U2: Stage And Studio
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U2 Magazine - No. 4

Issue 4 cover


U2 have been spending most of the summer playing an assortment of open-air shows all over Europe, in between writing material for a new album and trying out various different producers. Just some of the highlights were the Torhout Festival, the Hot Press 5th Birthday Party, and Gateshead Stadium with The Police. At Gateshead, 'U2 took advantage of the day's upswing to reinforce the numerous claims made on their behalf to be 'the next big thing'. Currently cooped up in the country getting their third album together, they exploded with a barrage of pent-up energy that no amount of pastoral activity can fulfil.

Bono demonstrated his sudden sense of release quite literally by scaling the PA stack beside the stage and crowning it with a white flag that he'd plucked from the audience, singing 'Electric Col all the while. "There's only one flag and that's a white flag", he announced with a defiantly peaceful fervour for these aggressive times. There were no real surprises from the band but the final couple of numbers - 'I Will Follow' and 'Out Of Control' - plus the 'Celebration' encore had an irresistable force born of a group chemistry that's bubbled into the most precious of rock and roll commodities - charisma. (Hugh Fielder, Sounds)
A well supported U2 were welcomed, with energetic bouncing breaking out across the audience. They produced a set of excellent rock, characterised by The Edge's distinctive guitar and Bono's soaring vocals. (Record Mirror)

by Louise Adams, 10 Gig Mill Way, Norton, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 3HN.

On 2nd July 1982, two coaches left London. Destination Belgium. We travelled via Dover to Calais, through France and over the border into Belgium. After spending the night in Antwerp we travelled on to Torhout, where the rock festival was held.

The opening act were Allez Allez, who have quite a following in their native country. They were followed by The Members, who received a warm reception. When they left the stage the crowd became restless. A banner showing Bono's head in profile flapped regally in the breeze. Final tests on equipment having been made, the road crew left the stage to make way for Bono, Larry, The Edge and Adam. U2 began with the classic 'Gloria' and were on stage for about an hour. The singing sounded slightly strained and Bono announced that "the singer is losing his voice". Who cared? As he said, "who needs a voice when it comes straight from the heart".

During one song, much to the delight of the crowd, Bono climbed up the scaffolding on the side of the stage and sang from a great height. The following song was 'I Fall Down', luckily he didn't. "It's for you" announced Mr Hewson, and I believe it was. Encore over with, U2 left the stage. They made a great impression on the devoted, and they also gained some new fans. For me the rest of the show was an anti-climax, although the Talking Heads were good.

Whilst leaving the concert ground we saw a red car. I heard a tap on the window and saw Bono waving at us. We were all wearing U2 t-shirts which had caught his eye. For me this was the final personal touch I admire so much in U2.

A group of weary travellers arrived in Dover eight o'clock Sunday morning, bleary-eyed and clad in U2 t-shirts, now rather crumpled. As the coach pulled out of Dover, those who weren't asleep sang along to a U2 tape. We had listened to U2 in France, Belgium and Britain almost non-stop since the trip began, I didn't get tired of listening to them, and I don't think I ever will.

I would like to say hallo to the people from Dorset, Manchester, Falkirk and Leicester and everyone else on coaches one and two. I hope those who exchanged addresses will write and hopefully become friends. If anyone has any good photos I would like to hear from them and obtain some copies.

U2 in Chicago (Photo: Adrian Boot)

One of the earlier articles on U2 in a UK paper. By Dave McCullough, Sounds 15.9.79.

The dichotomy that exists between Northern and Southern Ireland is a strange and jarring one. Travelling south from Belfast you can't but help noticing the hazy, subtle change of most aspects physical and spiritual which reveals itself in the transition from a louder, snarling land into an altogether more tranquil, withdrawn countryside. The landscape changes into a sprawling, glorious affair, the pubs (ah, the pubs!) are dimmer and follow their own sets of rules. the people look different and are less given to thinking out loud, the bulk and body of Ireland resting on its limbs like some proud and majestic creature, motionlessly purring across its space of time and violence.

On the shiny wings of an Aer Lingus 737 tin-can, I was last week reminded of the culture shock, floating with photographer Paul Slattery over the outskirts of Dublin town. Heathrow had taken its customary toll on us: loose-tongued security men had interrogated us, degraded us with a series of mindgames designed more to re-assure the rest of the plane's passengers that they were conventional and safe compared to their hippy/punk/long-haired/shorthaired victims than to check that the aircraft was indeed secure. The launching pad of English flights was indeed all noise and frenzy compared to the blank solemnity of Dublin airport, and the gulf of lifestyle and atmosphere was once again brought to mind. We were in another country, another rock and roll space altogether...

