Dear Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr.
I first heard of your band in 1987 – I was 7 years old at the time, and a U2 fan introduced me to your music. The Joshua Tree was brand new at the time. As I was growing up, I bought Achtung Baby, and as I played the cassette over and over… and over, I wound up buying your other albums, but your PopMart tour stop in Eugene, Oregon at Autzen Stadium was what cemented me as a U2 fan FOR LIFE. Not only was it my first rock concert in my life, but it also showed me what rock concerts could and should be: fun, and visually spectacular. I really came to adore the stage –the largest television screen in the world, the 100-ft. tall golden yellow arch that would change colors and patterns… and the mirrorball lemon. Wow! I was at your show at the Rose Garden arena in Portland, Oregon on April 15th, 2001 and heard the news Joey Ramone had died. I was at your 2nd Los Angeles show at The Forum during the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE 2015 tour the day your tour manager Dennis Sheehan passed. I’ve really enjoyed the U2 concerts I’ve been to. Yet almost 20 years later, PopMart still blows my mind and, even though most Americans didn’t understand it, and it cost a lot of money to produce on a nightly basis, I believe PopMart truly was groundbreaking, innovative and spectacular. The 4 of you should be very proud of PopMart!
I loved Songs of Innocence. My thanks goes to the four of you and Apple for presenting the album to me as a gift. I would've bought the album anyway, but your intention was sweet! My top 3 favorite songs on the album are “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”, “Iris (Hold Me Close)” and “Cedarwood Road”, plus the single “Invisible”. Those new songs were real standouts on the tour, and I hope they stay in the setlist for the future.
I understand U2 is working on getting Songs of Experience finished and going back out on the road to continue the tour, however, I have a couple of concerns regarding products. First – unlike The Best of 1990-2000, The Best of 1980-1990 never received a DVD release. As a longtime fan, I feel that should be corrected. Second – and I know this was asked on the podcast “U Talkin’ U2 to Me?” – I am interested to know if you will continue the remaster campaign with Rattle and Hum and Pop anytime soon? Rattle and Hum was ignored, understandably for Achtung Baby’s 20th anniversary at the time, yet it shouldn’t be passed over any longer. 2018 is the 30th anniversary. Although the film was derided at the time, its been accepted over time and the songs still hold up. Indeed, Rattle and Hum is still an important part of your history as a band. I know fans like myself on the internet have commented on what they would like to see included, such as b-sides, outtakes and other live tracks, alongside the film remastered on Blu-ray (the out-of-print Blu-ray featured an ugly HD transfer, courtesy of Paramount) with director/band audio commentary and leftover footage. As for Pop, I’ve seen Larry mention in an interview he would like someday to re-do the album to have it be the way the band originally intended, that idea interests me. And there was a 48 minute documentary called “Working in the PopMart” that was on the Discovery Channel that would be nice to include in the package – it showed a day in the life of the PopMart crew. The video on YouTube is of terrible quality. I would like to hear about the status on these releases soon and will very much look forward to buying them. Thank you for your music and for sticking around for 40 years, it’s been quite an adventurous ride, and to quote Larry, a real “musical journey”.
Sincerely, Robert Hay
October 14th, 2016