U2: The Relevancy of Relevancy

I realize this may upset a few of the hardcore fans of U2. I happen to be one of them. Bono has talked extensively on the subject of whether U2 is still relevant. Sadly, the answer appears to be a resounding ‘no’.

From the negative reception to U2’s ‘gift’ of Songs of Innocence to what basically amounts to minimal radio play of “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”, is there a way to think anything less? A brief look at YouTube statistics tells the same story. U2’s “Miracle” has under two million plays. By comparison, Foo Fighter’s recent “Something From Nothing” (a song that was not huge for them) had 5.5 million views. And as much as any band would love to have a couple of million views, where U2 is concerned, that basically qualifies as being completely ignored.

Many fans will point to the upcoming Innocence + Experience tour. If they are so irrelevant, how come they selling out dates all over the world? I can point to The Rolling Stones who tour and fill major venues as a prime example. What’s the last new Stones song you can think of that made the charts? That’s right, you can’t (they haven’t had a U.S. chart single since the remix of “Sympathy For The Devil” in 2003 and that only got as high as number 97)!

Towards the end of last year the band started playing a beautiful version of “Every Breaking Wave” on their various show appearances. It was far more powerful live than the version that was released on Songs of Innocence. This week they’ve released the song as a single with a re-recorded version that is much closer to what we saw live. Hear it here. You can tell this is a reaction to the lack of resonance the album has received to date. Will this version hit the mark? I think it’s a beautiful song. I think it will be a killer live. But even this new recording is lacking. It doesn’t have the power of the performances we’ve seen. It is controlled where the live version appears more raw. Where’s the cracking in Bono’s voice? I am not sure why they seem so afraid to release something that isn’t perfect. Perfect and clean does not equal power and connection.

I’ve seen a lot of fans screaming for them to loosen up their live performances. People want less pre-recorded and time-limited and more raw, real, less rehearsed and more open and flexible shows. It is no different for their releases. I’d rather hear Bono fall apart, lose it for a moment in a recording than be perfectly controlled. And for a band that has been so high and decided that perfection, as in 5+ years to release an album, was required, maybe they’ve missed the point. Their early albums were full of those moments where they don’t get it perfect. They cared less about the sound quality and more about the performance. As the later years transpire, it seems they’ve tried to do both. That translates to well-written, well-played and well-recorded. What I think has been missing for many years now in their records is raw emotion. And when I say that I mean that both musically and vocally. It comes out more live but their albums, while interesting, often innovative, lack the oomph.

Where’s the pain of “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”? Where’s the truth that lies within “With or Without You”? Where’s the political anger underneath “Mothers of the Disappeared”? We live in an increasingly desperate time. We see rights taken away bit by bit while the bricks of democracy get removed without anyone caring. We the growing distance between the ‘haves’ who want it all and the rest of us who haven’t made significant progress in years. We see angry young men blowing themselves up for a questionable cause. We see education being diminished at home and abroad. We see hatred and racism and sexism and genderism every day. So let me ask you this: Is the fact that the band is so very rich, so very comfortable, taken the edge off? No matter how hard they work and rework their songs, does the lack of boiling blood at the state of world take them a step back from the masses? Is corporate U2 now the enemy? For all Bono’s declarations of them still being ‘punk rock’, does anyone believe that?

Unless Songs of Experience is something of a surprise that provides both anger and raw passion, I wouldn’t expect much to change. How many times has Bono said in the last few releases how ‘angry’ Edge is and how it is coming out in his playing? I haven’t seen that, have you? I see a band in full control. I see a band that has decided for years that ‘perfect’ is their goal. And I think if you ask anyone who cares, they’d really prefer out of control…

Catch more U2 News and stories updated daily via our mobile app.

The author: Larry Lootsteen Music is life and I love to write about all things music. Independent music blogger. Writer in general. I am a big fan of alternative and indie music but there's no genre I haven't found something to life.

