Dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as 'the band of the 80's' and the 'rock's hottest ticket' by TIME magazine, U2 entered domineeringly among the world rock stars
Their album 'Joshua Tree' topped Billboard's album chart for 11 weeks with two No.1 singles ("With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") and another Top 15 ("Where The Streets Have No Name")
As for their 18-month world Tour, U2 sold tickets faster than Springsteen did on his record-setting 'Born In The USA' tour of 1984/85.
This incredible success cannot be explained only by a reached maturity of the band and by the mythical fame of their live concerts.
In reality we can say that everything started with U2's performance at LIVE-AID in 1985. During that show, U2 showcased "Bad", a song dealing with the horrors of drug addiction. In front of millions of television viewers worldwide, Bono leapt into the huge audience, plucked two girls out of the crowd and embraced each one in a poignant symbol of affection for the crowd. It was that moment which gave rock audiences a strong impression the U2 had become a "band of the people" [Reviewed by JT Griffith, Rovi]
Rock's Hottest Ticket is considered by some die-hard U2 fans to be the band's best unofficial live recording. Until the subsequent release of official live material such as Hasta la Vista Baby, Popmart, and Zoo TV: Live From Sydney, it was also the best way to get a solid full concert. Beware, however: There are two bootleg releases called Rock's Hottest Ticket. This version was recorded in Chicago, IL, on April 29, 1987, at Rosemont Horizon. The other (inferior version) is from Croke Park on June 27, 1987, in Dublin, Ireland. That version is often labeled as "Rock's Hottest Ticket, Vol. 1" or "Rock's Hottest Ticket, Vol. 2" and only contains about half of a show. Check the liner notes for recording location to be safe.
This concert from Chicago is one of the best audience recordings out there, and this performance is one of the band's best from the early Joshua Tree tour (which would stretch for 18 months). At shows later in the tour, Bono's interaction with the crowd seemed rote, like he has only an average connection with the audience. In this show, however, the band seems very excited to have recently landed on top of the world.
The show opens like many of their concerts with "Where The Streets Have No Name" and it slides fluently and emotionality along the lines followed by "Joshua Tree" touching most of the popular tunes of their career: "I Will Follow","MLK","The Unforgettable Fire","Gloria" and their all time classic "Sunday Bloody Sunday". To be noticed is the rare execution of "Springhill Mining Disaster" by Peggy Seeger and of "Mothers Of The Disappeared" [taken from CD Linear Notes]
Interview with Bono - Rolling Stone #413 Dec, 1987
.(This interview was conducted with Bono by ROLLING STONES David Breskin at Bono's home outside of Dublin. It was first published in RS41J on December 1987. Explosive sales of U2's "Joshua Tree" LP and the ensuing 'Out of our Tree' world tour had made the band superstars. In this excerpt, Bono grapples with his new role as rock-star spokesperson)
"I'm on top of the world, it's just that something else is on top of me. I think maybe it should be said that a lot of artists never grow up," Bono says, laughing. "I think it's certainly true in rock & roll. Rock & Roll gives people a chance not to grow up — it puts them in a glass case and protects them from he real world of where they're gonna get their next meal. But n the end, I don't know if being a pop star is any less real than being a city clerk. Is suburbia the real world? Is the real world half the population of Africa that is starving? I haven't worked it out yet. I always wondered, 'What am I? Am I Protestant or Catholic? Am I working class or middle class?' I always felt like I was sitting on the fence."
You were the first funk in your class - haircut, pants, chain, etc. Did you really feel it, or was it just theatre?
.It was theatre. I had gotten interested in Patti Smith and then the Sex Pistols. And the great thing about the Ramones was you could play Ramones songs all in three chords — which was all I had then and, in fact, is about all I have now (laughs). Before that I was interested in Irish folk music. It was around my family. There was a lot of singsong. And my brother taught me those three chords. He used to play (the Kenny Rogers and the First edition classic) "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." I'm still fascinated by that song. And my old man was into opera, which as far as I was concerned, was just heavy metal. I like those bawdy opera songs; the king is unfaithful to the queen, then he gets the pox, they have a son, the sons grows up and turns into an alligator, and in the end they kill the alligator and make some shoes for the king. But because it's sung in Italian, people think it is very aloof. Not at all.
