New Album, New Management 2014 Year of U2

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U2 has a new album in the works teaming up with producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) U2 has not produced a new project since 2009; No Line On The Horizon (which debuted at No. 1 in 30 countries, including the United States).

Bono does not seem to concerned about the arrival date only saying that the new record could take 10 years, as long as the band got it right. 

As fans continue to wait with comments and postings on U2TOURFANS facebook page it seems that we fans might not have to wait that long. The boys have been recording at New York City’s Electric Lady Studios, and it’s finally near completion.

A report coming out that the band is hoping to officially announce the project via a Super Bowl commercial. Secretly shopping for a brand partner to help fund the venture; however no confirmed title for the album, of course we have heard Songs of Ascent and 10 Reasons to Exist have been rumored to be possible choices.

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Meantime back at Principle Management talks continue, as Live Nation gets closer to swallowing up the company for a cool 15 million dollars. While the deal is still in negotiation, McGuinness nonetheless released a statement to the Times which put his spin on things:

“It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock and roll code of conduct. As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark on the next cycle of their extraordinary career."

“I am delighted that Live Nation, who with Arthur Fogel have been our long term touring partners, have joined us in creating this powerful new force in artist management. I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business.”

However, for fans it is a bit strange to think that the band would be making such moves without issues a statement. The marketing machine must have been shut down for the holidays or some other event.  Fans all tend to agree that U2 would have normally issued some kind of release about their long time manager and as some would say the fifth member of the band. Stepping down after 35 years seems to warrant comment.  We also find it a bit disturbing that Bono and the boys seem to already be working with Guy Oseary as reported by Billboard. This is the sort of thing that makes you wonder how long has Guy been in the driver seat?

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As for Live Nation, what are they really getting with this purchase?  Shareholder value; they have a 12 year contract that was put in place around 2008.  Now Live Nation will keep the commissions, booking fees and get a bigger part of the touring revenue. Today’s music really starts to make sense when you look at where the dollars come from. It is all about the tour! Downloads, Record sales are just too small today for any label to make the right investments into bands. However, if a band tours and tours big like U2 has done in the past you can expect millions in profits.

As for the fans, well we will have to wait and see what is in store for us. Right now on Facebook fans seem to all think higher ticket prices are on the way in 2014.

Hewson Daughters Home For the Holidays

Bono delighted to have two girls home for Christmas

Bono  told the Irish Independent that the Hewson house is jam-packed once again thanks to the arrival of Jordan (23) and Eve (21), who have returned to Ireland for the holidays.

Eve and Jordan Hewson ( Bono Daughters)

Eve and Jordan Hewson ( Bono Daughters)

"We're very much looking forward to Christmas this year. The two girls are back, which means there won't be much room in the house for me and Ali, but we love it and all their mates, too – it's just that time of year," Bono said.

The Hewson daughters are currently living in New York.

"They've both finished college now. Eve finished early, which is amazing, as she worked through the summer. Jordan's making her mind up as well about what she wants to do now, too."

Bono expected to  have a chilled out Christmas Day at his Dalkey home. "This year my brother (Norman) and his family are coming over to our house. It's noisy, it's messy, it's fantastic – just everything we love about Christmas."

Starting their celebrations in style, U2 threw a lavish party at H-Cafe in Dublin for staff at their company, Principle Management, where the entertainment included a performance from RTE personality Katherine Lynch.



U2's "From The Ground Up" Launched

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U2360° tour considered by many as the most impressive or massive under taking to date by any group or artists; shattering records both in audience attendance and revenues.  Can you imagine the logistical nightmare of moving three identical sets around the world, which includes 150 trucks? Epic Experience that is the way most fans described the show. U2 has just launched for its fan club “From the Ground Up” as Paul described it “ This is the story of U2’s biggest tour to date and biggest tour of all time.” The inside account of 360° Tour takes fans on a journey from Bono’s kitchen table where he imagines the new stage design to that final night of the biggest tour ever. 

 

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The 260-page large format hardback photo book with test by Dylan Jones and photography by Ralph Larmann is the ultimate fan club gift. Dylan and Ralph provide fans a inside view of the 24 month tour.   You cannot buy the book on amazon or any book retailer you have to be a fan club member.  To add more motivation Edge threw in some one-off, limited edition tracks from the tour.

So, did you resign for the 2013 season? If so, you could expect to see your copy arrive some time in December.  Once we get a copy in, we will share all of the insider details with you.

Until next time. Listen, Enjoy and Share.

