Column: off the record…, vol. 11-482

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off the record, from @U2

If we were being smart, @U2 would probably just skip this whole October album anniversary and spend our time focusing on next month's Achtung Baby anniversary, instead. After all, that's the album that's being re-released in a few weeks ... and the album that's the subject of a new documentary ... and the album that sold about a zillion more copies than October.

But you know what? If we don't celebrate the 30th anniversary of October, who will? Outside of the fans that are posting in our forum's October appreciation thread, maybe no one. :-) (And, by the way, that thread is pretty epic. You should check it out.)

So, we'll celebrate October all throughout this month and then switch gears to focus on Achtung Baby in November. We have a lot of things planned that I think you'll enjoy.

Somewhat ironically, it's been a lot easier to coordinate story plans for October than it has been for Achtung Baby. We're finding that some of the people who were involved with U2's second album, or just part of the U2 organization at that point, are much more accessible than some of the folks who were around and involved with Achtung Baby.

Have you seen Spider-Man yet? I was in New York City a few weeks ago and made sure I didn't miss the chance to see it. And I have to tell you ... I loved it.

I don't have the luxury of comparing it to the original Julie Taymor version, but what I saw was super fun, seemed fairly true to the Spider-Man story (I'm not an expert on Spidey lore, though), had great music and terrific performances. Reeve Carney was great. I now officially have a crush on Jennifer Damiano. And I have to agree with what Sherry Lawrence said way back when she saw the original version -- Patrick Page is a superstar as the Green Goblin. I saw it with a friend who has a little bit of theater experience, and he said the aerobatics were fantastic, and more complex than anything he's seen before in a theater. Best of all for me was that they didn't overdo the flying stuff -- people were only flying around the theater when needed to advance the storyline.

I think it helped to have already heard (and liked) the Spider-Man cast CD and, now that I've seen the show, the stories that are told in those songs make a lot more sense.

We spent a little extra to buy the top-of-the-line tickets in the first row of the Flying Circle area. They're regularly $$300, but if you look around for coupon codes, you should be able to find a nice discount. We ended up spending $$197 per ticket and loved sitting right where we did -- you can see pretty much all of the action right in front of you, no straining your neck to see above you, etc.

Anyway, it's a fun show and I highly recommend you see it if the chance presents itself. It's not "high art" in the way that I imagine other Broadway productions are; it's just fun, family entertainment.

Is it just me, or does Bono look like Michael Stipe in this photograph? It's from Bob Geldof's 60th birthday party over the weekend.

There's absolutely no U2 content in here, but if you like Brian Eno, don't miss this interesting interview published over the weekend on Salon. (And thx to the anonymous reader who emailed the link.)

Bono apparently is one of the contributors/interviewees in Tutu: The Authorised Portrait, a new biography of Archbishop Desmond Tutu that's just been released. (Tutu turns 80 this week.) You can read a little more about the book in this news article. It's also listed on, but doesn't seem widely available yet.

And finally ... it's no guarantee that the song will actually be used in the movie, but U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name" features very prominently in the first trailer for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a new movie that'll be released on Christmas Day. Pretty powerful stuff - have a look for yourself:

See ya next time!

(c) @U2, 2011.

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