FOOTAGE OF U2’s first ever television appearance has resurfaced online.
The clip dates back to March 2, 1978, when the band was in its infancy and shared more similarities with the likes of The Clash and The Jam than anything approaching the sound that would make them famous.
U2’s first big moment in the spotlight came on RTE’s Youngline programme - though it was nearly an altogether different story.
First formed by a group of friends at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin under the leadership of drummer Larry Mullen Jr, the band was originally booked on the show under the moniker of The Hype.
By the time the performance aired, however, they had rather smartly been rebranded as U2, with the rest being, as they say, history.
The resulting broadcast nevertheless provides a fascinating glimpse of the band at their most raw. Bono was just 17 at the time while both The Edge and Mullen Jr were both 16. Adam Clayton was only 18. The Edge even has hair.
A decidedly different, post-punk sound, the video sees U2 performing The Fool.
It’s a performance in the loosest sense of the word though, with the four members doing their level best to mime along to a backing track but failing miserably in the process.
Not that it mattered all that much in the grand scheme of things.
Though it would take a few more years, U2 would eventually find their way to achieving success after teaming up with manager Paul McGuinness.
They later signed for Island Records in 1980, going on to release their debut album, Boy. The Fool did not feature on the album or the band’s first release, the 1979 EP Three.
This first performance on RTE therefore represents U2’s first officially recorded material and a fascinating glimpse of the group’s first footsteps.