Monday, January 9, 2017

The Edge Breaks Down U2's Upcoming 'Joshua Tree' Tour

Guitarist also reveals status of band's upcoming 'Songs of Experience' LP and discusses rare songs fans might get to hear live






Since their formation in 1976, U2 have aggressively avoided any move that even hints at nostalgia. But this year they're going to finally look back by taking their 1987 masterpiece The Joshua Tree on tour in stadiums across America and Europe in honor of the album's 30th anniversary. It's a chance for the band to re-connect with fans after the rather disappointing reception to their 2014 LP Songs of Innocence, and it gives them a chance to hit the road while continuing to put the finishing touches on their upcoming album Songs of Experience. A couple of weeks before the shows were formally announced, U2 guitarist the Edge phoned up Rolling Stone to talk about the tour, reviving rare songs onstage, their next album, Donald Trump and much more.


Can you give me some background on how this tour came together?
Well, when we came off the last tour, the Innocence and Experience indoor tour, we headed straight into finishing the second album of that set, Songs of Experience, which we were pretty much complete with after a couple of weeks of the final touches leading up to the end of the year. And then the election [happened] and suddenly the world changed. We just went, "Hold on a second – we've got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what's going on in the world." That's because it was written mostly, I mean, 80 percent of it was started before 2016, but most of it was written in the early part of 2016, and now, as I think you'd agree, the world is a different place.
You're talking about Trump and Brexit?
The Trump election. It's like a pendulum has suddenly just taken a huge swing in the other direction. So, anyway, we then were looking at the anniversary of The Joshua Tree, and another thing started to dawn on us, which is that weirdly enough, things have kind of come full circle, if you want. That record was written in the mid-Eighties, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics. It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners' strike; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we're right back there in a way. I don't think any of our work has ever come full circle to that extent. It just felt like, "Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn't have three years ago, four years ago." And so it was kind of serendipitous, really, just the realization that we needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about it one more time before putting it out, just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say.
So we said look, "Look, let's do both. We can really celebrate this album, which is really born again in this context, and we can also really get a chance to think about these songs and make sure they're really what we want to put out." So the two sort of coincided and we decided we were gonna do some shows. And we've never given ourselves the opportunity to celebrate our past because we've always as a band looked forward, but I think we felt that this was a special moment, and this was a very special record. So we're happy to take this moment to regroup and think about an album that's so many years old, but still seems relevant.
Are you going to play the album in sequence at the shows?
I believe we will, and I say "believe we will" because that is certainly the working assumption right now. The show might not necessarily start with Track One, Side One, "Where the Streets Have No Name," because we feel like maybe we need to build up to that moment, so we're still in the middle of figuring out exactly how the running order will go, so yes. We will be playing the album in sequence.
The fans are going to be thrilled. There's many songs you haven't played in decades. Then there's "Red Hill Mining Town," which you've never played.
That's true. I had a couple of days at the end of a studio session where I was listening to that song and working on guitar parts for it, which I hadn't thought about for so many years. That tune in itself is just right slap-bang in some ways what's going on with the U.K. It's not quite as intense, but there's industrial action breaking out all over the U.K. for the first time in generations. It's not exactly a repeat of the Winter of Discontent, but it's wild those issues are coming back. It does seem like politics is polarized in so many parts of the developing world to an extent that I find worrying. I'm sure most people do. Those days were difficult, dark times, and personally we really would hate to see it go back there.
Why do you think that's the only song on the album you never bothered to play live? Is it difficult to play or difficult for Bono to sing?
I think it was probably one of those songs that due to tempo and arrangement never found a place within the live set. It's funny, sometimes great songs ... Think of a live show as an ecosystem. You've got niches to fill. There are uptempo, fast, dramatic songs and those are crucial. Then there are sort of more medium-tempo songs and no matter how great they are, sometimes you just can't find a place for them. So I don't think it was anything more complicated than that. But listening back to it I was like, "Wow, this is, I'm really …"
You may not know this, but within a few days of finishing the album, "Red Hill Mining Town" was our leading contender for the first single. We went ahead and made a video for it with Neil Jordan and we were very pretty confident about it. Then as the weeks went by and we sort of got back our objectivity, views started to change and it became "With or Without You," and I think we were correct.


