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Tuesday 27 June 2017

RTE DJ Dave Fanning: 'The day U2 got naked and drank beer in my studio'

U2 on stage (Inset Dave Fanning)
U2 on stage (Inset Dave Fanning)
The Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 Picture: NPA/Independent Newspapers
Dave Fanning
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Top Irish rock band U2 will take a trip down memory lane this year when they tour their best-selling album, Joshua Tree, 30 years after its release.

And the band's long-term pal, RTE DJ Dave Fanning, has promised it will be a "beautiful day" for fans when they take to the stage at Croke Park on July 22.

The veteran music presenter attended the original Croker gig in 1987, but said the concert was particularly memorable for him for a different reason entirely.

The Dublin band had played Belfast to huge acclaim the previous night and were still in high spirits for their live RTE interview with Fanning - and decided to go starkers for the occasion.

U2 on Dave Fanning's show in 1987
U2 on Dave Fanning's show in 1987

"They came into the studio a few days before the concert and Bono was like, 'We'd love to change things up, change the dynamic of the conversation. We should all do the show naked'." And they did.

"They got me to strip off to my boxers at the end. At least one of them was completely naked and a few of them were partially naked," Fanning said.

"It was just silly stuff, it was a mad week and there was huge U2 fever. Everything was insane, there wasn't a newspaper in the country not writing about it.

"I remember one of the bosses in RTE came in with his son to meet them and they were all sitting there in the studio with no clothes on drinking cans of beer."

The Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 Picture: NPA/Independent Newspapers
The Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 Picture: NPA/Independent Newspapers

The late Gerry Ryan also features in the memorable interview and refers to the band as "lovely, young fellas".

Laughing loudly by the end of the interview, the stars even managed to coerce Fanning into taking off his trousers, before he's heard saying, "I've got a hole in my sock, look".

Fanning said Joshua Tree would be one of his personal favourites when it comes to top album choices.

He said the real question facing the band this year was whether to perform tracks from their forthcoming 14th studio album, Songs Of Experience, alongside the 11 Joshua Tree songs.

Dave Fanning
Dave Fanning

"I was over in Cleveland for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame event," he said.

"There was a huge U2 weekend at the same time and I was there interviewing bass guitarist Adam Clayton and really pressed him for details of Songs of Experience, but he didn't give anything away."

He said fans will expect U2 to "do something big" for the tour, given their previous jaw-dropping outings with stage spectaculars like "the claw". Meanwhile, Clayton has said that the northside venue of Croker "feels like home" to the band and they can't wait to return.

He gave an interview to Ryan Tubridy yesterday from his home in Rathfarnham, where he spoke about what fans can expect from the tour.

"The process of performing in front of a willing audience is something that is never tiring," he said.

"It's a privilege. It's enlightening. It's vitalising. It's one of the great experiences and I don't think any of us would ever tire of that."

Tickets for the U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 go on sale on Monday.

Herald

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