Friday, November 28, 2008

Rob Partridge dies at 60

The music boss who gave legendary Irish rockers U2 their first big break has died.
Irish music executive Rob Partridge, who handed the Beautiful Day hitmakers their first album deal, passed away following a battle with liver and bowel cancer. He was 60.
Partridge signed U2 to Island Records in 1980 when they were struggling to make it into the music industry.
As the label's head of press, Partridge went on to act as the band's publicist for over a decade.
He also helped the careers of Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Tom Waits and Marianne Faithfull.
U2 frontman Bono has paid tribute to the late music mogul, saying, "Rob Partridge was the first person in the British Music Industry to sing our praises. He not only had an eye for upcoming talent, he was a nurturer... a person who would educate you about the kind of obstacles you were going to meet and how to get over them... a rare human being."


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bono: Model Leader and Change Agent

Bono: a rock star, an artist, a poet, an activist. How about an incredible leader?

Bono has had some serious success as a world leader. In a time when the world is looking for change agents to arise and lead us back to economic stability and sanity, there is a lot that can be learned from Bono’s leadership and change agent abilities.

Is Bono more than just the lead singer of the biggest rock band in the world? Well the answer to that would simply be, yes! He’s a business man: he sits on the board of an investment fund called Elevation Partners and is a co-owner of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin as well many other valuable pieces of real estate. He’s a co-founder of numerous organizations and companies: he co-founded DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa), he is a co-founder of EDUN (an Irish fashion company creating fair-pay employment and trade in Africa), and he co-founded the ONE Campaign and Product Red in the fight against poverty. He’s continuously honoured for his contributions: he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, has received an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, and was named Person of the Year by Time magazine in 2006 along with Bill and Melinda Gates – just to name a few accolades. Did I mention that he played a critical role in the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt and Make Poverty History campaigns? Bono’s leadership efforts are many in number, but it’s not the quantity that is impressive it’s the impact that they’ve had – a true measure of successful leadership.

What kind of impact?

Bono’s leadership has been a driving catalyst behind a ton of successes in Africa. Of course it’s not a one man show, but there’s no doubt that Bono has played a major role behind the encouraging news that is starting to come out of Africa. For example, his efforts with Jubilee 2000 and the Drop the Debt campaign have helped drive commitments from western nations to cancel over $100 billion USD in 3rd world debt (over $35 billion USD has been written off already). Debt servicing in 26 countries in Africa has been reduced by an average of 40%, setting the stage for increased investment in education, healthcare (fighting HIV/AIDS), and infrastructure. This has translated into a number of successes: 59 million insecticide treated malaria bed-nets distributed across Africa, 29 million more African children are now in school, over 2 million additional Africans are on HIV/AIDS medication, and the number of children in Africa dying from preventable, treatable illness has reduced from 12.7 million to 9.2 million per year. In addition to his efforts in helping to bring increased foreign aid and debt cancellation, Bono’s role as an active spokesperson and leader has brought about much needed visibility and political might to the fight against these prominent issues in Africa.

So what makes Bono a model leader and change agent?

A few months back I was sitting in a ‘Leading People and Organizations’ (LPO) MBA course at the Richard Ivey School of Business. The course is taught by an incredibly passionate and energetic professor by the name of Gerard Seijts. He taught us about Kenneth Blanchard, a renowned management expert who says that the key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. In my opinion, this perhaps explains a lot about Bono’s success as a leader. Bono has no authority but does have an extraordinary amount of influence. Let’s face it he’s one of the biggest celebrities and musicians of our time. His celebrity has earned him extraordinary respect and that respect has translated into a monstrously powerful set of friends including the Clinton’s, the Bush’s, the Mandela’s, the Gates’and the Pitt’s to name just a few. Did I mention Oprah? Politicians are constantly after photo ops with him and often just want to be associated with his initiatives to buy votes. What these politicians fail to realize is that they are playing right into his hands: a photo op with Bono followed by a face to face meeting where he’ll impress you with his knowledge, facts, charisma, celebrity, influence and tact – before you know it he’s gotten you to commit to increased aid and debt cancellation for the 3rd world. Ok maybe I’m exaggerating the process just a bit, but the point is that it’s his influence and celebrity that get him into the politician’s door and gets them to listen – a definite fit of Kenneth Blanchard’s definition of a successful leader.

