Friday, March 16, 2018


Someone to look up to
 'Someone To Look Up To'– Copyright Julian Lennon 
Photo used with permission. 

Throughout the years, U2 has collaborated with many fellow artists, from legends they admire to fresh talents emerging on the scene. One such artist is their contemporary — acclaimed musician/photographer/humanitarian Julian Lennon. In addition to photographing the band over the years, Lennon is a backing vocalist on the track “Red Flag Day” from Songs Of Experience. In the following interview, conducted via email, Lennon shares details of their history together as artists and friends, his contribution to their current album, and the thousands of photos he still has of the band, which have yet to be released.

TK: When did you first meet/become friends with U2? 

JL: To be honest, I couldn’t tell you the first time … it could have been at the Formosa Cafe in L.A. about 30 years ago. We kept bumping into each other until eventually they asked me if I’d like to come to one of their shows, and I think the first time I went was because we had a security guard in common, Jerry Mele, who used to work for me, but was now working for them. I recall Oasis were their opening act, it was in the U.S. many, many moons ago … but I have a terrible memory, so can’t be sure. ;)

[Editor’s note: Oasis only opened for U2 twice, so the show Lennon references must have been in Oakland in 1997.]

TK: In an interview a few years back, you mentioned a treasure trove of U2 photos you took that weren't released because they were being saved for possible use on an upcoming U2 album. Since they don't appear on Songs Of Experience, will they be held for a future album or released in a different way? 

JL: Well, I have about 8000+ pictures, not all good by any means, as I was just starting to get into photography then, so a lot of blurry shots! But sometimes that can work too as a medium, as a more artistic slant to the conversation, so to speak. There are a few plans in the works with some of the images, for potential one-offs and limited edition images, but I really do need a month to go through all of them again, as I’ve had so many other projects to deal with in between. I’ll get around to them sooner than later ...

TK: If/when they're released, is there any chance of an exhibit of U2 works, exclusively? Is there any way to purchase any of your U2 prints that have already been displayed?

JL: I’ve already had exclusive U2 exhibitions, one as part of my first-ever exhibition, at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC. I’ve had many since with them in Europe too, in Paris, when they were also performing there. The “Timeless” Collection (U2 inclusive) has been available for sale and to view on my photography website since 2010.

TK: I had the pleasure of interviewing artist Morleigh Steinberg in December, who co-owns the Arcane Space in Venice, California. She spoke of wanting to display a diverse array of artists/photographers. Any chance of exhibiting there (U2 content or not)?

JL: I had the pleasure of dining with The Boys a few nights ago, and Edge mentioned this too … it’s always a possibility.

TK: Fans were delighted to hear your backing vocals on "Red Flag Day.” How did the band approach you to work on that track?

JL: I went to visit U2 whilst they were working on the track, whilst they were still playing with the vocal arrangements, and B just said, “Jules, try this melody, it’s more suited to your tonal range” and that was it, I just sang along. Sometimes with Bono and Edge, sometimes solo, and my voice was blended into their background vocal tracks. I can’t really hear myself in there, but hey … happy to be part of it, regardless … ;)

TK: Throughout your musical career, you've collaborated with several of your contemporaries. What's it like working with U2 compared to others with whom you've recorded? 

JL: Well, I’d hardly say I was working with them, as such, it was more like a little bit of fun for 5 minutes … The Boys are pretty low key when recording, and don’t often like having people around, so it’s always a pleasure to get the odd invite, if we’re in the same city, to hang out, talk about the World, and music, etc. etc.

TK: Any chance of you joining U2 on stage when they (presumably) sing "Red Flag Day" on their upcoming tour?

JL: Ha … Doubtful … If it was a “Proper” Duet as such, maybe there would be, or even an old classic like “Stand By Me,” which Bono and I have sung together now on quite a few occasions, but I think that decision is always last minute with Bono. He, and the rest of the guys, have to be feeling it, so to speak … I think it’s a show-by-show experience and decision.

TK: Would you ever want U2 to contribute to any of your future songs?

JL: I play them the odd song, here and there, listen to what they have to say … I think we’re both quite particular in our approach to songwriting, but never say never … who knows?

TK: As a fan, do you have any favorite U2 songs or albums?

