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CNN PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Profiles of U2 and The Dave Matthews Band
Aired May 14, 2005 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS is coming up. But first, a look at our top stories.
You are looking at the Brooklyn Bridge, now up and running after at least 30 minutes of being at a standstill. Traffic was at a standstill because of apparently a suspicious abandoned vehicle. Well, it turns out the vehicle had broken down. The truck had broken down. The driver went off to get help.
And so the NYPD, K-9 and bomb-sniffing units did come in, responded, found out that it was indeed an abandoned vehicle. So now the traffic moving again, albeit rather slowly.
All right. In Iraq, the U.S. military says Operation Matador was a success. That was the week-long hunt for insurgents along the country's border with Syria. More than 125 insurgents were killed and about 40 captured. Nine U.S. marines were killed and 40 wounded.
Sources tell CNN a missile from a CIA Predator drone, like this one, killed a key Al Qaeda operative in Pakistan this week. The sources say U.S. intelligence was tracking the man, hoping he would lead authorities to Osama bin Laden.
And I'll be back with more headlines in 30 minutes. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS begins right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS...
THE EDGE, LEAD GUITARIST, U2: For us, music is our life. You know, it's everything. And it changed our life.
ANNOUNCER: Four friends who met in high school nearly 30 years ago.
LARRY MULLEN, JR., DRUMS, U2: One of the worst bands that you can imagine.
ANNOUNCER: They beat the odds to reach the top of the musical world.
ADAM CLAYTON, BASS, U2: It's pretty good to be on the cover of "Time" magazine when you're 25.
ANNOUNCER: But staying there and staying together hasn't always been easy.
BONO, LEAD SINGER, U2: It's hard to keep relationships together.
ANNOUNCER: A rock-and-roll journey, the story of U2.
Then, one of the most successful bands of their generation. You know the songs...
DAVE MATTHEWS, THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND (singing): Crash into me, yes.
ANNOUNCER: You know the name, but do you know the story?
MATTHEWS: Revolutionary spirit comes out of just the will that we have. And South Africa taught me that.
ANNOUNCER: From fighting apartheid to the top of the charts, the remarkable journey of Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band.
Now, from the pages of "People" magazine and the network for news, a look at the most fascinating PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Hi, everyone. I'm Paula Zahn. Welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
It's been quite a year for U2. Their 14th album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," hit number one. The band was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. And they're wrapping up the first leg of their latest world tour. After nearly 30 years together, how do they do it? Well, the answer is a combination of friendship, faith, ambition and friction.
BONO, LEAD SINGER, U2: My name is Bono. I'm the lead singer in the loudest folk group in the world.
ZAHN: Fourteen albums, 130 million copies sold, sold-out concerts around the world. In a popular culture where tastes change by the second, U2 has been a constant presence. The same four band members, together for more than a quarter of a century.
BONO: It's hard to keep relationships together. But when you do, they're the most valuable thing in your life.
THE EDGE: The reason why we're all still interested is we believe in it. We know that it works.
CLAYTON: From the get-go, we realized that, you know, we are extremely lucky to be able to do this.
MULLEN: We have an opportunity to be honest with each other and to be brutal with each other so you can survive things that most people never survive. ZAHN: Each member of U2 has his own role. The Edge plays guitar.
BONO: Even his mother calls him The Edge, yes.
PAUL MCGUINNESS, U2 MANAGER: Edge is one of those extraordinary musicians who can pick up any instrument and make music with it a few seconds later.
STEVE LILLYWHITE, U2 PRODUCER: He's very methodical, takes lots of notes. He's a scientist and one of the great sound guitarists of his time.
ZAHN: Adam Clayton plays bass.
MCGUINNESS: Adam is sort of the ears of the band. He really picks up on things way ahead of anyone else.
LILLYWHITE: There's no other bass player you could put in U2 and it sound like it does. You know, his touch, his feel is perfect for the band.
ZAHN: Larry Mullen, Jr., is the drummer.
LILLYWHITE: Larry formed the band. And to be honest, Larry is -- Larry sort of runs the band, in a strange way.
MCGUINNESS: Larry is the difficult one. Larry is the one who says, "Don't go too far with that crazy new idea."
ZAHN: And the lead singer is Bono.
