The manuscript for the second edition of U2 – A Diary is due in two weeks. Yikes! I still have some research and writing left to do, so here’s one last call for help with the remaining list of unsolved mysteries — most of which date back to before the first edition was published.
If you have info about any of these, please leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks!
1.) Mike Scott visits U2 in Dublin
In the 2007 book, Strange Boat – Mike Scott & The Waterboys, it’s mentioned that Mike Scott visited Bono in Dublin (in 1986, presumably):
Scott recalls visiting Bono in Dublin and playing him cuts of “Strange Boat” and hearing an early take of “Where the Streets Have No Name” in return.
It would be cool to at least get a month and year when that meeting happened. (UPDATE: With great thanks to Mike Scott himself (via his Twitter account and email), this has been solved and several other dates and facts have also been added to the 2nd edition. Thx Mike!)
2. STREETS commercial offer
Still don’t have a date for the famous “$23 million offer for ‘Streets’” story that I mentioned in this post. Probably never will get that answer. (original discussion)
3. Bono playing chess
Did Bono and Garry Kasparov ever have the chess match they were supposed to have in 1993? (original discussion)
4. Dick Evans birth
I know Dick Evans was born in 1959, but have no idea where. (UPDATE: Thanks to Cathy S., I’ve narrowed this down to early 1959 in East London, but still don’t have exact date or hospital/location.)
5. Mt. Temple Comprehensive opens
I would love to know the exact date that Mt. Temple opened in 1972. I know it was September of that year, but not even the school has been able to track down the exact date.
6. Clarence Hotel purchase
I would love to know the exact date that Bono and Edge (with Harry Crosbie) purchased the Clarence Hotel?
It’s listed in the first edition of the book as November, 1992, but I’d love an exact date. (original discussion) (UPDATE: In a previous post, Anne linked to a story about the purchase from September 1992, so that helps get more accurate. But an exact date would be still be great to know.)
7. Bono, Ali, & Horse Races
Which year did Bono go to Cork with Ali and her family, bet on a horse race, and win big to help a friend pay for his wedding? The story is told in Michka Assayas’ book, but no date is given. (original discussion)
8. Buying Trabants
Pg. 31-32 of U2 At the End of the World (UK hardback edition) talks about Paul McGuinness going to Eastern Europe to buy the Trabants for Zoo TV. This had to be sometime in 1991, but I’d like to at least narrow it down to a specific month if possible.
9. Polygram dinner
Pg. 35 of U2 At the End of the World (UK hardback edition) talks about a dinner meeting they had with Alain Levy, the top dog at Polygram. Would be nice to have a date on this.
10. Song called “This I’ve Got To Stop”
U2 by Mark Taylor says Bono wrote two songs in October, 1985, when he was doing the Sun City stuff — “Silver and Gold” and a tune called “This I’ve Got To Stop.” I’ve found no other info on the second song.
11. Edge’s cooking classes
On pg. 105 of The U2 Reader by Hank Bordowitz, Howie B makes a comment about Edge attending cooking classes “every Monday at 4 o’clock.” This would’ve been in August, 1996, during the Pop recording sessions. I’d love to know if Edge really took cooking classes, or was Howie B just making a flip comment?
12. Driving To Midnight Mass
I’ve never been able to find out when Bono recorded the “Driving to Midnight Mass” poem. In an old OTR column on @U2, I wrote that it was recorded around 1983/1984 for a Chicago radio station, but at the moment I have no idea where I figured that out. (UPDATE: Thanks to Connie P.’s help, and contact with the man who produced the clip for WXRT-FM in Chicago, I’ve been able to confirm the exact date of this recording. Awesome!)
13. Island Records party
Here’s a photoset on Wire Image of an Island Records party for U2 that has a date of September 9, 1980 — but U2 was on tour in the UK on that date, so I have no idea when it was.
14. Early unknown gig
In this old article, a guy named Charlie Rafferty mentions seeing a U2/Virgin Prunes gig at St. Brigid’s Hall in Finglas. There’s no record of that show anywhere from what I can tell. (UPDATE: I’ve been able to confirm that a gig did happen at this venue, likely in late 1979, but don’t have anything more specific than that.)
15. Adam visits Goldeneye
Sometime in 1993, Adam went to Chris Blackwell’s “Goldeneye” property with Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Kate Moss. I can’t link to the article that mentions this because it’s behind a subscribers-only wall.
But no date is given, and no mention of how long they were there. Could be anytime. (UPDATE: With great thanks to John O., this has been confirmed as happening in December 1993. They went to Blackwell’s estate to celebrate the new year.)
16. Early unknown gig
At an early U2 gig, a group of punks called the “Black Catholics” attacked U2 while the band was performing. There are different versions of the story. In Bill Flanagan’s book, it happened during a gig at the Project Arts Centre. In Bill Graham’s book, it happened at the Baggot Inn. Neither one gives anything close to a date, not even a year. Maybe it happened at both gigs and they’re both correct…. (UPDATE: Yes, both are correct. I understand that this happened on more than one occasion with the most serious happening at the Baggott Inn. Do not have a date.)
17. Jesse Jackson for President
According to this interview, which took place in January 1989, U2/Bono was asked to endorse Jesse Jackson at some point in 1988. I can’t find anything more on that.
Replies are welcome in the comments if you know anything about these unsolved mysteries!