U2: Vertigo -- Originally a Gun Control Tune


November 28, 2004, 11:05 AM
I read this in Time Magazine last night (Nov. 22 issue, page 80).

Bono and "The Edge" just can't help themselves. Good thing they had a producer which dropped all of the political nonsense from the lyrics of the album.

When the music started to smolder, Bono grabbed a microphone. "He was awful," says Lillywhite. "The song was all about gun control -- an extension of his political beliefs. Bono doesn't try that kind of thing much anymore, but when he does, you can feel the ambivalence from the band, and so can he. They want the rock star." "Native Son" was rewritten, stripped of politics and retitled "Vertigo." Gradually, it emerged as the most rousing -- and ironically, seemingly effortless -- opener of U2's career.
More political reflection:
"I really didn't like the idea of him appearing in a photograph with George Bush," says the Edge. "Larry didn't like seeing him with [Vladimir] Putin. But Bono felt that in the end, even though he agreed on some level, the benefits [of such photo ops] far outweigh the negatives. We're always discussing it, but then we discuss everything."

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November 28, 2004, 11:17 AM
Sounds like they're wising up. I like their music, but I'd certainly refuse to send money their way if they write blatantly anti-gun songs. Their early stuff was anti-violence (Sunday Bloody Sunday) which we can probably all agree is a worthwhile theme.

I think THR members mostly understand that violence is not stopped by inaction and platitudes, but by will and superior firepower.

November 28, 2004, 12:08 PM
I am getting pretty tired of U2. Their songs are on every 1/2 here at the local radio stations. :barf:

November 28, 2004, 12:20 PM
I'm sick of all celebrities thinking they need to push their political agenda on us. :cuss:

Old Pa
November 28, 2004, 12:24 PM
You know it's perfectly OK and normal for an artist or a band to have one or two good albums in an otherwise forgetable career and to have absolutely nothing of any value to say on political issues. I just listen to the old U2 that I like and pay no attention to the preaching, scolding, and selfpromotion.

2nd Amendment
November 28, 2004, 12:34 PM
U2 has come up before... *shrug* I can't see how they ever sold their first album and can't see how they can get any attention now. To each their own, eh? Personally I prefer listening the Chipmunks, when given a choice. Their range is broader and they're a lot more creative.

November 29, 2004, 02:52 PM
U2's early work was good. They came into their own with The Unforgettable Fire and choked on their own success by the time Rattle and Hum was released. They haven't had a good idea since then.

November 29, 2004, 03:53 PM
I lost all interest in U2 during the overexposure of The Joshua Tree. Byt he time that mess was over, I was out on them. I'll still listen to Sunday Bloody Sunday if it's played on the radio, but most everything else gets changed ASAP. But hey! To each his own!

November 29, 2004, 09:04 PM
They came into their own with The Unforgettable Fire and choked on their own success by the time Rattle and Hum was released. Yep.

November 29, 2004, 09:17 PM
"Rattle & Hum"??!!?

Now, there ya go bringing up bad memories. Although I liked two or three of the tunes (Pride) on the DC, that was a painful time for me, music-wise suffering through far too many weeks at work listening to Top 40 radio with no veto power over the radio dial. That was the late 1980s...I think it drove me to talk radio.


November 29, 2004, 09:24 PM
Well if U2 is for more gun control then.....i surely will not go buy the CD


November 29, 2004, 10:11 PM
Last week a DirecTV channel called Treo (trio?) showed a recent concert of thiers (I mean the last few months or so-it had some of thier new stuff).

I wasn't too interested, but the show was pretty good, and they performed well. Good lighting, effects, singing by Bono and playing by everyone, and a good selection of new and old stuff. A good show indeed, and I was surpised it was on 'regular' TV.

Then they ruined it: on the large video screen above the stage, the showed a a 30 sec byte of Charles Heston speaking about guns on some kind of street interview before one song began. I remember him saying something to the effect of "a gun in the hand of a bad guy is a bad thing, a gun in the hand of a good guy is a good thing-only bad people have a reason to be afraid of a good guy with a gun".

I don't disagree with that sentiment, and I don't think it was an unreasonable comment. But it was presented in a bad way, and the message seemed fairly clear: guns=bad, no one should have them, Charles Heston=bad. Etc.

You know, I've liked U2 for a long time. As a believing Christian, I admired thier faith and the issues they've had with it along the way, and even many of the things they/Bono have done even if I disagreed with them.

But this, an almost Michael Moore episode from them, made me angry.

Alice Cooper said it well (italics are mine):

"To me, that's treason. I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics.

"When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick.

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."


November 29, 2004, 10:13 PM
Like the Dixie Chicks speaking out against Bush awhile back, I really don't care. I expect musicians to entertain me, and nothing more.

November 29, 2004, 11:14 PM
As Laura Ingraham sez:"Shut up and sing !" (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0895261014/104-1708771-4667904?v=glance)


November 29, 2004, 11:32 PM
Know what really pisses me off? The fact that this is a foreign band, the members of which currently live in a foreign nation, trying to influence American gun control policies. This brings out my temper, like the Japanese petition urging changes in domestic American gun control. GRRRrrrrr... :cuss:

December 1, 2004, 11:07 AM
U2's liner notes are irrelevant and not worthy of being even toilet paper.