Frank Barsalona, Remembered

Paul said: "Trying to get U2 signed to Premier Talent was the reason for my trip when I flew to New York for the very first time in 1980. I was a baby manager but I knew that Premier were the agency that had driven the British Invasion for the Who, Zeppelin and all the great bands. U2 were recording their first album, "Boy," in Dublin, with Steve Lillywhite producing, for Island Records. When I arrived in New York, I phoned Frank Barsalona's office for an appointment. They took my number, maybe they would have called back.  The next day my father died suddenly back in Dublin. I phoned Premier to say I wouldn't be able to see Frank that week because I would be at the funeral  but I would be back soon. He had to see me when I returned, I was the guy in Ireland whose father had died ...

"When I met Frank a week or two later he listened to the U2 tape, looked at a video clip I had made,  and (with some encouragement from Chris Blackwell, who had once bailed out his agency) agreed to represent the band. It was the most important alliance we had made up to then.

"Through the 1980s in North America, Barbara Skydel and Frank guided U2 to becoming one the great live act they are now. Over many late nights sitting in his office as he told me his stories, after everyone had gone home, he gave me my education in the business. Sometimes we went to watch a Yankees game, but mostly we sat and he talked, often till midnight.

"He taught U2 and myself something that has stood us in good stead ever since -- that an artist has two parallel careers: one on record and one live. The fact that record success came later for U2 was compensated for by their much quicker rise to fame as one of the great live attractions.

"He and his network of regional promoters gave us so much of their skill and wisdom. In 1991/1992 we did the ambitious, expensive, and deservedly legendary, ZooTV tour. We kept the ticket price low and only broke even.

"In 1997 when costs were even higher, we were planning the PopMart tour and we changed the business model, and decided to invite bids from interested parties who would underwrite the whole world tour, and shoulder the financial risk that the band had hitherto taken. This meant working without an agent and I had the painful task of informing Frank and Barbara that U2 were no longer Premier clients. The business was changing. I had to say the same to Ian Flooks of Wasted Talent, who had been our brilliant agent in the rest of the world.

"We then started working worldwide with Michael Cohl and Arthur Fogel, then working under the name TNA. Though Michael is no longer part of the organization, TNA became SFX, that became Clear Channel and the current Live Nation concert organization, which is in many ways the successor to Frank Barsalona's network.  We are still working with Arthur Fogel, who first played U2 in the El Mocambo in Toronto in 1980, a date booked by Premier.

"Frank was a great man and we will not see his like again. My sympathies and condolences go to his wife June and daughter Nicole."

Read more at http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/touring/frank-barsalona-remembered-by-u2-manager-1008028402.story#LJz8tfyBlgc1mkCv.99


Paul McGuinness lashes out at Google

Paul Paul slammed Google calling them a “monopoly” and is speaking out against the way it displays illegal download sites in search results.

Why has Paul been so vocal? Google may have poked a nerve with its campaign against proposed legislation aimed to stop this type of online piracy.

Paul said: “Never underestimate the ability of a monopoly to defend itself.” While speaking at MIDEM, in Cannes.

“It amazes me that Google has not done the right thing.

The experience of people when they go on Google and look for U2 music, or PJ Harvey music, is a shopping list of illegal opportunities to get their music. They have done nothing meaningful to discourage it,” said Paul.

What he wants is easy to do. Block all Internet sites that offer illegal downloads of anything that has a copyright. Music, Books and Films should all be considered protected.

He said that companies such as Google were “incredibly clever people with enormous resources”.

“Why are they not trying to solve the future in a more generous way? Ultimately it is in their interest that the flow of content will continue, and that won’t happen unless it’s paid for.”

SpotifyThe U2 manager said he would be more likely to give previews of U2’s next album to traditional radio than an online service like Spotify.

“At the moment I’m inclined to treat it (Spotify) as a promotional medium. If we have to choose where to put records on their debut we’re unlikely to give it to Spotify.

“We have arrangements like that around the world with people we’ve worked with over the years.

Spotify has yet to become popular with artists because artists don’t see the financial benefit of working with Spotify.”

Anaheim Take me Higher

Memphis Mullen: The U2 360 show in Anaheim had the best energy so far of the five shows I’ve seen in the US on this leg. The audience was really into it. It was the same set list as the previous US shows this leg.

I spent the day in my hotel room conserving my energy for tonight’s show. I left for Angels Stadium at 2pm. I got a little lost walking to the stadium - I went the wrong way twice. I got to the stadium shortly after 2:30, even though the stadium is just a few blocks from my hotel. I was tired and sweaty, as June Gloom brought the humidity today. I think I got a little overheated and dehydrated because I had a terrible migraine the rest of the day and throughout the show.