Feedback Kitchen with The Edge

U2 guitarist The Edge sits down with Feedback Kitchen host Mario Batali to explore creativity, creation and the similarities between food and music.  Feedback Kitchen premiered yesterday, right out of the box Chef Batali started off with The Edge. Blending music and food has always had a connection. Chef blends the two and fuses them into a meal that's outstanding to share.

The show flows as a conversational interview of friends and provides some insights to Edges thoughts on "Desire" and how the whole process comes about.  We suggest you sit down and enjoy something different.

Catch all of the most current U2 news and more on our mobile app.


U2 Connected Community

U2 fan site launched a new application over the weekend that allows U2 fans around the world to interact before, during and after the show.

The concept was created out of U2TOURFANS 360 interactive lab which was designed to create a social  community for U2 fans to engage with other U2 fans.

The site shares videos, music, photos and news from around the world that relates to U2.  The new mobile app offers a unique way to connect with other U2 fans via their device.

U2 announced their upcoming tour cities the app offers a community within the community for each city to create meet ups, ticket exchanges and just chat with other fans.   Over the next few days U2TOURFANS will show off more features of the interactive community. 

U2 annouces more dates !

Just announced  iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, a fifth show has been confirmed in Los Angeles - with dates coming soon for additional concerts in New York, Chicago, London and Barcelona.

The fifth night in Los Angeles will take place on Wednesday, June 3rd 2015 and tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, January 30th.

Watch for the followings dates to be announced later this week.  Some fan sites have had reports over night of the following dates. However only June 3rd has been confirmed.  Once we have confirmed the additional dates we will update.  You can download our app today for the most current news and the official tour calendar.

  • Los Angeles, June 3 & 4
  • Los Angeles, June 7 & 8
  • Chicago, July 2 & 3
  • New York, July 30 & 31
  • Barcelona, October 9 & 10
  • London, November 2 & 3

U2 Fan Site Launches New Apple Application

U2 fans around the world Experiencing  "The Connected Community" via  U2TOURFANS social experience Application.

U2 fans around the world are getting ready for a new U2 Tour on May 14 2015.  U2TOURFANS a social media fan based community has launched version 2.0 of their mobile application for ISO users that integrates all of the interactive properties of Twitter, Youtube, Facebook as well as some new features, “The connected community” Live concert photo and video uploads as well as U2 radio a non stop 24 hour U2 music station.

U2TOURFANS team wanted a fan based experience unlike any other fan site connecting all of the elements that make up U2 experience. By connecting social applications such as Web, Twitter, YouTube Facebook and U2 Radio fans will be able to have the complete experience.

U2 360 social experience concept as a way of connecting U2 fans from around the world and providing them a platform to share, experience, and interact. The next evolution now provides a complete mobile experience. These new features provide iPhone users with a desktop-like U2TOURFANS web application experience in terms of ease-of-use, speed, and feature richness but optimized for the iPhone.

Our goal is to support a complete U2 experience that are fulfilling the promise of the mobile web – like the iPhone – and to ultimately deliver unique and compelling mobile experiences that provides the best fan experience possible.


Whats Your Ultimate U2 List

A couple of weeks ago we published a play list of what we thought was the ultimate playlist of U2 music and  most U2 fans agreed with our list, however not everyone agreed.

The task was daunting and controversial. U2 of course is the most beloved bands in the world and of course, this playlist would spark endless conversation and debate.

However, we are always up to a challenge. We created our list of what we deemed to be the best selection of U2’s work across all of the albums.

We knew that some of the rarely heard U2 songs should be placed upon the list. We knew the challenging task would be to pick songs that evoke an emotion that would spark some creativity from the fans. 

We thought about the tempered with classic guitar riffs by The Edge.

Songs such as Desire and When Love Comes to Town with BB King as a guest are great songs yet they did not make our list.  Some songs like “One” are just misunderstood. It is not a wedding song by any means yet so many times you hear this song about breaking up at a wedding. U2 songs range from political statements to sheer unadulterated, joyful youth.

