Thursday, November 29, 2012

U2 Outside Broadcast TV Special complete/"Bono, we want to ask what you believe in."

"To all accusations of egomania: guilty, your honor," pleads singer Bono. "I'm just trying to point out the ridiculousness of being a rock 'n' roll star."

"The more banal the better," The Edge says, expressing a special fondness for the Shopping Channel's ads for cubic zirconia rings. "To make the ring look bigger, they obviously solicit dwarves with teeny little hands, and they all have these false red nails. It's so decadent. That might be pornographic."


If you've never seen the complete U2  "Outside Broadcast" TV special from the Zoo TV era, like most everything else...inevitably,'s on YouTube:  See the videos marked  ZOOTV parts 1-12 here,

or here:

Believe it or not (!!),  I haven't seen the whole thing yet ( I need to watch more TV)
But it is a classic over the top capture (of course, it's for TV) of an over the top leg (Outside Broadcast) of an over the top and often misunderstood tour (If you have heard this is the era U2 lost their faith, ask Screwtape what he thinks).

I'll just highlight a few new finds for me in the excerpt below.

"Mysterious Ways"  works on so many levels. Beth Maynard calls it a "love song to the Holy Spirit". ( Read Girls or God and sex in elevators (in church about the sexuality/spirituality connection)

 " Even as he runs, there is a certain 'She' who “moves in mysterious ways” and who is going to 'be there when you hit the ground.' .

 Here's what caught me in this version,  It's often been suggested that the falsetto part Bono often moved into is intended to be the voice of God/Holy Spirit.  Interesting then that part of this section was often:

"ll'll give you roses
I'll buy you thing
show you things
 I'll show you places that you've never seen"
This subverts;  using the same thoughts that could be used with the dancer for seduction, as God wooing the singer (and dancer?)  to a higher, elevated  and mysterious place (where streets have no name).
I love how he moves away from the seductress and into the Spirit..but always within the shadow of the dancer that he comes close to (but avoids) touching:  "Move, Your Spirit teach me.." (5:34).  This, to connect the song to a cousin song, is "Elevation prayer."

Fans will know that the dancer later became The Edge's wife.  Here we see a quick interview with her after she comes off stage (6:oo)  'He  touched me tonight."

Do catch the bit about: "ads substituting for the product" (8;00, A heavy tip as to the theme of the show), and the Zoo products advertised::

Part 1:
If you've never seen Mirrorball Man, the televangelist, catch him below as he is interviewed onstage  with "Bono, we want to ask what you believe in." (2 min mark).  Notice a bit before that, an early use of "All of this can be yours."  Followed by "I know because I own it." -- related
Beyond The Zoo:

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