U2 Bad

I was recently working on a project related to Live Aid, and was reminded of the powerful performance of U2 Bad at Wembley Stadium, London on July 13th, 1985. After further research, I was surprised to find out the content of U2 Bad.

U2 Bad at Live Aid with Rhode Island DJ

The U2 Bad Story

“Bad” began with an improvised guitar riff during a jam session at Slane Castle where U2 were recording The Unforgettable Fire.The basic track was completed in three takes. Of its immediate and live nature, U2 guitarist The Edge said “There’s one moment where Larry puts down brushes and takes up the sticks and it creates this pause which has an incredibly dramatic effect.” Producer Brian Eno added the sequencer arpeggios that accompany the song.

The early 1980s recession had led to high number of heroin addicts in inner city Dublin. In concert, lead vocalist Bono frequently introduced the song as a song about Dublin.[4]The Edge and the album’s producers, Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, were focused on the music and less interested in the lyrics. Bono left the song unfinished.

During a July 26, 2011 concert in Pittsburgh, Bono explained before a performance of “Bad” that the song was written for “very special man, who is here in your city, who grew up on Cedarwood Road. We wrote this song about him and we play it for him tonight.”  He was referring to Andy Rowen, whom the song was originally written about in 1984 and who was present at the show. Rowen is brother of Bono’s Lypton Village friend Guggi and Peter Rowen, who is featured on the sleeve artwork for the band’s albums Boy and War.

U2 Bad at Live Aid with Rhode Island DJ

There are other versions of the story from Bono himself. His account from a 1987 concert in Chicago indicate “Bad” is about a friend of his who died of a heroin overdose and also about the conditions that make such events likely repeat themselves. Bono once commented in another concert (in the UK) about people lying in gutters with “needles hangin’ outta their fuckin’ arms while the rich live indifferently to the suffering of the less fortunate.” At Eriksberg, Gothenburg in Sweden 1987, he said: “I wrote the words about a friend of mine, his name was Gareth Spaulding. And on his 21st birthday he and his friends decided to give themselves a present of enough heroin into his veins to kill him. This song is called ‘Bad’.

U2 Bad at Live Aid

U2 participated in the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium for Ethiopian famine relief on 13 July 1985. They played a 12-minute version of U2 Bad, which was extended by snippets of Lou Reed‘s “Satellite of Love” and “Walk on the Wild Side“, and The Rolling Stones‘ “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy for the Devil“. Bono leaped down off the stage to embrace and dance with a fan, which was captured on the TV broadcast sent around the world. The performance was so long that the band was only able to play two of the three songs in their set, leaving out “Pride (In the Name of Love)“, which was supposed to end the band’s performance. The concert turned out to be a breakthrough moment for the band, showing a television audience of millions the personal connection that Bono could make with audiences. Only a week later he realized that the dance with the fan became a key image of Live Aid. All of U2’s albums re-entered the charts in the UK after their performance. In 1985, Rolling Stone called U2 the “Band of the 80’s,” saying that “for a growing number of rock-and-roll fans, U2 have become the band that matters most, maybe even the only band that matters.”

U2 Bad Original Studio Version

It almost comical to think at that point they felt like they had to introduce themselves, based on the amount of global success U2 has enjoyed since then.

U2 have released 12 studio albums and are among the all-time best-selling music artists, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes, including Amnesty International, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, and The Edge’s Music Rising.

U2 Bad at Live Aid with Rhode Island DJ

U2 Bad Lyrics

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go

If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I’d lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they’d
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in blood shot eyes

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go…

This desparation
In temptation
Let it go

And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so to fade away

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

U2 Bad is a great song that is part of U2’s live performances worldwide and very popular among their fans. What about U2 Bad is most intriguing and powerful for you?

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ


U2 Beautiful Day

U2 Beautiful Day. On this day, December 9th, in the year 2000, U2 made their first appearance on Saturday Night Live. As much as they are viewed as a commercial band today, that was not always the case. In fact, U2 was a band that started by Larry Mullen, Jr, the band’s drummer at age fourteen. He had posted a flier at his school looking for guys to start a band.  The other three members that are still with the band showed-up along with a few other guys who either chose not to stick with the group or faded away. Their first meeting and rehearsal was in his kitchen. It was not till four years later that they received their first recording contract and were not very successful.

U2 Beautiful Day Music Video

An interesting note about the band. After their second album, The Edge, Bono and Mullen joined a Christian rock band named “Shalom Fellowship” and U2 almost broke-up over the spiritual direction of the band, long before U2 Beautiful Day.

U2 Beautiful Day with Rhode Island Wedding DJ

U2 Beautiful Day is the first track from their 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and it was released as the album’s lead single. It was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2’s biggest hits to date. Like many tracks from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, U2 Beautiful Day harkens back to the group’s past sound. The tone of The Edge‘s guitar was a subject of debate amongst the band members, as they disagreed on whether he should use a sound similar to that from their early career in the 1980s. Lead vocalist Bono explained that the upbeat track is about losing everything but still finding joy in what one has.

U2 Beautiful Day received positive reviews, and it became their fourth number-one single in the UK and their first number-one in the Netherlands. The song peaked at number 21 in the United States, the band’s highest position since “Discothèque” in 1997. In2001, the song won three Grammy Awards for Song of the YearRecord of the Year, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group has played U2 Beautiful Day at every one of their concerts since the song’s 2001 live debut on the Elevation Tour.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Clarence Clemons Tribute (Jungleland)

As a New Jersey teenager in the 70’s and 80’s, it was hard not to be a Bruce Springsteen fan. He spoke to a time and place in our shared story and had those riveting live performances that lasted anywhere from 3-4.5 hours with everybody leaving covered in sweat.  As soaked in sweat as Bruce Springsteen was by the end of the night, equally drenched was The Big Man on The Saxophone, Clarence Clemons.


