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In 1975, four teenagers from Mount Temple School in Dublin gathered in a crowded kitchen to discuss forming a band. The drum kit just about fit into the room, the lead guitarist was playing a homemade guitar, the bassist could barely play at all and nobody wanted to sing. Over thirty years later, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr are still together, bound by intense loyalty, passionate idealism and a relentless belief in the power of rock and roll to change the world.
In a epic journey that has taken them from the clubs of Dublin to the stadiums of the world, U2 have sold over 130 million albums, been number one all over the world, revolutionized live performance, spearheaded political campaigns and made music that defines the age we live in.
From the anarchic days of their Seventies punk origins through their Eighties ascent to superstardom with the epic rock of 'The Joshua Tree', the dark post-modern ironies of 'Achtung Baby' in the Nineties and their 21st-Century resurgence as rock's biggest and boldest band, this is a tale of faith, love, drama, family, birth, death, survival, conflict, crises, creativity . . . and a lot of laughter.
Told with wit, insight and astonishing candour by the band themselves and manager Paul McGuinness, with pictures from their own archives, 'U2 by U2' allows unprecedented access into the inner life of the greatest rock band of our times.
"You Don't Become a Rock Star unless you've got something missing somewhere, that is obvious to me. If you were of sound mind or a more complete person, you could feel normal without 70,000 people a night screaming their love for you." - Bono
This book shares an insight I'd never imagined I'd be privy to, into the lives of the four men who are U2.
This book is compiled from over 150 hours of interviews, so the book is written as if they were reading it. Paragraph by paragraph is one member telling a tale, almost as if they are in the room interjecting their comments, as the book is being written.
This reveals the band as they are, it explains how their personal lives affected their music, the stories, and in some cases, desperation, behind some of their best songs.
If you've ever wondered anything about this history forging band, this is how you will find out.
This is where you find out about those little things that made differences in the band, like Bono's first appearances in Sunglasses, or when Paul McGuinness (the Band's manager) knew they had made it big when he received a phone call at 3am, saying that the three planes they had to carry the set weren't big enough, and "is it OK to hire a 747 as well?"
This is a legendary book, and a must have for any U2 fan.
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"A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)