French police still haven't found what U2's looking for
FRENCH police investigating the disappearance of an unfinished recording of the forthcoming U2 album still haven't found what they're looking for.
Band members yesterday visited police headquarters in Nice, in southern France, to make statements and 20 people present at a local recording studio were being questioned.
The CD, containing songs from the first new studio album by the band in nearly four years, went missing during a photo shoot at the studio.
And the band now fears the material may turn up on the internet months in advance of the album's scheduled autumn release.
The band were having their photographs taken for the album's cover when the CD went missing, although the police said it was still unclear if its disappearance was accidental or theft.
U2 guitarist Dave Evans, known as The Edge, told the band's official website of his astonishment.
"A large slice of two years work lifted via a piece of round plastic. It doesn't seem credible but that's what's just happened to us . . . and it was my CD," he told U2.com.
The band's manager, Paul McGuinness, said U2 had been excited about the release of the album, adding: "It would be a shame if unfinished work fell into the wrong hands."
Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music group UK said the matter was of concern to the company.
"As the missing CD is our property, we're very keen find it as soon as possible and the French police are being extremely helpful in this regard," he said.
U2 had recently completed much of the recording of the new album in Dublin and have been involved in post-production work in France.
The finished product is expected to hit music stores next November, with singles planned for release in September.
The incident is not the first time that unfinished work for a new U2 album has gone missing.
Lead singer Bono offered a reward of £2,000 (?2,500) five years ago for the safe return of a laptop computer containing lyrics for U2's last album 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'.
A bag holding personal papers and the all-important computer was taken from Bono's car, which was parked outside the band's Clarence Hotel in Dublin.
However, after hearing the band's appeal for the computer's return, a Dubliner realised that a dreambook laptop he had bought for £300 could be Bono's.
The man believed he had bought the laptop from a reputable source but became suspicious when a picture of Bono's baby son Elijah appeared on the screen when he switched it on. He promptly got in touch with U2's management and returned the item.
Meanwhile, The Edge has just purchased a luxury apartment in the Longboat Wharf Quay development complex in Dublin due to be completed in 2005. However, a spokesperson for Dublin Docklands Development Authority was last night unable to comment.