U2 by U2

U2 by U2

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061903854
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 496,581
Product dimensions: 5.04(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.33(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

U2 by U2


By Joe U2

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Joe U2
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060776757

Chapter One

1960-1975

Stories for Boys

Adam Clayton

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 . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from U2 by U2 by Joe U2 Copyright © 2006 by Joe U2. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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U2 by U2 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
maidenveil on LibraryThing 2 days ago
A must-have for all U2 fans! This features in-depth look at each band members, collection of their photos from their years as a band, commentaries from their closest friends, and their outlook to the future as a band.The book is big and heavy but it's worth having on your shelf. I like reading it while soundtripping to their albums. You'll be fascinated at how each of them are different yet able to work together and be the best of friends to each other.
markmobley on LibraryThing 30 days ago
I assume that after the success of Bono's converstaion book, the band tried the same thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes, well, it needs adjusting.I am a huge U2 fan. Have been since I saw "Gloria" on MTV. So I really enjoyed every insight and thought about the music and the journey. It was fascinating to hear the exchange of ideas, to gauge the input of each member of the band. From that standpoint, I really enjoyed the format, each person's thoughts and words credited. I was fascinated to hear their comments on the music after they had time to think about it, play it live, listen to the critics. I was amazed that What I liked, they felt bad about (Pop), and what I hated they felt like was some of their best music (Zooropa).I discovered, much to my immense relief, that these are thoughtful and passionate men. They are trying to do something, to say something important, to leave the world a better place. I don't always agree, in fact, most of the time I disagree, but I am refreshed that they didn't just "feel like" this was right politically or spiritually. They thought it out, tested it, and are constantly rehashing their beliefs. We may come to different conclusions, but they are stretching for truth and honesty. After reading other autobiographies/biographies (Steve Wozniak and Bruce Springsteen come to mind), I was dismayed at how little they had thought about their politics before wielding the immense influence their gifts gave to them.I was gratified at the amount of humility they displayed. It gives me hope for humanity...some at least. They have the ability to laugh at themselves and have you laughing with them. (The Bono in New York and Bono in Atlanta stories are worth the price of admission. I laughed so hard I cried). For such an earnest bunch, they are having a lot of fun.However, the thing that bothered me was the questions left unanswered. The book runs 345 pages, (with a lot of pictures), so it is difficult to say that I wanted more, but that was the feeling I was left with. But I wanted more in very specific situations. I wanted to know more about the faith crisis that brought the band to the brink of collapse. I wanted to hear more about what happened with Adam Clayton the night he didn't show up for the concert, about his way out of that. In fact, at moments I felt the protective layer of glaze that humans use to protect their reputations. We always tell stories in such a way that we come off looking the best possible. Perhaps they are just protecting their private life. Fine, but don't write an autobiography if that is what you want. The only real reason to write is to help others, to move humanity forward. If that is the case, we need much more transpanrency and less magic (I missed the concert and now I am much better...and we all lived happily ever after).I suppose the reviews tend to focus on what you don't like. Maybe it's just a bent of my own crooked nature. But the sum is this: if you are a U2 fan, you have got to read this book. If you are an aspiring artist, you have got to read this book. If you plan to work on a team that must stay together for decades to be successful, you have got to read this book. They may not lay it out in step by step, self-help format, but it is all there if you look for it.
Doctor_RB More than 1 year ago
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!
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PoisonApple1104 More than 1 year ago
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
Konchan13 More than 1 year ago
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. ^_^
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