As another key take away from the LPO course, we learned about Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter, who is widely regarded as the world’s foremost expert on leadership and change. Kotter identifies eight common qualities of successful leaders and change agents:

1. Establish a sense of urgency
2. Create a strong guiding coalition
3. Develop a compelling vision and strategy
4. Communicate the change vision
5. Empower employees for broad-based action
6. Generate short-term wins
7. Consolidate gains and producing more change
8. Anchor new approaches in the culture

In my opinion it’s quite easy to find supporting examples of how Bono demonstrates all eight of these qualities, but I will focus on just the first two since I think they are his greatest strengths.

Establishing a sense of urgency is second nature for Bono. "Christ won't let you walk away because it's difficult, expensive and a moral hazard," Bono said, speaking of the AIDS epidemic. “Africa is bursting into flames while we all stand around with watering cans,” says Bono as he delivers a message on live TV warning us about the potential of our generation going down in the history books for something other than the internet. It’s messages like these ones that establish his burning platform of urgency – a key to a successful change agent and leader.

Creating a strong guiding coalition is another strength that Bono has demonstrated throughout the years. From day one, Bono has been working in a team that has become a massive coalition – one that just seems to get more powerful and influential by the day. His coalition now spans far wider than his political and celebrity friends. It includes millions of supporters that have joined movements like the ONE campaign and Make Poverty History, as well as people like you and me that have heard the message and are making poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and the cancellation of third world debt political issues in our own respective nations. Of course, Bono’s work in securing Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and Oprah on his team definitely helps his cause.

Is Bono for real?

In November, 2005 my wife, brother, sister-in-law, and I had the opportunity to meet Bono outside the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa just prior to a U2 concert. He had just arrived from a meeting with then Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin. As he got out of his black Cadillac Escalade he approached a few of us telling his security guards to back down. As he signed autographs and posed for pictures he asked us about our thoughts on Canada backing down on its commitment to increase foreign aid to 0.7% of GDP. He asked us about our opinion on Paul Martin and whether it bothered us that he was reneging on his campaign promise to increase foreign aid. It didn’t take much to realize that this man was the real deal; he was truly concerned about Canada’s lack of commitment and was using every opportunity to poll and listen to Canadians first hand to gain additional insight on our sentiment toward the issue – a true leader.

All great leaders seem to have strong communication skills, many of whom have a knack for delivering quotes that just seem to stick and make sense. Here’s one of my favorites from Bono in the closing lines of a book entitled ‘Bono on Bono’:

“The world is more malleable than we think. We can bend it into a better shape. Ask the big questions, demand the big answers.”


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mojo´s Edge Interview: Part II

Can you talk about a couple of specific tracks?
There’s a song called Moment Of Surrender, which is seven and a half minutes long. Brian got the ball rolling with a suggestion for some chords and then we made a few adjustments and got to this set of changes that we really liked and then just kicked it off and we immediately realised there was something powerful going on. And when that happens, it’s like you don’t have to say anything in the room; people know it’s going off. Then Adam came up with this incredible bass part and Bono had a couple of melody ideas on the spot, so it was really quick. There’s something really thrilling about a piece that comes together like that, because you really don’t have time to think. There’s something great about that. It’s the purest moment, often, when you don’t have an opportunity to step back and consider anything; you’re just in it.

So it’s a trance-y thing?
It’s hard to describe really. It’s very 21st Century. It’s a beautiful song, amazing rhythms, great lyrics and [laughs] fantastic guitar playing!

