U2: Stage And Studio
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U2 Magazine - No. 2



The new single from U2 is titled 'A Celebration' and is released by Island Records at the end of February on catalogue number WIP 6770. The B-side is 'Party Girl' which is largely acoustic and features The Edge on synthesizer.

After the superb London Lyceum dates at Christmas, U2 have completed an Irish tour which covered Cork, Galway and Dublin. Due to some structural problems at the hall in Belfast U2 were unable to go ahead with their scheduled date there, but they promise to return as soon as possible.

Following their Irish tour, U2 left for another trip to the States on 8th February. The week before, New Musical Express released the results of their annual poll. U2 did extremely well, getting a placing of No.5 Best Group, and 'October' No.4 Best LP. Bono landed the position of No.6 Best Male Singer (one position higher than Bruce Springsteen!), and The Edge rated No.3 Best Guitarist. U2 also had a high placing in the Best New Act category.

When U2 return from the States they will be making plans for some summer shows, including open air events, covering Ireland, the U.K. and continental Europe.

U2's return to their home town of Dublin after a year touring and impressing the rest of the world was a tumultuous celebration.

This was the final date on the Irish tour that had also taken in Cork and Galway (the Belfast gig had unfortunately had to be postponed due to structural problems in the hall - but the show will be re-scheduled for the near future), and it was the first time that anyone had been allowed to play the RDS Main Hall as a stand up venue. The months of planning for approval paid off completely, and left no-one in any doubt that this was the finest Dublin would see this year.

The two support acts played to chants Of 'U2, U2,' through their sets, and when U2 took the stage the massive hall was transformed to the intimacy of a small club - the atmosphere was electric, with a definite special magic in the air. "Your knees go weak, your adrenalin starts to go crazy, your bones just seem to rattle and blood shoots up your veins. You think 'right, there is something about this band!', says Bono as he tries to explain the reaction.

U2 are playing at a new peak. From the opening note of 'Gloria', they gave us all the classics old and new, plus a very special surprise - 'Tomorrow' played live for the first time, complete with uillean pipes

"We put our lives on the line and just kind of went for it.... and when you see that kind of reaction you just feel ... phew! It's very hard to talk about it really." Bono continues, "It's everything that we wanted when we were a garage band. We wanted that total thing, people just up."

U2 are unique. Their determination of purpose and clear-cut ideas mean they know exactly where they're heading. Bono: "U2 is not about fashion. We don't want to be in fashion, because being in fashion is going out of fashion, you know?". "One thing I'm into is the type of people who are into us. They're prepared to give, they're a reaction-oriented audience."

Talking about some of the current trends in music, Bono continues emphatically, "If people like that sort of atmosphere in music, fine, but what I'd like to see is people burning the rulebooks ... the rulebooks that say they have like this type of music and nothing else. I think people should broaden their vision ... there's some great music happening on ethnic fronts like African music, and I'm particularly interested in traditional Irish music.

"At the same time I'm sure there are some great pop songs, but I want more out of music than just that. I want music with that X factor, music with that heart and soul.

"I don't want to sound pretentious, but to me truth is like a two-edged sword, it cuts deep. I can tell when a singer is singing what's in his heart, or if he isn't. There's a big difference, and there's a lot of glossy pop songs that can maybe make us cry, but it's a bit like watching 'Lassie' or 'The Little House on The Prairie', you know, it's not real emotion, it's a kind of thin level of emotion.

'The truth is when that singer is saying something that comes from right down within him, and it affects you right down within you... and that's when you start talking about great music, as distinct from nice music.

"Like the word 'nice' is a horrible word... music for lifts, music for supermarkets. I think that's fine if you're into shopping or going up and down, but I want more than that. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to want more out of music? I'm not suggesting U2 are Wagner; when it comes clown to it we're just four people playing music the way we see it.'

'In 'Rejoice' I said 'I can't change the world, but I can change a world in me'. Music can possibly direct you and change you as a person. I think the ultimate revolution is the one that goes on in a man. I'm not saying, 'join the revolution, be like us' ... where you go is your decision.'

"It's not a plan. We don't say let's be aggressive, let's really communicate and be passionate'. Sometimes to think about it is to destroy it. U2 is just natural, we're really just four people - within ourselves we have a very strong relationship, like a love between the band, which spreads into the crew, our sound engineer, To the management, even to the record company, and then spreads into the audience.'

"I think people understand now that I'm not religious, they understand that I'm nearly anti-religion... when I talk of religion I'm talking about the force that's cut Ireland in two. I'm not religious at all, but I do believe in God very strongly, and I don't believe that we just exploded out of thin air, I can't believe it. I think it's a spiritual strength that's essential to the band. People have got to find their own way, I'm not into standing up and saying 'Hey, you should be into God!' My own life is exhilarating through an experience I feel, and I feel there's no point in talking about something which should be there in your life anyway. You don't have to preach about it.'

