Virgin Prunes books

Books by the Virgin Prunes

A New Form of Beauty
This book, never published, was supposed to be either part six or seven of the 1981 A New Form of Beauty project.

Books about the Virgin Prunes

The Faculties of a Broken Heart, Rolf Vasellari (Black Sheep Press, 1985)
A subjective view of the group, aided by an impressive list of contributors (John Balance, Jim Thirlwell, Patti Smith, Genesis P Orridge, Mayo Thompson, Bono, Colin Newman, to name but a few). A mixture of interviews (mainly with Gavin Friday), transcriptions of previously published/broadcast interviews, poems, drawings and photos. The European version was printed in black and white and a number of signed copies exist. A limited edition (2000) Japanese version includes many colour photos, including some not in the original version, as well as coming in a textured box. It also contains some of Vasellari’s artwork. Some of Dave-Id’s drawings are different in this version.

  • An Italian edition, Virgin Prunes – Tutta la furia del sublime, was published in 2018.
  • A French edition, Une nouvelle forme de beauté, by Thierry F. Le Boucanier was published in 2013.

Books including significant information on the Virgin Prunes

Unforgettable Fire: The Story of U2, Eamon Dunphy (Viking, 1987 and Penguin, 1988)
Very detailed on the Lypton Village and the early years of both bands, although its accuracy has been questioned.

Irish Rock – Roots, Personalities, Directions, Mark J Prendergast (O’Brien Press, 1987)
A very comprehensive and enjoyable history of Irish rock music, which includes a detailed section on the band, placing them in an Irish avant-garde tradition. Several good but small black and white pictures, and Gavin and Guggi also feature in the mosaic-style cover of the book. Well worth a look if you can get your hands on it, but apparently out of print now. It includes a small section on Princess Tinymeat. Published in the USA as Isle of Noises.

U2 – A Conspiracy of Hope
Includes details on the Virgin Prunes’ early years, with the help of Dik.

Another Time, Another Place, Bill Graham (Mandarin Press, 1989)
Includes information on the Lypton Village and some very early pictures.

Irish Rock, Tony Clayton-Lea and Richie Taylor (Sidgwick and Johnson)
Includes several alternative pictures from the Wicklow mountains photo shoot (used on the “brown side” of …if I die, I die).

The Judas Jesus, Rolf Vasellari (Black Sheep Press, 1988?)
Another impressive list of contributors, including material by Gavin and Dave-Id.

The Light and Dark, Caroline van Oosten de Boer (Von B Press, 1991)
A detailed and enlightening exploration of the first phase of Gavin’s solo career.

Into the Heart, Niall Stokes (Omnibus Press, 1996)

A book which explores the background and inspiration behind every song written by U2. Guggi and Gavin feature in this book.

Vox 80-83 (Hi-Tone Books, January 2019)
Compilation of the Vox fanzine no. 1–no.15 complete. 416 pages, black & white. Early articles about and by Virgin Prunes included.

Rip it Up and Start Again – Postpunk 1978-1984, Simon Reynolds (Faber & Faber, 2005)
A book on the post-punk musical genre and era.

Books including a brief mention of the Virgin Prunes

U2 – The Story So Far”, Richard Seal (Britannia Press Publishing, 1993)
A sentence or two, in the context of U2’s early years.