JL: Of course … too many to mention … “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “One,” “Vertigo,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” … the list goes on. It’s more a case of which few I don’t like ... that would be easier! ;)

TK: In addition to musical gifts, you also share a common spirit with U2 in the humanitarian sense. Your White Feather Foundation does everything from bringing clean water to African communities to preserving indigenous people's territories in Australia. Tell us more about your foundation and how our readers can help if they'd like to get involved.

JL: In all honesty, the easiest way to know what we do, and to learn the story behind The White Feather Foundation is to go to our website, and read up on our projects … otherwise I’d be writing a few pages out for an answer.

TK: Your new children's book, Heal The Earth, was just released. Tell us about it.

JL: Well, it’s part of a trilogy to help children understand, in story form, the problems we face as a society, on a humanitarian and environmental level, and what we can do about those problems … but it’s more about starting a conversation with the next generation, at an early age, so they understand what’s happening to the world that they are going to inherit, and that there are possibilities for change, for the betterment of all life.

TK: Heal The Earth is the second in a trilogy. When can we expect the third book to arrive?

JL: Same time around, in the 3rd year … ;)

TK: At one point it was mentioned you may be writing an autobiography ... is that in the works? You seem to always have a lot on your plate.

JL: I’m never not busy, one way or another. If I don’t have a project, or 2, or 3 on the go, at any given point in time, I start to worry that I’m not doing enough, for Myself, for My art, for the World. The autobiography is still a consideration, but I’ve just [got] too much going on to consider that as an option right now.

TK: Fans of your Instagram feed (myself included) have really enjoyed your stunning photos from Cuba. Will those also become an exhibit? 

JL: Most of the Instagram shots that were seen were shot with an iPhone, so not really the quality that’s needed to put a show together, but I did take along a new camera that I recently purchased, the Sony AR7 III. Though the pictures won’t be identical to the iPhone pics, there are many that are very similar, so yes, there’s every chance they may become an exhibition at some point, but I’ve just finished editing all of my Cuba/Havana images, which will become a “Collection” on my photography website very soon ...

TK: What's the one question that journalists never ask you that you wish they'd ask?

JL: Am I happy? :)

(c) @U2/Kokkoris, 2018.

 Lennon’s new book, “Heal The Earth,” will be released on April 3 and is available now for pre-order on Amazon. The third book in the trilogy will be released on or around Earth Day, 2019. A direct link to his U2 photography is here.

Monday, March 12, 2018

U2's Bono apologises over charity's alleged bullying and abuse culture

Bono has apologised after claims were made that workers at a charity he co-founded were subjected to a culture of bullying and abuse.   CREDIT: PETE MAROVICH

Bono has apologised after claims were made that workers at a charity he co-founded were subjected to a culture of bullying and abuse.

The U2 singer, 57, said he was left "furious" after the allegations surfaced in November last year.

He admitted the ONE organisation failed to protect some employees at its Johannesburg office and said: "I need to take some responsibility for that."

His comments came as the Mail on Sunday detailed a string of incidents, including allegations from a woman who says she was demoted after refusing to have sex with a Tanzanian MP.

"We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can't stand it," he told the paper.

"The poorest people in the poorest places being bullied by their circumstance is the reason we set up ONE.

"So to discover last November that there were serious and multiple allegations of bullying in our office in Johannesburg left me and the ONE board reeling and furious."

Some former employees have launched legal action against the charity, which aims to tackle poverty and disease, particularly in Africa.

Gayle Smith, ONE's chief executive officer since March last year, said an investigation found evidence of "unprofessional conduct" as well as "bullying and belittling of staff" between late 2011 and 2015.

"Staff were called names, and some said their manager put them to work on domestic tasks in her home," she said in a statement.

"The investigation also found the situation was not adequately addressed nor resolved by executive management at the time, and that ONE's board was not, in my view, properly or fully informed."

She also acknowledged an allegation that a woman was "demoted because she did not become intimate" with an official from another country, but added: "We have not been able to corroborate these appalling claims."

"We do not discount any allegation - we investigate them and will continue to do so should others arise."

Bono said that although the allegations focus on one individual, "the head office failed to protect those employees and I need to take some responsibility for that."

He added: "In fact, if they would agree, I would like to meet them and apologise in person."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ali at the annual fundraiser in aid of Chernobyl Children International

Ryan Tubridy and Ali Hewson. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Ryan Tubridy and Ali Hewson. Photo: Brian McEvoy

It won't be long before U2 kick off the first leg of their Experience + Innocence tour in May - and Bono's better half Ali Hewson said she imagines they could take a leaf out of the Rolling Stones' book and continue touring well into their 70s.