The Austin A40 that pulled out of Dublin airport some minutes later confirmed the notion. The car was a miracle of mechanical endurance, a sort of pathetic progression from pony and trap, Ireland's bid to keep up with the modern world, and more to the point, as we later discovered, a bid to make big-city top-cats McCullough and Slattery feel uncomfortable

"We wanted to see how you'd react," the vehicle's co-pilot Bono told me much later the following day. We've had people from record companies who've come over from England and they've taken one look at this car and go 'Whaaat?' Don't worry though, you both passed the test."

Bono is the lead singer of U2, the most important band to emerge from Ireland since Boomtown Rats, and the main objective of trip to Dublin in the summer of 179. U2 a very special band and part of a romance flourished long-distance between Dublin and myself ever since their first demo tape was brought to my attention earlier this year.

The tape, recorded in March, was a dazzling account of a band with amazing potential. Demos have an annoying habit of falling into narrow, obvious categories these days; for the most part they're fad conscious or just plain incompetent.

The U2 tape, however, was different. Here was a band that defied trends, blends, or bombast, a band that revealed direction, and downright arrogance, letting you know from the Mickey Mouse confines of a C60 cassette that had something vital to contribute to the rock and roll of '79.

The sound was roomy and sharp, the songs, like the opening 'Another Time Another Place' reaching vast, breathtaking climaxes, the music dipping and soaring, taking its roots from everywhere you could imagine but defying direct bonds with the past, present or, in the grand Bowiean sense, The Future. The Only Ones, Penetration, Banshsees, Fall, all were there in the music somewhere but the essence was clearly a new (and when was the last time you heard a genuinely new band?), significant name for the 'now space' as it were, of rock and roll present tense.

In the ensuing spring months and into early summer, U2 retained a low profile, leading me to re-establish my ideas of that dichotomy between the British Northern Irish and Southern Irish music scenes wherein Dublin and Southern Ireland remained quietly uninvolved, content only to throw forth the odd Rats, Horslips, Planxty freak.

Then word arrived from U2 to the effect that action was taking place between themselves and assorted mainland record companies, including CBS, and that other bands were now reaching stages of fruition (hard evidence including a remarkable tape from the Virgin Prunes) and could well require my attention. In the midst of all this Paul McGuinness, manager of U2, had made a pointed remark over the phone; "All that's missing over here, really, is somebody with the entrepreneur skills of a Good Vibes to set things going. There's certainly enough talent about."

As the A40 chugged its way into Dublin and U2 men Bono and Adam enthused over their own music and other bands from the city ("You should see The Atrix while you're over, now they're incredible) what was happening clear. In rock and roll terms, Dublin was a city that was growing up, like the U2 lyrics say, 'from a boy to a man'...

Later that night we arrived and I finally had the pleasure of catching the fabled U2 live. The venue was the Baggott Inn which lives up to its sleazy name with a vengeance. "Tonight is something of a test night." Bono explained. "This is the first New Wave type gig this place has put on and if it's a success then bands might be able to use it regularly." Gigs are a scarce commodity in Dublin. Bands, therefore, are hungry and they must search for gigs, as U2 have done. Their labour is not in vain, either, as the gig this night proves. The band give evidence to their burgeoning popularity in the city by cramming as many bodies into a scantily publicised Hope And Anchor-type gig as is physically (as opposed to legally) possible.

Their set is quite brilliant. It's an often disarming experience travelling out of London and seeing relatively unknown bands taking on the prima donnas of the Hammersmith Odeon, Marquee and Nashville and wiping the proverbial floor with them (re: Tours and Undertones in the past) and this was yet another such occasion. U2 are total, solid music, naturally intended for the head and for the feet, inculcating meaning and innovation, expressing enough power in communication to knock the unsuspecting listener on his back.

Guitarist David Edge is the most flamboyant player I've seen since Stuart Adamson of the Skids (a major influence, as they say) creating a sizeable, unique niche sound that spreads across U2's music with scintillating effect, joining together with Adam Clayton's bass and Larry Mullin's drums to form what the band constantly seek, namely a wide sound and a big impression.