LILLYWHITE: I've never known such a big overachiever as Bono. He takes all the things that he has and he makes them bigger.
MCGUINNESS: He's an enormously successful persuader and communicator. He's a magic man.
ZAHN: Together, it's a musical partnership and friendship that hasn't always been easy but has ultimately endured.
MULLEN: You know, we started this as -- you know, we joined a gang. And we had very clear ideas about how we wanted it to be and how we would work together.
ZAHN: The gang first formed in 1976 at the Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin, Ireland. A teenage drummer posted a note on the school's bulletin board hoping to start a band.
THE EDGE: It's your fault.
MULLEN: It is. I take all the blame for us. And it's the best job these guys have ever had. In fact, it's the only job these guys have ever had.
ZAHN: The first rehearsal took place in the kitchen of the Mullens' house.
BONO: Larry was 14, Edge was 15, I was 16. Adam was 16. We were just kind of hanging around with each other.
MULLEN: I could play a little bit. You know, I could play a little bit. And they couldn't play at all.
BONO: I remember Adam as being the one who had the plan. He had all the fancy words, like action, fret. And he had a mad afro. He looked like Michael Jackson in reverse.
Edge was in the corner being sort of quiet, and interesting, and moody, as all guitar players should. And Larry was just, you know, just there he was. He was just a star, obviously.
MULLEN: It looked like in that room of chaos, if you could keep time for more than five minutes, you were a superstar.
ZAHN: The band started out with a rather appropriate name, "Feedback," then became "The Hype" before settling on "U2." The early rehearsals were rough.
MULLEN: Oh, we were crap. We were the worst band that you could imagine.
BONO: If you had seen an early U2 rehearsal, you would -- you just would not believe it. You wouldn't believe that people could survive these kind of rats, just screaming, just teenagers screaming at each other.
ZAHN: However, the young band stuck it out.
MULLEN: There was nowhere else to go, I think, as well, you know? Like it wasn't like you joined the band and you put in all this time and, well, it's not working, let's go do something else. There was nothing else to do, you know? There was nowhere else to go.
THE EDGE: The thing that helped us, I think, was because we really did become very close friends early on. So it wasn't a case of just being a band professionally. We were a band in every sense.
ZAHN: U2 had something else going for the band besides their friendship: ambition.
CLAYTON: We were very lucky in that, you know, blind faith and ignorance was considered an asset in the era of punk.
JOE O'HERLIHY, U2 SOUND ENGINEER: From the very, very start of it, way back then, you would get the distinct impression that it was a band that certainly were, you know, not going to take no for an answer.
BONO: But not only did we come from the north side of Dublin, we decided we wanted to stay in Dublin, Ireland, and take on the world from there. Mad, out of whack, megalomania, I would suggest.
ZAHN: But it was a goal U2 would soon achieve.
When our story continues, U2 hits the big time, but struggles as it tries to balance rock and roll and religion.
BONO: People's faith and my faith are very, very important to me.
ANNOUNCER: We now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: In 1980, U2 released its first album, "Boy." They were barely out of their teens. But their distinctive style and sound were already there.
MCGUINNESS: They looked to me like they were going to be the biggest band in the world. They had a singer who was hungry for contact with the audience, looked in their eyes. They had an exciting guitar player who was playing a very individual style. And they had a rhythm section that could back them up.
ZAHN: What also made U2 unique was its embrace of serious topics, life and death, God, faith, and politics.
THE EDGE: They say that the things you shouldn't talk about in polite company are politics and religion. You know, and that's the only thing that you talk about in Ireland.
BONO: I'm still no good at talking about it. I'm better at singing about it. They're all to me songs of praise to God and creation, even the angry ones.
ZAHN: Faith would help U2 as it struggled to gain a foothold in the music world.
LILLYWHITE: In the early days, it was very important to them because there was all this mad, crazy world out there. And they were this little band who -- you know, they could either embrace the rock- and-roll lifestyle or they could, you know, compact within themselves. And that's the sort of thing they did.
ZAHN: In fact, around the time of its second album, the religious-themed "October," faith almost broke the band up. Bono, the Edge, and Mullen became heavily involved in a charismatic Christian prayer group.
