Without the individuals and resources named on this page, none of this would be possible.
To each and all of them: thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
It was 1999 when I first became a fan of U2 and especially Mr MacPhisto. I wished I could read transcripts of all his phone calls, but no such thing existed. I was, however, thrilled to discover the first website all about him, created by Lady MacPhisto. For a long time I didn't see any point in making a fansite of my own, as I had nothing to offer that she (along with a few others) hadn't already covered.
As I gradually acquired audio clips of the phone calls and found myself tantalisingly
close to owning the full set, I had the idea of a 'MacPhisto timeline' web page, for my
own personal reference if nothing else: a complete list of every call he made, with a
transcript wherever possible. I started the project in 2003 as a pleasant distraction from
my final year at university, but got no further than typing up what I'd read elsewhere, and
still had several gaps in my knowledge and collection. I came back to it in 2005 and
wrote a little more, but it wasn't until 2007 that I finally finished it. By then I knew an awful
lot about MacPhisto, and my computer was full of pictures that desperately needed
sorting. I had a vision...
Since then, I've been delighted to see many fans making use of the site and sending me some great feedback. I've added extra things like the MP3 downloads and am still updating it frequently with new information. Thank you to everyone who has (directly or indirectly) provided corrections and explanations to help make the website better; they are always appreciated! Over 30 years on from his debut, it's wonderful that MacPhisto still has such a devoted following. :)
It took me several months to put this site together and I'm proud of it, so it's annoying when others try to pass my work off as their own. If you wish to reproduce any of my text (even if you're translating it into a different language), please give credit where it's due and include a link to the page you got it from.
I struggled to think of a name for my fansite (so many great ideas were already taken!) and was eventually inspired by the lyrics of a Delays song. We lost their incredibly gifted frontman Greg Gilbert in 2021; I'll be forever grateful for his amazing voice and glorious tunes, which everyone should check out, along with his poetry and artwork.
A great number of websites provided me with material – it would not be practical or even possible to list all of them. U2 Station proved particularly invaluable, with its enormous archive of magazine articles, interviews and webchats. Some of my knowledge came from U2faqs.com (Frequently Asked Questions about U2). The detailed setlists at U2gigs.com were helpful when compiling a list of song snippets MacPhisto has sung. The searchable newspaper archives on La Repubblica's website and the Internet Archive were extremely useful for investigating the story behind the Naples phone call; Le Temps Archives and Scriptorium allowed me to find Lausanne concert reviews that provided new details of MacPhisto's speech.
We should also take a moment to salute the likes of Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and Google Translate, which have absolutely revolutionised the Internet since the early days of my fandom. Most of us probably take them for granted now, but years ago it would have been far more difficult to do the research for a site like this. I guess change isn't always bad!
Thank you so much to everyone who's contributed to my vast collection of MacPhisto MP3s and videos (which of course includes the tapers and traders who originally distributed them, and indeed the band for being relaxed enough to allow it). When I first became a fan, I never dreamed there were so many recordings out there, especially when it came to video footage – it was six years before I saw any ZooTV show apart from the official Sydney release, and for several more months I believed that first bootleg to be a unique gem. Now I'm utterly spoiled and can't get enough of them!
A number of the audio clips were made available on websites such as MacPhisto Calling, Enjoy U2, U2 Take Me Higher, Who's In The LIMElight?, the Echosphere and U2 At The End Of The Net. The rest, I've obtained from so many different sources that I honestly can't remember them all. I'm especially grateful to Layla, Lynne, Nicky, Axver, Travis and Court for helping me to fill in the gaps, and to Mengmeng for saving videos for me when I wasn't able to do so. I later made good use of U2start.com and Bonofan's U2 Downloads, where entire concert bootlegs could be downloaded for free – massive kudos to the owners of those sites for their hard work and generosity. Thanks also to the kind souls who upload ZooTV performances to YouTube for our viewing pleasure; I very much hope you'll continue to do so! There's nothing I like more than finding new clips of MacPhisto, so if you can offer me anything I might still be missing, do get in touch and I'll gladly sing your praises on here. :)
A special thank-you to Kim of U2 GTA for sharing your Bono/MacPhisto voicemail with the world! It's one of the greatest, most unbelievable surprises I've ever had, like the cool dreams I'm usually disappointed to wake up from. You are one lucky lady, and I'm so glad you decided to let everyone else enjoy it too.
Images used on this site are from here, there and everywhere – I'm afraid I didn't make a note of where I saved them all from, though I've tried to add photographer credits wherever I can. Thanks to everybody who has posted or sent me great MacPhisto pics over the years, including Connie and Nikkie who gave me some brilliant ones I'd never seen before. You certainly knew how to make a girl's day!
The border is called Gold Satin, from a free library of web backgrounds on AOL circa 2000.
The photographs from PopMart St Louis are cropped from originals taken by Danielle Lee Aderholdt, and the photo from the Elevation show in Berlin was taken by Susanne Kempf. The picture from the Foxborough 360° show is screencapped from a 2 cam bootleg video uploaded by YouTube user getitnow2010; the Athens screencap is from a video uploaded by YouTube user shimikenU2. The pic of the MacPhisto megaphone is uncredited on Imgur – please tell me if it's yours! The image from Berlin on the IE Tour is cropped from one of Matthias Muehlbradt's photographs. The screencap of Bono performing Bullet The Blue Sky at Dreamfest 2016 is from a video on U2's official YouTube channel. The Shadow Man photograph was taken at the Indianapolis show by Jason Brice (complete gallery here).
The EI Tour intermission screencaps are from a video of the first Los Angeles show uploaded by Robert Hay. Photos of the Showman with his magic mirror are by Remy of U2start.com (from the first San Jose show and the second Belfast show), Justin Kent (from Tulsa, shared on Instagram) and Cind75 (from the first Washington show). The pics of MacPhisto's first EI Tour avatar are screencapped from two videos of the Tulsa show uploaded by YouTube user TheSittich. The first photo of MacPhisto's upgraded avatar was taken by Jay Demopoulos at the second Los Angeles show (shared on Instagram). The pic of him grinning wickedly is screencapped from a video of his first Washington speech uploaded by Jim Powers. For the European leg I've used screencaps and thumbnails from YouTube videos uploaded by Richard van Dalen (Amsterdam 2), TheSittich (Belfast 2, Manchester 1 and Dublin 1) and U2gigs.com (Milan 1), plus U2's official videos of Lisbon 2 and London 2. The avatar screencap on the EI Tour transcripts page is from a video of the first Philadelphia show uploaded by YouTube user boylobster. On the profile page, the pic of MacPhisto playing air violin during Acrobat is taken from a video of the first Milan show uploaded by YouTube user Joy2050.
My intention has been to create a website that is both informative and nicely illustrated, but if anyone is unhappy with my use of images (or anything else), let me know and I will of course remove them or make the desired alterations. Conversely, if you have any pics, quotes or information that you'd like to contribute, send them my way and I'll see what I can do!
A huge and heartfelt thank you to all the people who have encouraged my passion over the years, especially Stain and Casey – you don't know how much it means to me. I really miss having like-minded enthusiasts to obsess with, so if anyone out there wants to chat about MacPhisto, please send me an email or PM!
Deepest thanks to Rose for convincing me to buy the ZooTV Live From Sydney video (and later the Zooropa album) in the first place. Who knows how far my interest in U2 would have reached if I hadn't bothered. Look what you've done to me...
(By the same token, I should probably thank the guy who uploaded the first two images I ever saw of MacPhisto. I came across them in a Yahoo Club I had joined, and they were so striking that I immediately had to find out more about this character. I think the user who posted them was called Zachtung3. I'm sure he never realised what an impression his actions were going to make on someone!)
Last but definitely not least, where would we be without those fabulous individuals who originally brought us the joy that is MacPhisto? Words cannot express my gratitude to U2 and obviously Bono in particular. Fintan Fitzgerald, your taste in boots and suits is impeccable; Joe Casely-Hayford, what a designer. Gavin Friday, thank you for giving us the horns...
David Mallet, you are a god among directors; you kept me up virtually every night in the summer of '99, or at least your concert video did. It's the greatest show I've ever seen, and long may it reign. Mark Neale, I adore the Lemon video as much as you do (and your commentary is awesome too). Thank heavens Larry agreed. Kevin Godley and Maurice Linnane, thank you for keeping MacPhisto in the limelight throughout the '90s with your clever crossover video. Joel Schumacher, thank you for presenting that opportunity to them.
Thank you to all those actors, writers and personalities who inadvertently inspired MacPhisto, and to the journalists and photographers who have captured his glory for generations of fans to admire. (Some of us were too young to catch ZooTV at the time – pity us, for we are truly deprived!) Thank you to everyone who participated in the hilarious phone calls of the 1993 tour, especially Monique, Máire Brennan, the late great Luciano Pavarotti, Jan Henry Olsen (R.I.P.), the incomparable Sir Salman Rushdie, Derryn Hinch, Dame Edna and Graham Cornes. You guys were fantastic!
A thousand thank-yous to Jimmy Kimmel and Brandon Flowers for orchestrating MacPhisto's spectacular 2016 comeback special, which still seems too amazing to be true... as does his 2018 return to touring! Thanks to everyone who streamed these shows live on Mixlr and Periscope so we could all listen in, and to those who taped or filmed the performances and shared them on YouTube. Thank you to the talented Marc Wakefield for his excellent work in crafting MacPhisto's new face (which I love so very much). To the band and tour crew who made this long-held dream a reality: how can I ever describe my feelings? I never thought it would happen, and now my life is complete. It was everything I'd hoped for and much, much more; I even got to see him in person after 19 years of thinking I had missed the boat! This is the best gift I could ever have received. Thank you for letting him back into the concerts!!! :D :D :D
And finally, thank you most of all to the star of the show – the magnificent Mr MacPhisto himself. We are not worthy!
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