Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy birthday!!!

Happy birthday, life's just starting!!!!!


To mark his birthday, a special playlist from Bono... and words of gratitude.

Play Bono's '60 Songs That Saved My Life' below or click to listen on your preferred music service.
'These are some of the songs that saved my life,' writes Bono, as he shares a special birthday playlist titled '60 Songs That Saved My Life'. 'The ones I couldn't have lived without… the ones that got me from there to here, zero to 60… through all the scrapes, all manner of nuisance, from the serious to the silly… and the joy, mostly joy.'
The four hour plus playlist stretches from the formative 45s of his teenage years to later collaborations with some of his heroes, as well as tracks by younger artists like Billie Eilish, the same age now, 18, as Bono when he wrote his first song.
Long before he was making music, he was a music fan and along with these 60 songs he's penning a series of letters to their creators and family members. 

'I wanted to thank the artists and everyone who helped make them… They were doing the same for me… I am writing a fan letter to accompany each song to try and explain my fascination…'

Bono is sharing the first six letters today, with more coming in the week ahead.
Writing about ‘Miserere' to Alice, daughter of Luciano Pavarotti he says, 'I can hardly remember what it was about... other than forgiveness that is… and a toast to being alive.’
To Billie Eilish (and Finneas) he says, of ‘everything i wanted’, ‘I step inside your song and it’s a black beauty, achingly awesomely vulnerable and terrifying, fearliess and worrisome… but you are not worried by all that.’
Writing to Duncan, son of David Bowie, he recalls, 'When I heard your Dad's song LIFE ON MARS? on the radio in 1973, I was hiding under the covers of my bed in 10 Cedarwood Roadlistening to a pirate radio station called Radio Caroline. I wasn't thinking about the question mark in the title… I wasn't bothered about the dramatic inquiry “is there life on Mars?”… The song was answering a much more important question when I was 13… Is there intelligent life on earth? It was proof as far as I'm concerned.'
To the members of Kraftwerk, who lost Florian this week, Bono recounts how 'The Man Machine' stole his heart and mind as a teenager. 'I gave Ali a copy to romance her on her 17th birthday in 1978… NEON LIGHTS is a song that brought into being a future that has now become so familiar, it is easy to forget just how strange it was.'
'You wrote songs so you could be in them,' he writes to Nile Rodgers. 'And that light touch is never better than on this one', referring to Daft Punk's Get Lucky featuring Rodgers and Pharrell. 'You are a reason to believe in what's possible,' he writes to Pharrell, 'You are a reason to believe in THE IMPOSSIBLE.'
And to Shara Nelson and Massive Attack, he sends gratitude for Safe From Harm, 'Thanks for giving me permission to not fully let go of the rage behind all vulnerability… it can propel.'

Read each letter in full in our gallery above - we'll be adding to it over the next few days.
Play Bono's '60 Songs That Saved My Life' here or click to listen on your preferred music service.
Add your reactions in the comments below.

60 Songs That Saved My Life
1. Luciano Pavarotti, Bono & Zucchero - Miserere
2. Sex Pistols - Anarchy In the UK
3. Kanye West  - Black Skinhead
4. Billie Eilish  - everything i wanted
5. David Bowie - Life on Mars?
6. The Beatles  - I Want to Hold your Hand
7. Ramones  - Swallow My Pride
8. The Clash  - Safe European Home
9. Public Enemy - Fight The Power
10. Patti Smith - People Have the Power
11. John Lennon  - Mother
12. The Rolling Stones - Ruby Tuesday
13. Elton John - Daniel
14. Andrea Bocelli- Con Te Partiro
15. Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel
16. Johnny Cash - Hurt
17. This Mortal Coil - Song to the Siren
18. Kraftwerk - Neon Lights
19. The Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
20. Prince - When Doves Cry
21. Daft Punk feat Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers - Get Lucky
22. Madonna - Ray of Light
23. JAY-Z feat Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
24. Talking Heads  - Love Goes to Building on Fire
25. Lou Reed - Satellite of Love
26. The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
27. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
28. New Order - True Faith
29. R.E.M.  - Nightswimming
30. Adele - Chasing Pavements
31. Arcade Fire - Wake Up
32. Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven
33. Oasis - Live Forever
34. Iggy Pop - Lust for Life
35. Gavin Friday - Angel
36. Massive Attack - Safe From Harm
37. Kendrick Lamar feat U2 - XXX
38. Bob Marley & The Walers - Redemption Song
39. Echo and the Bunnymen - Rescue
40. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
41. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
42. Bob Dylan - Most of the Time
43. Beyoncé feat Kendrick Lamar - Freedom
44. Depeche Mode - Walking In My Shoes
45. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
46. Simon & Garfunkel - The Sounds of Silence
47. Coldplay - Clocks 
48. INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
49. New Radicals - You Get What You Give
50. Angélique Kidjo - Agolo
51. Lady Gaga  - Born This Way
52. Frank Sinatra & Bono - Under My Skin
53. David Bowie - Heroes
54. Simple Minds  - New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)
55. Sinéad O'Connor - You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart
56. Van Morrison - A Sense of Wonder
57. Bruce Springsteen - There Goes My Miracle
58. Daniel Lanois - The Maker
59. Peter Frampton - Show Me The Way
60. Bee Gees - Immortality - Demo Version