"I've changed as U2 has gone through. When it started I was very drunk on being in a band, very confident, it was everything. I couldn't see the wood for the trees. You get bitter, you knock other bands ... I had a lot of hate. That's changed my life, U2 has broadened my experience and allowed me to realise that wherever you go in the world people are still flesh and blood, and if they would only realise and stop hitting each other over the head."

When manager Paul McGuinness first met U2, Adam handed him the card on the left. At tnat time Adam was handling a lot of the management duties for U2, and doing very well at finding gigs for the group!


"I'm much happier talking about 'October' now, because now it is clearer in my head. I listened to it last week for the first time in ages and I couldn't believe I was part of it. It's a huge record, I couldn't cope with it!.

"I remember the pressure it was made under, I remember writing lyrics on the microphone, and at 50 an hour that's quite a pressure. Lillywhite was pacing up and down the studio ... he coped really well. And the ironic thing about 'October' is that there's a sort of peace about the album, even though it was recorded under that pressure. A lot of people found 'October' hard to accept at first", Bono continues, "I mean, I used the word 'rejoice' precisely because I knew people have a mental block against it. It's a powerful word, it's lovely to say. It's implying more than 'get up and dance, baby'. I think 'October' goes into areas that most rock In roll bands ignore. When I listen to the album, something like 'Tomorrow', it actually moves me."


I try to sing this song
I, I try to stand up but I can't find my feet
I try, I try to speak up but only in you I am complete

In te domine
Gloria, Gloria
Oh Lord, loosen my lips

I try to sing this song
I, I try to get in but I can't find the door
The door is open, you're standing there, you let me in

In te domine
On Lord, if I had anything, anything at all
I'd give it to you
I'd give it to you
In te domine
Gloria, Gloria


Calling, calling, the sun is burning black
Calling, calling, it's beating on my back
With a fire, fire
With a fire, fire

Calling, calling, the moon is running red
Calling, calling, it's pulling me instead
With a fire, fire

But there's a fire inside when I'm falling over
There's a fire in me, when I call out
I built a fire, fire, I'm going home 

Calling, Calling, the stars are falling down
Calling, calling, they knock me to the ground
With a fire, fire

But there's a fire inside, when I'm falling over
There's a fire in me, when I call out
There's a fire inside, when I'm falling over
I built a fire, fire, I'm going home

Calling, calling, calling, calling

Copyright 1981 Blue Mountain Music Ltd
Reproduced by permission

What a Christmas present! - a brief moment to treasure forever. Bono always says that on a good night he feels very close to the audience, well I think on those two evenings U2 reached out and touched the hearts and souls of everyone present.

From the soaring opening number 'Gloria', through all the old faves, and the new as well (who needs to list them?), the four friends gave everything, and the crowd responded accordingly, celebrating together as one happy family. U2 perform with their audience, not to or at them, and Bono greeted, took bows, and danced with anyone who made their way onto the stage to join him. He has so much faith - so much love!

Forget comparisons, U2 are unique. I wish I could believe as they do, but I can still listen, and Rejoice! U2 give me hope, I'm happy with them, they make me dance - I will Follow! Thank you Larry, Adam, Edge and Bono.

'From A Londoner'

U2 played the gig of 1981 and words fail me. Everyone is hugging each other as they stumble outside and the night air is ringing with snatches of song, As the opening chords of 'Gloria' went up, arms were raised in dream-like unison, resting only when the persistent blare of the disco spelled out the end.

It's impossible to label U2, either by the period they emerged from or by their style. This places them in the enviable position of forever being able to develop without their past clawing them back. Lines from other people's songs were stolen here and there. 'Give Peace A Chance' may have seemed cheeky from anyone else, but here its sincerity couldn't be doubted. Anyone who saw their show must realise that this is to be the beginning of many peaks, for such a deserving band.

Gill Pringle, Record Mirror.

What can I say? That U2 were an experience that defies the written word? That the atmosphere was one of sheer jubilation? Or maybe just that if you missed them live, you missed one of the most joyous and inspiring events of the year.

Imagine the Lyceum transformed into a hall of celebration, where U2's followers could gather to pay tribute to the band they know should have been much, much bigger in 1981. We were overwhelmed by their music and lifted by their feeling, and the world outside seemed a million miles away as we were carried into a land of passion and beauty.