This clip is from a performance in 2009 with Clarence Clemons performing one of my favorite solos of Clarence Clemons, “Jungleland”.

Clarence Clemons Tribute “Jungleland” Music Video

I remember when Izod Center (originally Brendan Byrne Arena, formerly Continental Airlines Arena and commonly Meadowlands Arena) first opened and they booked Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen to perform the first and second weeks respectively.  I had the opportunity to obtain tickets to two of the Springsteen shows. Those were some great memories for me.  Clarence Clemons, you will be missed and remembered.

Clarence Clemons Hartford Civic Center, April 24, 2009 Born to Run

Clarence Clemons playing his “Born to Run” saxophone solo with house lights up. Hartford Civic Center, April 24, 2009.

Clarence Clemons and How He Became Part of The E Street Band

Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr. (January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011), also known as The Big Man, was an American musician and actor. From 1972 until his death, he was a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, playing the tenor saxophone.


“One night we were playing in Asbury Park. I’d heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince and on a break between sets I walked over there. On-stage, Bruce used to tell different versions of this story but I’m a Baptist, remember, so this is the truth. A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were on-stage, but staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, “I want to play with your band,” and he said, “Sure, you do anything you want.” The first song we did was an early version of “Spirit in the Night“. Bruce and I looked at each other and didn’t say anything, we just knew. We knew we were the missing links in each other’s lives. He was what I’d been searching for. In one way he was just a scrawny little kid. But he was a visionary. He wanted to follow his dream. So from then on I was part of history.” Clarence Clemons


DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Beach Boys Good Vibrations

Beach Boys Good Vibrations. It was May 21st, the eve of my 19th birthday. Me and two of my buddies were enjoying a night out at one of our favorite clubs in West Orange, NJ. It was last call and one of the guys turned to me and said, “Let’s go and celebrate your birthday in A.C. (Atlantic City)”. Ten minutes later we were in my Camaro headed South on The Garden State Parkway.


Two hours later we were playing blackjack in Ceasar’s Palace. I won a pile of cash and they offered us a room for the night complimentary. We woke in the morning and went to the beach to relax not knowing that The Beach Boys were giving a free concert on the beach! It was a great show and Beach Boys Good Vibrations made it one of my best birthdays still to this day.

Dance in sunset on Beach with The Beach Boys Good Vibrations DJ in New Jersey

I grew-up listening to Beach Boys Good Vibrations and other records mostly on 45’s and some albums. As a professional DJ they have always been a part of what I play when it makes sense to do so. I used to play a bunch of different Beach Boys medleys due to their still high popularity at the time. Today they are more of a nostalgic band for younger folks but those old enough to remember them continue to ask for whichever of their songs is their favorite.

Beach Boys Good Vibrations Music Video

Beach Boys Good Vibrations

“The Beach Boys Good Vibrations is a song by American rock band The Beach Boys, released as a single in October 1966. Composed andproduced by Brian Wilson, the song’s lyrics were written by Wilson and Mike Love.

Released as a single on October 10, 1966 (backed with the Pet Sounds instrumental “Let’s Go Away For Awhile“), it was The Beach Boys’ third U.S. number-one hit after “I Get Around” and “Help Me, Rhonda“, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1966, as well as being their first British chart-topper. Initiated during the sessions for the Pet Sounds album, it was not taken from or issued as a lead single for an album, but as a stand-alone single, although it would be later considered for the aborted Smile project. It would ultimately be placed on the album Smiley Smile eleven months after its release.” Wikipedia

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Holding Lighters at Concerts Started September 1969

It was during a concert at the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival on September 13th 1969 the tradition of holding up lit matches and lighters during Rock Shows began. Before The Plastic Ono Band with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Claption, Klaus Voormann and Alan White came onstage, the MC Kim Fowley asked the audience to light their lighters to welcome them. It became a phenomenon not long after, whenever a Rock Ballad performed at concerts or before concert encores. It does not surprise me that such an honored tradition was birthed at a performance of John Lennon. We do not really have a performer today that symbolizes Peace and Equality to the degree that John Lennon did back then. It felt like that was what he lived for and was so passionate to the extent of being arrested and eventually shot and killed. Few among us have believed so strongly in Peace to suffer such a consequence.

Plastic Ono Band

The Plastic Ono Band is a conceptual supergroup formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 before the dissolution of the Beatles. Among the various other members of the band were Eric Clapton, artist Klaus Voormann, future Yes drummer Alan White,Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, & friends, the Who‘s drummer Keith Moon, New York band Elephant’s MemoryBilly PrestonNicky HopkinsPhil Spector, drummer Jim Keltner, and, in a 2009 revival, Sean Lennon. Wikipedia

 Strange Concert Fact

As a peculiar side note to the concert festival, the rumor that Alice Cooper ate live chickens on stage during concerts also was birthed there. The reality is that somebody threw a chicken onto the stage and he through it back to the individual, who ate it. The rumor stuck with him throughout his career and he became somewhat of a Rock legend in creating an image of Alice Cooper as an insane man. Ozzy Ozborne followed Cooper as Rock’s crazy concert man.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