A Blast from the Past, Rarities Edition – Part 5

| May 23, 2020

U2 is a favorite group of mine. In 1993, they also did a collaboration with Johnny Cash on one tune: “The Wanderer”.

Bono says he wrote the tune with Cash singing it in mind. The band asked, and Cash agreed to do the vocals for the tune. All he asked was that the band give their permission for him to cover their tune “One” on an upcoming album. (Reputedly one of the other band members said that it was the only time they’d ever seen Bono speechless.)

I’ve written about the song previously here. The tune is IMO magnificant, as is Cash’s vocal.

However, U2 has apparently only very rarely performed the tune live. Best I can tell, they never did perform it live with Cash singing the lead. Reportedly the first live performance of the tune by U2 was in 2005.

At the time the band was on tour; they were at the LA Coliseum when a tribute to Cash was held in Nashville. In Cash’s honor, they performed the tune live in LA – and provided the video for his tribute.

So if you’ve ever wondered what a U2-only version of the tune would have sounded like . . . here ya go. And you might want to listen carefully from about 3:00 on; it seems that Bono isn’t the only truly excellent voice in the band. Looks like Edge’s got some serious talent other than playing the guitar.


Category: Pointless blather, Who knows

Comments (6)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Great tribute to a Great Musician. We still miss “The Man in Black!” Remember when these came out and remember the tribute done from Nashville.

    Thanks Hondo.

  2. Comm Center Rat says:

    “I stopped outside a church house
    Where the citizens like to sit
    They say they want the kingdom
    But they don’t want God in it”

    ~ The Wanderer

    Those four lines could be the epitaph for the death of American Christianity.

    “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” ~ Jesus

    I’ve been a U2 fan since 1982. I always get chills hearing Johnny Cash sing this song.

  3. When I opened The Wanderer on Hondos blast from the past, I thought that I would hear the same song that Dion did on the Capital label in 1961 after his leaving the Belmonts which was on the Runaround Sue album, but turns out two different songs.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Here you go Jeff. Why did I know that this was gonna be your comment for this title? You’re showing your age, you old lovable fart!

  4. KOB;
    I forgot to mention that the backup group for the wanderer was the Del-Satins since Dion didn’t have the Belmonts to back him up. Dion wanted to get into blues and some country but the rest of the group wanted to do the standard R&R vocal group harmony so that was the reason he left. Great song for doing a slow lindy with the girls when we go out to Music/dancing places.I remember listening to Alan Freed on the radio with his cow bell and the Belmonts singing I wonder Why while I was building one of my balsa wood model airplanes where the pieces were laid out on the blueprint and the balsa wood was tacked down with small pin cushion pins.

  5. AW1Ed says:

    Was not a huge U-2 fan, most likely for politics as much as anything else. I can put that aside and just listen to the music now.
    Thanks, Hondo.