Name *

U2 knows how to bring a concert crowd through a rollercoaster of emotions and send them away with an experience of a lifetime. We thought about this and we want to hear from you.

What would your top ten U2 Songs be and why? Share your thoughts and we might pick your story and list to share with the world. 


One man come in the name of love

Today (Jan. 20), we remember the life and legacy of late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose contributions to the social and political sphere of the United States are innumerable. And over the years, the global musical sphere has become filled with songs inspired by or dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If listeners have any doubt that Martin Luther King Jr. is the subject of "Pride (In the Name of Love)," Bono's lyrics three minutes in drive the point home: "Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky/Free at last, they took your life/They could not take your pride." However, history buffs will note that the song, which was the lead single off U2's 1984 album "The Unforgettable Fire," contains a factual error -- MLK's assassination took place in the early evening, rather than the early morning. But that didn't matter to music fans -- the Edge's guitar jangle at the beginning of "Pride (In the Name of Love)" is one of the most recognizable riffs of the era.

Bono speaks about those throughout history who have died because they preached of the equality of all men and practiced nonviolence as the only way to achieve their goal of having this equality universally recognized.

“Pride (In the Name of Love)”

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love!
One man in the name of love
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

…Nobody like you
     …There’s nobody like you…


Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love…

MLK is the primary example of nonviolent resistance as the only way to bring about changes in civil rights. However, there are allusions to others; Christ for example.

The song is about singular "people" (including Christ as man) that lived their life with pride. Not in a boastful way, but with the pride a person has when their thoughts and actions are motivated by they understand and full awareness of the dignity and sanctity of ALL human life.

The song is a tribute, illustration, or reminder to us, of martyrs to this ideal. It speaks to how they lived their life with an inner Pride in all of humanity and that this Pride is really an expression of God's love for all of humanity. These people did what they did because they were trying to spread this message of God's love for all of mankind.

This began as a song about US president Ronald Reagan. Bono had lyrics written condemning Reagan for an arrogant pride that led to nuclear escalation, but it just was not working. "I remembered a wise old man who said to me, don't try and fight darkness with light, just make the light shine brighter," Bono told NME. "I was giving Reagan too much importance, then I thought Martin Luther King, there's a man. We build the positive rather than fighting with the finger."

King was killed on a Memphis motel balcony on April 4, 1968. Bono sings "early morning, April 4," but King was actually killed in the evening. Bono has acknowledged the mistake and sometimes sings it as "early evening, April 4."

Chrissie Hynde (lead singer of The Pretenders) sang backup. She was married to Jim Kerr of Simple Minds at the time and was thanked on the album as "Mrs. Christine Kerr."

Secondary Ticket Market Hurts U2 Fans

By: Ralph Garcia

It’s been a few years since U2 last hit the road, but they’ll be heading out again in 2015. The band recently announced dates for their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, which is currently only scheduled to hit nine cities across North America. While there’s not many cities being played, the band will play multiple nights in each for a current total of 30 concerts. With the tour four months away, U2 tickets on the secondary market have been in high demand since going on sale.

According to TiqIQ, the average price for U2 tickets across all 30 dates is $254.53 on the secondary market. Four of the five dates at New York City’s Madison Square Garden will be the most expensive of the tour. The July 18 show has a current average price of $513.47, 101.7% above the tour average. While that’s an exuberant price, no other show has an average price above $400. The next most expensive date has an average price of $359.57 for July 23, 30% below the show on the 17th but still 41.2% above the tour average.

The least expensive shows on the secondary market come in Toronto and Phoenix. The opening night of the tour on May 14 will be the least expensive of the tour with an average price of $173.51, 31.8% below the tour average at Toronto’s Rogers’ Centre. The next two least expensive concerts will come at US Airways Center in Phoenix with an average price of $174.64 on May 22 and $189.01 on May 23.

