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IN THE NAME OF LOVE: Two Decades Of U2

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Exhibit Review - Pittsburgh Tribune

Hall of Fame special exhibit is a must-see for U2 fans

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If you're a U2 fan, do yourself a favor: Find a way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for "In the Name of Love: Two Decades of U2."

The exhibit is a definitive retrospective of one of the most important bands of the past 20 years. From their tenure as Irish schoolboys to the larger-than-life spectacles of the Zoo TV and Pop Mart tours, "In the Name of Love" covers a lot of ground, including Larry Mullen Jr.'s first drum kit and the shoes producer Daniel Lanois wore while working on "All That You Can't Leave Behind."

OK, Lanois' shoes are a bit overboard. But the rest of the items are wonderful, including:

  • Bono's handwritten lyrics for songs including "Faraway, So Close."

  • A copy of bassist Adam Clayton's 1982 message to the band's fan club about Bono's wedding and where he was honeymooning -- at writer Ian Fleming's house in Jamaica.

  • Early handbills and tour passes, and promotional items including U2 playing cards and dog tags.

  • A rejection letter from Arista Records.

    It's also evident why Bono decided to change his name from Paul Hewson. In early articles about the band, he is referred to as Paul Henson and Paul Huston, among other misspellings.

    According to Todd Mesek, director of marketing and communications at the Hall of Fame, the exhibit is the result of a friendship that was forged years ago between the group and James Henke, the museum's vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs. When U2 first came to the United States, Henke, then a rock journalist, was one of the first writers to champion the band.

    Bono especially never forgot Henke's encouraging reviews, and the two maintained a correspondence as U2 became more popular. A book Henke sent to Bono about Martin Luther King Jr. inspired the singer to write the song "MLK" on "The Unforgettable Fire" album.

    The band had never been to the museum until a couple of years ago. Impressed by what they saw, U2 offered to contribute some of its memorabilia. When shipments started to arrive, Mesek says the Hall of Fame staff was overwhelmed by the amount of material that was sent, and decided they had enough for a special exhibition.

    Other items include 20 outfits band members have worn onstage, a note that Bono slipped under B.B. King's door during the "Rattle and Hum" tour, and an article about the band winning the Limerick Civic Week '78 Pop Competition, referring to the quartet as U2 Malahide.

    The exhibit is scheduled to run through the end of 2003. (Extended through February 29, 2004)

  • U2 - Atomic: Then and Now
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