The hardest task: write something original about U2. Write something that hasn’t already been written about one of the biggest pop-rock bands in history.
Let’s give it a go then, shall we? Because I’d like to talk about one of my top three songs from U2, ever: Numb. There are many special elements to this song, but one that stands out the most is, Bono is not the lead star and singer. It’s The Edge, the bands’ guitarist. That normally quite silent, chill dude. And he’s not even singing. He’s mumbling, rapping, he’s talking, he’s protesting (apparently. Even though it’s not the lyrics I’m after. If you want to though, read along).
This song is different from any other song I knew of U2, and I instantly loved it. Now, since this song came out in 1993 I had no idea yet how I’d learn to love hiphop, yet if I look back now I completely understand why I loved it: it has a damn good beat.
Then, there’s the video. Holy shit, there’s the video. I watched a lot of MTV when I was a kid, and there are certain video’s that just stuck. Four and a half minutes of mister Dave Evans, The Edge, just staring blandly into the camera and talking numbly, while a 1000 amazingly weird things happen to and around him. Basically, it’s this 1984 Elvis Costello video, on crack. It was one of those videos that I felt for some reason I shouldn’t be watching and therefore wanted to see nonstop.
He just sits there, while girls erotically lick his ears, feet rub his face, kids take 90’s-style selfies, Adam Clayton (bass guitarist of U2) blows smoke in his face, Bono gets up close and personal, ropes get tied in his face, his top gets meticulously cut off, a faucet is dripping water on him from above, gets massaged by mystery hands, annoying fingers push his face, he gets fed a teaspoon full of something (if I ever get to meet him, I need to know what that was), kids slap him in the face, well, I guess you get the point. If you made it through this dragon of a sentence.
I mean, it’s The Edge. He’s always been the silent cool one of the band. In this video though, he reaches the pinnacle of cool. Man, I wanted to be that guy, the way he just sits there, completely unfazed, unimpressed. I know he was going for numb, but to me it came out way cooler than that: unimpressed.
Ah, and if you’re a fan of either Weird Al Yankovic and/or Dr. Seuss…He did one hell of a parody on it :)