U2 are striving for, and almost reaching, perfection. The audience had expected something special and what they got was an evening to treasure, an evening of such emotion that only those with no heart or soul could have failed to be moved. It was obvious that Bono just couldn't quite believe the reaction - he looked out with awe at the seething mass of people - but he responded magnificently, rising to the occasion with the ease of one who believes implicitly in what he is doing. 'What can I say but thank you' murmured Bono, lost for words after a particularly rapturous response. I know exactly how he felt, because I felt the same way about them.

Karen Swayne, Sounds


U2 are a very hard-working band, having played some 217 shows in 11 countries in the last 12 months. They're always on the lookout for the old Vox AC30's with the original Rola G12 'Blue' loudspeakers still intact. The Edge plays a superb black Fender Strat, which, unusually these days, is complete with tremolo arm, as his main instrument, but also has a Gibson Explorer which is used on certain numbers and also serves as a spare. Both these are tuned a semitone down to E flat so as to suit the natural pitch of Bono's singing. The guitar is fed via a change-over switchbox to two Memory Man echo units, the output of each being fed into a separate Vox AC30 combo. The two echo units and the two Vox are set up to give different sounds, and by simply stamping on the switch, he can select either or both as required. The AC30's are stood down on the floor, tilted forward, and with a piece of carpet laid on the floor in front of the amps so as to minimise the throw of sound onto the stage. Each Vox is separately miked, one with a Shure SM58 the other with an AKG D1200 - the latter being due to availability rather than to any specific performance considerations.

Adam uses two Ibanez Musician basses, one with an active pre-amp built in, the other standard, although he often seems to play the standard instrument throughout. This was fed direct into an Ampeg SVT400 watt 8x10 bass stack with no effects units or other gadgetry at all. This was both DI'ed and miked using a Sennheiser MD421.

Bono also has a guitar - a black Fender Lead 2. This is fed through a Roland Bolt 60 combo miked with another Sennheiser MD421.

Larry has a somewhat unusual drum set up. Not that the kit itself was unusual, but it was arranged in an unusual manner and had several unusual extras. The basic kit is a very impressive all black Tama Fiberstar - all single headed, and including a 24" kick drum, 16" and 18" floor toms, and a selection of rather deep rack toms. The snare was a Ludwig 14"x61 " steel shell and he also has a pair of Latin Percussion Timbala. The cymbals comprised Zildjian 18" thin ride; 18" thin crash; 18" medium crash; 18" pang and 21" ride, with Paiste 14" hi-hats on a Premier Trilock pedal. The rest of the stands are Tama. The kit is miked using Sennheiser 421's for the kick and the floor toms, Snure SM57's for rack toms and snare, Electro-voice RE10 on the hi-hat and AKG D190's on the rest. No overhead mikes.

The Edge and Adam also use vocal mikes (Shure SM58's) and the Edge also uses a Yamaha CP70 electric grand piano on stage.


If you have any questions about U2 we can answer them here in this section. If you wish to write to Edge, Bono, Larry or Adam personally we can pass your letters on to them, or write direct to SISTER SISTER, 10 St Margarets Park, Malahide. Co. Dublin, Eire.

Dear Geoff,

I was fed up with the music scene until a few months ago, when I heard the single 'Fire' on the radio. I then bought the album 'Boy' and it was the greatest music I'd ever heard. Of course the next step was to buy the new album 'October', and once again it's a masterpiece. After listening to the track 'Rejoice', I could just cry with excitement. I used to think Jimi Hendrix was the guitarist, but now I'd say the Edge beats him hands down. And when Bono sings -I get shivers down my back like never before.

Nigel Brewer, Salisbury, Wilts.

Dear Geoff,

I've been following U2 now since just after the release of '11 '0 Clock Tick Tock'. In that time I've managed to catch the band live many times and also managed to meet them and have a talk to them on a couple of occasions. It was this that really cemented my relationship with the band. Previously their records always meant a lot to me and provided me with a sense of happiness, yet after seeing the band live and meeting them these feelings have been heightened - you can't help being affected by their charisma, openness and convictions.

Neil Anderton, Twickenham, Middx.

The next issue of the mag will be out in May, and amongst a lot of other things I hope to be able to include details of U2's plans for live shows through the summer. Best wishes till then,

Compiled and edited by Geoff Parkyn. Published by U2 INFO SERVICE, P.O. Box 48, London N6 5RU, England. Please remember to include return postage for personal replies to any correspondence.
Special thanks to Paul McGuinness, to Neil at Island Records, and to Pete and Sandy at Island Music.
Cover photo by Adrian Boot. (U2 in Atlanta)
Photography by Adrian Boot, Chuck Pulin, Donna Silverman.

And of course, thanks to U2 and you too!


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