- 13 Jun 17
Niall Stokes had a summit conference with the Dublin high-flyers whose debut U2Three EP had just been released.
October 12, 1979
Not content with being splashed all over the front of Hot Press, the extremely fresh-faced Bono, Dave (his official rechristening as the Edge had yet to happen), Larry and Adam were also on the back with the striking ad for their U2Three EP, which featured ‘Out Of Control’, ‘Stories For Boys’ and ‘Boy/Girl’. The first 1,000 12” copies had been hand-numbered by CBS Ireland’s Jackie Hayden who later went on to become an HP staffer. This collectible is now worth considerably more than the £1.49 RRP it cost back then!
“Everybody has a spiritual awareness – but in rock music it tends to be forgotten,” Bono told Niall Stokes. “Teenagers think about questions like: ‘Is there a God?’ or refusing to go to service. Why? It’s just finding out what you want in life or what you are in life – and the spiritual element is there.
“‘Out Of Control’ is about waking up on your 18th birthday and realising that the two most important things in your life have nothing to do with you – being born and dying. The song is from a child’s point of view.
"Sometimes there's a danger of me being a bit patronising - I don't really mean to," he reflected. "This night, there was a girl in the audience and I said, 'What's your name?' and she got all coy. But the other friend knew what to say. She just moved in front of the microphone and shouted: 'FUCK OFF YOU BLOCKHEAD!' I knew I couldn't compete, so I just walked away, holding my head down in embarrassment. I was the prick!"
“We’re trying to avoid being shallow and one-dimensional,” said Dave, trying to get back on artistic track. “It’s like the difference between the comic and the hard-covered book.”
"It's a quest for perfection, as we see it," chimed in Adam. "In the next two years, we're going to develop so much more - it's going to be a continuing, growing and maturing process."
Even in their infancy, U2 weren’t your average rock ‘n’ roll band!
You can also see all of U2's Hot Press covers in the flesh as part of our 40th Birthday Exhibition in the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin. Open seven days a week, admission free!