i was gonna say, if the fly's ripping off anyone it's bo diddley.
And don't spare me.
ok you asked for it.
i was a full-on teenage metalhead in the 80s. metalheads only like metal, everything else sucks. however, i heard 'new years day' on the radio and like anyone with ears, i said 'now that is some bad ass guitar right there'. so the edge was the one non-metal guitar player i liked.
a friend got 'unforgettable fire'. puts it on, says 'you gotta listen to this'. track 3, "wire", he's pointing at the speakers, "listen to that guitar!" i said 'yeah, that is some bad ass guitar right there!'
joshua tree came out my senior year of high school. suddenly all the aspiring yuppie kids were all U2 U2 U2! so like any good contrarian metaller, i said 'fuck these guys' and got deeper into scooped mid chromaticism. (i have, of course, since realized the error of my ways, and joshua tree is one of my favorite records. going to see them play it in its entirety this summer.)
so i totally tuned out on U2 for years. they put out achtung baby, i still didn't care. then i heard 'till the end of the world' on the radio. thought 'hm, that's pretty cool.'
the next day i heard 'the fly', thought 'shit, that's really cool!'
the next day i heard 'one', thought 'ok that's obviously a classic goddamn song, i gotta have this record'.
i just got super into it. loved the production. would lay in bed every night listening to it on headphones. it was on all the time in the car. that was the first record where i really started to think about how they made it. thinking about the mixing board. like, a shaker would come in and i'd think 'that's been going the whole time it's just been muted'. or the guitar in 'the fly', someone's obviously riding the fader. or those big crazy midrange eq sweeps on 'till the end of the world'...i didn't know how exactly they were doing it, but it was obvious that it was someone twisting a knob on something, and i was like i wanna be that someone.
i just thought it was a really interesting record, and it was actually way more alternative than pretty much everything else that was getting labelled 'alternative' at the time.
and then, when they're busy being one of the hugest bands in the world and should be comfortably resting on their laurels and counting their money, they put out 'zooropa', and i thought that was great too.
of course, eno, flood and daniel lanois have a lot to do with all this, but it was U2 who got me into all those guys.
one thing i really like about them is it seems like they are not precious at all about their initial ideas. they'll edit and revise and change stuff mercilessly. at the same time, when they know some initial idea is really good, they'll go to great lengths to keep that all the way through to the finished tune. the guitar solo on 'the fly' is one example. some of the guitar on 'bullet the blue sky' is another.
you can hear some of that on the bootleg. another thing that's interesting about the bootleg is edge is playing really simple caveman power chord guitar on a bunch of it. and there's pretty much NONE of that on the finished record. that was really influential when i was younger, just hearing edge's layered approach. i hadn't really thought about guitar like that before then. but it's still how i think about it now.
ok that's enough for now!