Rare copies of Virgin Prunes book surface

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…

Guggi opens at Osborne Samuel Gallery, Bono attends

Bono, Ali Hewson, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Paul McGuinness and Gavin Friday attended the opening of an exhibition of work by the painter Derek ‘Guggi’ Rowan, at the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London tonight. Bono introduced his friend’s paintings to the guests, including Maurice Saatchi, brother of art mogul Charles.

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Hot Press reviews new U2 album

Hot Press’s Peter Murphy reviews How to disable an atomic bomb in this weeks’ Hot Press, the leading Irish music magazine. The article is available online for subscribers and gives the album 8.5 out of 10:

“But when early reports telegraphed this as Edge’s record, they were obviously referring to his choirboy melodic instincts as much as an addiction to noise. Atomic Bomb is positively Spector-esque in its ambition, although curiously enough, it’s not a showy record, the playing being mostly subservient to the songs.”

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It’s a beautiful day: The Seven Towers come down

Dublin’s notorious ‘Seven Towers’, made famous in U2’s song Running to Standstill, are being torn down this week.

More than 3,000 people watched as cranes started their work while U2’s Beautiful Day played in the background on Saturday at noon.

At a wake for the flats on Friday night, ex-Virgin Prunes Gavin Friday and Guggi — who grew up in the area, made a speech and then sang their song ‘Sweet Home Under White Clouds‘, announcing it a ‘traditional Ballymun ballad’.

The Ballymun flats are being dismantled to make room for houses as part of the largest urban regeration programme in Europe.

  • Construct Ireland: The writing was on the wall
  • Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.

    (Source: GF, The Observer)

  • Mute Records announce Virgin Prunes re-release

    Mute Records have announced the release of 5 remastered Virgin Prunes CDs.

    Formed from ‘Lypton Village’ the same creative gang that spawned U2) in Dublin in mid-1977, for a time the Virgin Prunes were “the most overtly subversive rock group ever to come out of the genre”.

    The 2004 Mute re-releases are the first Virgin Prunes CDs to be remastered under the careful guidance of by the band’s former frontman Gavin Friday.

    Virginprunes.com will be previewing the new CD artwork and expanded tracklisting over the coming months starting today, with the cover of ‘A New Form of Beauty’.

    Featuring Guggi in war paint, this whacked out Hunky Dory-type headshot may well remind you of a certain Boy… It’s all in the eyes.

    The release date for the 5 CDs is set for September 27th.

    Irish Hospice Foundation Thanks Gavin Friday

    All four members of U2 attended a special dinner to honor Gavin Friday last Friday at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel. The Irish Hospice Foundation arranged the event to recognize and thank Friday, who was the driving and creative force behind the Peter and the Wolf project.

    Update 23/3: Several of the evening’s guests performed live, including Bono who sang Sinatra’s ‘You make me feel so young’ to his friend. But it was The Edge who apparently stole the show, playing wild and wondrous bass on the Virgin Prunes’ classic ‘Art Fuck’. Brother Dik assisted on guitar, while Gavin and Guggi took care of vocals.

    Out for Art

    The Edge and Bono attended the opening of artist Charlie Whisker’s exhibition at Solomon Gallery in Dublin last night. Whisker has contributed illustrations to several U2 album designs and is the artist who created the metal gates at Bono’s home. Whisker is also the man to whom Gavin Friday and Guggi turned to learn to paint when the Virgin Prunes ended. In January 1988, Whisker, Guggi, Bono and Gavin showed their work in an exhibition called ‘Four Artists, Many Wednesdays’.