A Tale of Two New U2 Books

One band. One city. One time period. Two new books.

U2TGCLBYou probably know about North Side Story: U2 in Dublin, 1978 – 1983. It’s the brand-new limited-edition book U2.com is offering as this year’s thank-you gift for subscriptions to its fan club. Editor Niall Stokes collected Hot Press articles and then added some new interviews, lots of great photos, and a wall-sized map of “U2’s Dublin.” It looks very handsome, and while new U2 music would have been a better gift for subscribers, I’m still looking forward to getting my copy. I’ll never say no to a book about U2’s history.

WTSH2NWhich is why I’m also saying yes to Where The Streets Have 2 Names: U2 and the Dublin Music Scene, 1978-1981. Know about this one? It’s by Patrick Brocklebank – U2’s first official photographer – and Sinéad Moloney, a lecturer at University College Dublin. Notice how they both present U2’s history from the same time period? (North Side Story goes two years more into the future, up to 1983.) Notice how they are both out now? Notice how one book is for U2.com subscribers only (at $40) and one is for everyone (for $25)?

Patrick tells me that he’s known about North Side Story all along, and that he even contributed a few photos to the book. (When he was U2’s photographer back in the day, he sold photos of U2 to Hot Press.) He points out his book is different because it’s about more than U2. It has photos of the Virgin Prunes, The Blades, The Black Catholics, The Undertones and The Buzzcocks too, and it advertises as having hundreds of previously unpublished photos. I asked him if there wasn’t just a little bit of conflict behind the scenes between the two books, and he assures me it’s all good: No problems with Stokes or U2 and their management.

Hmmm … So I guess it’s just a happy coincidence I’m getting two new photo books about U2 and their first few years in Dublin!

Where The Streets Have 2 Names: U2 and the Dublin Music Scene, 1978-1983 is out now from Liberties Press and will ship from Amazon in the US in March.

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