Not absorbent enough anyway.

December 1, 2004, 11:33 AM
Bret Micheals once said something to the effect of:
"Why was Michael Stipe appointed as the "voice" for Gen X?"

Same thing with these clowns. Don't come here if it's so bad.

December 1, 2004, 11:53 AM
U2 peaked early. I think the height of their talent was War and everything since has been an uneven downhill ride. I say uneven because there have been high points since then (The Unforgetable Fire, Achtung, Baby and yes, even The Joshua Tree- its not their fault that it was played into the ground via Top 40 radio) along with particular lows (Pop, Rattle and Hum, and Zooropa). I really don't give a hoot about their politics, and tend to agree with Ms. Ingrahm. Shut up and sing.

And since when do the Irish get to lecture anyone about having a peaceful, stable society? :scrutiny:


Gordon Fink
December 2, 2004, 01:13 AM
But Ted Nugent is one cool dude, of course?

~G. Fink

El Rojo
December 2, 2004, 01:42 AM
IF YOU CAN KILL IT, GRILL IT! Of course Ted is a righteous dude. Why did you even have to ask G. Fink? ;)

December 2, 2004, 01:51 AM
Bret Micheals once said something to the effect of:
"Why was Michael Stipe appointed as the "voice" for Gen X?"

stipe is far worse than bono. he makes bono look like a bush supporter.

the guy is a nut.

as a person in the x gen., i find it rather appalling such people appoint themselves as "spokesmen" for my generation. i believe in letting people live their own life and all but i dont believe in forcing my views onto others. if you like guns, great, if you dont thats ok, but dont force your anti gun views on me or think everyone shouldnt be allowed to have a firearm of any kind. if you like being a vegan great, if you insist on eating nothing but meat, great. i dont care.

this is something most of these people dont understand. its ok to think a certain way and live your own life a certain way but it is NOT ok for you to tell others how to live, it is NOT ok for you to force your beliefs onto others. as far as i'm concerned they are disrepectful as they feel their idea or opinion trumps yours.

i watched trading spouses this week and one of the women on there, a control freak vegan seemed to have this compulsion to "convert" everyone into a vegan. she seemed really convinced that being a vegan IS the only way to live and everything else is unhealthy. its ok if you're a vegan its not ok to try and convert everyone else into it. wanna present your idea to people? ok, that seems fair but if they say no then DROP IT.

its why i dont bother talking to people who are anti gun, its why i dont bother talking to people who think you have to be relgious. i am not in the mood to debate with you or tell you that your opinion or your view of the world isnt THE opinion or view to have and its ok to have a different view. i dont force my atheist beliefs on anyone, its a personal matter and i keep it that way, so is my dietary habits and way of life. i dont feel this need to try and convert people into gun lovers or pro gun, i dont feel this desire or urge or compulsion to convert people into being atheist or into becoming an omnivore. i'm too busy living my life to do such things.

bono and company need to take a long walk on a very short pier. as should charlie daniels, yeah he's a pro gun kind of guy and all but he's an entertainer, shut up and entertain me.

i dont want politics mixed into the music i listen to. when i want your opinion i'll give it.

Joe Demko
December 2, 2004, 10:37 AM
What a quandrary. I like U2's music, but their political views are anathema. Ted Nugent's politics are more palatable, but his music has always made me want to ram knitting needles through my eardrums.

December 2, 2004, 10:48 AM
I liked U2 until I heard about Bono's anti-gun stance. I don't own or listen to any of their stuff anymore, other than The Wanderer, which I have on a Johnny Cash cd.

I'll just go off and listen to Skynyrd.

Joe Demko
December 2, 2004, 10:59 AM
As an aside, Johnny Cash tends to be worshipped like a god at this board, yet he was an anti.

December 2, 2004, 11:04 AM
Wow, a rock band from Europe that doesn't like guns. I'm shocked!

Look, I like U2's music for what it is and I could care less for their politics. I went to one of their concerts once and they were still referring to Clinton as "The President" even though he was no longer the president at the time. They ran their little Heston clip, too. Do they think that we bought their tickets to hear about their "enlightened" political views? It's easy to be all the way out in left field when you have a multimilliondollar discretionary spending budget.

December 2, 2004, 01:01 PM
Nightfall:influence American gun control policies.The use of the term "gun control" by a gunnie means that the gunnie has accepted the language of the gun grabbers. Don't say "gun control." Say "gun rights."

Alan Korwin's Politically Corrected Glossary of Terms (http://www.gunlaws.com/politicallycorrect.htm)


Gordon Fink
December 2, 2004, 01:19 PM
Guns don’t have rights.

~G. Fink

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
December 2, 2004, 01:21 PM
And since when do the Irish get to lecture anyone about having a peaceful, stable society?

At it's peak, the violence associated with the "troubles" in N. Ireland has never approached the much higher background level of violent crime here in the US. You would have stood a much higher chance of a violent death in NYC, DC, Detriot, Chicago, etc., then you ever would have in Belfast, Derry, etc.