Only four shows have an average price below $200, with a May 19 date at SAP Center being the other. During the U2360 Tour, the band toured all over the world for two years. It’s likely more dates will eventually be added to this tour across North America.

U2 Shows Support for the Legacy of Hope Foundation

U2 Shows Support for the Legacy of Hope Foundation

Eric Gast, CEO/Executive Producer of the Legacy of Hope Foundation, stated "We are truly honored that U2 would show their support with this wonderful gesture and I'm moved that Bono, in his current state, would have the resolve to help support Mr. Mandela's dream of free and accessible healthcare for the children of Southern Africa."

Read More

The Hell Called U2 Membership

By: Thuur Hutjens

U2 is going on the road again. Having the collective hate towards the iTunes-distribution-tactics of the band's latest album still fresh in our minds, the Irish rock band is preparing for an autumn 2015 tour.

The presales of the tickets are already well under way, but as an exclusive member of U2's website, you are allowed to pre-pre-order your tickets. The cost for this membership is fifty bucks. But oh well, at least you can rest assured you'll walk away with your favorite concert tickets, right?

The veterans in rock officially announced their tour dates a day before the presales for members kicked off. This means that if you've been off the grid for one day, you'd already have missed the train at the station. Bearing time-pressure in mind, I as well was tempted to subscribe to an online membership, which sent me off to customer queue number two. I, and a legion of fans, who are as loyal as dogs and books, are now granted a unique code to gain priority access to the tickets we desire most.

In contrary to other concert tours of the Irish band, this time you are only allowed to order two tickets through the extravagantly priced membership you just paid for. On top of that: the membership is only valid for a year. So the real diehards pay fifty euros, year after year, to gain the best access to tour tickets, but without any kind of warranty... On the first day of the 'especially for U2.com-members' presale, Ticketmaster was on the fritz. The band offered its apologies towards its members of U2.com, and asked them to remain patient. But with a fifty-buck deficit on my bank account, patience was growing thin. People on online boards are also starting to complain about the way things are working out.

If you pay money, you expect service. Just like Jorstin did when he wrote on the official U2-forum: I came up against a brick wall that I don’t know can be resolved unfortunately…The show I wanted to go to and had tickets reserved more than four times on a nonfunctioning site sold out where I was shooting for after Ticketmaster screwed up my order time and time again.

On Friday morning, the second day of the presale for members, tickets to the first night in Cologne and Amsterdam were 'no longer available' for members. Are they already sold out, or is Ticketmaster having problems again? It's all quite fuzzy and vague.

Despite paying fifty euros, there seems to be no specific customer service that might help solving any specific questions or complaints. The telephone customer service, a phone number of organizer Live Nation, is overloaded, and offers only an explanation about the membership. There's no short-time reply to e-mails. Canceling the membership is not an option anymore at this time. Even the European phone number of ticket agency Eventim can no long process the amount of callers and forces them to call back another time. Responses to e-mails are overdue and contain nothing more but a template text: If your concerns are still outstanding, please reply to this e-mail letting us know your issue has not been resolved and needs further attention.

If this scant amount of consideration would be enough to solve any kind of impediments, our world problems would be past tense with a minimal amount of concern towards them. But it turns out that that's not enough. What's even worse is that the e-mail templates feign to have offered enough concern and/or a solution to any possible questions and complaints while nothing could be further from the truth. In times of huge disappointment and intense crisis, mental coach Benno van Leeuwen can answer specific questions with clear answers: "We are no longer customer friendly. Apparently it's not about well-being in general, to which a gig might contribute, but about the well-being of a few: those who want to make a buck out of everything. If that's the level the bar has been lowered to, just hit me with a few shots. Because that's how U2 fans are feeling right now: I have been shot in the back, U2?!"

"We trust to have informed you sufficiently" and "Your phone call is very important to us" have turned in to lifeless echoes. This comes with the latest trend of the customer service branch to confront customers by repeating the question, just to make sure that the question is understood correctly. This prevents miscommunication and leads to direct problem solving. As a caller, this makes me feel highly valued, but after hanging up the phone I realize that the problem is still existent. Customer service employees don't seem to be able to give answers to actual questions, even though they actually want to solve my problems. They are, just like me, with their backs against the ropes and tied up to bureaucratization and protocols. 