And then there’s another one from Fez [Morocco, where U2 recorded in May/June ’07]. Similar kind of situation, in a session where we’re just trying out ideas and this piece of music just came through and we all knew at the time that it was good. It seems to be everyone’s favourite or second favourite tune on the album. It’s called Unknown Caller.

Can you hear the influence of Fez?
To some degree. A couple of the tunes were recorded there. We had some local percussionists come down one day – but I’m not sure that the tune they did has made the record. With Unknown Caller the sound of Fez is there because we were recording in this riad [town house]. The way they are constructed, they have this big atrium and that’s where we were set up. So the roof was open and the swallows were flying into the atrium and nesting, so at the beginning of the tune you can hear these swallows. So it really has this very tangible atmosphere of the space that we recorded it in. So Fez is there in that sense. But we’re not into musical tourism. It’s the same with Achtung Baby, there was something in there but it wasn’t overtly German, you know, and this isn’t overtly Moroccan… It’s just a flavour.

Lanois has been quoted a couple of times recently in the Canadian press and the word he seems to be favouring with regard to this record is “innovative”. After all these years with the same team can U2 still be breaking boundaries?
Well, that’s what we get off on – hearing something that we’ve never heard before. It’s so great to work with Brian; he’s always doing things that are completely fresh, and we as a band don’t really come alive unless we feel like we’re exploring some uncharted territory. So, it’s not easy to get something that you’re really excited about, but once you do, you know, and that’s everything for us. We wouldn’t want to be working with anyone else on that front. Both Brian and Danny are hugely inspiring to work with, breaking us out of our comfort zone in our writing or playing.

Your relationship has endured longer than almost any other band/producer match-up, but it’s more than that this time. Did I read that Brian and Danny were writing with you?
We decided at the beginning of the project that we would make that offer to Brian and Danny to see what it might lead us to and I think it was really great. I think they were both flattered and I think it gave them a great boost of affirmation and confidence. So those sessions had this great atmosphere; everyone was in a great mood and we got some great shit out of it. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have to go off and write as U2. Bono and I did a lot of work on material on our own as well, but it was those sessions that set the tone for the album and they wouldn’t have panned out as they did if we hadn’t asked Brian and Danny to co-write with us.

After a couple of straight-ish rock records in All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, was it time for U2 to stretch out again? Does knowing you’re in a position of strength mean you can do something wilder?
I think for us it’s really about keeping it fresh. Making All That You Can Leave Behind and How To Dismantle… inspired us at the time. This time we wanted to try something different and we didn’t really know what it was. We just knew that we wanted to fall in love with the process of making music and see where it led us. So, initially, we didn’t really think about where the music was going to go; we were just playing together and seeing what happened. And, by not
concentrating at all on making an album I think an album started to emerge. So, it’s really us following our creative instincts. In some ways it’s very uncontrived. People tend to think of our music as being a manifesto of a kind but this is really organic; it’s just what is interesting to us right now in music and going for that.

What’s Bono banging on about this time?
I think there are some interesting third person characters in the songs. It’s giving Bono an opportunity to change his perspective in the lyric writing. I think the last two albums were really personal and first-person. But I think this one has a more panoramic scope lyrically, so it’s still personal and it’s still ultimately written from experience and Bono’s perspective, but he just has more freedom.

Did his piano lessons come in handy?
Yeah! He’s been working a lot on material on his own and that’s fed into various different projects that we’re working on. It’s cool. We’re all still in a phase where we can learn, develop and change. I don’t think we’ve actually stopped that process of being born, so to speak. And it’s very inspiring for me to see Bono coming up with very strong musical ideas. That’s what being in a band is all about.

