This past weekend brought fans of the four boys from Dublin to Toronto for InTO The Heart, a U2 Fan Fest. The conference brought U2 expert B.P. Fallon to town to share his insight on Bono and the gang.
Fallon has a rich rock history – he’s been on tour with Led Zeppelin, his Death Disco club nights attract the brightest of stars, he was U2’s DJ on the ZooTV tour and he’s perhaps the world’s ultimate authority on the world’s self-proclaimed biggest band. And although an international fan conference is something that few bands can boast, Fallon says this type of fanfare is quite commonplace in the U2 world.
“Bono gets a lot of love to his audience and why does that happen? Because he gets a lot of love from them,” Fallon says.
Having closely followed U2’s career since their earliest days, Fallon has had ample time to dissect Bono’s unique relationship with his fans. In Fallon’s eyes, Bono needs the fans as much as they need him.
“For someone to go on stage and need the love of 80,000 people is a bit messed up,” Fallon says. “But all performers and all artists, for the most part, are messed up.”
Fallon’s Death Disco nights have lured many of those same messed up artists out to dance the night away (The White Stripes, Courtney Love and Kate Moss have all made appearances). This past Friday, Death Disco made its Toronto debut as a big part of the U2 festivities. The premise was simple: there’s no velvet ropes and no V.I.P. rooms and all the stars can party with anyone who’s up for a good time.
“I’m still kind of wide-eyed about all of this, I don’t take any of this for granted. I’m fucking lucky,” Fallon says. “I’ve got my bag of CDs, my bag of dreams and I go around the world on airplanes and I end up playing music for people. It’s not even my music and it makes people happy. Isn’t that fucking brilliant?”
U2 have managed to continue to stay relevant in the world of music and with every move they make, Fallon stays a fan, although he doesn’t necessarily support every decision they’ve made.
“Here they are once again at the cutting edge supposedly of how music is listened to nowadays. U2 score again,” he says, refering to U2’s association with Apple computers and iTunes. “I don’t fucking want an iPod, I really don’t. I don’t want to hear some teeny little squeezed out MP3 in my ear. Now I might sound like a philistine for that, I don’t care.”
For those who do, look for U2’s new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, to hit stores November 23 (provided the date doesn’t get moved up due to a new internet leak), and their custom iPod should be on the shelves as well, pre-loaded with the new album, complete with the band members’ signatures engraved in the back.