This is also what's going on with U2. For the presale among members there has only been made a limited number of tickets available. The number of members that subscribed to a membership has not been taken in to account. Digital communication is the only type of communication in existence. "Good stuff", you're almost starting to think, because upon calling U2 Live Nation you get referred to Ticketmaster and Eventim, while they in their turn refer to U2 Live Nation. You're being sent from pillar to post. Both the sales and the membership smack of a chic scam. On the U2 boards complaints are shown about members that re-use their personal code, against the rules, to buy more than two tickets. This leads to other members missing out on their tickets. Moderators are threatening to cancel the tickets of the fans who have made abuse of their code. It's nothing but a method for which every legal basis is currently missing, looking at the lousy technical conditions. Misusers are advised to inform the relevant organization to ensure the tickets won’t be canceled.  

After an hour of complete chaos and hard labor I finally have the ticket I wanted to have, but during payment I receive an error message. "It's best you cancel your reservation and start a new order", says a Belgian employee on the phone. I'm reluctant. The tickets I want are sold out on the day I want to go in Amsterdam, Cologne and also in Antwerp. Ridiculous, according to the Belgian operator: the tickets I want are still available in plenty. But I don't want to take the risk. There's a possibility that my code does not work, or so I read on the U2 boards. There's no other solution. I still have got six hours left to complete my payment using a link that doesn't work. It's either that, or I start all over again. After a few hours of not willing to give up on the link, I reluctantly give in and start all over again. Luckily, this time everything works out and the payment is done within mere minutes. But because of the stress of the past few hours my life has been shortened by at least a few days. That much I'm certain of.

A few days later U2 blandly announces extra concerts, including two more shows in New York, Boston, Paris and Amsterdam: If you haven't used your unique code in the earlier presales, you'll be able to use it for the extra two concerts. If you have used your code already, it won't be valid for the extra concerts.

This selling method is a logical result of the earlier chaos, but is a pain in the ass for true U2 fans. Fans were not informed properly and were forced to buy a ticket they might not want in hindsight. The cheapest tickets are sold at 65 euro. The most expensive tickets are set at 280 euros and for lots of fans was the only option in the presale of the first confirmed concerts. The flow of information and communication is fallible and vague. A German employee gave me the best answer to my questions up to date: "I can't help you", she admitted in all honesty.

U2 was already bound to receive harsh criticism from discerning music lovers that no longer sympathize with the band. The feeling towards the band nowadays is that the band is only lining their own pockets, has become too mainstream, is only thinking about signing million-dollar-deals and doesn't care about the world in their direct environment anymore. U2 earlier diverted to the Netherlands for its tax benefits and signed deals with Live Nation and iTunes for 120 and 100 million euros.

This, combined with the terrible information service towards the band's most loyal fans, raises incomprehension and disappointment among the group of music lovers you should be antagonizing least.

Note for the fans: I am no hater, listened to U2s music for years and probably will do so in the future. I even listened to them non-stop while writing this article. It’s just that the selling methods do not match with the experience we have as fans when listening to U2s music or attending their concerts.


Written by: Thuur Hutjens

Translated by: Jan Dijsselbloem


Editors Note:  Over the past few days we have been featuring some new writers for the U2TOURFANS team each writer could write their own story from their personal view, experience or thoughts. We found this story to be very interesting to share with you. However, please note that the views expressed within this story are those of Thuur Hutjen and not necessarily the views of U2TOURFANS or any member of the writing team.

Still Hadn't Found What I Was Looking For

By: Karen Pittman

It was 1980 something and I had the flu and was home from school. I remember sitting on the couch and listening to the drama unfold on daytime soap operas that my mother watched religiously back then.