Front man Bono is a new r'n'r performer. He takes the genre's tricks of the trade and tries them out on his audience, shifting their opinions and attitudes. In this sense U2 are unashamedly didactic; they attack their audience and hope maybe to leave them at the end of the night feeling shifted or moved in their attitudes. Bono, like the rest of U2 and The Virgin Prunes, study mime in order "to use up every little ounce of space on stage". The effect is totally absorbing. You follow Bono with your eyes as he counts on his fingers or runs across-stage or spontaneously mimes something that is impenetrable but apposite to the moody, fat rolling sound. At the Baggot the mike broke in front of him. Instead of panicking he used the fluke, calling a kid from the audience down front, thrusting the mike into his upheld hand and using his right arm, as it were, as a mike stand throughout the song.

And the songs are splendid, inspired impressions of that big sound the band seek, from the Skidsian raunch of 'Out of Control', the analytical power of 'Twilight' and 'Stories For Boys' or the speedy pop of 'Boy Girl' revealing an already established, remarkable songwriting force. Like The Fall or the Zoo bands or Swell Maps, U2 have thrown the New Wave over their collective shoulders and are now stepping out in the direction of more vital and contemporary expression while instinctively still retaining the clipped muscularity of the '76 revolution. In this small space I can but present you with a whisper of the U2 vibe. Suffice to say that a single should be available soon in Ireland on CBS with an album to follow (tentative title 'Boy') and all hell will break loose over the coming months about this marvellous, mystical band. It's just a thought, but somebody suggested that if the Boomtown Rats were the John the Baptists of Irish r'n'r, then U2 must be...


Won't you come back tomorrow,
Won't you be back tomorrow,
can I sleep tonight?

Outside, somebody's outside.
somebody's knocking at the door.
there's a black car parked at
the side of the road,
don't go to the door, don't go to the door.
I'm going out. I'm going outside
mother I'm going out there.

Won't you come back tomorrow,
Won't you come back tomorrow,
can I sleep tonight?

Who broke the window, who broke
down the door?
Who tore the curtain, and who was
it for?
Who heals the wounds, who heals the
Open the door, open the door.

Won't you be back tomorrow,
Won't you be back tomorrow,
can I sleep tonight?

Cause I want you, I want you,
I want you to be back tomorrow,
Won't you be back tomorrow,
Open up, open up to the Lamb of God,
to the love of He who made the blind
to see. He's coming back, He's coming
back. Believe HIM. Jesus coming.

Reproduced by permission
Copyright Blue Mountain Music Ltd


It's falling it's falling, and outside a building comes tumbling down.
And inside a child on the ground says he'll do it again.

And what am I to do,
And what in the world am I to say.
There's nothing else to do, He says he'll change the world some day.
I rejoice.

This morning I fell out of bed when I woke up to what he had said.
Everything's crazy but I'm too lazy to lie,

And what am I to do,
Just tell me what am I supposed to say,
I can't change the world,
But I can change the world in me.

Reproduced by permission
Copyright Blue Mountain Music Ltd


October, and the trees are stripped bare
of all they wear, what do I care.
October and kingdoms rise, and kingdom fall,
but you go on. And on.

Reproduced by permission
Copyright Blue Mountain Music Ltd


It's cold outside
It gets so hot in here
The boys and girls go out
There's music in my ears

I hear the children crying
And I know it's time to go
I hear the children crying
Take me home

A painted face
And I know we were alone
We thought that we had the answers
It was the questions we had wrong

I hear the children crying
And I know it's time to go
I hear the children crying
Take me home

Say so, say so
Say so, say so

Say so, say so
Say so, say so

Reproduced by permission
Copyright Blue Mountain Music Ltd


Apart from the fact that Edge's older brother Dik plays guitar in The Virgin Prunes, there are links between the two bands that go back to their childhoods, and recently Gavin Friday of the V.P.'s shed some light on their names: "The U2 connections were very strong at an early stage because I grew up with Bono, he lived a few doors down from me".

The friends duly formed into two bands, sharing early gigs such as the Prunes' 1980 UK debut at the Acklam Hall. Together, they invented a private universe for themselves, called Lypton Village, all initiates speaking "a second language"

"As kids, we used to be bored, we usen't to go out much. Bono went out and formed U2, and what they were expressing was totally different to what we were expressing, so when The Virgin Prunes formed, although there was this closeness, it was in friendship rather than attitudes and ideas... Like the names: Bono's name, Guggi gave him that name, and my name, and Davey's, they're all names from Lypton Village, and The Edge. It goes back ten years. But as the two bands developed we came to our own identities.

