Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38516 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

6 thoughts on ““U2! What are you thinking?”

  • Beato is clearly not as well informed as he should be to be making the video….. it’s all an emotional response not anchored in facts. But, sure…. ‘long time fan…’ Probably should have waited longer before commenting. Usually Beato has decent insight.

  • I’m 50/50 on this. I don’t care that they want to play a residency to make a ton of money fast. But I believe they they should have waited until all 4 members of the band could have played together. U2 could easily do a residency featuring the material from ‘Achtung Baby’ in any number of North American or European tourist destinations at a bigger arena at any time and make a large amount of money with minimal effort. I believe what we’re not hearing about here is that there must have been a HUGE incentive (or guaranteed profit over and above the ticket and merch sales) for the band to open the MSG Sphere to the public. Given that Larry appears in the commercial I assume he is onboard and is getting a his fair cut of the money for this business deal and the replacement drummer will of course be a ‘salary man’ for the gig and probably make more money for those shows than he’d earn with own band. Also, as a side observation, I can that believe that U2 is going to attempt to re-create the ZooTV experience for these gigs and won’t also go out on the road with this show throughout North America (maybe even the world) after the residency is over.

  • I’m glad U2 is touring and I look forward to Larry being back when he can.

  • Right there with you, Brother! Smacks of wishful quick money grab. I can’t imagine paying the ticket price for this show and not getting the complete U2 experience. I will live with the memories of the great ones I experienced with all 4 members.

  • U2 have always acted like corporate politicians when it came to advancing their career. They’ve always strategized when “advancing” on the next “chapter / album / tour cycle”. As early as 1985, they referred to “:sound checks” as the “money cheques”.

    A couple of points to note : McGuinness was the anchor, rock, mentor and fifth member of the band. When McGuinness departed, the bands collective sharp instinct for the next move was lost. No Line On The Horizon was a failure. Larry called the album “No Craic On The Horizon”.

    Larry was at loggerheads with McGuinness on the subsequent “360” Tour for his acquiescence to Bono’s instance on the lavish and expensive stage production and its failure to break even so late in the tour. Since his role in stepping down as manager, Mc Guinness has referred in an interview as Mullen being “not as bright” as “Bono & Edge”. Mullen and Clayton agreed a percentage reduction in publishing from 20% to 15% in the early 1990’s. Mullen was in charge of all merchandise which topped him up but that was brought to a close when Live Nation was put in charge. U2’s last deal with Live Nation came to an end in 2020.

    Larry has left the band 100%. The strategy is Bono & Edge making numerous ” guest appearances” everywhere, to subtly hammer home the point that its “Bono & Edge” now. The reason they did not get a “celebrity fill in drummer” for the Sphere shows is that they want to deflect every opportunity away from that drum stool as it’s going to create another PR nightmare for them. Some random unknown subservient dutch guy in his mid 30’s will keep quiet. He’s definitely signed NDA’s already.

    Hewson and Evans are banking on a very controlled media “duo blitz” – special guest appearances at controlled events. The only hope in hell they have in selling any tickets without Larry is to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the next live presentation. They are now playing their last ever trump card – AB shows at the Sphere. They have nothing to deflect attention away from what’s actually going on after that. If those Sphere shows go well, They will be out on our doing “Arenas” first with Bram, and then seeing where it takes them. If the reviews are good, they will go out with Bram.

    This is very dirty, grubby and sinister ending to a once great band. No amount of “big screens” can hide the woeful albums since 2009, the PR own goals (iTunes, Tax Dutch Affairs, Larrygate, Bono speaking at the World Economic Forum, Bush, Blair, Guy Oseary as management).

    U2 do not have a young audience. Their audience are mostly in their 40’s. They’ve lost a lot of fans in the U.S.A with their political posturing. They are dealing with diminishing returns now that Larry is gone. I think they well and truly finished as a band.

    • >They’ve lost a lot of fans in the U.S.A with their political posturing.
      If so, these are the dumbest fans on Earth. U2 have been incredibly political, from Day 1. Sure, it was more Irish politics earlier. But their biggest selling album was almost called “The Two Americas” because it was basically a critique of the US. The mocked George HW Bush back in the 90s on the Zoo TV tour.
      If anybody thinks them criticizing Trump was the start of their political activism, then that person is just plain ignoring history.


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