But, she decided it was time to get up and begin her motherly duties of cleaning and providing food for her family. As she went to the kitchen to begin cooking the evening meal (chicken and dumplings, as requested by me since I was feeling some relief from my flu symptoms) she said that I could, "watch what I wanted on the television." So like any kid from this time, it went straight to MTV (you know, when they played music and music related television shows. No 16 and pregnant would be seen this day).

Once on the channel I was greeted with Kurt Loder doing MTV news. I dont exactly remember what was happening that day in music news, but it was just a stopping point before they got back to playing the music videos that made MTV the thing to watch back then. Once the music began you would think from this story it would have been a U2 video, but no it was Whitney Houstons video for "So Emotional." I loved Whitney back then along with Michael Jackson, New Kids on the Block (who I still love) and Journey (Steve Perry's Journey).

It wasnt until after Whitney got finished that I got my first taste of Bono and the boys, the voice and the melodic sounds of their most famous hit (in my eyes) "With ot Without You." I was blown away by the music, the look of the members and meaningful song that I was hearing. After that I had to wait (a while in most cases) in order to see or hear another song from this band.

Keep in mind back then (before the Earth's crust cooled), there was no Youtube, no iTunes and no internet to research information about the bands and music you heard. You just had television and radio and of course you could go down to the local store and buy the cassette (yep, thats right ladies and gentlemen.......cassette). Kids these days (including my 3 year old) will never know how much time was wasted by sitting and waiting in front of their radio in order to tape their favorite song on cassette. Now there is the internet and phones that give you instant access to any song, or video at anytime day or night.

Now, back to U2. What a rush I felt listening to this band I had never heard of prior to this day. I had to know more. I had to hear more. So, after begging and pleading with my mother the next time we visited the store...it happened. She bought me the Joshua Tree. Of course, I was prepared to listen to it as soon as we got back in the car, but the batteries in my walkman (yep..thats right a walkman, made by Sony) decided to die. What luck. So I had to wait until we arrived home before I got to listen to my brand new cassette. Of course, back then, my older brother and I shared an extra room in the basement where we could listen to music.
Complete with a "We Are the World" (original 1985 version, not the Haiti version) poster on the wall.

Once in my little section of the basement I switched the batteries and began the journey of The Joshua Tree and all its splender. I was mesmorized. I couldnt stop listening, and I didnt want to. From Streets, to In Gods Country I was hooked. I still had to know more so I went back time and time again to MTV to get a glimpse of them. Finally seeing the video for "Where the Streets have no Name" and "I Still havent found What I'm looking for." Then, I ended up seeing older videos like "New Years Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Thus began my mission to buy those albums on cassette as well. Since I was my moms favorite (and have remained her favorite even today) she would always buy them when she had the chance. Before I knew it, I had Boy, War, October and The Joshua Tree.

Then it was time for U2 to go away and, "Dream it all up again." After which time most of the cassette formats were switching the Cd's. Which meant I had to not only rebuy all my favorite albums on Cd, but I also had to buy a Cd player (thanks Santa ;-D).

My journey with U2 continues when Achtung Baby is released.........

U2 Every Breaking Wave Offical Video

The biggest classic-U2 ballad on Songs of Innocence. "Wave" was originally slated for Songs of Ascent (the abandoned follow-up to No Line on the Horizon); the band played a radically different, stripped-down version a few times in 2010. They've since fleshed it out dramatically, completely re-written the chorus and tinkered with some of the verses. Songs of Innocence isn't a full-on concept record about the band's youth – the lyrics to "Wave" appear to deal more adult concerns: a long-term relationship, distractions, and the struggles that come from both: "Are we ready to be swept off our feet?/And stop chasing/Every breaking wave"

Billboard ranked this song #3 on their top 50 for 2014 saying  the emotional centerpiece of Songs of Innocence is a stark, shimmering ballad that recalls "With or Without You" in its searching power. "Are we so helpless against the tide?" Bono asks, staring down time's passage. The music answers back with gently heroic uplift, giving him the salvation he seeks.