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Bono at 60


After he had become a superstar, Bono tried to impress his father by introducing him to Julia Roberts in a nightclub. Bob Hewson muttered to his son: “Pretty woman? My arse!” Bono recalled in a 2005 book of interviews by the French journalist and music critic Mishka Assayas that Bob applied the same determination to be unimpressed to his own offspring: “He took the Dublin position of ‘My son, the fucking idiot.’”

The Dublin position has never entirely changed. Bono may be the first Irish person since Bernard Shaw to have become a truly global celebrity. For millions of people around the world, he is the face of Irish creativity and compassion. Yet at home there is always that familiar muttering: “Rock god? World saviour? My arse!”

In ancient Rome, a conquering general parading in triumph would employ a slave to walk beside him and whisper in his ear, “Remember you are mortal.” That is one expense Bono has been spared. Remember? Could he ever forget?

Adam Clayton talks about his experiences in lock down and the importance of looking after your mental health.

"Sixty for a musician, as indeed the Rolling Stones have showed, you're actually only half way through your career," Adam says of Bono's big birthday tomorrow
Adam Clayton Zoomed in to talk to Ryan Tubridy last night on the Late Late, just twelve hours or so after Tubs had been joined on his Radio 1 programme by the soon to be 60 Bono.
Sporting an impressive lockdown beard, Adam was appearing in support of Pieta House, the suicide prevention and bereavement organisation who've been forced to lay off many of their frontline counsellors due to the COVID-19 related postponement of their key Darkness Into Light fundraiser, which would have taken place this weekend.
First, though, he talked about what Ryan called his "rather roundy birthday."
"Well, he laughed, "it was 60. I feel very lucky to be here at 60. From the way I lived my life it might not have happened! At the time I was planning to have lunch with a few friends but it was the beginning of March and we started to hear all the information coming in from Italy and we just thought time to start isolating so we cancelled it and hopefully at some point in the future we can celebrate."
Asked about deciding to self-isolate in Ireland, Adam said: "I feel very, very safe here. I think the restrictions came in at exactly the right time. Our neighbours maybe didn't do it quite so well. I'm very glad we have a health care professional running our country. So I think we've done all the right stuff and everyone's working really hard and that's why we're very happy to be part of the community."
Moving on to the ten million U2 have donated to medical workers, Adam reflected: "First and foremost, if I can take you back to eight weeks ago when all this was happening first, everyone was trying to get a handle on it and understand what was going on and there was tremendous competition for PPE out there. We, and Bono in particular through his contacts at RED and One and his circle of philanthropic people, were able to get us to the top of the list and make sure we were getting access to quality PPE. And then for us to be able to make that donation and use our money it was an absolute honour, anyone would do that."
Moving on to Pieta House, Adam reflected: "It's hugely stressful for people to be inside in small spaces maybe with children, maybe having to work from home if people still have their jobs. Maybe having access to a computer maybe not. That sort of stress and anxiety about what's happening to your job, the fact you have no personal space to even make a phone call on your own, this causes anxiety and for anyone who's under that sort of pressure - and Pieta's what we're all here for - there is help out there. It's hugely difficult to manage and in an isolated state when you're just stuck with your own head and the thoughts going on inside it, that is extremely stressful."