Arriving at the stadium, I noticed 2 GA lines on opposite sides of the stadium. I walked around to where I thought the band would drive in and found most of my friends already there waiting. Of course we were all in the wrong place, so we moved around to the right place about a half hour later. U2 arrived around 4pm, not in their usual black towncars, but all in one white van. No one stopped, but Larry did smile as he drove by - I like to think it was because he saw my Larry Mullen Band shirt. This was the first time Bono has not stopped in the US this leg.

We got in the GA line and listened to the soundcheck, which included both The Fly and Ultra Violet but neither were played in tonight’s show. We entered the stadium just after 5pm, got our stamps to re-enter the inner circle and then went up to the stands to sit and relax in the shade. Anaheim Stadium is a beautiful baseball park. Lenny Kravitz and his band arrived to the stage in golf carts. They played from 7:30 to about 8:15 and the same set list as the previous four shows I’ve seen.

After Lenny’s performance, I went back to wait for U2 to walk in. The venue security tried to get us to leave, but Rocco told them we were allowed to stay there to wait for the band. U2 walked to the stage just after 9pm and Larry once again smiled and waved at me as he entered.

The inner circle was very crowded, probably because of all the VIPs. I stayed behind the stage for the entire show, which is fine because that’s the best view of Larry anyway. Bono’s band introductions were great. He thanked Larry for everything that U2 was, saying they would be nothing without him. Bono also brought Paul McGuinness on stage for the first time ever. Yesterday was Paul’s birthday, so we sang Happy Birthday to him.

During With or Without You, I went back to wait for U2 to leave. I stood in the same place I did in Seattle, hoping that Larry would once again grace me with a handshake. He didn’t, but he did smile and wave at me. So a smile and wave from Larry on the way into the show and on the way out of the show isn’t too shabby.

Tomorrow there is another U2 360 show at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. This is the only time in the US that U2 are playing two back to back shows in the same city, so hopefully they will change up the set list a bit. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to blog about it tomorrow night or post videos or pics. I have to get right to sleep in preparation for my 3000 mile cross country drive to make it to the Baltimore U2 360 show on Wednesday. Please send good thoughts my way :)
 

U2 Random Tuesday

Alan Cumming has left the production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a Broadway musica with a score co-written by U2’s the Edge and Bono. Cumming, who was set to play Spider-Man’s nemesis, the Green Goblin, has dropped out of the play due to scheduling conflicts.

Cumming claims that with the production delays on the musical, his CBS show The Good Wife will conflict with his role in Spider-Man.

The Scottish actor said in a statement, “Obviously, having waited over a year for Spider-Manto be greenlit, I am very disappointed that I will not have the chance to collaborate with Bono and the Edge, and to work with [director] Julie Taymor on the stage.”

The Spider-Man project has been beset with problems from the beginning. Production delays, cast turnovers (Evan Rachel Wood, who was set to play Mary Jane, left the production last month), and money problems have plagued the production.

U2 welcomes Drew along

WHEN rock band U2 embarks on its five-month world tour in June, Bono and the gang will be accompanied by Melbourne security company boss Andrew Wolveridge. A regular and trusty face guarding red carpets across town, Wolveridge worked with U2 during the Australian leg of its 2006 Vertigo tour and was approached by the group’s head of security to co-ordinate the 2010 shows. Wolveridge will oversee logistics at stadiums in the US, Helsinki, Moscow, Istanbul, Paris, Rome and many more stops in between. What to pack for the northern hemisphere summer? Definitely Bono-style sunnies.
 

BBC Tops U2 on Money List

U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness top the Irish Sunday Times Music Millionaires Rich List.

Their combined wealth is estimated at £429m, a rise of 1% on 2009. In second place is Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley, with his total wealth calculated at £241m. The paper said his fortunes have dipped by 2% in the past year because of a fall in the value of the Lord of the Dance brand. Dublin-based singer Enya is third in the list, with a fortune believed to be £85m. All three retain the same top three positions from the 2009 list. Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison is fourth with his wealth listed at £50m.

 

U2 Tour Should Gross $750 Million

Bono / Paul The U2 tour will probably gross $750 million by the time it finishes in 2010, according to band manager Paul McGuinness.

He told the Financial Times that the 44 sold-out dates since June, which saw the band play in front of 3.2 million people, grossed about $320 million.

With a similar number of dates planned for 2010, he calculates the full tour should gross about $750 million including merchandise sales, dwarfing the $389 million the act grossed on the Vertigo tour in 2005 and 2006.

He says using the 360º stage has enabled each venue to increase capacity by one-fifth. Partly because of the custom-built, claw-shaped set, the tour costs are about $750,000 a day, “whether we play or not.”