Then there's "Exit" and "Trip Through Your Wires," which you haven't done since the 1980s. And there's "In God's Country," which has only been done acoustically a handful of times. It'll be great hearing those again.
Yeah. They're all so diverse. That's the thing about The Joshua Tree. It's a very broad, CinemaScope kind of record. At the time we were thinking about it in cinematic terms. I mean, so much of the photographs that goes with the album, the scope was cinematic. We were thinking about songs from that standpoint. And also the literary inspirations and references. In fact, the original working title of "Exit" was "Executioner's Song" because we were using a lot of literature as our jumping off point for the songs in terms of just taking our work in a slightly different direction.

We definitely were falling into the arms of America in the sense that, as a band, punk rock was so much about establishing a unique form of music not inspired or influenced by American music. If you listen to our early records, you can hear the influence of a lot of German contemporary music at the time. A lot of U.K. bands were listening to the same music. The Joshua Tree was the first album where we consciously went, "OK, we spent like four albums thinking about Europe, Ireland, but let's take a look at the roots of this form that we are inevitably a part of." And those were all American.
So we looked at American [music]. We looked at the blues. We looked at the New Journalism. I remember that myself and Bono were reading Flannery O'Connor, the Southern writers. It was a conscious effort to look across the Atlantic and to start to explore America. I mean, for someone from Ireland, it is a vast source of ideas and aspirations and inspirations and generations, America being the Promised Land. We're looking at it in that regard, but also at what America really was. I read about the Soledad Brothers. I read about the Black Panthers. We were exploring America from all kinds of angles. And this time was a Reagan moment where, in some ways, the vision of what America would be seemed under threat. The America of Thomas Jefferson, the America of John F. Kennedy, these were visionaries talking about the ideals of what America can be. We were grappling with those big ideas and now here we are again. It's crazy.

U2 Detail 'The Joshua Tree' Summer Tour for Rolling Stone

U2 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree this year by performing the seminal 1987 album in its entirety at stadiums across America and Europe, including a stop at Bonnaroo. The festival slot will mark the group's first-ever headlining set at an U.S. festival. The tour - which features Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and OneRepublic rotating as opening acts - kicks off May 12th at BC Place in Vancouver and wraps up July 1st at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland before heading over to Europe for a run of eight shows with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 will mark the group's first time playing a classic album in concert. They picked one packed with hits, including "Where The Streets Have No Name," "With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." For hardcore fans, the tour is an opportunity to hear rarely played deep cuts like "Exit," "Trip Through Your Wires" and "In God's Country." It will also feature the first live performance of "Red Hill Mining Town."

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, U2 guitarist The Edge says they're still figuring out how to structure the show. "The show might not necessarily start with Track 1, Side 1 'Where The Streets Have No Name' because we feel like maybe we need to build up to that moment," he says. "So we're still in the middle of figuring out exactly how the running order will go."
To celebrate the upcoming tour, the group released a teaser video looking both back and ahead.



The idea to take The Joshua Tree on tour came last year when U2 were putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album Songs of Experience. "The election happened and suddenly the world changed," says Edge. "We just went, 'We've got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what's going on in the world.'"
The band noticed the parallels between the worldwide political situation that gave rise to The Joshua Tree in 1987 and today. As a result, taking it on tour would give them time to re-think the new album. "[The Joshua Tree] was written in the mid-1980s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics," says the guitarist. "It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. It just felt like, 'Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn't have three years ago, four years ago.' We needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about [it] one more time before putting it out; just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say."
Bono shared his thoughts on the tour in a statement. "Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years," he said. "It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current: love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarization ... all the greats ... I’ve sung some of these songs a lot ... but never all of them. I’m up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are ... it’s gonna be a great night."


http://www.rollingstone.com/

THE JOSHUA TREE TOUR 2017



The band will be out on the road again this summer celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree and performing the album in full, every night. In July the tour brings them home to Croke Park in Dublin, 30 years after the original Joshua Tree Tour’s two memorable shows at the Dublin venue in June 1987.