CLAYTON: People were saying, do we really want this? This takes a commitment. And the commitment that it takes, and the energy that it takes, is opposed to, you know, where we want to go in our spiritual lives.
ZAHN: The band decided it could find a balance between religion and rock and roll.
CLAYTON: Can the two work together? Everyone decided that they could. And I think they could.
ZAHN: In 1983, U2 was still not a household name, but the buzz around the band was growing, thanks to its third album, "War."
LILLYWHITE: From that, they had their first big hit, which was a song called "New Year's Day." And it had "Sunday Bloody Sunday." And these songs started to cement a real following. And it was at this point, I thought, that they would -- that they could go all the way.
ZAHN: Much of the music world soon agreed. In 1985, U2 appeared at "Live Aid," a concert that showcased the band's power and purpose to the world.
PETER CASTRO, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: They come out on the stage at Wembley Stadium and you could see everyone, hundreds of thousands of people, just jumping up and down. And they absolutely stole the show. They became world superstars that day.
ZAHN: That momentum would carry over to its next album, "The Joshua Tree." It was a critical and commercial smash. Four friends from Dublin found themselves on the cover of "Time" magazine. U2 was the biggest band in the world.
CLAYTON: It's pretty good to be on the cover of "Time" magazine when you're 25. It seemed like every time we did something back then, the level of interest and the scrutiny from everyone would kind of go up a notch. I thought, "This is a great record. I'm very pleased with it. It's really everything that I could have hoped." But I really felt then that we had so much more to achieve as a band.
ZAHN: But U2 would experience some turbulence at the top. In 1988, the band starred in its own feature-length film, "Rattle and Hum."
BONO: What's so special about the film? We're in it, man. What can I say?
ZAHN: On the big screen, the band known for being serious and socially conscious suddenly looked self-important and self-indulgent.
BONO: I had enough of Irish-Americans who haven't been back to their country in 20 or 30 years.
ZAHN: A U2 backlash had begun.
THE EDGE: The "Rattle and Hum" movie and that period, there was a certain kind of reaction against that version of U2.
BONO: We were in danger of looking like the band too stupid to enjoy being at number one.
ZAHN: The biggest band in the world decided it needed to make a radical change. When our story continues, U2 searches for new direction and almost breaks up in the process.
MULLEN: There are disagreements all the time. That was one where the communication process had kind of broken down a little.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: For almost any other band, selling out a world tour would be a career high. But for U2, it's business as usual. And they've done it again. Nearly three decades after they first came together, U2 shows no signs of slowing down.
This is the sound of passion.
THE EDGE: You know, for us, music is our life. You know, it's everything. And it changed our life.
ZAHN: It's the sound of faith.
BONO: Faith in each other, faith in God, faith in the concept of sticking together.
ZAHN: It's the sound of ambition.
MULLEN: We are never satisfied. There's always something else we want to do.
ZAHN: And the sound of friendship.
CLAYTON: You can go much further together, stick together.
ZAHN: This is the sound of U2, a rock-and-roll democracy that's still thriving after nearly 30 years together.
MULLEN: The democracy within U2 changes. And some days it's whoever who has the loudest voice and some days it's whoever has the best arguments.
BONO: In the band, people aren't arguing their positions so much as they seem to be arguing for the music the whole time. And I think that's what the band -- when we fight with each other, that's what we're fighting over.
ZAHN: But a fight over music would threaten to tear the group apart. By the end of the 1980s, U2 was the biggest band in the world, following the multi-platinum success of its album, "The Joshua Tree."
CASTRO: It was the first album that everybody noticed on, I think, on a global level. And it was -- a lot of people think it's their tour-de-force. ZAHN: But success came with a price. The band that had once been admired for its passion and political stances had begun to be seen as sanctimonious and self-righteous, especially its outspoken lead singer. U2 decided it was time to make a change.
THE EDGE: The interpretation of us as people had kind of been reduced into a cartoon.
BONO: People would come up and, you know, ask you for a spiritual guidance in their life. So we just wanted to create a really bad example for them so they'd stop asking us this kind of stuff.
ZAHN: The band headed to newly post-communist Berlin in search of a different direction. The idea, tear down the old U2 and build something new.
THE EDGE: We worked on experimenting with new sounds, new ways of writing songs.