You claim you're socially inept..
I'm very awkward. I'm not a very good pop star." (At this point, room service knocks. A young attendant brings in six Heinekens, and seeing Bono, he almost drops his tray. He nervously asks for an autograph and is obliged.)
See, your regal presence totally disarmed this poor guy. You seem like a perfect pop star.
.Well, I don't feel like a pop star, and I don't think I look like one.
What's a pop star supposed to feel like?
.Well I don't know. At the moment, actually, I 'm going for bastard lessons...........
........In 1979 you said, "We're determined to achieve a position where we have artistic freedom and where we can affect people the way we want to affect them. That position derives from money and success, and we'll work very hard to get there." So you did and now you're here: pop stars.
.It's true. We did work long and hard to jet rid of the anonymity that we now need in order to live. It's an interesting irony. I can remember thinking back in '77 "Yeah, we are going to take this all the way." Do other people think those things? Was it blind faith or just stupidity? And if your dream comes true, is it dangerous to think that all your dreams will come true?
Well, two things can happen: one is not to get what you want, and the other is to get what you want.
.Yeah. But we really haven't gotten what we want. You see, we live in a culture where the biggest is often equated with the best. And now people say we're the biggest band in the world. So what?
That means nothing to me. No, it must mean something. But our want is to be worthy of the position we've been put in. To be the best to make music that hasn't been made before. And I don't know that we'll get to that point.
Can you assume it's even possible to get there, playing to crowds of 60,000 people? Aren't there limitations imposed on communicating to that many people contrary to the notion of experimentation? In this context you become a "product" no matter what your intentions.
.Well, live is not the place to experiment. U2 has always been a very different act live than in the studio. Part of rock & roll is about raw power, and that's what we are about live. In the studio we have experimented, and we will continue to. I suppose what we're looking for is a better synthesis of the two... I must say, there is a real thrill to being onstage in front of 50,000 or 6o,000 people. The event is much larger than the group and the audience. It's an amazing thing to see people in agreement even if only for an hour and a half.
But you clench your fist in a particular and all 60,000 will clench their fists accordingly. Is there not something within this gesture that gives you pause?
.When a Japanese man bows to another, and the other man bows in response that's nothing but a sign of consent. When people respond, or when they sing a song I've asked them to sing, they are just being part of a bigger theatrical event. The idea that they are moronically being lemmings, following Adam, Larry, Edge and Bono off the cliff's edge with their fists in the air, does not pay them enough respect.
You've stated a number of times that the goal all U2 songs is to make people think for themselves
To inspire people to think for themselves. But that's not why I'm in U2: I'm in U2 because it inspires me. I'm here because I couldn't find work anywhere else. And the real reasons to be in a rock roll band are probably much closer to ego, and to be onstage and have people look at you and think you're a great guy. Those arc the real reasons — at least when you're 15 and singing into a microphone.
.Let me play devil's advocate: its seems like standing among an audience of 60,000 people, all singing the same song, can in no way encourage one to think for oneself.
.I disagree. They do think for themselves is my point. But the problem is that in the world we live in, in the West, the doctrine of personal peace and prosperity prevails. If you've got a fridge, a car or two. a vacation once a year, you're okay. And you'll agree to anything, such as voting tor whoever can preserve this. People are subject to a lot of influences that attempt to send them to sleep. There is media People's reaction to violence onscreen: the difference between what is real on the news and what is surreal on Miami Vice has become blurred. We are in a big sleep, where I'm okay, you're okay. And we don't ask questions that have difficult answers. And if U2 is throwing some cold water over that kind of thinking and people are waking up ... that's fine. We're there because this is the way we feel about the world. And U2 is just one choice.
Let's go back a few years. During the "War" tour, you said you thought rock ef roll was full of shit, and that you were fed up with it.
