AP : You, Too, Might Like ’U2’ - U2 France

AP : You, Too, Might Like ’U2’

vendredi 21 juillet 1995

Source : AP

From The Associated Press :

You, Too, Might Like ’U2’By KATHLEEN SAMPEY, Associated Press Writer

Bill Flanagan has known U2 since 1980, when the Irish rock group had its first hit, "I Will Follow."

And while he admits to being unimpressed by their debut, he unabashedly weaves his current admiration and appreciation for the group into the narrative of "U2 : At the End of the World" (Delacorte, $ 22.95).

This book is an account of the 1990-91 Berlin recording sessions of "Achtung Baby," the band’s seventhstudio album, and the ensuing "Zoo TV" tour, which ran from 1992 to 1994. All told, Flanagan spent about four years with U2 and their extended recording and touring family, so the book’s complimentary tone is by no means a weakness.

After all, what U2 fan (presumably the target audience for this book) would want to read 525 pages by anauthor hostile to his subject ?

The book isn’t sugar-coated sychophancy, either. Flanagan is first and foremost a chronicler of scenes andevents, and his unflinching eye for detail reveals perhaps more than he knows.

For example, an account of U2’s ringside presence at a Las Vegas prizefight seems curious, considering the band’s well-publicized passion for pacifism. While celebrities around them scream for more carnage,some U2 members fume at such a blatant thirst for violence, even as they themselves sit in the "red circle,"so-named because of its close proximity to the bloodletting.

Whether Flanagan intended to illustrate such an obvious contradiction (the unconverted might say,hypocrisy) is unclear and lends credence to accusations hurled at the band for years : that they are posturing, self-righteous spoilsports.

Such passages are rare. More plentiful are anecdotes highlighting why millions of people connect to themusic produced by Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.

The seeming spirituality, political idealism and uncommon honesty of U2 is conveyed most convincingly in chapters describing the European leg of the "Zoo TV" tour.

U2 beamed live satellite transmissions from embattled Sarajevo directly into the middle of their concerts,risking the affections of audiences hoping to escape the world’s ills for two hours.

"There is nothing like having genocide shoved in your face to ruin a crowd’s partying mood," Flanagan writes of the broadcasts. "(Lead singer) Bono has certainly achieved his early goal of illustrating onstage theobscenity of idly flipping from a war on CNN to rock videos on MTV."

Never fear, though. The author also offers peeks at the perks of rock stardom in the form of stretch limos,plush tour buses, customized jets, sumptuous food, beautiful women, late-night partying and exotic locales.

As its title suggests, "U2 : At the End of the World," covers a lot of ground. And though the ride is sometimesbumpy, it is seldom boring.

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