The Alarm was clearly trying to harvest a pop epic breakthrough and got a bit stuck. And yet, I always much preferred the Alarm to U2, whom I never really much cared for, and mostly don't care for now, either.
Then I received this email from the wonderfully contrarian Dave Marsh, whose rockrap listserv is an essential source of critique of all rock and roll pretention. He shares this note from Sean O Nuallian:
Got banned again from Wikipedia for putting the following attested true information;
Remarkably, Mullen is the only ethnically Irish member of the band; the name “Hewson” arrived in Ireland courtesy of one of Cromwell’s generals, and both Clayton and the Evans brothers are British. Clayton’s father was an RAF pilot; the manager Paul McGuinness was born on an RAF base, where his father worked . Rather famously, Bono failed Gaelic in his final High School exam, and was expelled from university for lying about this.
U2 gained much of their success by suppressing the competition in Ireland which comprised far more accomplished and sensitive artists and, in doing so, have ensured that their main legacy is the destruction of the Irish music industry – and Irish musical culture in general. In particular, their “label” Mother Records simply signed and warehoused many much better Irish bands than U2. Mother Records applied for voluntary strike-off on July 11 2011 http://www.cro.ie, having publicly claimed to “cease operations ” in 2000. Given that U2′s distribution “service” Record Services Ltd. traded for at least 6 years after dissolution http://www.cro.ie, that seems unlikely. RSL destroyed many independent bands.
And then (12-14-11) comes this addendum from Marsh's RRC Extra No. 23
HITS, RUNS, AND ERRORS… Dave Marsh writes: Because of an editing omission, the comment we circulated two days ago about Wikipedia censorship made it appear as if it were me that was censored. It was not.
The comments were written by Dr. Sean O’Nuallain, an Irish native presently working at Stanford. Sean has waged a long and bitter battle to tell the truth about U2’s adverse affect on the Irish music scene and industry. I deeply regret even accidentally stealing his thunder. What he wrote can be read here: http://davemarsh.us/?p=951 If you read the entire thread, almost all of it written by Sean, you’ll get an education in both the reality of U2 and the way that Wikipedia manages information.
For more along that line, check out “Wikipedia Questions Path to More Money” http://web.archive.org/web/20080324155655/http:/physorg.com/news125243266.html
This article reveals the lurid truth about the role of Elevation Partners, the venture capital vulture in which Bono is a principal. Elevation owners are responsible for at least $800,000 in Wikipedia investment (a/k/a “donations”). What wonder is it that Wikipedia won’t countenance criticism of Elevation’s most public figurehead? (Thanks to RRC reader Evelyn Theodose for the tip on this article.)
Yes, there is a link to the AP article cited above on the Elevation Wikipedia page.