Bono put a post up on the U2 website yesterday with an “A-Z of 2014”.
He said, leading up to the post, which you can read here, if so interested…
It’s January 1, 8pm. I nearly didn’t press go on this, and I am clearly delirious in places. It’s very personal, but I feel in a not corny way that U2 has a very intimate relationship with our audience… so I’m going for it.
U2 have an intimate relationship with fans? Really? I have considered myself a fan from…about 1983 to about 2005 (I tried to get into No Line On The Horizon…but I just felt it didn’t say anything new. I’ve only mustered a single listen to Songs Of Innocence – I’m glad I got it for nowt! Suffice it to say MANY others weren’t!). I think that is when my fandom petered. In that 20 odd years, I never got to see them live (still haven’t and now no longer intend to) – never lived in a country that was close to Ireland, geographically (well, for the last 6 years of my fandom, I did). I didn’t write them letters…I never felt I’d ever get a response. For me, they have always felt untouchable. Unapproachable.
As you may be aware from previous posts, I am now a MASSIVE Simple Minds fan. I have been now for nearly 6 months. In that time, I have had more interaction with the band, and Jim Kerr in particular, than I EVER did with U2 in ALL my years of fandom! I’ve interacted with fellow SM fans. Their Facebook page is full of banter and chat between fans and the band. Jim is always posting stuff, and liking and replying to our comments. I had a personal reply myself once. It was lovely! Made me feel so included. But if he doesn’t always reply directly, he likes comments. You know he is reading our (fans) comments on the things he posts. There is FULL INTERACTION going on! Their latest video for their song Let The Day Begin is full of fan clips. It’s wonderful!
OK, we now live in the age of the Internet & for a chunk of my U2 fandom, there was no internet – certainly not as widely available in peoples homes as it is now. But given that, I still don’t see this “intimacy” with U2 fans that Bono speaks of. Yeah, they did a vid answering selected fan questions – but they must have thousands of fans that don’t feel this intimacy. Maybe if I’d have felt it, I might not have ditched them so eagerly? Hmmm. Well, to be honest, it’s their (IMHO) lack of direction musically that has dissipated my fandom.
I suppose U2 are still this monster and Bono just doesn’t have enough hours in the day. I dunno. But I never felt included as a fan of theirs, but I do as a Simple Minds fan. And it is the icing on the cake of being a Minder…Simpleton…I still don’t know what a collective noun for Simple Minds fans is! I must ask on the FB page 😉