#3 – If you’re paying attention, you can really get to know them. A week or so ago, I was prepping for the Oscars by reviewing some of U2′s award show appearances, and while I was watching Bono’ acceptance speech for Album of the Year at the ’88 Grammys, I was moved by some of his comments about the band’s desire to make soul music, and to reveal themselves and their feelings through their music. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week, and I came to the realization that, unlike most music acts, who are too concerned about being cool or sexy or bad-ass or whatever it is that they are trying to be, U2 have always made an attempt to be honest. Thus it is that, 20 some years into my U2 fanaticism, I feel that I actually know the band pretty well. They’re real people to me. I’m sure that there is some artifice in some of their music, and I’m even more certain that Larry would disagree with what I’m saying here, but there is a true give and take relationship that exists between U2 and their fans that I don’t see with other bands. We share with and learn from each other, and it occurred to me that “knowing” someone else, as much as it’s possible to do so, isn’t about eating a meal with them, or how many deep conversations you’ve had, it’s not about living with them, it’s about them opening themselves up and how much or little they allow others to see. Following that example in my own life, trying to be transparent and real and honest – well, it isn’t always easy. It’s made me vulnerable at times, moreso than what was probably wise. It’s probably caused me to stick my foot in my mouth a lot more than I would, and it’s definitely made me look pretty dorky at times, but it’s also made my relationships all that much more rewarding, and that’s something that my life would lack if it weren’t for U2.
Welcome to the “No U2 CD or tour in 2014″ support group. Help yourself to the 3-day old coffee and stale donuts. Why don’t we start with a quick introduction? “My name is Joe and I have a problem”. (In unison, “Welcome Joe”.) “I’ve been an addict now for 35 years.” (circled group murmurs). “I was at work the other day when I heard the news, another year without a new U2 CD or tour! I hadn’t been that upset since “Boots” was released back in 2009.
A feeling of betrayal fell over me. Not like the wet kiss Judas gave Jesus in the garden. I’m talking real betrayal, the type of betrayal where you remember where you were when you heard the horrible news. I remember where I was the day “Boots” was released. When I woke up, the trauma center nurses were so nice. They gave me a balloon and a lollipop when I left…3 days later. I miss those nicely padded walls, and the strait jacket was not as uncomfortable as one may think.
How could U2 do this to us? All my unused vacation time was going to be used to follow U2 around for 32 shows.” (In unison, “32 shows?”) “The pity written all over your faces shows that you’re disgusted with my lack of support for U2, but 32 shows is all I could afford. I already sold one of my kidneys last tour, and I supposedly need the other one. My parents were even going to rent out my room while I was living out of my knapsack for those 3 months.
I mean, I’m 47 now and I’d get my room back when I came home, but if anyone thinks of moving my Winnie the Pooh, there’s going to be heck to pay. I even put a hold on my “Shut In Weekly” magazine subscription. I have so much anger right now.” (In unison, “let it go”) “NOOOOOOOOO! Don’t ever say that phrase to me again. That song put U2 over the Edge… I mean the cliff! The CD was ready to roll, tour all planned out, and then the Oscar got stuck right up U2’s Bono! Now, we have to wait until 2015! I might be full shift manager at Dairy Queen next year – how am I supposed to get time off next year? Full shift manager at Dairy Queen has a lot of responsibility, you know? (Sobbing) Can someone else speak now? it’s too much to bear.” (Group leader) “It’s OK Joe, we’re here for you. Who’s next? How about you?” (New Speaker stands) “Hi everyone, my name is Guy Oseary…”
Billboard has a story today that implies that U2 is nowhere close to a new release and tour plans have been pushed back to 2015. According to Andrew Hampp and Shirley Halperin of Billboard U2′s upcoming release and tour “has been virtually unrivaled”. Multiple sources now say that the band has rescheduled studio time to continue work on the 13th album, which was originally rumored to be released last fall. Apparently U2 have summoned the help of Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth to help get them over the finish line.
It’s been over 5 years since the last U2 release, which is the longest time span between any U2 release. When news hit twitter fans where understandable upset, bewildered. Here are some of the tweets posted earlier today:
— Stacey Jaros (@srj68) March 7, 2014
— Jon! (@lilikoililikoi) March 7, 2014
— Tim Neufeld (@timneufeld) March 7, 2014
— bethandbono (@bethandbono) March 7, 2014
— U2 Three Chords (@U2ThreeChords) March 7, 2014
Woke up from a cough syrup-induced nap (featuring Dee Snider WTF?) hoping the U2 album delay was only a dream. Nope. It’s real life
— sandra d (@skid63) March 7, 2014
@u2 Ground Control to Major Tom! Ahhhhhh no album in 2014!!!!
— Mrs. Perks (@MizShelly) March 7, 2014
U2 has postponed their next tour until 2015, speculating that travel expenses will be cheaper once all members have their AARP cards.
— Myke Herlihy (@MykeHerlihy) March 7, 2014
@U2 Really disappointed about the delay of the album, it’s been five years of waiting, too long. I think they’re finished.
— Ioan Calin (@IoanCalin1969) March 7, 2014
— KC Bryce Fitzgerald (@kcbfitzgerald) March 7, 2014
— a northern soul (@the_two_seas) March 7, 2014
So where does this lead us? Who knows, U2 fans have been dealing with rumors, and small details from the band and others around the process about the upcoming album. To be fair no one in the U2 camp have specified a date, other than general “later this year” or something similar. We can just hope that the wait will be worth it.
Click the link below for the full Billboard article.
Apparently, 27 years of striped sunlight on Robben Island wasn’t enough screwing, you had to add not giving my boys U2 the Oscar for best song? Really? You think I was receiving Ordinary Love from my cell mates all those years? WRONG! The guy in U2′s The Fly got better treatment than you showed Ordinary Love… and HE’S IN HELL. When Edge heard the announcement, it made his hair stand on end and he doesn’t have any. Let me tell you that everyone up here is pretty “Mad”agascar at your choice. You know what God said when the best song was announced? “Jesus Christ!”, and he already knew the outcome. I was watching the Oscars with JFK Sunday night. He was so distraught by your choice that he told Marilyn to go spend the night at DiMaggio’s, and Joe was lying right there next to them… in the same bed. I spend my entire life fighting Apartheid, get elected as the 1st democratic president of South Africa, and you give the Oscar to a song about an imaginary Disney character? I saw Walt Disney a few days ago and he even thinks you’re nuts. I even brought the Rugby World Cup to South Africa – do you know how much a** I had to kiss to pull that one off? Is that it? There wasn’t enough a** kissing? That couldn’t be it, Bono was involved, and he’s the best a** kisser in the game. You know I am not a violent person, but the other day my guardian angel thought he was cute and told me to, “let it go.” I went “Angel too tied to the ground” on his flying a** and now he looks like Selena Gomez’s career; a disgrace and in shambles. The only positive from the night was that U2 didn’t lose to that Canadian Mountie-hat wearer, Pharrell Williams. That made me “Happy!” Step it up selection committee!