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Exclusive: The Edge and Adam Clayton Reveal U2's Future Plans

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You have a couple more months of the 360 tour left. What is the mission statement for the remaining dates?

The Edge: We'd like to finish the show. We'd like to get it to the place that we want it to be. The final one or two shows, I'm sure, is where we'll fully realize the 360 Tour. I think Dylan wrote, "He not busy being born is busy dying." This show is still being born, even if it's two years in.

Adam was saying that you're at the point where it's impossible to imagine the next tour. He can't wrap his mind around starting another one.

I say it will be a while before anyone wants to think about it, but I'm sure the next time we go out, it will be quite different. That, I'm pretty confident about, but what that might be, there really is no clue at this point.

Not that long ago you let go of the idea of getting out an album before this set of dates.

Yeah. I think we all understand that we'd probably have to tour another album, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of early next year, but thinking practically, I imagine that Bono's right – probably next fall.

I saw a bunch of shows early on in the tour, but this show feels like a whole new thing.

It's changed quite a bit since the first show, and I think there's a whole bunch of new songs we're playing, and that's the way it always goes with us. The minute a show actually gets to a place where it's reached a peak, it's like we immediately want to start planning for something new, because we just get bored. It just gets stale so quickly for us that we can't really let it become static.

How has it been to work in the face of of the negativity surrounding the Spider-Man musical?

I don't really care that much about the negative media. In this instance, we were the junior partners and composers, but not the director and not the producer. We really didn't have that much significant input or control over the way things went. But we did realize there were problems. The show was actually a good show, it just wasn't great. It didn't quite work as a story. Some aspects of it were amazing. Some journalists called it one of the worst Broadway shows ever, and I think that's complete nonsense. But was it where it needed to be? No, it wasn't. So I didn't have any complaints with the bad reviews. I was furious, mind you, that they all showed up virtually the same day. That raised a few eyebrows. 

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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