U2 VidWorks – Last Night on Earth

U2’s promotional video for “Last Night on Earth” might be the strangest video that the band has ever made. The video starts out with the four members of the band riding in an old green muscle car down a mostly deserted highway. They come across an overturned truck, which has spilled lemons all over the roadway. (Of course, it had to be lemons, right?) The band members pick up a blonde girl who sits in the back seat between Adam and Bono. Edge is in the front passenger seat, while Larry is driving. There are some funny shots of the girl, played by actress Sophie Dahl, interacting with the band members. Adam, in particular, looks at her as though he has never seen a female before. Next, the band happens upon a man with ooze or slime of some kind dripping from his hands. The band members get out to investigate, and they notice a woman falling out of a nearby car. She looks like she might be dead. The band members get back in their car with Sophie and high-tail it out of there. Following this interaction, they turn off of the highway and find an area of town that is not quite as deserted, as there seem to be several cars and people milling about in the road. Here, we encounter another man with the goo on his fingers. There is a moment in this section of the video where Bono turns away from the camera and rubs his head with his hand, and it looks like he is wondering what he has gotten himself into with this video. It always makes me laugh, because I can empathize with him, having been in some very strange situations myself.
U2 and Sophie continue down the road, where they find a car dealer with a red convertible that they take a liking to. I read once that the band wanted to have the convertible dynamically smash through the window of the dealer where they found it, but the MTV censors said that that was a no-no. Anyway, the band takes the convertible…I don’t know if this is theft, as they are at the end of the world, after all, but I don’t suppose that that matters too much. U2 discovers another woman laying in the road amidst more spilled lemons. This woman is also covered with the goo that they encountered earlier in the video. At this point, a tank and some military personnel trucks come roaring along, and Sophie hops in one of these trucks with a bunch of soldiers. The four men of U2 follow this troop transport and finally arrive at the center of all the action, where there is a blindingly bright light moving down the street toward several barricades set-up by the military. The commander of the military gives the go-ahead to our band, and U2 heroically walk toward the light, where they discover that all of the trouble is caused by author William Burroughs. The whole thing plays like a B-movie about the last night on Earth, and I suppose that there is some good fun to be had here, as long as one doesn’t try to take things too seriously. They definitely have worse videos, but, as I said earlier, I don’t think that I have ever seen a stranger U2 video. Check it our for yourselves and let me know in the comments below what you think of it.

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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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