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Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

U2 FAQ (Backbeat Books), by John D. Luerssen

Book Review

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During the ‘80s U2 became the biggest rock band in the world for the size of their audience and the scale of their sound. By the time they hit their stride with War, the Irish band managed to fuse the stadium scope of the Who with the refined guitar strategy of Television and a message based on the Christian social gospel. Playing ironically with his celebrity status, Bono became the nagging conscience not only of rock but the entertainment industry as a whole.

With U2 FAQ, John D. Luerssen has compiled a compendium of interesting information for fans. His book is oddly organized, breaking awkwardly with chronology to digress into topics such as photo shoots and TV appearances, and is written not for the pleasure of reading but in factoid-size bites. Even so Luerssen manages to establish the essence of their story as a band of brothers united by their outsider status as Dublin teenagers in the ‘70s and to clear up some urban folklore of their own making. That famous story about Bono losing an attaché case full of lyrics for the next album while on tour in America is really much ado about nothing.