Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2021-12-15)
It’s with a very heavy heart I have to share that one of the team here at U2Songs.com has passed away. Mike Long, aka Slaneman, joined the team when we were still over at U2Wanderer.org in 2005. He helped out with lyrics for a number of years and eventually took over the section. He had an ear that was unmatched, and as a professional musician we often turned to him to document differences between songs. Behind the scenes he helped with the data entry and data clean up that was needed when we relaunched as U2Songs.com in 2015. His work was invaluable to getting the site to where we are today.
Mike often joked that he was the grandfather of our team. His knowledge, passion and wisdom made our team stronger. And he wasn’t just ready with suggestions to improve the site, but also was more than willing to offer advice and share a laugh on a wide range of other topics. Mike was a story teller, and spent much time in our forum spinning tales.
Mike mostly retired from the site in 2017, and he’s been missed in that time. In 2019 he came out of semi-retirement to again assist with the site. His last major transcription was the fan club DVD for the Berlin concert. Mike would listen to each track that was released until he cracked the lyrics. Sometimes it was enjoyable, other times monotonous. He was happy he missed most of the “Love is Bigger” remixes with a well timed break.
Our thoughts go out to Mike’s friends and family. We will miss him around these parts.
“I know that this is not goodbye!”
Till we meet again my friend…
Mike wrote an introduction when he first joined the site back in 2005. Sharing it here makes sense for an introduction to those who didn’t know him.
“Hi, my name is Mike and I consider myself a U2 fan(atic) since first watching the Boston DVD. I was a professional musician in a previous life (classical guitar and musicology) and am currently a custom audio/video designer. This has allowed me to combine a love of music with a real paying job.
I’ve only been scanning the fan forums for a couple months but I thoroughly enjoy reading everyone’s posts. I’m always amazed at the depth of people’s knowledge about bootlegs and b-sides, etc. and having spent a few years buried in music libraries I really appreciate their efforts. Some of you guys deserve honorary doctorates.
At my age I find it hard to admit to my peers the connection I feel to this band. I guess a part of me is still living in the 60’s when music was everything. For me it’s all about the live DVD’s and whatever live gigs I get off the web or TV. I watch them all the time. I love to watch the subtle cues they give each other. I’ve met quite a few fans and given them a U2 show in our theater room. My coworkers are naturally sick of U2 at this point! I knew I’d lost it when I’d come home and put on headphones and play “Rattle and Hum” until I fell asleep.
Being from Chicagoland originally, I was always a big blues fan and had seen BB King a bunch of times. I never knew Bono wrote that song for BB! (ah, we have Edge to play the chords). I was going nuts with sympathetic nerves the day they played at Clinton’s Library and could barely watch Edge and Bono perform in the rain. That was no mean feat to fret a wet guitar and play in tune. These guys are the best live rock band.
After watching the Slane DVD I was totally destroyed. I didn’t even notice the bonus MW with his daughter for a week. That blew me away. As did Edge’s guitar work.
I too am fascinated at the evolution of their songs as they first begin performing them and am baffled and delighted to watch Bono wrestle with a live performance. How’s it going to come out this time? That’s the point! And Bono’s mutterings drive me crazy.”