U2: Three Chords and the Truth

U2 and the Dalton Brothers

During the 3rd leg of Joshua Tree tour which covered North America in 1987, U2 developed an interesting set of alter egos, when they performed as a country and western band known as The Dalton Brothers or sometimes simply The Daltons. This band consisted of four apparently 'seasoned' musicians: Betty Dalton (Adam), Luke Dalton (Edge), Alton Dalton (Bono) and Duke Dalton (Larry).

Betty and Alton Dalton
Adam and Bono as Betty and Alton Dalton
They even had the honour of opening for U2 at a couple of shows in the US - on November 1st at the Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis and on November 18th at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. They reappeared on December 12th at the Hampton Coliseum in Virgina - only this time there were a few personnel changes as U2's crew took on the roles.

Playing such large outdoor venues, many fans didn't actually realise at first that the strange pseudo country and and western band on stage was in fact U2, especially if they were a long way from the stage. Some fans went as far as booing them, thinking that they were a bunch of amateurs not fit to share a stage with the mighty U2. Given the fact that they tended to wear wigs, sunglasses and some pretty tasteless clothing, it's hardly surprising that people didn't recognise them. They didn't even have the internet to warn them. :) Typically The Daltons played just a couple of songs - Lucille and The Lost Highway being two regulars in the set.

The original Dalton Brothers
The original Daltons as drawn by cartoonist, Goscinny
The origins of the band appear to be lost in the mists of time. Perhaps the modern Daltons were inspired by the famous Dalton gang, now immortalised by the cartoonist Goscinny in the Lucky Luke series of cartoons. Perhaps it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Who can say for sure? Whatever the beginnings of the band, they had a sadly short lived career and soon disappeared without trace, never to be heard from again.

The band showed up for their only other known appearance (known by me, at any rate) when they accepted an award on behalf of U2 at the Grammy Awards in 1989. It was at that event that Adam uttered that immortal line "We play both kinds of music - country and western". (However, many independent observers believe that this line was shamelessly stolen from the classic film 'The Blues Brothers'. Which it was.)

Random U2 lyric:

"Don't trade your dreams for some small change" - Are You Gonna Wait Forever?

My U2 ramblings:

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