.And the question is do I still think it's full of shit? Yes, I do. For me, rock & roll has always been as black as a mine - but you could find a jewel down there that made it all worthwhile. At that time, we just didn't seem to fit in. I had to ask myself What is it about? Elvis Presley shooting at the television while reading his Bible; Jerry lee Lewis believing in God and playing the devil's music with his 14-year-old bride at his side; John Lennon at the peak of his success singing "Help". Rock & roll is almost about the confusion. So I see now that there is a place for my own confusion and my own contradictions — my own desire to do something relevant with my life, as well as my own enjoyment of driving down Park Avenue in a limousine.
.Do you feel lonely?
.More and more, over the last years. I feel cut off I used to go out the back of venues, and there would be some people hanging around, we'd chat, maybe sign some bits of paper and go back to their places and sleep on the floor, talk through the night. Or I'd have people come to my room. One time I had 13 people sleeping in my room, on the floor. Now I go out, and I don't know who 1 can talk to. I've got people who want to kill me, so they can sell their story to the newspapers, people who want to hate you or love you or take a bit of you. But I have fewer friends now than I did five years ago. I know more people. I'm a lot of people's best friend.
Has this made you cynical?
.No, I don't want to be cynical. Maybe lesson number two in How to Become a Bastard will teach me to be cynical (laughs). I'm open.
Have you ever felt dry? Like you were operating in a closed loop of your own devices and had nothing new to say or a way to say it?
.No. When I was at school, I remember we were talking about William Butler Yeats and the different periods in his life. And the teacher told us about a period when he felt he had nothing left to say, and how this often happens to poets. I said, "Yeah, but why didn't he write about the fact that he had nothing left to say?" And that is what 1 have always done, started with what I feel.
You're never frustrated with your own limitations?
.I'm so undisciplined and untidy, and the everyday doings of my life are such a mess, that 1 get frustrated. I write on the bus, on the backs of cigarette packets or on the table mats in restaurants and lose them. 1 lost a song I wrote with Bob Dylan, in the early-morning hours after a gig in LA, during our last tour. I've got to own up to being a writer and just write. So now I'm trying to develop the craft of songwriting, so that what I do neither dries up nor blows up in my face.
And all of us are committed to thrashing about in the studio.
.Do you think you've gotten past shouting now and are finally a singer?
I'm not a soul singer yet, but I've got soul. We are raw, but I think all I want is that soul. I'm not impressed with the jazz-man's technical ability, but rather impressed by the way he can use his skill to tell a story, to create a mood, to make me believe. That's the ability to reveal and not conceal, and that's what I want.
.Despite your interest in the band, are there other things you are interested in pursuing?
.I am writing a play with one of my best friends, Gavin Friday. We're writing a play called Melt Head. I'm interested in theater, in Irish theatre and Brechtian theatre and Kurt Weill's music. I also painted during the Joshua Tree. A friend and I are having a show together in a Dublin gallery. But instead of paintings, I am going to show some photos I took the last week I was in Ethiopia because I want to keep the awareness of that alive.
I'm interested in the mentality of violence. The idea that two IRA men were blown up because they stood too close to the bomb they had set because they wanted to see the carnage is beyond my understanding, and I'm fascinated by it. I am talking about the ability to knock on the door of a man's house in Belfast and when he answers the door, to shoot him 10 times in the head in front of his children. This is something that I would like to understand. I think I could play the part of a terrorist.
Are you ever at peace with yourself?.
I'm happy to be unhappy. I'll always be a bit restless, I suppose. I still haven't found what I'm looking for (laughs)
[Interview by David Breskin for Rolling Stone Magazine, 1987]
This post consists of an MP3 (320kps) rip taken from CD and includes full album artwork and booklet. This is an absolute must for any U2 fan ! Ex. Soundboard.
01 - Where the Streets Have No Name
02 - I Will Follow
03 - Trip Through Your Wires
04 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
05 - MLK
06 - The Unforgettable Fire
07 - Bullet The Blue Sky
08 - Running To Stand Still
09 - Exit
10 - In God's Country
11 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
01 - Bad
02 - October
03 - Springhill Mining Disaster
04 - New Year's Day
05 - Pride (In The Name Of Love)
06 - Mothers Of The Disappeared
07 - With Or Without You
08 - Gloria
09 - 40
Bono (vocals and guitar)
The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals)
Adam Clayton (bass guitar)
Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion)
U2 Hottest Ticket Link (208Mb) New Link 12/04/2020