CLAYTON: Everyone had a slightly different idea of what the band should sound like and how that was going to be achieved.
MULLEN: It was hard. It was like there was a lot of friction. It wasn't that people were fighting or having bad days because they were being lazy or they were out in the pub the night before. It was because people really cared about the music, and people were fighting to make it better.
ZAHN: U2 was in trouble and on the verge of imploding, until a song called "One" brought them back together.
CLAYTON: Edge had a chord sequence that we were trying to work on. And I think Bono had another chord sequence that we were also trying to turn into something. And in the end, we just put the two together. And it just kind of slotted in. You know? It was amazing. Just had such strength, and pathos, and dignity. And you know, it was fantastic.
ZAHN: "One" became the centerpiece of the album "Achtung Baby," considered U2's second masterpiece. The band members revealed a different side. They were ironic, outrageous, even playful as they shook up their old image.
BONO: That to me was really (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of four men chopping down "The Joshua Tree."
THE EDGE: It really completely changed the direction of the band. And in a sense, I think it saved the band from becoming a complete caricature.
BONO: I think it was important to just to surprise yourself as well as other people. I think that's perhaps a clue to our longevity.
ZAHN: However, the band's next big transformation would not go over quite as well. In 1997, the band released the album "Pop" and its over-the-top first single "Discotheque."
BONO: They heard reports of the band dressing up as the Village People in their first video and they ran for the hills.
ZAHN: U2 had another problem. The tour for "Pop" had been booked before the band had time to finish the album to its normally exacting standards.
MULLEN: Probably one of the most stupid things I have ever heard of in my whole life. And you would have thought, after 15 years of doing this, that you would have figured that out. But we did it. And we did it to ourselves. And the album suffered. And the tour suffered. You know, and that's regrettable.
BONO: You know, we called the album "Pop" because I guess, you know, we had hoped it might catch on.
ZAHN: The "PopMart" tour turned into a visual feast, but not all of U2's audience was willing to accept the band emerging on stage from a giant lemon-shaped disco ball.
BONO: But in Los Angeles on "PopMart," I felt us losing the crowd. There was a couple nights when the spectacle turned into a monster, you know? And the monster ate us instead of us eating the monster, which was the plan.
ZAHN: U2 found itself at another crossroads.
THE EDGE: We couldn't afford to rely on anything complicated.
ZAHN: When our story continues, Bono, Bono everywhere. U2's lead singer and his struggle to juggle two jobs.
MCGUINNESS: I worry about him because he over-schedules himself and he takes too much on at times.
WHITFIELD: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues in a moment. But first, a look at the top stories.
The U.S. military has completed Operation Matador in western Iraq and says it was a success. During the past week, more than 125 insurgents were killed and about 40 captured. Nine U.S. marines were killed and 40 wounded.
Insurgent attacks have left at least 12 people dead in Iraq. In today's deadliest incident, police say a suicide car bombing killed five Iraqis near a government ministry in central Baghdad. The dead included two police officers.
Millions of Americans use cholesterol-lowering drugs. Now researchers say that those same drugs, known as statins, may also help prevent breast cancer and a range of other cancers. What's unclear though is how the statins actually reduce the risk.
Mexico's president is taking heat for saying Mexican immigrants to the U.S. take jobs that, quote, "not even blacks want to do." We'll have the White House reaction coming up next hour. More headlines in 30 minutes.
On the road again, and again, and again. We'll tell you about old rock-and-roll stars in concert this summer at 10:00 Eastern on CNN's "SATURDAY NIGHT." Now back to more PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ANNOUNCER: We now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: In 2001, U2 went back on tour with a mission. It was reapplying for the title of the biggest band in the world.
The over-the-top spectacle of its "PopMart" tour was gone. In its place, a stripped-down back-to-basics approach. U2 had changed yet again, turning to the past to find new direction.
THE EDGE: We were looking to ourselves a lot more than normal and, maybe, you know, along the way taking lessons from previous records.
ZAHN: The gamble paid off. Its 2000 album, "All That You Can't Leave Behind," was a critical and commercial success that put U2 back on top.
BONO: "All That You Can't Leave Behind" is really just about getting to the heart and the soul of what our band is about, which is four of us playing in a room together.
ZAHN: However, getting U2 in the same room isn't always easy, especially with a lead singer who has a second job: activist.
