In a move transparently designed to kiss the ass of humanitarian, venture capitalist and U2 frontman, Bono, former Elevation Partners partner Marc Bodnick posted today on Quora that U2’s 1988 live record, Rattle & Hum was “every bit as good as Frampton Comes Alive,” one of the best-selling live records of all time.
Bodnick’s preposterous claim might be dismissed as just another of his innumerable attempts to drive traffic to the social information-sharing site, where he has worked since leaving Elevation in early 2011. But those clearly self-promoting posts generally take the form of inane rhetorical questions, unlike this reckless allegation of artistic equivalence.
No doubt that U2 is one of the greatest live bands of all-time, and that R&H features some incredibly good tracks, including a soul-stirring, gospel-powered version of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. But it simply does not serve the same role in a generation of rock n’ roll as FCA.
For the record, the author loves U2. Like crazy love. He met Bono once and could barely speak. Further, the movie Rattle and Hum almost brings him to tears.
But even the biggest U2 fan out there has to acknowledge the relative impact and cultural significance of FCA. Not only did FCA top the Billboard 200 for ten weeks, but it pushed three singles (Show Me The Way, Baby I Love Your Way, Do You Feel Like We Do) into the Top Twenty, right into the teeth of the disco tornado that plagued America in the mid-70’s.
Beyond that, FCA (most notably on Do You Feel Like We Do?) featured and popularized that mouth harp/talk box-thingie that no doubt inspired a young kid in New Jersey named Richie Sambora. Thus, by the rock n’ roll transitive property – no FCL, no Livin’ on a Prayer. No Livin’ on a Prayer, no Jersey Shore. That’s what the author means by cultural impact. Think about it.
Which brings us back to Bodnick.
It’s one thing for him to pollute his friends’ Newsfeeds and Twitter pages with throwaway Quora-promoting questions like “How can I become an expert gunfighter?” or “What is it like to attend Babson College?” Part of the price of being socially-connected is tolerating each other’s self-promotion. That’s just the way it is. But when self-promotion leads to this kind of sycophantic nonsense, Bodnick is only damaging his own credibility….such that it is.
This article was written in a hotel in New York City. I hope I’m not buggin’ ya.