- 02 May 01
On the release of "The Joshua Tree", Niall Stokes and Bill Graham talk to Bono, Larry, Adam and The Edge about the making of U2's tour de force.
If you’re a decade older than U2 and recall their earliest steps - including that first chaotic demo session, a live half-hour take that was literally out of control, time and tune - your emotions mix justified Irish pride with an almost absurd sense of deja vu. You pinch yourself very hard. Have the fresh-faced makers of "Boy" really matured into such influential men, rock potentates on a scale we humbly refused to dream of then?
U2 remain familiar figures on the Dublin landscape, etched in familiar cameos: Adam drinking across from you in a Dublin nightclub, Larry slipping into the shadows to view some unknown local band, the Edge shopping with his pregnant wife Aisling on the street opposite the Hot Press office, or Bono swopping tall tales with an elderly working-man in his local bar.
Unlike earlier generations of Irish artists, U2 have resolutely refused to decamp to London, Paris or New York. Perhaps that's why we have yet to fully come to terms with the special nature of U2's appeal - or with the dawning realization that the torch has been passed to them as the lone remaining band of their generation to breathe new life into old rock ceremonies and revive abandoned dreams. It's much easier to call across the bar and ask Adam to pass the cigarettes.