Baggot Inn, Dublin, Ireland

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U2 play a show at the Baggot Inn. Two A&R men from EMI Records are in town, Chris Briggs and Ben Edmunds. Tom Nolan who had seen them over the summer had recommended Briggs and Edmunds check the band out. U2 are hoping to impress them to secure a contract. But the band later found out that the A&R guys left early after watching U2 only for a few minutes and went back to their hotel room to catch The Specials appear on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

“McGuinness was really angry about it,” shared Nolan in Uncut Magazine. “But I got hauled in the day after they came back and Brian Shepherd just went mad – ‘Why are we wasting our time on this, my two main guys had to go over…’ I think ‘rubbish’ was the word he used about the band. We had quite a row. As a matter of fact, after that I never really fitted in the department. Three or four months later, when it came to redundancies, I got booted out.”

Also present at the show were reps from CBS Records. Chas de Whalley who had produced “Three” for CBS was accompanied by Muff Winwood, part of the A&R department at CBS Records. (Winwood is also Steve Winwood’s brother.) According to de Whalley, the label had taken note of the strong sales of U2’s “Three” in Ireland, selling out 1000 copies in record time, and made quick plans to see the band again. The record had been so successful it was already being sent back to press for a second printing. De Whalley in Uncut Magazine relates, ““It wasn’t a fantastic gig but it was OK,and then Muff and McGuinness and myself went to a cellar wine bar somewhere in Dublin, just the three of us. I think Muff was ready to offer them a deal on the strength of my enthusiasm and the momentum growing in Ireland. This would have put them on a roster including The Clash and The Only Ones – those were the only two new wave acts on the label at the time.” However, an agreement could not be reached, and the band continued to be unsigned, however CBS did extend an invite for the band to record another single in December when they visited London.

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