Bono’s Not So “Well” Idea!

cup-of-joeOh well?   The “Build a Well Campaign” for Bono’s birthday is underway once again in Africa, and I for one dig this initiative. Although nobody can shovel it like Bono, why actor David Spade (see what I did there) hasn’t throw his name behind this worthy cause is beyond me? When people call Bono an “A-hole” I don’t think they are referring to digging “a hole” in the lost continent, looking for water. Name me a person who has tried to walk on water more than Bono. You can’t! However, Bono needs to get his head out of the mud, baby. You can’t dig a well for water when most of Africa is covered in sand.

Africa has been in a hole for centuries and needs more than a few “Well” wishes. Africa should be digging holes for drinking water, but wouldn’t the water that is discovered be better used to put out the fires that continue to burn there? The Arab Spring continues to see many fall. If you’re looking for holes in Africa, look in Central Africa, there are tons there.

The illegal mining of conflict minerals for our electronics obsession has left the middle of Africa looking like the world’s largest gopher farm. Kony & Mugabe are still two of the biggest a-holes in the world. Jihadists are still committing atrocities in the name of “Hole” y war and filling those God shaped holes with as many Mofo’s as they can. Finally, the death of Nelson Mandela has left a hole in all of our hearts. Who needs a drink of water, when a Somalian pirate has an AK47 lodged in your Djibouti looking for ransom?

The symbolism of digging a well for water has not escaped me – unlike the symbolism of most U2 songs – however when you’re 9 beers deep at a U2 concert, are you really reflecting on your life during Vertigo or are you looking to score with the hottie, with crimson nails & Jesus around her neck, standing right in front of you? Which option is more realistic? Water is vital, and Africa thirsts for more, but is it realistic? Give Haji a drink of water and he’ll drink today, but teach Haji how to add scotch to that water and you’ll have a drunk for life.

I mean, if we can’t fix Africa, at the very least shouldn’t we show them how to get bombed out of their minds so that they can forget about the fact that they live in Africa? I would opt for Sorosis of the liver & a lifetime of hangovers in blackout city over remembering that I just ate a dung beetle for dinner as I hid from some machete wielding nut every day of the week & twice on Sunday Bloody Sunday. So Africa, belly up to the bar. You bring the water, I’ll bring the scotch and we’ll toast this “Well” intentioned initiative as we hurdle the well holes & the carcass of an elephant that’s been slaughtered for its ivory tusks. I figure it’s the least we can do. ;)

 

U2 101 – Sunday Bloody Sunday

U2101“Sunday Bloody Sunday” is one of those songs that a lot of U2 fans seem to have mixed feelings about. I hear a lot of talk about how it’s one of those “warhorse” songs, like “One” or “Pride” that the band’s been playing regularly for too long, and how it’s time for the song to be dropped from the live set-lists. What I find to be most interesting about this school of thought is that there was a time, not too terribly long ago, that the band had indeed stopped playing “Sunday Bloody Sunday” live, and fans were ravenously campaigning for the song to make its triumphant return.

sing012-08“Sunday Bloody Sunday”, as you likely are already aware, is the opening track on U2′s first number one album in the UK, 1983′s War. As the story famously goes, the song was premiered in late 1982 on the mini-tour that preceded the release of the War album, at a show in Glasgow, Scotland. Seeing as how Scotland is itself no stranger to the kind of violence that the song decries, Bono made the statement that if the audience at that show objected to the song, the band would never play it again. As you can guess, the song was welcomed with open ears and hearts, and in short order became a staple of U2′s live shows.

Occasionally at these early shows, the band would be joined on stage by Steve Wickham, who would reprise the electric violin contribution that he’d made to the studio version. One of the most famous performances of Sunday Bloody Sunday – in fact, one of the band’s most famous performances of any song – occurred at the June, 1983, Red Rocks concert, the subject of the band’s first home video. MTV placed the Red Rocks performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday, with Bono’s white flag demonstration, in heavy rotation, helping grow the band’s fan base at this crucial formative stage of their career. The song continued to be performed at nearly every show for the next several years, encompassing the War, Unforgettable Fire, Conspiracy of Hope, and Joshua Tree tours. Starting on the Lovetown tour, though, the song was conspicuously absent, and went on to make only a few appearances on the paradigm shifting ZooTV tour of the early ’90s.