"I really don't know - I hope so. Why not?," she told the Herald.

Despite being part of one of Ireland's best-known celebrity couples, it seems the mum-of-four's household is subject to the same pressures as any other.

Asked if she would be in Tulsa for their opening gig on May 2, she said: "I will be there at some point but I'm not sure when.

"We've got all sorts of exams in our house at the moment so I'll be there for some of it. I will catch it."

She was one of the guests at the InterContinental Hotel for the annual fundraiser in aid of Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children International (CCI).

Hosted by ex-TD Liz O'Donnell and agent Noel Kelly, the bash is one of the organisation's biggest yearly fundraisers.

Although it's coming up to the 32nd anniversary of the nuclear accident next month, Ali said it was just as important to keep the charity in people's minds.

"Year after year we come across the most awful disasters," she said. "But this is something that the CCI is committed to staying with and are seeing these kids through."

More than 250 guests turned up at the lunch to show their support, including Ali's godchild Anna Gabriel (25), who was rescued from an orphanage in Belarus at the age of four and adopted by a West Cork family. She was born with serious problems, including being completely deaf. Her legs were also deformed and she had an extra finger on both hands.

She said she was "plucked out of misery just in time" and has thrived thanks to the care of her adoptive family.

At the end of her speech, she received a standing ovation from the crowd, which included RTE's Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy, Claire Byrne and Dave Fanning.

Tribute was also paid to the late Dolores Riordan, who wrote and recorded a 2002 single Time Is Ticking Out in aid of the charity.

Anticipating Adam Clayton's Big Day: Bassists Are The Most Important Member Of A Band—According To Science

Don't we all_U2 fans_ know it??? 

In what will come as no surprise to anyone who loves rock n’ roll or the blues, researchers have now determined that the bass is the backbone of any song. Turns out our brains can find the rhythm more easily when it is played in a lower tone. In other words, bassists are far more important to a song’s structure that previously thought. Take THAT, lead singers and drummers!
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencespeople are more perceptive of the changes in the lower-pitched notes of a bass guitar than the higher-pitched notes of other instruments.
A team of researchers led by psychologist Laurel Trainor of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, found that our brains are better at catching mistakes in lower notes.
The team used EEG (otherwise known as electroencephalography) to see how our brains react to react to various notes. They found that participants were better at detecting whether the music was off when listening to low-pitched notes versus high-pitched notes. People also were much better at tapping their fingers along with the songs in lower tones.

So, it’s official—we all need to give more props to bassists. The bass holds down a song, filling it with depth and gravitas.
Like a taco with no shell. Or a pizza with no dough. Sure, the fillings and toppings may get all the attention, but without a shell or a crust you would just have a pile of ingredients sitting around with nothing to hold them together. Without them, in other words, music would be pretty boring and lacking in structure.
Another study from Northwestern University found that music with prominent bass makes us feel like we can take on the world.
When we’re listening to songs with heavy bass, we feel more powerful and confident—like we can tackle that major presentation at work or do an extra set of crunches at the gym. Remember that next time you need a little extra motivation!
The bassists of the world may not nab as many of the babes or accolades. There are no flashy solos or shredding, but bassists provide the backbone of any song. Think of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” without the wizardry of John Paul Jones. Or Biggie’s “Hypnotize” without the sweet bass line holding it down.
Resultado de imagen para adam clayton playing mysterious ways
Adam Clayton playing "Mysterious ways"

Monday, January 29, 2018

60th Grammy Awards

During the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, U2 performed “Get Out of Your Own Way” from a barge in front of the Statue of Liberty. As the song ended, Bono referenced Donald Trump’s recent disparaging remarks, shouting, “Blessed are the shithole countries, for they gave us the American Dream.” (It was censored on live TV.) The lines were a variation of Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics from the studio version of the track.  Earlier in the evening, Bono and the Edge participated in Kendrick’s opening performance; they did “XXX.”

Later Bono and Edge  present Bruno Mars with the Grammy for Album of the Year for 24K Magic.

Friday, January 5, 2018

'Down time '

Happy New Year from Us... 

 via U2 Official Instagram account