Special Edition – What Happens When There’s No More U2?

I’m going to depart from my regular schedule a little bit this week – normally, I’d be writing this week’s “U2101” right about now, but there’s something else on my mind tonight that I wanted to talk about. (If you enjoy U2101, don’t worry – it’ll be back next week.) What I’m thinking about today is the narrow escape we all had on Wednesday. If you haven’t heard about it, Bono was nearly in a plane crash when a plane he was in lost part of the rear portion of itself while in the air. Fortunately, the pilots were able to make an emergency landing and everyone walked away unscathed, but it got me thinking about the inevitable end.

u2112Back before Songs of Innocence came out, I read or heard a lot of people saying that it was time for U2 to call it quits, and while I certainly wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment, I realize that there will come a time when U2 won’t continue, whether because something happens to one of the guys or they decide that they’ve just had enough. It’s going to happen eventually, and how traumatic it is for me and others like me ( that’s you readers) probably depends a lot on how happens. If there is some tragedy, (knock on wood) I think that I would prefer it if the other three members of the band retire the name “U2”, and don’t try to continue with a replacement member, although I guess I wouldn’t mind Adam, Larry, and Edge recording one final album together, if circumstances allow that to happen. Not that Bono’s replaceable, by any means, but I’d find an album of Edge singing in remembrance of his dear friend less offensive than some other possibilities I can think of, like that INXS reality show from a few years ago – goodness forbid that something like that take place! I don’t want to come off at all like I’m making light of the possibility of someone from U2 meeting an untimely demise, and this is getting depressing, so let’s move on to some brighter possibilities.

The_Unforgettable_FireHopefully, the end won’t come about because of a tragedy at all, but things instead come to a proper, planned conclusion, so that we’re all able to make our peace with it in one big group hug at the last concert. It’s a sobering thought, that someday we might be queuing up for the “last ever U2 show”. I think that the last song would have to be “40”, wouldn’t it? Nothing else would fit at all. Afterwards, we can all look forward to the inevitable career-spanning boxed sets with unreleased tracks and studio outtakes, so that’ll be cool. Bono will probably continue his philanthropic work, Edge will score movies, Larry will act, and Adam will retire to the south of France and spend his time tending his garden. Maybe in a few years, we’ll get a reunion tour or a new album.

AchtungBabyHowever it happens, it’s not a day I’m looking forward to. I guess it’s of some comfort to think that we’ll always have thirteen wonderful LP’s and nearly countless B-sides, soundtrack songs, and other oddities, and that boxed set will definitely help, but I’m pretty sure that a world without U2 is not something I want to experience any time soon. What do you all think?

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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