U2-360-tour-logoEarly indications on the Pop*Mart tour were that the song would again be absent from the majority of the tour’s shows, but, in the words of Edge, the band “rediscovered” the song in their 1997 show in Sarajevo, in a truly lovely, contemplative arrangement comprised solely Edge and his guitar. This arrangement became an audience favorite for the remainder of the 90s last tour, and was immortalized by inclusion on the Live from Mexico Pop*Mart DVD.

Starting with the Elevation tour of 2001, Sunday Bloody was back to its regular rockin’ self, and has appeared at nearly every show since. One more interesting arrangement to consider is the occasional performance from the latter portions of the 360 tour at which rapper Jay-Z would join the band on stage for the song. I will concede that the song has made a lot of appearances, with over 700 performances to date, but I have yet to attend a U2 show at which it wasn’t a powerful highlight, and I’d be surprised if the band drop the song again.

 

 

1983-08-14 (with Steve Wickham)

1997-09-23 (Edge solo)

2009-11-05 (with Jay-Z)

Why U2? – Reason #9

whyu2If I’m honest, sometimes U2 get on my nerves a little bit. When I’m feeling petulant or depressed, when I want to wallow in a bad mood, I usually want to listen to something other than my favorite band. Bono’s spoken before about how difficult it can be to capture the emotion of joy in a song. I have to imagine that because it isn’t as easy as pissed off, or lonely, or mopey, other bands just don’t even bother. Not U2, though – they never take the easy way out, and even if it aggravates me sometimes, I’m grateful for that. It’s tempting to let one unpleasant interaction or a single bit of bad news send me into a tailspin that could last for weeks, but U2 never let me do that. Eventually, when I’m having one of those types of days, I’ll start to miss my good friends Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry, and I’ll throw on “Bad”, or “Stuck in a Moment” or “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own”, one of those songs that’s got some melancholia to it. The thing is, though, even though each of those songs was written as a response to a hurtful event, U2 never wallow in it, and they don’t let me do that either. U2 isn’t music for enjoying negativity, it’s music for moving past it and getting over it, for getting on with the day, and sometimes, even when it’s not what I want, that’s exactly what I need.

U2 Gets “Into the Groove!”

cup-of-joe

Are you still convinced that the wrong “Guy” is causing a commotion?  Neatly fold up your speculation and pack up your conspiracy theories, U2 fans, because I am about to bring you to a place none of us have been, a place that has to be believed to be seen; U2s new CD track-list. While the posers are listening to U2s propaganda machine idle in neutral and playing with their stick shifts, Ive gone on a covert mission to uncover the Holy Grail of track-lists. In a move that’s more sinister than sinister itself, Guy Oseary has green-lighted a combo package that puts peanut butter & chocolate to shame. The morph master has combined old with the new by combining his two biggest clients (Madonna & U2) into one big, megalomaniac package of monster jams.  While McGuiness was playing checkers, overseeing 2nd rate CD’s like Joshua Tree & Achtung Baby, Oseary & his production team have been playing chess in a league of their own, combining the Kings of Rock with the Queen of rolling in the gutter with every Dick Tracy she could find.  Checkmated!  Bean me up, Captain & Tennille, we haven’t seen a duo like this since Sean Penn & Teller or Daryl Hall & that other guy.  Forget about seeing China right in front of you, this Shanghai Surprise will have you into the groove & hungry for more after 15 minutes of listening.  You wanted it and I delivered it, the new U2 CD track-list.  It’s like a prayer has been answered. I believe this CD was produced at Like a Virgin Island Records. 

If You Wear That Velvet Dress You U

Die Another Dirty Day

No Borderline on the Horizon

Ill Go Crazy For You, If I Dont Go Crazy Tonight

Justify My Love is Blindness

Beautiful Day Stranger

Whos That Big Girls are Best

Rescue a Day Without Me

Lucky North Star

Forbidden Love Rescue Me

Bedtime Stories for Boys

Devil Wouldn’t Recognize With or Without You

To Have and Not to Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

Trash, Trampoline and the Material Girl

Ultraviolet (Ray of light my way)

The haters will call this a delay tactic to give Bono more time to figure out which emotion he hasn’t written about yet.  I suggested apathy, but Guy stated that Bono couldn’t care less about apathy.  Your curiosity about this project would kill 10 An Cat Dubhs, I know. So stop doubting if U2 has the right “Guy” in place – he has illustrated that he has vision quest over visibility!  ;)

*If you found at least 20 Madonna references in this post, then Take a Bow.  ;)