You always manage to find – in every record – a piece of technology that you engage with immediately, and that throws up a song. Where The Streets Have No Name came out of your dabblings with the Infinite Guitar box, and this time you mentioned your Death By Audio pedal…
It’s this particular kind of 21st Century distortion. Guitar is such a versatile instrument, but it’s very easy to get in a cul-de-sac in terms of how it sounds. I love anything that just gives it a different personality and this particular set of distortion pedals I think, are a different colour. It’s like a different personality and that, for me, is a great jumping-off point. I used Death By Audio’s Supersonic Fuzz Gun on the song No Line In The Horizon, and a couple of others I think. It was Ben Curtis who turned me onto them. He’s one of the Curtis Brothers from Secret Machine – he’s got a new band now called School Of Seven Bells, who are pretty interesting.

So how much work is left to do?
Way too much, as usual, but we will get there. We’re not f**king around this time. This is personal!

Interview by: Danny Eccleston


Monday, November 24, 2008

U2 Album Still Not Finished (part 1)

Edge talks to Mojo magazine about the release of U2´s upcoming??? album.

With the release of U2’s 12th studio album delayed until February, and the band still mixing furiously in a London studio MOJO are unable to name for fear of an instant fan-siege, guitarist The Edge has called the MOJO office with a progress report.

In line with U2’s late preference for enigmatic titles, the album seems certain to be called No Line On The Horizon – although Edge insists that anything can still change (U2 have even been known to record backing vocals in the mastering suite).

He goes on to reveal that they’ve shelved the songs recorded with Rick Rubin in 2006 and that much of the material dates from sessions with stalwarts Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who co-write. Confirmed track titles include Moment Of Surrender and Unknown Caller.

There follows the director’s cut of the interview reported in the issue of MOJO magazine that’s on the shelves right now…

MOJO: Well, my first question has to be, have you finished yet?
Edge: [Coolly] Not quite. That’s why we’re here.

So, why finish up in London?
Well, it’s good to get out of familiar surroundings when you’re looking for a different perspective. Get out of the comfort zone.

If you’d stayed in Dublin, would you have just carried on producing material rather than bringing everything to a conclusion?
Maybe. Also, a good mix room is always important. Our studio in Dublin is more like a glorified rehearsal room really. It doesn’t have proper acoustic treatments for mixing and whatever. So we always mix in a studio that’s properly set up for that process.

Is the album still going to be called No Line On The Horizon, or is that a red herring?
It’s not totally firmed up but it’s still the working title.

So, what the hell does it mean?
It’s an image. It’s an image, Bono tells me [laughs]. It’s like when you’re moving forward, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re heading towards – that moment where the sea and the sky blend into one. It’s an image of infinity, I suppose – a kind of Zen image.

Is it a metaphor for how U2 make their records? No deadline on the horizon?
[Laughs] Guilty your honour! We were talking about this. Our work process is all about allowing inspiration to arrive at any time during the process. So there’s no finality, there’s no formality, until it’s in the shops. U2 albums never get finished; they just get released.

So do you think that helps the record? You can use material you started months ago, but as long as you’re re-examining it right at the last it can still sound contemporary?
Yes, I think that’s true. Song titles, lyrics, melody lines can change right up until the last minute. I think our records are always… it’s the last few weeks when things really come into focus. It might take us a long time to establish the basis of the record musically, but then a lot of stuff will change.

Famously, Chris Blackwood came down when we were doing Achtung Baby and with a week to go he said, There’s just no chance you’re gonna finish this album; I’ll come back in a month’s time and check on your progress. So he left town, and sure enough we finished at the end of that week! It’s like this ground rush. You seem to be going nowhere and then suddenly you hit the last period and then everything starts to move and everything clicks into place. It’s just the way we do it because I suppose inspiration is the ultimate thing for us. It’s not craft. So when things start to really get close, it’s a really inspiring time and everyone just gets onto a whole other level of creativity and we go into overdrive and all these ideas start coming through.

Has anything survived from the first bout of sessions [from September 2006], the Rick Rubin material?
We actually laid all that stuff to one side. Really out of deference to Rick and that set of songs we just said, Ok, that’s that, and we drew a line. So none of the Rick material went into this project. Everything has been written subsequently.

