A day-by-day history of U2, now in its second edition.

Who to Trust?

By on August 11, 2007 in Researching with 5 Comments

I’ve mentioned that my research right now involves re-reading the U2 books I have and looking for dates, events, facts, quotes, etc. And what happens is that the same story or event is often mentioned in more than book (or article, for that matter).

The problem is that sometimes the various stories don’t jive with one another, and that leaves me wondering who I should trust as the authoritative source.

As an example, there’s U2 meeting with presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992. In Anton Corbijn’s book, he says this happened in March, 1992. But in Bill Flanagan’s book and BP Fallon’s book, it’s said to happen in September, 1992. Who to trust?

Well, in this example, it’s easy. That meeting happened in Chicago right after the band arrived from a ZOO TV show in Madison, Wisconsin. That show was September 13, 1992, so the Clinton meeting happened on the 14th. (Not the 16th, as BP has it.)

Unfortunately, picking the authority source is rarely as easy as that. Maybe I’ll try to put together a list of known conflicts and post them here a few months down the road to see what everyone thinks….

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There Are 5 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Val says:

    I’m with you. I’ve been reading, recording, checking, double checking, and scratching my head all the time wishing you had written your book first so I can check my facts. lol
    And Matt, what ever you do, don’t take Bono’s word for it.

  2. Coca says:

    Hmm well, I trust in Flanagan… don’t ask me why.

  3. Matt says:

    It’s not an issue on the example I gave, because there are plenty of other details to prove that Anton got the date wrong and the others have it right.

    But Coca – don’t put all your faith in Flanagan. In Chapter 9, he says David Wojnarowicz was at the U2 show at Giants Stadium in August, 1992. But Wojnarowicz died on July 22 of that year.

    No one’s perfect, and I’m sure U2 DIARY will also have incorrect dates…..

  4. Dave says:

    I think Bill Clinton mentions this meeting in his book as well…you could check that too.

    I also found this link…no date though as to when this happened:


  5. Edette says:

    Always trust the journalist over the photographer. And Val is right, I have seen occasions where Bono will give two completely time frames and cities for the same story! For instance, did Adam stand in front of the bullets in LA or in Dallas? Happy researching!

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