This was a tricky one to be honest. Not a lot of actual info on Mirrorball Man is around (trust me, I looked). So this is as much a celebration of the first 3 legs of the Zoo TV Tour as it is Mirrorball Man
The Zoo TV Tour was an elaborately-staged, multimedia concert tour by U2 that took place in arenas and stadiums over 1992 and 1993. It was a show that operated on many levels; designed to instill a feeling of "sensory overload" in its audience, it used the video age for much of its inspiration. In 2002, Q magazine called it "still the most spectacular rock tour staged by any band."
+ Dates: February 29, 1992 – April 23, 1992
+ Location: North America
+ Venues: Indoor arenas
+ Shows: 32
+ Dates: May 7, 1992 – June 19, 1992
+ Location: Europe
+ Venues: Indoor arenas
+ Shows: 25
Leg 3 - Outside Broadcast
+ Dates: August 7, 1992 – November 25, 1992
+ Location: North America and Mexico
+ Venues: Stadiums
+ Shows: 47
The show went on for 2 further legs in the stadiums of Europe and then the Pacific countries, but by that time Mirrorball Man had been replaced by Mr. MacPhisto, of which more in 1000 posts time!
More info on these legs and the gigs is available at U2Setlists.com and U2Gigs.com.
The Mirror Ball Man appeared during the encores for the first three legs of the tour. The Mirror Ball Man dressed in a suit of shining silver with silver shoes and a silver hat. Bono said of the character, "On the first American leg, we created a character called the Mirror Ball Man, a kind of showman America. He had the confidence and charm to pick up a mirror and look at himself and give the glass a big kiss. He loved cash and in his mind success was God’s blessing. If he’s made money, he can’t have made any mistakes." Mirror Ball Man called the White House nightly in an attempt to talk to then President George H.W. Bush. "The Mirror Ball Man would call the White House, where, much to his bemusement, Operator Two regularly declined to put him through to the President," said Bono. Bono traded in his Mirror Ball Man persona for Mr. MacPhisto after the Outdoor Broadcast leg.
Originally posted by BonoOperator Two and I had a great relationship. She tried not to show it but I could tell she was very amused, as we rang her night after night. We'd have 20,000 U2 fans leaving a message. "Tell the President to watch more TV!"
We were trying to make a point about everyday technologies as part of our art installation: televisions, radios, telephones. It's always a thrill when you realise how powerful a simple object can be......You can call the President or you can call for a pizza. I ordered 10,000 pizzas from Speedy Pizzas in Detroit. They could only do a thousand but we bought them and distributed them around the audience (this was, admittedly, as The Fly, not Mirrorball Man).
Before the world became inundated with mass media outlets like DirecTV, TiVo, Video on Demand and the proliferation of the internet, Zoo TV questioned the constant bombardment of entertainment and the messages being sent out on the airwaves.
It also gave Bono a fantastic opportunity to indulge himself. As Mirrorball Man, Bono took on the airs of a cartoonish televangelist and at once lampooned those cultural curiosities along with his own preacher-like inclinations ("I believe in love. Yes, I believe in love! Love! Money! Love! I believe in poetry! Electricity! Cheap cosmetics! I believe in the sky over my head and my silver shoes beneath me! I believe in Las Vegas! I've been there! I know that it exists. I believe in you! I believe for you! I have a vision! I have a vision! I have a vision! I have a vision! Television! Television! Television! Television!" he would declare like a hellfire and brimstone Baptist televangelist).
Click to go to the page on U2Start where you can download some of Mirrorball Man's Phonecalls
Originally posted by WikipediaTelevangelism is the use of television to communicate the Christian faith. The word is a blend of television and evangelism and was coined by Time magazine. A televangelist is a Christian minister who devotes a large portion of his or her ministry to television broadcasting. The term is also used derisively by critics as an insinuation of aggrandizement by such a minister.
Some televangelists are also regular pastors or ministers in their own places of worship (often a megachurch), but the majority of their followers come from their TV and radio audiences. Others do not have a conventional congregation as such and solely work through television.
Televangelism began as a peculiarly American phenomenon, resulting from a largely deregulated media where access to television networks is open to virtually anyone who can afford it, combined with a large Christian population that is able to provide the necessary funding. However, the increasing globalisation of broadcasting has enabled some American televangelists to reach a wider audience through international broadcast networks, including some that are specifically Christian in nature, such as Trinity Broadcasting Network and The God Channel. Domestically produced televangelism is increasingly present in some other nations such as Brazil. Some countries have a more regulated media with either general restrictions on access or specific rules regarding religious broadcasting. In such countries, religious programming is typically produced by TV companies (sometimes as a regulatory or public service requirement) rather than private interest groups.
Originally posted by BonoThe stage is a platform show after all. All it does is make us look bigger. I think dressing up as the devil was great, and I enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, I miss the old bird.... What we did with ZooTV was, again, just a way of stopping me being placed as one person, because you have to accept the caricaturing that goes on when you become a big band and have fun with it and create these alter egos. I mean, we were parodying it all, you know, these were other sides of myself: The Snake Oil Salesman (The Fly), The Devil (Mr. MacPhisto), The Mirrorball Man. It was a nice way of sending out decoys, because, deep down, I'm still a really nice guy. Honest."
Most of the best video's of Mirrorball Man can be found in Nate's excellent celebratory topic for when he hit 5000 posts. But I did find this one from one of our favourite shows, 1992-06-11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Globen (Bootleg Round Table Review HERE)
Which also goes to disprove the popularly held myth (on the internet at least) that Mirrorball Man never left America. He just never made it to the European/Rest of the World Stadiums as the band didn't think he would travel well in that setting.