. When I’d get them back the sleeves would be full of stains.’
Gavin Friday and Guggi are featured in the June 7 issue of Belgian newspaper De Standaard (who also report on Bono’s meeting with EU big wig Louis Michel). Bono’s two ‘best mates’ talked to the paper in Brussels in October, while promoting the re-release of the Virgin Prunes back catalogue on Mute Records.
The two (when Bono’s present, the trio are known as ‘The Funky Trinity’) discuss the miracle of their lasting friendship and success, and their roll as ‘bullshit detectors’: trying to keep their friend’s feet firmly on the ground. Both Gavin and Guggi emphasise the fact that their lives are interwoven with that of U2, even now.
Imagine a cold London night. See The Edge hovering near Bono’s shoulder. Spot the ‘talented mates’ Guggi and Gavin sitting down in the gutter, sipping champagne. Elsewhere, watch Paul McGuinness opening the boot of his car, pulling out a black bag to treat Howie B to a copy of U2’s new album…
U2log.com co-founder Ben Hopkinson talks to Bono at the Osborne Samuel gallery in London on Wednesday night:
Ben: “You made a speech about Guggi’s paintings tonight, can you give us a quote?”
Bono: “It’s a lot of bowls, really…” (laughs)
Ben: “You must be proud to have so many talented mates.”
Bono: “I don’t really understand, you know, what was going on with the water on Cedarwood Road. But I think the three of us, Gavin Friday, myself and Guggi, all had… interesting fathers. I think that was something to do with it — I guess, something to rebel against. Something I hope not to offer my daughter…” (laughs)
So there we have it. Dublin water and Irish fathers are to blame for the unholy trinity, Messrs Friday, Gugs and Bono. Let’s drink to that.