BONO: We want the rich countries to drop the debts that they're owed to them by the poorest countries. My political life has come out of my artistic life. And the band has always believed that the job of rock and roll is to change the world.
ZAHN: At times, it seems like Bono is everywhere but in U2. Speeches, meetings, and photo-op after photo-op hoping to change the world one politician at a time.
BONO: Am I being used? Yes, probably. Am I a cheap date? No.
MULLEN: It is another job. And he spends as much time on Africa as he does on U2 now.
MCGUINNESS: I worry about him because he over-schedules himself. And he takes too much on at times. But he has more energy than ten normal people.
BONO: I have no choice about this. I don't want to do this. I would much rather be in the studio, in a rehearsal room and singing songs. I wake up in the morning with melodies in my head. It's the easiest thing for me.
ZAHN: Instead, he's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. It focuses on eliminating debt for third-world nations, fair trade issues, and helping to fight AIDS in Africa.
BONO: For 7 cents out of $10, you can change millions of lives. I want to be part of the generation that says no to extreme poverty, says no to the idea that children can die for the lack of a cheap immunization or food in its belly.
And I want to be the generation that puts an end to that. I want to be part of that. And I think the band feel proud to be a part of that generation. I just wish it didn't take up so much of the singer's time.
ZAHN: All four members of U2 are in one place again right now, touring the world behind their latest album, "How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb."
THE EDGE: This record, I believe, is our best, most accomplished record. And I think we couldn't make a better record.
MULLEN: It's always wanting more. It's wanting the cherry on the cake with some extra jam. And it's always about that. I think that's why, you know, that's why we've stuck it out.
ZAHN: They have been together for nearly 30 years, four friends from high school. Once again, the biggest band in the world.
LILLYWHITE: They still have the same spirit and the same feeling that they had in the early days, which is, they think they're the worst band in the world.
MULLEN: We didn't learn how to play. And we don't play proficiently. We don't play particularly well.
THE EDGE: And that's our secret, in a sense.
CLAYTON: Individually, we can't really go very far without the help of the other three.
MULLEN: We play together well. It's what happens in U2 that makes it special.
BONO: Relationships don't last. Marriages break up. So when you see four people who stood together and with each other through so much, I think it's a very powerful thing.
ZAHN: U2 is in the process of wrapping up the first part of the band's world tour. They're heading to Europe this summer and then returning to the U.S. in the fall. But if you don't already have tickets, you're out of luck. Every show in every city is already sold out. ANNOUNCER: Coming up, he grew up in the turmoil of South Africa's apartheid and got his start while bartending at a college hangout in Virginia.
BOYD TINSLEY, VIOLINIST, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: He was a very interesting fellow, but the thing about it was, no one knew that he played music.
ANNOUNCER: On the road and on the stage with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
Rock, pop, jazz, bluegrass. It's kind of hard to pin down the Dave Matthews Band, even more difficult to define Dave himself. With his namesake's latest album, "Stand Up," debuting last Tuesday, a look now at Dave, his band, and his journey from the turmoil of South Africa to the summit of the music world.
ZAHN: Marching in to the stratosphere, the Dave Matthews Band, or DMB as they're known to their legion of fans, has sold more than 25 million CDs. They are simply one of the most successful acts in North America and one of the most unlikely.
BRUCE FLOHR, RCA RECORDS: How in the hell did a band without an electric guitar sell so many records?
ZAHN: Chart-topping singles, sold-out concerts, tens of millions of dollars in touring.
DAVE MATTHEWS, LEAD SINGER, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: We cut the gorge through the music business by ourselves, because when we starting out, you know, there was nothing like us out there.
ZAHN: No lead guitar, a violinist, three African-Americans, two white guys, their backgrounds as diverse as their music.
TINSLEY: We don't have a lot of dance moves. We don't have a lot of smoke and mirrors going on on stage. No, it's all about the music. And I think people appreciate that, coming to a show and just hearing musicians play.
MATTHEWS: We are not trying to go on out there saying, "We're going to blow these people away with our superpowers." It's just like we're going to go play, and we're going to play as hard as we can.
ZAHN: And now they are back. "Stand Up," the band's first new album in three years, hit the shelves this week.
