U2 by U2by U2
U2 by U2 is the only definitive, official history of one of the most famous bands in the world, by the members of the band themselves. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen offer a unique, insightful account of everything fans want to know, from U2's birth 25 years ago and its evolution to become the biggest band in the world to their personal/b>
U2 by U2 is the only definitive, official history of one of the most famous bands in the world, by the members of the band themselves. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen offer a unique, insightful account of everything fans want to know, from U2's birth 25 years ago and its evolution to become the biggest band in the world to their personal dramas and successes to the politics and emotions that drive them and their music. As cool, elegant, and exciting as the band itself, U2 by U2 is a must-have for any music fan's collection.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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U2 by U2
By Joe U2
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Joe U2
All right reserved.
Stories for Boys
I was born into a house full of women and full of music: two forces which have pretty much dictated the shape of my subsequent life. It was in my grandparents' house in an Oxfordshire village called Chinnor on 13th March 1960.
My father had a career in aviation and it always seemed he wasn't there very much. Even now that he has retired, he spends a lot of his time fishing, which is a very solitary activity, away from the family.
My grandfather was a PE instructor in the RAF, so he wasn't often around. But my grandmother, her mother, my mother and her two sisters all lived in this house. I was the first child, a boy, fussed over by this group of women.
My grandmother was a piano-player in a dance band. She was always off gigging at weekends and I was left with my mum and the two sisters. I remember listening to Forces radio and also being aware that my aunts had music they'd play on reel-to-reel tapes. Later there was a record-player and a lot of singles.
My youngest aunt was into Elvis and then The Beatles, when all that kicked off. I remember being aware of black and white Top of the Pops and really being intrigued by the outfits and instruments. I think even then I kind of knew theshape and shine of electric guitars, although strangely enough Ringo was my favourite Beatle.
My dad was an RAF pilot and when he was demobbed he started picking up work as a flying instructor at Biggin Hill, and then gradually he moved into civil aviation. My mum did a little hit of moonlighting as a stewardess and dad was the pilot on the small planes that eventually became BA (British Airways).
When I was four years old, dad found work in Kenya flying for East African Airways. We were based in Nairobi: this was definitely the happiest period I can remember from my early life; the heat and the freedom. My parents would have been living relatively comfortably compared to before, with regular work, a decent-sized house, someone to clean and help, that sort of stuff. Mostly I remember the sunshine and the smells. I have kept a lot of things African with me over the years, and whenever I've been back there it has always seemed very familiar.
Kenya had become an independent country as recently as 1963, throwing off British rule, and the situation there was still volatile. By 1965, it was getting quite dangerous to be a white person there. My dad had job offers in Ireland and Hong Kong but Ireland seemed closer to the family, so we came here, settling in Malahide, a suburban coastal town about eight miles from Dublin. I went to the local National school and that was pretty much where it stopped making sense for me. I arrived into an Ireland that was subtly repressive. The sky was grey and grim and at school there was a lot of instruction in Irish, a language I didn't understand. I found it difficult to fit into that system.
It was there that I met David Evans, The Edge, for the first time, although I have no real memory of it. His parents were part of that same community, which, unusually for Ireland, had a lot of Protestants and British ex-pats. The Evanses were amongst a group of parents who would occasionally call by the house, or we might visit their house and I'd meet Dave and his brother and sister. We didn't really bond until we came to know each other again in the band.
I have a sister, Sindy, who is four years younger than me, and a brother Sebastian, who is ten years younger. But it is hard for me to remember us as a family much of the time. Dad always seemed to be away working. Because he was doing a lot of the Atlantic runs for Aer Lingus when I was growing up, invariably he would be away three or four days at a time. Then, at the age of eight, I was sent to boarding school, which just disrupted things even more. Sindy was four when I went away and so I would see her only at weekends and holidays and we never developed an intense relationship until we were much older, we were simply not close enough in age to share common experiences. It's funny, but even though there is a bigger gap with my brother, for some reason we clicked, perhaps because by the time I'd finished school he was six or seven so I had the chance to get to know him better.
The boarding school was called Castle Park, in Dalkey, way over on the other side of Dublin Bay. In retrospect, I can understand that my parents were in a foreign country (as they would have seen it) and they didn't really know what would be an appropriate way to educate a child. Castle Park was a prep school along the lines of the English system and some of their friends had kids there, and they would have probably seen it leading on to a good English public school, like Eton or Harrow, and then a degree from Oxford or Cambridge. That was the plan, anyway. It didn't quite work out.
I didn't respond to boarding school particularly well. I wasn't sports orientated, I wasn't a hugely social character. I just kept my head down. Even then, I was keen on music, but we weren't allowed to listen to pop or watch television. Sport was the thing! But there was a boy who played classical guitar and he was allowed to have a guitar up in the dorms. Whenever he played I always had an emotional connection. In some way it spirited me away from the confines of school. I consequently joined the Gramophone Society . . .
Excerpted from U2 by U2 by Joe U2 Copyright © 2006 by Joe U2. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
U2 is one of the most successful and innovative groups of the last two decades. The members are Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. Together, they have sold more than 100 million records around the globe and are consistently featured in the best albums of all time. They are also involved in many charities including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Drop the Debt, and the Chernobyl Children's Project.
Neil McCormick has been a close personal friend of U2 for many years (he grew up with the band). A staff music writer for The Daily Telegraph, his latest novel was called Killing Bono. He lives in London, England.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I'm not a rabid U2 fan, but I have followed them through the years and love their music. The book is done 'interview' style and presents all four points of views, as they reminisce about their childhoods, how they met one another and the challenge of following their dream into music. Excellent information and it made me admire them as men as well as a great rock band. A very good read for any music lover.
I bought this book for my brother in law and he loved it sooo much! He's a big U2 fan and this book was written by U2 themselves. He really recommended this book to any U2 fans!
I loved reading about their lives and it gained an even better perspective on my favorite band who they truly are as people. It made me feel like I knew them all my life. Love U2! <3
I love this book! U2 is my favorite band, and it was well worth reading this book to learn more about the band members. The only thing I didn't like was that some parts were a bit boring, but I suppose that happens with biographies. ^_^