U2 - A beautiful day before stardom
Friday 09 April 2010
With 12 studio albums under their belts, it's hard to imagine U2's humble beginnings – or even the lead singer Bono without his trademark sunglasses on.
A new exhibition, U2: The Early Years, by photographer Colm Henry, captures the band before they were even signed.
The photographer met them in 1979, at one of their first gigs at Dublin's Baggot Inn. "They were one of about 600 bands around Ireland at that time and there was high unemployment. Everyone felt that someone had to make it and it turned out to be U2," recalls Henry, who worked for Irish music magazine Hot Press.
U2, who are headlining Glastonbury this summer, are shown in a new light, long before they became megastars.
Having formed in Dublin in 1976 as teenagers at school, they signed to Island Records and released their debut album, Boy, in 1980. Recording The Unforgettable Fire in 1984 with Brian Eno, at Slane Castle, made a change from the cramped conditions of their previous albums in Windmill Lane, Dublin.
Bono abandoned the cowboy style for a more classic rock star look in 1987, when "With or Without You" became their first American No 1. "Soon they became international celebrities and became somewhat remote, which was necessary for their survival," adds Henry.
'U2: The Early Years', Proud Camden, London NW1 (Proud.co.uk) 14 April to 6 June
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bruce Forsyth backs assisted dying campaign: 'If I had Alzheimer's or dementia I would do something about it'
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate