Author Topic: MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour  (Read 575 times)

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Offline Chip

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MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour
« on: April 08, 2019, 11:07:38 PM »
When I attended E&I in DC last June, I already knew about the MRI imagery that opened the show thanks to discussions somewhere on this forum, but I had no reason to believe that less than a year later I would undergo an MRI myself. Now that I've been through one, I think there's a lot more to the concert visuals related to an MRI than the opening body imagery and verbal instructions ("breathe in" . . . "exhale"), the latter of which continue in "The Blackout." All of the depictions of Bono in anguish, with fists and face as if pressed up against a glass ("Time is a train" . . . okay, different song) and later mouth as if open in a scream, suggest to me that he at least inwardly wanted to escape from the MRI tunnel, perhaps due to claustrophobia. Claustrophobia, incidentally, is the one reason medical professionals will allow you to completely go under during an MRI, so was the blackout that inspired the song as a whole and which is described in the first verse a blackout during the MRI? Who knows, but that's one of the questions that arises for me. Another question is this: does the focus on Bono's head and fists in these representations indicate that those parts of his body were deep in the MRI tunnel? If so, I would think that probably indicates a brain scan. Again, who knows. In any case, it seems like the MRI, not just Bono's near-death experience, spooked Bono, perhaps because the MRI revealed what might lead to his death. (My point here is not to speculate on the condition that led to Bono's near-death experience, but to illustrate the types of possible connections you can make when reflecting on the imagery after having an MRI.)

Also, I'd put money on the flotsam and jetsam that floats as if in space throughout "The Blackout" -- sometimes as a thin strand, sometimes in triangular shapes -- representing the metal fragments that enter your body when you're injected with contrast for an MRI. That is another association I never would have made without personally having undergone one.       
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 11:26:42 PM by Chip »



Offline singnomore

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Re: MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 04:33:30 AM »
Interesting insights and thanks for posting - the MRI scan used was Willie Williams so whether it was brain related or as you say is as good as anyone's guess.

Offline Catlithco

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Re: MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 12:03:24 PM »
I had an MRI too recently. Although it was just of the upper cervical spine, and in an Ąopenď MRI, which is not as bad as the usual MRI tunnel, it was horrible enough, my head was fixed, and let alone the noise.
And in a situation Bono might have been,  I think the MRI generates even more fear.

But what I know is that you donít get breathing instructions during an MRI of the head/brain. You get them when youíre having an MRI of the abdominal area... IĎm not sure if also for the chest.
So they either used the breathing instructions for dramaturgy reasons, or he just didnít have a brain scan, and they just used WWs brains scans instead.

Anyway, whatever he went through, I do not doubt a second that it was really very serious. I think this becomes clear while seeing the first few songs of e+i tour.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 12:04:55 PM by Catlithco »

Offline Tortuga

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Re: MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 11:53:16 PM »
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I had an MRI too recently. Although it was just of the upper cervical spine, and in an Ąopenď MRI, which is not as bad as the usual MRI tunnel, it was horrible enough, my head was fixed, and let alone the noise.
And in a situation Bono might have been,  I think the MRI generates even more fear.

But what I know is that you donít get breathing instructions during an MRI of the head/brain. You get them when youíre having an MRI of the abdominal area... IĎm not sure if also for the chest.
So they either used the breathing instructions for dramaturgy reasons, or he just didnít have a brain scan, and they just used WWs brains scans instead.

Anyway, whatever he went through, I do not doubt a second that it was really very serious. I think this becomes clear while seeing the first few songs of e+i tour.

Not everything an artist does is autobiographical.  Whatever happened with Bono, it doesnít necessarily follow that what they did in the show is precisely consistent. I realize your saying this in your post.  And everyone can do what they want and whatever is most meaningful to them.  But I often feel that by focusing on trying to fit the narrative of the art so tightly to the artist, you can really miss the point.  Or at least you  may limit the inspiration it can have.


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Offline Catlithco

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Re: MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 05:11:50 AM »
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Not everything an artist does is autobiographical.  Whatever happened with Bono, it doesnít necessarily follow that what they did in the show is precisely consistent. I realize your saying this in your post.  And everyone can do what they want and whatever is most meaningful to them.  But I often feel that by focusing on trying to fit the narrative of the art so tightly to the artist, you can really miss the point.  Or at least you  may limit the inspiration it can have.


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I don't know exactly what you want to tell me... I know that not everything an artist does is autobiographical. I think that's what I'm saying, too by mentioning that the breathing instructions may have dramaturgical reasons rather than Bono had the same kind of MRI.
But, as we all know from what Bono said by himself, the MRI sequence is pretty autobiographical, and I've read recently that they wanted to use Bonos own MRI scans for the show, but then decided not to show those because they were too revealing medically.

Anyway, thats not a discussion about this "event" again, I just wanted to share my MRI experience.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: MRI imagery during early leg(s) of E&I tour
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 06:27:18 AM »
I realize I quoted you but I should have hit the reply button instead as I was really replying to the whole thread.

I hope my comment wasnít offensive. I enjoy discussion that mixes up thoughts and ideas.  I donít mean arguing for the sake of arguing or forum drama. But good, respectful adult discussion.  I like challenging and being challenged.  Thatís when my mind really gets opened up.  Plus, its just fun. If thatís not you and you donít feel the same, please disregard my comments.  Weíre all here for our own reasons and I donít want to get in the way of yours.

On the other hand, if you also enjoy hearty discussion, here is my point.

All Iím trying to say is that it doesnít make sense to use that opening sequence as a basis on which to speculate about Bonoís own health situation or what kind of MRI he had.  Willie Williams said himself, ďit is an imagined versionĒ.  Things happen in an artistís life and it gives the artist ideas, but the art created can be a very different story than what actually happened.  Itís just a jumping off point.

As I said in my post, you recognized this possibility.  I guess Iím just saying that in general its pointless to even speculate.  That is just my opinion.  Its also my opinion that MRIís are not scary.  But that is just arguing now, isnít?  But Iím curious, what about it did you find scary?





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