The FAQs

Bibliography FAQ

  1. Books about U2
  2. Official Fan Club Magazines
  3. Tour Books
  4. Other Books
  5. I've heard that U2 were unhappy with Eamon Dunphy's biography, Unforgettable Fire - The Definitive Biography of U2. What didn't the band like?

1. Books about U2

  • Stories for Boys, Dave Thomas, (Proteus Books, 1985) since revised to include The Joshua Tree.
  • The U2 File: (Hot Press, 1985). This book was also published in the U.S. by Harmony Books, also in 1985, and under the title "U2: In the Name of Love." It's the same book, though. Inside, it says: "Published in Ireland as 'The U2 File.'
  • Another Time, Another Place, Bill Graham, (Mandarin Paperbacks, 1989).
  • Unforgettable Fire - The Story of U2, Eamon Dunphy, (Viking, 1989).
  • Touch the Flame: Geoff Parkyn (1987).
  • Rattle and Hum: The Official Book of the U2 Movie, Peter Williams and Steve Turner, (Harmony Books, 1988).
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Niall Stokes, (Omnibus Press, 1989). Picks up from where The U2 File stops.
  • Out of Control: A Guide To U2 Bootlegs, Sascha Kremer, (Rock Bottom Press, March 1993)
  • Outside it's America: U2 in the U.S.: Carter Alan, (Faber and Faber, 1992). Since revised to include the PopMart Tour and re-released under the name THE ROAD TO POP
  • U2 The Early Days, Bill Graham, (Dell Publishing).
  • Bono in his Own Words, Dave Thompson, (Omnibus Press).
  • U2 A Conspiracy of Hope, Dave Bowler and Bryan Dray, (Pan Books, 1993).
  • Burning Desire, Sam Goodman, (Castle Communications, 1993)
  • U2, Mark Taylor (Orion, 1993). CD-sized book.
  • U2, Jackie Shirley (Longmeadow, 1993).
  • U2: The Rolling Stone Files, the Editors of Rolling Stone Magazine, (Hyperion, 1994).
  • Faraway So Close, BP Fallon (Little, Brown, 1994).
  • U2 Live: A Concert Documentary, Pimm Jal de la Jarra, (Omnibus Press, 1994). Updated version from 1997 includes first five shows of PopMart tour. A third edition includes the full Elevation Tour and performances up to March, 2003.
  • Race of Angels: Ireland and the Genesis of U2, John Waters, (Fourth Estate, 1994).
  • U2 at the End of the World, Bill Flanagan, (Delacorte, 1995).
  • The Complete Guide to the Music of U2, Bill Graham, (Omnibus Press, 1995).
  • Into the Heart, The Stories Behind Every U2 Song, Niall Stokes (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1996). Updated version in 2001 includes songs inclusive of All That You Can't Leave Behind.
  • The Making of U2's The Joshua Tree, Dave Thomas, (Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. 1996).
  • A Grand Madness: 10 Years on the Road with U2, Dianne Ebertt-Beaff, (Hawkmoon Publishing, 1999).
  • U2 The Complete Songs, compilation, (Omnibus Press, 1999). Released in U.K. / Europe only.
  • Bono: The Biography, Laura Jackson, (Piatkus Books, 2001).
  • Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2, Steve Stockman, (Relevant Books, 2001).
  • U2 The Complete Encyclopedia, Mark Chatterton, (SAF Publishing / Firefly, 2001).
  • Stealing Hearts at a Travelling Show, Four 5 One, (Four 5 One, 2003)
  • U2 The Best of Propaganda (Thunder's Mouth, 2003)
  • The U2 Reader, Hank Bordowitz (Hal Leonard Publishing, 2003)
  • U2 Show: The Art of Touring, Diana Scrimgeouer (Riverhead Books, 2004)
  • U2 & I - The Photographs 1982-2004, Anton Corbijn (Schirmer/Mosel, 2004)
  • Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas (Riverhead Books, 2005)