He says the tour should still be “highly profitable” but very often that gross figure is carelessly written about as having gone “straight into Bono’s pocket.”

McGuinness also told the FT about the importance of attention to detail when auditing the band’s payments from record companies and publishers.

“On not one of those occasions did we fail to uncover an underpayment,” he said.

 

Salome: The [Axtung Beibi] Outtakes

In the winter of 1990, U2 were hard at work in Hansa Ton recording studios in Berlin, Germany. The ultimate result of this effort would be the November 1991 release of their next album, Achtung Baby. However, in December 1990 that album was a great ways off, because U2 (unlike most other bands) entered the studio with very few lyric or song ideas.

Instead, U2 came into the studio to create as well as record. Here they sought inspirations for songs from playing together. They would etch out ideas while improvising around some basic idea, or riff. Since all this jamming was taking place in a recording studio, even the simplest of ideas was captured on tape. The highlights of these tapes were then edited down and compiled into “working tapes” recorded onto DAT (Digital Audio Tape) cassettes. Tapes of this nature were used to hold possible song ideas, as well as a means for Brian Eno (and others) to hear the band’s progress and make suggestions about the music.

In April of 1991, it was announced that the tapes had found their way into the hand’s of bootleggers. Since then, the U2 working tapes have been pressed in a variety of forms:

May 1991: The New U2: Rehearsals and Full Versions
The debut pressing of the sessions. Available on vinyl only, as two separate double album packages. The covers were identical except for the colors of the lettering. One cover featured silver lettering, while the other had gold. In this pressing both LP’s of the silver lettered album proved to be identical. This resulted in four LP’s being released, but with only three LP’s worth of material.

June 1991: The New U2: Rehearsals and Full Versions
It was widely rumored that the set had been pressed again, but this time without any duplication between the LP’s. If true, this meant that there were now four LP’s worth of material available.
 

November 1991: The New U2: Rehearsals and Full Versions. This time the pressings were released as a boxed set of 5 LP’s. Surprisingly, there was no duplication within the set. All of these LP’s were pressed on translucent vinyl, in either blue or green (pink pressings have also been rumored).

February 1992: Salome: The [Axtung Beibi] Outtakes This was the release that had been deemed “too hot” to ever be pressed. The complete three and half hours worth of material were now available as a triple compact disc set. Since these CD’s were mastered from the original DAT recordings, there’s no quality loss between the original working tapes and these CD’s. Thus the sound quality is far superior to the LP’s. The title (Salome) is believed to have been a working title used during the Achtung Baby sessions, but it’s not clear which song it was refering to. With these releases U2 found themselves in the dubious position of being:

“the first major band to have studio sessions released before the finished product was either released, abandoned or the group broke up”.

U2’s manager Paul McGuiness reacted to the bootlegs by releasing a press statement accusing the bootleggers of cheating the fans by passing off inferior material. He also stated that the finished product had evolved by leaps and bounds from what was being illegally circulated.

Regardless of the superior polish of the finished material released as Achtung Baby, the material found on the bootlegs is fascinating in and of itself. The most compelling aspect of the bootleged material is that, rather than offering slightly alternative versions of tracks found on the finished record, they instead reveal the songwriting process itself. Familiar solos, bass lines, bridges and riffs abound, and there is also a host of interesting songs that didn’t find their way onto Achtung Baby.

 

 

U2
S A L O M E
The [Aktung Beibi] Outtakes
1991/1993

CD 1

01 - Salome #1
02 - Where Did It All Go Wrong #1
03 - Where Did It All Go Wrong #2
04 - Heaven And Hell
05 - Doctor Doctor
06 - Jitterbug Baby
07 - Got To Get Together
08 - Salome #2
09 - Here Comes The Sunset
10 - Chances Away
11 - Chances Away (Short)
12 - I Feel Free #1


CD 2

01 - I Feel Free #2
02 - Sweet Baby Jane
03 - Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses #1
04 - Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses #2
05 - Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses #3
06 - Take Today (Instrumental)
07 - Even Better Than The Real Thing
08 - Blow Your House Down #1
09 - Blow Your House Down #2
10 - Laughing In The Face Of Love
11 - Wake Up Dead Man
12 - Take Today (Vocal)


CD 3

01 - Calling Out To Someone
02 - Laughing In The Face Of Love #2
03 - Acrobat
04 - Salome #3
05 - Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses #4
06 - Wake Up Dead Man (Mix)
07 - [Unnamed] (Instrumental)
08 - Salome #4
09 - Salome #5
10 - Salome #6
11 - Salome #7
12 - Salome #8

 

There were now 5 LP’s worth of material available, which came to a staggering total of 3 hours, 27 minutes, and 28 seconds.

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