Author Matt McGee reveals how he compiled the book in this interview and shares some of his findings from “U2 — A Diary.”
You assembled much of the material for this book through your blog, with fans helping out with research and information and photos. When you established the blog, did you envision a book would come out of it?
What were some things you learned from their input that you didn’t know about the band before beginning this project?
There are some key stories in the band’s history that you tackle in this book. Let’s take on a couple of them. What happened during Bono’s visit to Central America in 1986 that helped shape The Joshua Tree?
But, to me, what’s really interesting about it is the timing. I didn’t know that Bono and [his wife] Ali arrived in Central America immediately after spending several days in New Zealand at the funeral of Greg Carroll, Bono’s personal assistant, who had died in a motorcycle accident in Dublin. His death had devastated the whole U2 organization, but especially Bono and Ali — they were very close to Carroll. So, with that in mind, you get a better sense of the mental and emotional state they were in when they arrived in Central America and spent almost two weeks there.
What did you find was the major reason for the difficulty U2 had in recording the Pop album?
What did you find out with regard to the creation of Zoo TV?
You go all the way back to the 1950s Dublin when Bono’s parents were married. What did you find out about his home life?
As far as your research goes, when was it that U2 realized they were going to be big? What were there ambitions starting out?
How has U2 been able to stay together for so long?
Do they work in much the same way they did when they began, or has their celebrity caused changes in how they interact in the studio or on the road?
Why did you choose to use a diary format for the book?