Returning to his own milestone of hitting 60, and the battles it took to get there, Adam resumed: "I guess it was honesty and admitting that I needed to be part of a community, I needed some sort of fellowship. Some sort of relationship with other human beings to talk about what was going on for me. Also, for me as somebody doing very well in my career, when I looked around at my contemporaries it was hard for to face that I was so unhappy within myself because everything around me was telling me that I should be on top of the world, that this was the greatest thing that could happen to me. But there was a sense of emptiness. That's what addiction brings; where you start to have a desire to get away from feelings. You have a very low sense of self-worth. I was lucky. I was able to take the time and I could afford to go into rehab and I really learned how to think and be a human being in that situation. It gave me my life back. I have an amazing life. I can enjoy having a wife and a child and my bandmates and I can also accept that I need a community to keep me well. I can stay in touch with people on the phone, I'm able to use Zoom now even though we're in this lockdown situation. I got my life back, that was twenty odd years ago now."
Asked whether U2 might have ended if he hadn't overcome his demons, Adam replied: "To be fair to everyone including myself, I don't think any of us understood what was going on back then. We'd all grown up on the mythology of rock 'n' roll and as a young man you feel invincible. I got to the point where my alcoholism, which it was primarily, was taking me away from the one thing that had given me a good life, the one opportunity I had in life was music. I was tired of not being able to reach my full potential and I suppose eventually I had matured enough to realise that alcohol was holding me back."
Put to him that there's an upside to being able to take his foot off the pedal for a couple of months, Adam agreed that: "I have to say that I'm very much enjoying it. As a jobbing musician you spend all your time on the bus, you're travelling all the time and even if we're not touring I might be going somewhere. So to be in the same place for eight weeks and to be in Dublin this time of year is a real blessing. I'm up in the wilds of Rathfarnham, I'd love to say we're growing our own vegetables and I was chopping wood and doing other manly things, truth is I'm watching too much television!"
Ryan ended by asking if he'd be Zooming Bono on Sunday to wish him a happy 60th.
"Absolutely, I'll be celebrating. The thing about these 60th birthdays is that it's very important to the person going through it, and also an opportunity to look back and assess where things have gone and I would have to say for us it's been pretty good to us, we're in pretty good shape. Sixty for a musician, as indeed the Rolling Stones have showed, you're actually only half way through your career.
"I'm very happy. I got to it late in life. I got out of my own ways, they say. I got married late in life and had children late in life and I'm really enjoying having a three-year-old who can say the word 'magnolia' which is very impressive!"
Please donate at or Lo-Call 0818 767300 (Ireland Only)

Watch the interview here:

Friday, March 13, 2020


Ten Reasons To Celebrate Adam Clayton
Poet and playwright, Gary Jermyn has known U2 since schooldays. Who better than an old friend to pay tribute as the firstborn of the band arrives at a milestone birthday.

Apart from 'being one of the great bass guitarists of all time' Gary came up with another ten reasons to celebrate Adam Clayton.

Adam was born in Chinnor, Oxfordshire on 13 March 1960, the same day as Ukrainian poet Yuri Andrukhovych was born in Ivano-Frankivsk. Yuri co-founded the famous Bu-Ba-Bu poetic group which translates as 'burlesque, side-show, buffoonery'. Adam too loves a wee bit of Bu-Ba-Bu. For example, he knows how to make a snow angel.
When our kids were small, Adam invited us to lunch at his home in Rathfarnham at the foothills of the Dublin mountains. It was winter and it had been snowing, which is not something that happens often in Ireland. We went for a walk in the woods and when we came to a clearing, Adam lay on his back in the snow. The kids thought he was mad. Then he started moving his arms up and down, and his legs from side to side. The kids thought he was madder. "I'm a snow angel" he shouted and suddenly they realized what he had become. Then they all lay in the snow and turned themselves into snow angels!

