MJ and U2

John J. Hlavaty ([email protected])
Sun, 5 Jul 1998 21:08:38 -0400

Des wrote in response to my comment:
>>the fact that MJ doesn't know U2 only demostrates how wrapped
>>up he is in his own little world. This was U2 in 1992 - it's like not
>>knowing who the Beatles were in 1967!
>Wrapped up in his own little world? Hmmmmm, well Michael Jordan is a black
>athlete and U2 are an irish rock and roll band. Just because we all know U2
>and their importance in music history, doesn't mean that other cultures see
>the same thing. And it works vice versa. I mean how many times have their
>been questions of who is John Coltrane or Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. on this

Sorry Des, but I stand by my comment.

First, your last argument is invalid as it is irrelevant. This
is a U2 mailing list and as such, comments about Coltrane or Powell
*should* be few and far between. That said, I have seen plenty
of posts over the last 4 years on WIRE that asked who
John Coltrane was or those that mentioned how they got
into the music of Billy Holiday (me being one) or Coltrane
because of U2.

Second, I reiterate, U2 in 1992 were SUPER huge! They
were plastered all over everything (I should know, I have
most of the magazines :oP) - from Rolling Stone to GQ! After
the mega-success of U2 in 1987 and again in 1992, I find
it hard to believe that anyone who paid any sort of attention
to the news did not know of U2. If that story was from
1986, then I'd understand.

>Last year i was asked "had i been living in a cave" not to know about U2. No,
>i'm just African-American and growing up I mainly listened to black music
>(until i hit high school). Sure, i had seen a couple of U2 videos on MTV and
>liked them but knowing they were declared Rock's Hottest Ticket didn't
>penetrate my little world. And if you ask many blacks to name some of the top
>rock groups ever, U2 wouldn't be in the Top 100.

There's a difference between a black person proclaiming U2 as
one of the top rock groups ever and at least knowing who they are.
Furthermore, I will claim that you WERE living in a cave! LOL!
It's great that you started looking at other areas of life. The fact that
you found U2 is wonderful, but the true beauty is that
you broadened the world around yourself.

Being a scientist, it's all too easy for me to withdraw
into seclusion. Not only do I conduct scientific research,
but I work with fellow scientists, most of my friends
are scientists and most of what I read is science related.
This is why I try to interact with so many U2 fans - because it
exposes me to other thoughts and ideas. I also "use" U2 to expose me
to other music and artists.

I recall back in 1983/84 when that other MJ, namely
Michael Jackson, rose to super popularity. One news show
went on the street asking people what they though of
Jackson. Most people had some response, but one
older gentleman simply said, "Who?" When I heard that reply
I vowed that I will never allow myself to fall
that far from mainstream society as to not know who
is at least "popular" in the world.

>You could make the same comment about Frank Sinatra thinking it was Sonny
>Bono that wanted to do a duet with him instead of Bono.

There's a difference. U2 met Sinatra during the JT
years - so he certainly knew who they were. Matter of fact,
he was SO impressed with U2 that he chased away others
from his dressing room one time (in 1987) stating that
he wanted to talk to U2 alone. The mistake you mentioned
above is an easy one to make - people have been doing
it for ages. Had someone stated that Bono from U2 wanted
to do a duet with him, I doubt Sinatra would have said "Who?"
Sinatra provides a great example of a person who, despite
getting older, allowed himself to be completely immersed in
all facets of modern society. At times he didn't approve, but
he made sure he was cognizant of his broader surroundings.

So I repeat, for MJ to state "who?" after meeting U2
circa 1992 just shows how "out of things" he really was.
If I, a secluded scientist, know who Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G.
are/were, I think it's not asking so much for MJ to at least *know*
who U2 are.

>But know one does. Just
>because you're famous means you know about every other famous individual.

Again, knowing "about" and at least "hearing of" are two different things.
MJ has admitted that it may be time to move on from basketball and start
living other facets of his life. As much as I hate to see him leave
the Bulls, I have to agree with this thought. If U2 were to
ever say the same thing one day, I'd agree with them. There's
certainly more than just one's career in one's life.

I hope my response is rational Des as I certainly don't
mean to insult or debase you in any manner.



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