The Megalomania of Bono

The level of hate for Bono and this band is at an all-time high. What gives? For years I’ve been fraternizing with other fans on fan forums and websites and became confident that my beloved U2 was the biggest and most relevant band on the planet.

The reality is, I kept myself in the dark about "the other side". Social networking entered my life and it was a rude awakening for me in many ways. When Bono suffered injuries in a recent bike accident, I was shocked and appalled at the response from Haters wishing he wasn't MORE seriously hurt. Really, people? No wonder the world is in the state that it's in.

This triggered a mission to find out what makes Bono an "arrogant S.O.B." As to what he is often referred. Is it the sunglasses? The work he does with the ONE organization? The reports of tax evasion? The humanitarianism? The fame and fortune? I asked a few of my close friends: "Maybe it's the arrogance?" WHAAAA??? I’ve heard crazy nasty things about Mick Jagger, and he's pretty arrogant, yet I don’t see the level of hate for him or his band. Nor would I complain about receiving a free album from the Rolling Stones. IT'S FREE MUSIC, PEOPLE!!

You can say I’m a believer in synchronicity; that there are no coincidences. I believe that we are born here and we know our purpose. The problem is, many of us forget what that purpose might be. Lucky for some, they feel the fire and know very early on what path is theirs to follow. I'm getting to my point.

Many fans know the story about Bono’s mother, Iris, visiting a fortune teller early in his parents' marriage and being told that she would have two boys, one of whom would have a name beginning with “P”, who would become famous. Everyone forgot about that until years later, when the band began realizing success.  While doing this research on this bit of information, I ran across a full review of Bono’s astrological chart and since before he was born, this was a path meant for him. It's full of music, charisma, language, arts, and communication. It was his destiny. 

Who we are as individuals evolves from how we grow up. Sometimes we aren't even aware of it. Paul grew up surrounded in controversy; a Catholic father and Protestant mother. His mom would bring the boys to church on Sunday while his dad stayed behind. There was spiritual crisis and behind it all, there was tragedy. Paul lost his mother at a very early age and grew up without a mother, running the streets at an early age with little discipline. Losing your mom at an early age can have devastating effects and Paul's rogue behavior reflected that.

Back in the early days before U2 came on the scene in Ireland, people were looking for their big ticket out of Dublin, out of Ireland. U2 were no different. With that came a sense of urgency. Dreaming of a life outside Dublin, Bono was desperate to communicate with his audience and make an impact. Maeve O’Regan (a friend of the band from Mount Temple) remembers in "North Side Story: U2 in Dublin, 1978-1983" about Bono’s charisma and how Bono "was always posing for the cameras...lighting up the room when he walked into it". This is who Bono was; he found his calling.

The fact is, if you want to be the frontman in a rock band and you want to make it big, you have to have some level of esteem to do so. Bono has admitted to self-esteem issues (i.e. his height for one) which is why he's been known to wear platform shoes. Perhaps he’s overcompensated over the years, and that has turned people off, but when you’re in a band, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Self-promote? If this is megalomania, then so be it.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he mentioned that "it's a strange thing to need 20,000 people screaming your name to feel normal". To have throngs of people paying attention to you and loving you, you get to count on that. For someone with low self-esteem, it can feel pretty great!  He's often said he doesn't deserve the life he has and he is forever grateful for it. I've seen 26 shows and EVERY SINGLE TIME he's thanked the fans for giving the band a great life. Bono knows and admits his megalomania. Without it, there is no U2.

The way we are in many ways evolves from how we grow up. Some of us change it, some of us don't. Perhaps the Haters hate because of a tragic or painful past - and for that, we should have compassion.

Nikki Vee

Nikki Vee is living her dream on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Jamestown, RI. She works part time for an acupuncture practitioner and also runs her own business. She’s been a loyal U2 fan from the moment they stepped foot in the USA and sticks with them through thick and thin.