"People have always brought comparisons between the bands, musically. But we've never really gone together on musical terms. If I see Bono, I wouldn't really talk to him about music really. I'd talk about other things. We hate it when people bring it up, cos they say, Hey, you're in The Virgin Prunes. Well tell us all about U2. We get that a lot, so we hate U2 connections! It just gets a pain in the arse in this country.

"But there is a wierd understanding between us. When we were younger one of our biggest pastimes was, Guggi and Bono were very quick with words, and they used to play a game. All these names, they were just because of the personality. Before the band was even formed I was called Gavin Friday. Most of us reject our names when we first get given them, like when Guggi got his name off Bono he didn't like it at all. But we have a feeling that we have to accept our names whether we like them or not.

"And I remember once, Bono was going through some way out trip in his head, wanted to be cool, and he kept on calling himself Paul Vox, and we said, Don't be stupid, Bono's a really good name - Bono Vox. And eventually what's natural you just have to accept".


As a result of a number of requests, here is a special section through which you can contact other friends and fans of U2. If you would like to have details of U2 items you're offering for swop, these can also be included but please keep the listing fairly brief; I can't really print wants lists at the moment as this would take up too much space. Here are the names and addresses of those who want to start this off. If you would like to be included in the next issue please send in your name and address.

Jeremy Boote, The Homestead, Congleton Road, Mow Cop, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 3PL.
Phillipa Carroll, Lady Mountford House, Carnatic Road, Liverpool L18 8DP.
Miss Louise Adams, 10 Gig Mill Way, Norton, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 3HN.
Patrick Lannan, 87-64 97th Street, Woodhaven, New York 11421, United States.
(Note to R. Nixon. Nantwich: Patrick has offered to help you get a copy of the U.S. single of 'I Will Follow' with the live 'Out Of Control' on the B-side, if you care to get in touch ).


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

Dear Geoff,
San Antonio (Texas) is not known for its taste in music but nearly 3,000 people turned out on Valentine's Day to welcome and enjoy Ireland's best band. I had never really heard U2, but I walked away from that club determined to spread the word. I, too, met the band, Bono was by far the most gregarious, but all were friendly. Pleasant, intriguing, and definitely gentlemen. Three thousand may not sound like a lot either, but the only exposure San Antonio has had to U2 is cable TV videos (of 'Gloria' and a live 'I Will Follow') and word of mouth.

In Austin the night before, a church group asked Bono, Larry and The Edge to their Sunday service, which the chaps willingly accepted. If anything the joyousness of the faith apparent in U2 might just break through to the hard-headed, foul-mouthed morons most commonly known as Texans by watchers of 'Dallas'. I haven't witnessed such exuberance in twenty years. It's not much fun for locals who have latched onto a group to have them taken away slowly by the rest of the world. It is also, on occasion, beyond those who have not travelled equal distances to understand the changes that occur in one when he or she is dragged around a massive nation like the U.S., much less an entire world. U2 hasn't forgotten Ireland; travelling has made them miss it more, but they're going to return home a bit more grown-up than they left. For those who have not taken this change, already chewed it up and are prepared to spit out the venom at anybody, I ask you to look again. U2 is the first internationally recognised art to make its way successfully from Ireland in a while; sure they're not exactly as they were, but neither is Ireland. They left more than a %mall touch of the Irish here in Mexican American territory; a month after the gig (and then some), two or three mega-concerts after theirs, and this town is still a-buzz with U2. That alone says something.

Dear Geoff,
Is it still possible to get hold of the Irish U2-3 E.P. at all?
Peter Thomas, Norwich.

Dear Peter,
It should still be available, but if you're having difficulty in getting a copy perhaps you could try the following helpful addresses:
Kick Records, 24 Upper Fitzwilliam St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Adrians Records, 36 High Street, Wickford, Essex. Send SAE's for reply
Best wishes,

Dear Geoff,
U2 completely 'bowled me over' when I saw them for the first time on 'Late Night In Concert' a couple of weeks back. I was already going to Gateshead to see the Police, so imagine my joy when I discovered U2 were playing as well. My highlight of the night was Sting and Bono singing 'Invisible Sun' together. It was lovely!
Candy Barnes. Daventry, Northants.


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