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 kicks off in Vancouver on 12th May for a run of dates across North America, and includes U2’s first ever U.S. festival headline appearance at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.

The tour then moves to Europe with the first stop in London on 8th July, finishing up in Brussels on 1st August and taking in their hometown show in Croke Park on 22nd July.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will provide support across Europe, with Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and One Republic joining the tour through North America.


“It seems like we have come full circle from when The Joshua Tree songs were originally writtten, with global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk,” reflects The Edge. “To celebrate the album - as these songs seem so relevant and prescient of these times too - we decided to do these shows, it feels right for now. We’re looking forward to it.”

“Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years,” adds Bono. “It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current, love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarisation… all the greats... I’ve sung some of these songs a lot… but never all of them. I’m up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are… it’s gonna be a great night. Especially when we play at home. Croke Park.. it’s where the album was born, 30 years ago.”

http://www.u2.com/


  Adam Clayton announces exclusively to Ryan at the The Ryan Tubridy Show that the band are touring The Joshua Tree album on its 30th Anniversary (RTE Radio One)

Click here to listen to the interview.


http://www.rte.ie/radio1/ryan-tubridy/

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Do you want Bono's guitar?? Bid for a good cause!!!


Bid now for a Bono guitar with handwritten Ordinary Love song lyrics plus a trip for 2 people to Sir Richard Branson's Necker Cup in the British Virgin Islands on November 29-December 2, 2017.

Your trip includes the chance to watch tennis, enjoy the island and attend the famous "End of the World Party."

To participate: 



https://www.charitybuzz.com


Friday, December 2, 2016

Bono on World AIDS Day - December 1 2016




“Millions of people owe their lives to America’s generosity and the leadership of Presidents Bush and Obama”

WASHINGTON — Bono, the lead singer of U2 and the cofounder of ONE and (RED), issued the following statement to mark World AIDS Day:

“Whatever your brand of politics — left, right, center or none at all — if you’re an American, you’re an AIDS activist. America has led the way in saving millions of lives around the world from this vicious little virus. On this World AIDS Day — and every day — that is a reason for Americans to be proud and the world to be grateful.

“President Bush utterly transformed the global fight against AIDS when he launched PEPFAR, the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history. And if President Bush built the car and got it running, President Obama kept his foot on the accelerator, helping ensure that over 18 million people today are on ARVs largely supported by PEPFAR and the Global Fund. Millions of people owe their lives to America’s generosity and the leadership of Presidents Bush and Obama, and support from all sides in Congress. The President-elect will take the baton at a critical moment — we’re so close to an AIDS-free generation, but still far from where we need to be to get ahead of this disease.

“Government leadership has been essential to fight, but we also have to thank the businesses who have been dealing their own serious blows to this disease. This year marks (RED)’s 10th birthday and we are amazed by what our (RED) partners have done — delivering more than $360 million to fight AIDS so far. Just as important as the cash, has been the heat they are keeping on this crisis. Together these resources mean more birthdays for millions of men and women and more babies born HIV free.”

AIDS-related illnesses are now the leading cause of death for women aged 15 to 44 on the planet, and over 17,000 women of all ages are infected with HIV every week. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as young men to be infected with HIV, and 850 young women contract it every day. AIDS deaths have declined by 45 percent since their peak in 2004, but 2.1 million people are still being infected each year.

The ONE Campaign this week released its annual report on the fight against AIDS, warning that funding for the global fight against AIDS was flat and gains in treatment and prevention had not grown for a fourth straight year. Imminent population growth among especially vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa has left world leaders with a four-year window to get ahead of the disease before long-term control slips beyond their reach.




Thinking of Florence (aka Florence Nightingale) my nurse hero from Kigali who once offered nothing to her patients but care. Now she can offer lifesaving ARVs thanks to AIDS activists all over the world.
18 million people are now on these miracle drugs! What everyone thought was impossible, is not – #Bono #WorldAIDSDay @ONEcampaign (RED) - via U2 on Instagram

https://www.one.org/international/
https://red.org/

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