2. Official Fan Club Magazines

U2 published a Fan Club Magazine from November 1981 to Autumn 2002. The initial publication was simply called U2. This ran for sixteen issues, covering up to Fall of 1985. In 1986 a new magazine debuted, called Propaganda. This magazine was larger and contained more pages. It ran for 29 issues before another format change. In 2000 a smaller sized magazine was produced, but still carrying the title Propaganda. The numbering was reset to number one with the debut of the new format. The magazine ceased publication when U2's fanclub moved to an online service through

  • U2 Magazine [Number 1 (November 1981) - Number 16 (Fall 1985)]
  • Propaganda [Number 1 (Early 1986) - Number 29/30 (Winter 1999)]
  • Propaganda [Number 1 (Summer 2000) - Number 3 (Autumn 2002)]

3. Tour Books

On most tours there is an accompanying tour book featuring pictures, tour itineraries, and other features. Often there will be differences in the tour books between each leg of the tour. Only if the content is very different is there a separate entry below.

  • War Tour: Three different tour books available, one with no dates, one containing the U.K. dates from the spring of 1983, and one containing the Japan dates from 1983 (1983)
  • The Unforgettable Fire Tour: Under Australian Skies (1984)
  • The Unforgettable Fire Tour: Europe and North America (1984)
  • The Unforgettable Fire Tour: Two Versions one for North America and one for Europe (1985)
  • The Joshua Tree Tour: U.S.A. (Spring 1987)
  • The Joshua Tree Tour: Europe and North America (1987)
  • LoveTown Tour: Two similar tourbooks available, an Australian / Japan version and a European version (1989)
  • Zoo TV Tour: North America and Europe (Spring / Summer 1992)
  • Zoo TV Tour: Outside Broadcast: U.S.A. (Fall 1992)
  • Zooropa Tour: Three different versions, one for Europe, one for Australia / New Zealand and one for Japan (1993)
  • PopMart Tour: Two versions, one for North America, and one for South America / Australia / Japan / South Africa (1997 / 1998)
  • Elevation Tour: Two versions, one for North America and one for the second and third legs in Europe and North America (2001)
  • Vertigo Tour: Two versions, one for North America, and one for Europe

4. Other Books

  • Two issues of Rock 'n' Roll Comics (Issues 54 and 55) tell the U2 Story (Revolutionary Comics, 1992 / 1993)

5. I've heard that U2 were unhappy with Eamon Dunphy's biography, Unforgettable Fire - The Definitive Biography of U2. What didn't the band like?

Although Dunphy was commissioned by U2 and Paul McGuinness to write their biography, the finished product was found to contain many "errors, misrepresentations, misunderstandings and misinformed comment", according to Neil McCormick of Hot Press. McCormick wrote an extensive article for the magazine detailing some of these errors, and demonstrating why, in his words, "There is simply nothing I can take at face value in this book."

McCormick analysed and debunked Dunphy's telling of such episodes as: the first try-out in Larry's kitchen; the Lypton Village; Larry as a 'James Dean' type and Bono as a punk; and Bono's 'run-in' with the Stranglers. McCormick also demonstrated how Dunphy's understanding of punk, the Dublin music scene and music in general was at best tenuous:

"There is no mention of Mother Records. There is no mention of Bono and Ali's visit to do volunteer work in Ethiopia, or of their visit to Central America, which obviously made such a big impression on the singer. Greg Carroll's death which wounded Bono and the band very badly, is just briefly and unemotionally dealt with.

"Characters like Pod and Dick Evans, meanwhile, disappear from the story with little explanation. Wives and girlfriends, at best, are treated as sketchy appendages to the central characters. Many crucial songs don't even warrant a mention. Chas De Whalley and Martin Hannett, U2's first producers, are not dealt with in even a remotely convincing way. We hear that U2 want Brian Eno to produce their fourth studio album, but it is never explained why (and, of equal relevance, why not Steve Lillywhite who had produced the first three and was evidently still on good terms with the band)."

"He interviewed only one pupil, Maeve O'Regan, from the band's Mount Temple days. He spoke only briefly to Steve Averill who was intimately involved with the band from the outset and who has a vast wealth of knowledge of music, and of the local scene. He never spoke to Jackie Hayden, who was effectively responsible for the release of their first single." [Z]