U2's manager Paul McGuinness talks to U2.COM on the eve of Elevation 2001.
Anyone want to buy a lemon? Mint condition, low mileage, one careful owner who no longer needs it and has no doubt it is all that he can leave behind.
Paul McGuinness, manager of U2, is keen to discuss serious offers for rock's most famous lemon with any interested parties. Citrus fruits are out of season for Elevation 2001.
'The Elevation tour is all about the music and that's what we want people to concentrate on,' he says. 'It was great doing those stadium shows with PopMart and ZooTV but we don't need mirrorball lemons this time.'
'Actually,' he adds, 'It's in storage in Belgium at the moment, maybe we could do an internet auction for it through U2.COM!'
McGuinness, speaking backstage during final rehearsals for Elevation 2001, has managed U2 for more than two decades. He has seen them play to the tiniest clubs and the biggest stadiums, with no props and with the strangest... but he has rarely seen them as hungry to get out on the road and perform as today.
'The band are the opposite of rusty at the moment,' he explains to U2.COM. 'They've played so many diverse events recently, from club shows to TV performances and award ceremonies, they are extremely keen to get into the groove of the tour now.'
Some members of the touring crew have been in Miami for three weeks in advance of the tour and, while the band arrived a week ago, they too have been rehearsing for some time in Dublin. They have rehearsed more than thirty songs.
'U2 have always been an intense and exciting live band, that was one of the first things that attracted me to them. And they've always been very ambitious, very competitive - they think that they are the best band in the world - and they're right.'
If proof were needed, McGuinness observes how unusual it is for a band to release what may turn out to be their most succesful album ever... twenty years into their career. It does occassionally happen that acts have their biggest album success many years after they formed... but they are usually dead by then.
All That You Can't Leave Behind, in contrast, is the work of a band at the peak of their creative powers and, album sales to date - approaching 8million in five months - suggest it might overtake The Joshua Tree, U2's biggest album thus far.
As for the singles, Beautiful Day, Stuck in A Moment and Walk On have all topped charts in different territories and there are at least three other songs under consideration for future release. Elevation, as widely reported, is set to be the next worldwide single but U2's manager thinks there is a strong case to be made for releasing tracks such as Wild Honey and In A Little While at some point.
'For me it is a great thrill that they have made such a successful record, that Beautiful Day won three Grammy's, that this tour has been sellng out faster than any we have ever done. 'Most artists start to coast a few years into their careers but there is no sign of that with U2, it wouldn't surprise me if they went on for another twenty.'
But they still won't need the lemon. Interested ? Check our sales video
and e-mail us your offers to Lemon@U2.COM