Is that because you weren’t that keen on it in retrospect?
I think there are some fantastic ideas there and they will, I’m sure, be finished off and see the light of day. We just felt like we wanted to put off the decision about what kind of record we wanted to make. And then we went in with Brian [Eno] and Danny [Daniel Lanois], literally just as an experiment to see what would happen. And suddenly there was this excess of stuff, ideas… and we just thought, OK, this is clearly where we are at our most potent at this moment, working with Brain and Danny, so let’s follow that idea down the road and we’ll get back to the material we started with Rick at some point.

What were the Rubin tracks like? Were they unusual for U2? He’s quite hands-off isn’t he, as a production “entity”?
Rick’s just an amazing intelligence and a guy with a huge love of music and an instinct for it. He gave us great advice as much as anything. His whole thing is, Don’t go near the studio until you know exactly what you want to do… which of course is the opposite of how we usually work.

But we were following Rick’s approach with Rick and we were working on songs and working on ideas and they’re still there. So I’m still excited by the possibility of trying that approach. It reminds me of what happened on our first album [Boy, 1980]. We went in, we had all the tunes – although even then we didn’t have all the lyrics – we had all the arrangements down to the point where we could just go in and record the album. We could have done it in a day, and of course the backing tracks had a great completeness, because we knew exactly what the tunes were.

The way we do things now, there are drawbacks. I feel for Larry [Mullen, drums] sometimes. He’ll be playing drums to Song A and then somewhere along the line the whole song gets thrown out, but we keep the drums, and then something else happens over those drums. Then sometimes we’ll replace those drums at the very end because he plays differently depending on what the vocal is. So even if it’s the same tempo, the same backbeat, the same chords, if the vocal’s different, the drums don’t feel quite right. So, there is something to Rick’s approach and it just means you make all your decisions early… for better or for worse. Ultimately, I feel, for us, it is those last couple of weeks when you get those amazing new ideas.

How would you describe the overall personality of the new album?
It’s a record of two halves. One half is songs that came virtually fully-formed out of sessions we did with Brian and Danny – stuff we’ve only played once or maybe twice and that’s it: just the raw moment of creation. Then the other half is material we’ve kicked around a while and went through the usual cycle of versions and incarnations. It sounds like a U2 album but it doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done before and it doesn’t really sound like anything that’s happening at the moment.

Rolling Stones´100 Greatest Singers of All Time:Freddie Mercury

A tribute

He's "the most inspirational frontman of all time," says My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way. A hard-rock hammerer, a disco glitterer, a rockabilly lover boy, Freddie Mercury was dynamite with a laser beam, his four-octave range overdubbed into a shimmering wall of sound on records such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen." Even as he was dying, Mercury threw himself into his majestic, operatic singing. Queen's Brian May recalls that Mercury could hardly walk when the band recorded "The Show Must Go On" in 1990. "I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing,' " May says. "And he went, 'I'll fucking do it, darling' — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal."

Freddie Mercury RIP

5th September 1946-24th November 1991

Seventeen years ago one of the best singers in the last century died in his London home.

On November 24, 1991, the announcement came: "Freddie Mercury died peacefully this evening at his home at 1 Logan Place, Kensington, London. His death was the result of pneumonia brought on by AIDS."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rolling Stones´100 Greatest Singers of All Time

Although the choices could be somewhat controversial (for example, not having included Frank Sinatra or Robbie Williams) most of the singers chosen had or have relevance and attitude to sing or say what they wanted to say.
It could be arguable if Aretha Franklin is number one when Freddie Mercury positions in number 18 and even if John Lennon was not a greatly virtuoso he certainly had an intimacy that was important for what it was about to come.
Mr Hewson has a great apperance as number 32. The words of GreenDay frontman,Billy Joe Armstrong say it all

"I would describe Bono's singing as 50 percent Guinness, 10 percent cigarettes — and the rest is religion. He's a physical singer, like the leader of a gospel choir, and he gets lost in the melodic moment. He goes to a place outside himself, especially in front of an audience, when he hits those high notes. That's where his real power comes from — the pure, unadulterated Bono. He talks about things he believes in, whether it's world economics or AIDS relief in Africa. But the voice always comes first. That's where his conviction lies.