TINSLEY: More groove, more rhythm, and also just going into sort of different places that we have never gone before.
STEFAN LESSARD, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: As a band, we're not going to settle into anything that's too comfortable.
ZAHN: Difficult to define. Five individuals, together a band, more than the sum of its parts. And yet a band under one man's name, this man, this voice, but don't tell him that.
MATTHEWS: One thing I've regretted is that we didn't sit down and come up with some cute little name for ourselves, and just went, "Well, Dave Matthews Band." Well, it's stuck now. But I regret it because it singled me out in the group.
ZAHN: David John Matthews was born on January 9, 1967, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was raised in the Quaker tradition, a belief that stresses both racial tolerance and pacifism, two things in short supply during the years of apartheid. The turmoil in South Africa and his Quaker upbringing would forever shape Dave Matthews, his view of the world, and his sense of freedom and justice.
JOHNATHAN DORFMAN, FRIEND: I remember one time that -- David tells a story of them traveling to Cape Town with a young friend of theirs who was a black guy and them going into -- stopping at a rest stop, and going in, and sitting down. And one of the signs saying black people weren't allowed to sit down. And the kids sitting on top of their laps, you know, to try and get away with not being able to actually sit down in the cafeteria.
ZAHN: Matthews attended anti-apartheid marches and rallies and, to this day, speaks of the impression left on him from that troubled time.
MATTHEWS: I guess, in a way, the fertile ground for revolution is oppression, you know? Although it's very ugly, a revolutionary spirit comes out of just the will that we have. It's inside of us all, that will that we have inside. I think it taught me that.
ZAHN: Matthews moved often during his younger years because of apartheid and his father's job. He spent time in the U.S. and elsewhere until his father died suddenly from lung cancer.
MATTHEWS: My dad died when I was 10. I mean, it was hard, because I guess when you're little, you don't really get what death is.
ZAHN: Devastated, Dave Matthews moved back to South Africa where he would finish school. There he would also find solace in a world of music and a first love, art.
MATTHEWS: I liked visual arts a lot as a kid and mainly drawing because it was a -- there's a real solitude, a real patience involved in that.
ZAHN: But Matthews had no patience for the apartheid regime in South Africa. Military service was compulsory, but counter to Matthews' pacifist upbringing. So he moved back to the United States. And he eventually settled in Charlottesville, Virginia, a small college town and bohemian community where Matthews traded his passion of drawing for an obsession with a guitar, a choice that would change his life forever.
TINSLEY: You know, in Charlottesville, it's a pretty big music community, you know? It's just like a lot of musicians get together and just jam with each other.
ZAHN: Working as a bartender at a local hangout known as Miller's, Dave Matthews was at the epicenter of Charlottesville's burgeoning music scene. No coincidence then that most of his future band-mates were regulars. Of course, they no idea, at first, of the quiet talent behind the bar. After all, Matthews was just the guy who served drinks.
TINSLEY: He was a very interesting fellow. But the thing about it was, no one knew that he played music until, you know, one day I saw him on stage.
ZAHN: Matthews may have kept a low profile in the beginning, but he had big plans. He wasn't only running tabs for some of the best players in town; he was also keeping tabs on them.
Confidence, however, was an issue, especially around the likes of such accomplished musicians as saxophonist Leroi Moore and drummer Carter Beauford, not to mention a prodigy like bassist Stefan Lessard or a virtuoso like violinist Boyd Tinsley.
TINSLEY: The music was so different. And even the instrumentation of the band, even before I got to it -- I mean, they had been rehearsing like two months before I joined. And you know, it was so different that a violin wasn't going to really mess it up too much, you know?
ZAHN: And with that, the Dave Matthews Band was born, a modest beginning for what would become one of rock's biggest success stories.
Coming up, DMB hits the road and hits the charts. But just as everything is coming together, tragedy strikes Matthews' life again.
ANNOUNCER: On this edition of "Breaking Big," a company putting its stamp on success.
STEVEN GREENBAUM, PRESIDENT AND CEO: Postnet's not just another place you can go to ship a package. Postnet's a diversified business center. And we really focus on helping small businesses grow.
ANNOUNCER: The privately held franchise company boasts 950 stores worldwide and provides copying, printing, packing, shipping, digital and business services. In order to stand apart from the competition, Postnet founders Brian Spindel and Steven Greenbaum decided to revamp the stores.