We were on holidays with our two kids in Venice and it was New Year's Day. All was quiet. My wife & I had been up early trying to entertain the kids, climbing bell-towers and counting bridges. Adam paid us a visit and bought the kids hot chocolate and Prada runners. He offered to give us a break. He took the kids for a walk through the narrow alleyways between the canals. As they headed off, I caught a glimpse of them chatting away,  about what I don't know. Then I saw my 5 year-old son Charlie reach out his hand, and Adam taking hold of it. That movement of one small hand reaching out for the other is forever etched in my memory, and always makes me smile.

Adam told me a long time ago that its important to look out for friends who live on their own. He explained that they are more vulnerable; they need more looking out for than people who live with a partner or a family. He's really good at checking in with friends and I know how much they appreciate that.

Who doesn't ? But I remember in those early U2 days when U2 were playing Wembley Arena for the first time, with The Waterboys as support, we met at the Millennium Hotel in Sloane Street and the band had organized a bus to bring family and friends out to the gig. It was my first time to travel to a gig in such style, in a bus with a TV! I sat beside Adam's granny and she spent a lot of the journey telling me how proud she was of all her grand-children. But she was particularly proud of Adam that night!

A few years ago when U2 were playing the O2 in London, Adam dodged the notorious London city centre traffic by taking the Tube to his own gig, and he wasn't hassled at all. Another time, we were at a birthday party near Wexford Town and we stayed in a B&B on the edge of town with notions of grandeur. At breakfast the next morning, the waitress asked me for my autograph. I asked who she thought I was. "You're Adam Clayton from U2" she replied. I turned to the staircase, Adam was descending in a leopard print bathrobe and blue suede slippers. "This is the man you seek" I said, and the waitress was thrilled as Adam gave her his autograph.

Apart from one photograph of Adam wearing a chamberpot on his head after an early show in the Project Arts Centre, with the Virgin Prunes in support, he always comports himself in a very stylish manner. He scrubs up well, when he wears a suit he can look like a Tory politician, and he has a great taste on stage in t-shirts and leather jackets, frequently channeling Paul Simonon of The Clash. After a gig, he has a beautiful skyblue Kimono in which to relax and meet wellwishers. He is always "on trend" which is in no small way due to the help and guidance of his stylist Sharon Blankson! And of course, occasionally he wears nothing at all - even on the cover of an album.

Not only has he a beautiful speaking voice, but he speaks with beautiful and inspiring clarity. Examples of this: Just listen to Adam speaking the last verse of "Your Blue Room" on Passengers; his interview with Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ Radio to launch the thirtieth anniversary tour of The Joshua Tree in early 2017; or the honesty of his speech later that year when he talked about his recovery from addiction, at a MusiCares MAP Fund concert in New York.

At that MusicCares concert, Adam was honoured with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award. He thanked Edge, Bono and Larry, his band colleagues in U2, Pete Townsend from The Who and Eric Clapton, who he said was always there on the end of the phone for him, to help him through this difficult time in his life. But Adam too learnt from the help he received, and passed it on. A simple case in point: I have a young musician friend who has struggled over the years with alcohol addiction. It's really hard for musicians because there's so much gigging is in pubs and clubs, at night, surrounded by temptation. I asked Adam would he mind calling my pal and having a chat with him. Adam was brilliant, called him up, shared his experiences, difficult as they were, and provided great support. He was, like Eric Clapton had been for him, always at the end of a phone.

"The Birth of Venus" is a renaissance painting by Sandro Botticelli which hangs in the Uffizi Gallery.  It depicts the goddess Venus (as naked as Adam Clayton on the Achtung Baby album cover) on a scallop shell being blown ashore by the wind-god Zephyr. Five hundred years later Andy Warhol did a series of screenprints inspired by Botticelli's Venus in which he turned Venus into a Hollywood Starlet. Adam has a version of this in his house. Both Adam and Mariana share a passion for contemporary art.

It was the novelist Henry James who said "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." In my experience, Adam is kindness personified. I am lucky to know him.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Happy birthday, Adam!!!

Adam turns 60 and his fans worldwide want to celebrate!!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy birthday, boss!!

Happy birthday, boss!!! We are all grateful for that blessed note !!