Column: off the record…, vol. 11-493

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off the record, from @U2

Only a few more weeks to go until the new year arrives, the prophetic 2012. I wonder what Bono thinks will happen next year, not only with U2, but with the world in general.

Since philosophizing is one of his qualities when it comes to talking, I'm sure he would have something interesting to say. Does he believe the world will end? If so, how? Will it be the Second Coming?

And, if the world comes to an end, what does he consider to be his proudest achievement in life, with U2 or any other area? With all the charities and good causes Bono has supported and founded over the years, at least there is plenty to choose from.

Regardless of what Bono would say, perhaps it will feel like a milestone -- and who knows, even relief -- that U2 pulled off the biggest tour in history." Now that they've achieved that, perhaps they'll be more comfortable with themselves, and not have to prove to the world that they're biggest anymore.

I'd like to see what happens when they go back to just making music because that's what they love doing and what they still want to do -- not because of what they think they have to prove, or because Bono so fervently believes in the power of the charts and the radio.

Like other fans have pointed out before, it looks like we're at some sort of crossroads again when it comes to U2's music and I, like most fans, am curious to see what the band will come up with. I know Larry most likely won't agree with me, but I wouldn't mind if they lavished in some self-indulgence and just do whatever they want, without having the weight of perceived world opinion weighing on their minds.

Over the past few months I've been following the news about the euro crisis and the upheaval about the (increase in) U.S. debt. Of course it can be difficult to reach a decision supported by all parties, especially with 17 countries. However, at times it was baffling to me to see that often the crisis in the EU and in the U.S. were used in party politics. More than once, one of Bono's popular quotes came to mind: "Compromise, it's not a dirty word." A little more compromise and thinking about the greater good of the world economy, instead of using the crises for one's own party's benefit would have been a good idea. And although I'm not necessarily a euro-skeptic, I do think if worse comes to worst, Bono might just feel compelled to start a new charity -- Debt, Aid, Trade in Europe.

On Saturday morning I tried my luck at getting tickets for Pearl Jam in the online sale. It took me back to a few years ago, when I did that for the first time, for the 2009 U2 shows. Before that, I'd always (successfully) done the “lying outside the ticketing office” approach, with some help at times. But, then again, back then I usually only went to one show. When I did the online purchase for the first time, I was pretty nervous about it, because I didn't know what to expect. But I was lucky and actually got extra tickets, so I could help out other fans who weren't so lucky. In the end, the U2 experience helped -- even though it looked like it might not work, I got through. I'm looking forward to seeing Pearl Jam in June.

And finally: I wonder if Bono will be busking in Dublin again this year. Time will tell, but until that time, have a look at last year's performances. Of course, Bono is not the only person doing any busking in Dublin around Christmas. This video shows some other fun and interesting musical acts in Dublin at this time of year. Enjoy!

Happy Christmas and have a great 2012!

(c) @U2/Meijer, 2011.

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