He has so many influences. You hear Joe Strummer, Bob Marley, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, even John Lennon. And he has the same range as Robert Plant. It's amazing, the notes he has to go through in the first lines of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." But it's filtered through this Irish choirboy. The Joshua Tree shows the mastery Bono has over his voice and what he learned from punk, New Wave and American musicians like Bob Dylan. In the quiet moments of "With or Without You," you can imagine him sitting under the stars. Then, when he comes back to the chorus, all of a sudden it's a hailstorm.

A lot of Bono's free-form singing comes from the band's rhythms and the church-bell feeling of the Edge's playing, the way the guitar sings in that delay. Bono can glide vocally through all of that. But it's very natural. And he's not afraid to go beyond what he's capable of, into something bizarre like his falsetto in "Lemon." In "Kite," on All That You Can't Leave Behind, he belts it out like he's crying with joy.

I never had the feeling he was manipulating the power of his voice to show off. They say a submarine never goes in reverse. That's Bono, always looking for a new way of singing something. That's one thing I learned from him: Never rest. Keep learning and be a good listener. That's the spirit of singing — and he definitely has it"

Bono shares the list with other great singers as Elvis, Dylan(his own choice)Ottis Redding,Paul Rodgers,Bruce Springsteen, among others.
But to us die hard U2 follwers, he will aways be number one...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 Things You Gotta Do to Play like the Edge (Part 2)

4. Ring True

"For me harmonics is the most pure sound available to a guitarist." for Edge harmonics is more than a decorative gimmick, in his hands becomes the building blocks of melodies. The exercises above show his classic clock chimes in "11 O´Clock Tic Toc" and the lilting harmonic-laden "Sunday Bloody Sunday" chorus melody.

5. Don´t expect, suggest.

"I tend to isolate chords down to two or three notes," Edge confesses. "Adam is in charge of chord sequences because I haven´t played a proper chord in years."

6. Slide down the surface of things.

A restless quest for innovation has led Edge to experiment with every note generating device available from EBow to the Fernandes Sustainer guitar,and although he´s not a slide player in the purist sense, the bottleneck has found its place in his arsenal of articulation.

7. Arp-Edge-iate your chords

Perhaps the number one Edge lick of all-time is the intro from 1983's breakthrough hit "Sunday Bloody Sunday".
Another Edge-y arpeggiation approachare the ones that recall such early U2 favourites as "Gloria" and "An Cat Dubh".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

10 Things You Gotta Do to Play like the Edge (Part 1)

The November issue of the magazine Guitar Player dedicates an article to Edge’s mastery with the guitar and gives us, mere mortals, some lessons on his playing. Here is a summary, good luck guitar players!

1. - Carry each other

The Edge, Larry, Adam and Bono formed U2 when still at school. Remarkably the quartet is heading into its fourth decade of existence with the same lineup_ almost unheard of in the annals of rock. U2 seems to posses an all-for-one, one-for-all loyalty and dedication to causes that allows them to circumnavigate the pitfalls of success that have ensnared many great bands. The Edge, like his bandmantes, has consistently avoided gratuitous displays of virtuosity in service to the music’s greater good. No surprise that their music sounds as fresh, urgent and relevant as it did some 30 years ago. The lesson is simple _being innovative isn’t mutually exclusive to being a team player.

2. – Practice sleight of hand (for a twist of fate)

Despite his reputation as an avatar of processed sounds, one integral facet of Edge tone stems from the little piece of plastic in his right hand _picks manufactured by a West Germany company called Herdim. The rub is that Edge uses the dimpled end to actually strike the strings, giving his notes a sharper, raspier, almost chime-like attack.