GREENBAUM: We integrated the use of strong, bold colors. We created an environment in the store so that it could be navigated somewhat like a Web page, where consumers could quickly get in, look at the name, category of information, identify the services they need, and then obtain additional information.
What has happened is exactly what we planned, for consumers to understand that we do so much more than mail and postal services. And so our revenues increased. And we're adding approximately 100 to 120 stores per year.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: In 1991, bartender Dave Matthews had assembled all the pieces for his new band. They were diverse, talented, and ready to strike out on their own.
The Dave Matthews Band started touring in earnest, frat parties at the University of Virginia, and the club circuit in and around Charlottesville, taverns and bars that exist today only in the history of DMB. But it would be through these long hours on the road, on the stage, that the band would find its voice, its group.
NEVIN MARTELL, BIOGRAPHER: The awesome chemistry that you see up on stage today, that's from those years of touring together, that's from the years of just taking the songs as basic structures and, like, building on them.
ZAHN: As time went on, DMB adopted a Grateful Dead approach to touring, endless jam sessions and a lenient policy that allowed fans to freely tape their shows. Those tapes would spread along the eastern seaboard, fueling an underground celebrity the band could never have imagined.
MATTHEWS: We'd go up -- you know, into a school or a state you'd never been before, and the audience was singing all the words back to us. We never had a CD out.
ZAHN: And audiences weren't the only ones attracted to the Dave Matthews Band. By chance, one of the many bootlegs floating around the country made its way to Bruce Flohr, a record executive at RCA in Los Angeles. After hearing DMB for the first time, he hopped a plane to New York to see them for himself.
FLOHR: I went down to a club in New York called the Wetlands. And we walked in and there were 500 kids that were well-aware of Dave. And right then I got the feeling there was something special going on.
ZAHN: RCA eventually signed DMB. But the record company faced the daunting task of selling the band's unique sound in a market then saturated by grunge rock.
FLOHR: One of the turning points of the band's career was a convention down in New Orleans, a radio convention, where we had the band play in front of all their fans. And the band just tore the roof off that place. And everybody went home from that convention and said, "This is the next best thing."
ZAHN: A major label, a new album. Just as everything seemed to be going Matthews' way, tragedy again haunted his life and family.
MARTELL: Dave found out that his sister, Anne, had been killed in South Africa. Not only that, but she had been killed by her husband who had then committed suicide.
ZAHN: Matthews is very private about the exact details of his sister's death. One of the only public acknowledgements of his loss came fittingly enough on stage during a performance on January 29, 1994.
MATTHEWS: There's a country full of lots of violence and lots of hatred, but it's also full of lots of love and lots of good people. But I was there mourning the very recent murder of my sister, so this evening goes out to her and in her memory.
ZAHN: Matthews struggled on. And he and the band would release "Under the Table and Dreaming" at the end of 1994. The first single, "What Would You Say," was as successful as it was unorthodox.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a violin. There's no lead guitar in the song. Like, these are not things that you would typically associate with a song that would go top 40.
ZAHN: By the late '90s, DMB was on top of the world, multi- platinum records and sold-out arenas.
FLOHR: There's no way I could sit here and tell you that I could see three nights Giants Stadium sold out from the Wetlands. Absolutely not. I did believe in my heart that this thing was going to become special.
ZAHN: From bar band to the heights of the music world, so much, so fast for Dave Matthews and DMB. But where does he, and where do they, go from here?
DORFMAN: I can not imagine David not being involved in music.
MARTELL: You know, 10, 20 years from now, they're still going to be putting out records, they're still going to be touring, they're still going to be selling out their shows. I don't think that there's any chance that the band is going to stop being, you know, a huge success.
FLOHR: I can't think of very many bands that we've seen develop in the last decade get their induction into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. I know for a fact that this band will be one of those bands.
ZAHN: Dave and the band that bears his name are hitting the road yet again this summer. Their tour begins next month. That's it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Coming up next week, Simon Cowell, the "Idol" judge America loves to hate.
I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for joining us. Hope you're back with us next week.
ANNOUNCER: For more celebrity news, pick up a copy of "People" magazine this week.
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