July 22, 2017

Breaking America and global success – U2 perform at Live Aid and record The Joshua Tree before Time magazine bill iconic Dublin band ‘Rock’s Hottest Ticket’

While U2 had become one of the rising bands of the '80s, they didn’t truly go mega until the 1987 release of The Joshua Tree albumBy Ken Sweeney

After Live Aid, Bono spent a month in Ethiopia and described it as a “deeply moving experience to be in the eye of the storm of the famine.”

The following year and back closer to home, U2 performed at the Self Aid concert in the RDS on May 17, 1986, which hoped to create jobs and raise funds for Ireland where a quarter of a million people were unemployed.

Despite raising IR £500,000 (€635k), the benefit was deemed as a failure as many felt the only ones capable of tackling the problem were the Government, then led by Fine Gael’s Garret Fitzgerald.

U2 later questioned their actions with The Edge saying: “It was a gesture thing that was all about hopes and aspirations and very little about real answers, did anyone really benefit in a job sense?”

U2 also performed in the Conspiracy of Hope tour, promoting civil rights group Amnesty International.

The seven-date concert run raised €3.24m for Amnesty International and the live shows allowed U2 to work on songs for their new album.

Taoiseach Charlie Haughey with U2Charlie Haughey with U2

However, the recording session took longer than planned.

Brian Eno, who co-produced the album with Canadian Daniel Lanois, revealed: “Everyone was looking to break new ground. That’s why it took the time.”

Bono admitted that the lengthy recording sessions put a strain on his marriage.

Bono and wife Ali backstage at the US festival at San BernardinoBono and wife Ali backstage at US festival at San Bernardino

He joked to US magazine Rolling Stone, saying how marriage and touring didn’t really mix well.

He said: “I live with a very strong person and she throws me out occasionally.

“I hardly saw my wife for a year. 1986 was an incredibly bad year for me.

“It’s almost impossible to be married and be in a band on tour.”


Related Posts