Check out the crime rate in the Republic some time, it's much lower than ours and in some areas is the lowest in the developed world.

Ireland's government in Dublin is a model of a stable democratic system.

December 2, 2004, 01:31 PM
PaleRyder sez:

I liked U2 until I heard about Bono's anti-gun stance...I'll just go off and listen to Skynyrd.

Have you never listened closely to the lyrics of Skynyrd's "Saturday Night Special". If you base your music likings on the a musician's opinion of gun control, then you may have to cross Skynyrd off of your playlist. ;)

(diehard Lynyrd Skynyrd fan who's thankful to have seen the original line-up live, 'cause the band that tours today can't hold a candle to the original members...)

December 2, 2004, 01:37 PM
Have you never listened closely to the lyrics of Skynyrd's "Saturday Night Special".
There has been no Skynyrd for me since then.

Handguns are made for killin'

Ain't no good for nothin' else

And if you like your whiskey

You might even shoot yourself

So why don't we dump 'em people

To the bottom of the sea

Before some fool come around here

Wanna shoot either you or me

December 2, 2004, 01:55 PM
Is that were the term for inexpensive handguns came from or did it inspire the song title, too?

Joe Demko
December 2, 2004, 02:21 PM
The term was originally an expression of racial prejudice. The full term was "******town Saturday night special." Presumably the antis who continue to use the term are unaware of that.

December 2, 2004, 02:34 PM
Yeah, I've heard that before but only secondhand. Anyone have any good sources that back that up?

December 3, 2004, 10:35 AM
Well, by the same token, I can overlook Johnny Cash being anti. He wrote such good music IMO I care less about his politics either.

U2 on the other hand for me, is so-so. But then again, as I get older I like most rock music less and less.

I still listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd, old and new, the Outlaws, the Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Who, but that's pretty much it as far as rock goes.

Art Eatman
December 3, 2004, 07:20 PM
Geech, "Saturday Night Special" sorta went along with "Hotter'n a two-dollar pistol". I grew up "just sorta knowing" that these terms basically referred to pistols used by blacks. I guess it came from the grownups around me who probably learned them in the same manner--so the terms have been around the best part of 100 years or more. (I'm only 70, though...)

:), Art

December 3, 2004, 08:15 PM
I like the tune "Copperhead Road" but won't buy Steve Earle's CD because the next track is "Devil's Right Hand"

December 3, 2004, 10:03 PM
Saturday Night Special came from the combination of two phrases...

"******town Saturday Night" referring to violence in certain sections of Name Your Town and...

"Suicide Special" referring to any low-price, low-quality gun.

I did a google on "Cottrol" +"Saturday Night Special" to find a snippet of a book on my book shelf

"The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration," Robert Cottrol and Raymond Diamond, 1991, p. 331)]


Diamond and Cottrol are noted "Black Legal Historians" whose opinions you'll likely enjoy.


December 3, 2004, 11:20 PM
U2 - Are they still together? ;)

My father still says he'd rather have a Saturday Night Special or a Suicide Special than a Throwin' Gun. The TG is one that's so bad you don't even bother to pull the trigger - you just throw it at 'em and run. He was a state trooper and he'll be 83 next month.


December 3, 2004, 11:50 PM
Thanks for the info, Art and Rick.

December 3, 2004, 11:58 PM
I'm sick of all celebrities thinking they need to push their political agenda on us.

I second that! They are entertainers, not politicians! If they want to preach their politics, they should try and run for office!

(Just don't run for office in Kali, since they'd obviously win out there.... :what: )

((No Offense to our Trapped in Kali voting THR members, of course))

December 4, 2004, 10:51 AM
Successful entertainers have the funds and the exposure at their disposal.

They also tend to have strong political beliefs.

It's difficult for them to avoid combining the two.

Those of us who care must punish them by keeping our money out of their hands since they will use our money against us.


December 4, 2004, 08:22 PM
Some of them are just songs. I used to have some trepidation listening to Sat Night Special, because it's obviously an anti-gun song.
The new version of the band does a song that's very good however called Dead Man Walking about a guy wrongly convicted of murder for shooting someone who harms his daughter.
It's definitely not an anti-gun song in my opinion, so I tend to tell myself Skynyrd's song is just that, a song.
Blackfoot, with original and once again Skynyrd member Rickey Medlocke, did a song called Fox Chase, where the first verse is "I keep in my pickup, a loaded .44".

So I don't really think the LS guys are too anti-gun. I could be wrong.

December 5, 2004, 09:39 AM
Hey, give Bono a break, it ain't easy pulling off the second coming of Potsi Webber.


December 5, 2004, 10:21 AM
the first verse is "I keep in my pickup, a loaded .44".Song writers use .44 because it sounds cool to them when they say, "fotie-fo."
Potzi WebberI estimate that Bono jumped the shark with "Zooropa."


December 5, 2004, 07:21 PM
That's true, they would think saying 'fotie fo' sounds cool, but I wouldn't think too many Southern Rockers are anti-gun. It just doesn't fit the image.

December 6, 2004, 03:22 PM
Political agendas and opinions were dropped on this song. Such things can ruin good music.

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