3. – Dream out loud

Edge´s onstage rig is so daunting it looks like you’d need the head of the NASA´s mission control to help navigate it.

The Edge´s most iconic ax is probably the wood-finished 1976 Gibson Explorer he purchased as a teenager and has used fairly regularly since. During the 80´s , he relied on the late 70s-era Strats with Seymour Duncan pickups, a Washburn Festival acoustic ,and a 1945 Epiphone lap steel. On more recent tours, Edge’s arsenal has expanded to include a ’67 Rickenbacker 12-string, a ´64 Gretsch Country Gentleman, a ’62 Epiphone Casino and a ’65 Gibson SG, among others.

The internet is populated with websites and user groups dedicated to the study of Dave Evans tonal legacy. “Edge tone” is not a fixed signal chain but an ever-changing sound quest. Tone is a journey not a destination.

source: Guitar Player magazine,November 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bono´s Ticket to Ride with Sir Paul

Sir Paul MCCartney gave Bono a personal tour of his native Liverpool, England.
The former Beatles star collected the Ultimate Legend prize at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday (06Nov08) from the U2 front man. And to show his gratitude, MCCartney took Bono around his hometown, showing him the places that inspired the Fab Four's hits.
MCCartney says, "I love Liverpool. There is nothing like coming home."
And Bono admits it was something of a surreal experience because MCCartney is treated like royalty.
He jokes, "It was like being in the Popemobile with the Pope driving."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ultimate Legend in the European MTV Awards

"Here is one person in this hall tonight whose songs we know will be here now and forever.'

Bono was in Liverpool to present Paul McCartney with MTV Europe's 'Ultimate Legend' award.

'In the universe of rock and roll,' he said, 'The Beatles were the Big Bang'."Liverpool, this is the man who invented my job!"

McCartney's acceptance speech was more modest but rose a huge ovation.

"I want to thank my mum and dad," he said, going on to pay tribute to his bandmates in the Beatles, the people of Liverpool and Americans, "for voting in Senator Obama."

'Many years ago, there were four little boys born here in Liverpool and we went on to do quite well...';

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

U2 Honors Lucian Grainge At Music Industry Trust Awards

The band were in London last night, honouring Universal Music's Lucian Grainge, at the Music Industry Trust's Award ceremony.

Mika and Take That performed at the ceremony last night along with Jamie Cullum and rock band Razorlight, which released its new album "Slipway Fires" today.

Artists among the 1,200 guests included Girls Aloud, Sugababes, The Fratellis, The Feeling, Snow Patrol, members of ABBA, Ray Davies and James Morrison.

A limited edition lithograph of the 'War' album sleeve went to Benny and Björn of ABBA while the green Gretsch, a guitar designed for and signed by Bono was snapped up by retail magnate Philip Green.Bono paid £21,000 for a box at Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium, while bandmate The Edge stumped up £15,000 for singer Jarvis Cocker's puppet from TV satire Spitting Image.

Adam, Larry, Edge and Bono all took the stage to make the award to Lucien Grainge, Universal Music Group International chairman/CEO who is marking his thirtieth anniversary in the business.

'He's great because he's ready to take on the world for British music, and Irish music for that matter,' said Bono. 'He's a tough guy when it comes to deals but he's a very tender soul to deal with if you're U2.'Bono joked about U2's failure to release a new album this year, commenting that Grainge provides "cuddles" for the band "when we get stressed out and we haven't got the hits and we missed Christmas."

In his acceptance speech Lucian Grainge said: "This recognition is an honor, and I'm delighted to be able to share it with the many artists, colleagues and friends who have been at the center of my professional and personal life for the past 30 years. I'm proud that music is the only industry I have ever worked in. Music has given me opportunity and fulfillment beyond measure, and I'm grateful for that."

As well as honouring Mr Grainge, the night raised more than £568,000 money for two charities, the Brit performing arts school and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.