Sunday, February 28, 2010

Neil Mc Cormick in the set of "Killing Bono"

The Undertakers first gig, Ivan (Robert Sheehan) & Neil (Ben Barnes)

“Look what they done to my song, ma” has written Mc Cormick in his latest blog. He´s been to the set of "Killing Bono" ,the movie filmed in Belfast based on his book about the fate of his (and his brother´s ) career as rock stars.

"I know there’s been a lot of interest in this in some quarters, so now that Hot Press has let the cat out of the bag, here’s a few moments from the set of Killing Bono, including the one that could upset the balance of the universe forever and send us all spinning off in some awful time bending paradox, the moment when I first met my younger self …" he wrote and here is the pic he´s talking about

One of these Neil McCormicks still thinks he could become a rock star. But which one?

More on the meeting of Mc Cormick and his own doppelganger, here.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reveries on Adam

In a few days´times (13th March) our fave bassist will be 50.
Let´s remember those times when he bought his first bass, especially "to meet girls". has posted an excerpt from the book U2 by U2 where Adam talks about this:

'I moved school when I was thirteen, again to an Irish public boarding school, St Columba's College in Rathfarnham. The buildings were old, there were no curtains and it was cold up there, the kind of cold that you never really forget. I can't say I was hugely enthused about the move. But fairly early on I fell in with a boy called John Leslie, who could play guitar. John had cassette tapes and we would listen to The Who, The Grateful Dead, Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Neil Young, people that were around at that time, singer- songwriter things and some far-out stuff, Hawkwind, The Edgar Winter Group, Edgar Broughton. And then the prefects at school would listen to Rory Gallagher, The Beatles, The Stones, Eric Clapton, so we'd hear a bit of that, and some American performers like the Doobie Brothers. So I was getting pretty turned on to music and it always seemed to change my mood; it somehow made it bearable to be in that school situation. I remember reading that Clapton hadn't started playing guitar until he was fifteen or sixteen and I thought, 'Well, there's still time for me!' So I bought a £5 acoustic guitar from a junk-shop down Dublin quays and I started learning chords and collecting songs. There was a guy in school who had a bit of a band going. He had an electric guitar and the school gave him a room to practise in; there was a bass player and a drummer and the sound was amazing to me. I just loved it. I don't know what it was like objectively, four teenage schoolkids struggling to play a song, probably, but the sound of drums and guitar and bass felt primal to me. I started to see that not only did this make me feel good but you got a bit of attention if you did it, too. You could meet girls and these people were considered cool. I suppose that was when I really made my decision that this was what I wanted to do. I had no interest in sports. I didn't want to be academic, particularly, and at any rate was showing little aptitude. I liked the creative things, such as painting and music; I found that community of people more interesting. So John persuaded me that we could start our own group. He wanted to play electric guitar, so he said I should play bass. I don't remember being particularly convinced at first. I knew that you needed bass and drums to make that rock sound but I didn't really know anything about music which would have qualified me to be a bassist. But John said he'd teach me what I needed to learn. I'd been taking some classical guitar lessons, and there was a folk guitar teacher who used to come by as well, so I picked up a few rudimentary things and decided to go for a bass. I talked my parents into buying it for me. I had to make a solemn promise that I was going to stick at it and all this kind of carry-on. Now that I look back it was an amazing thing for my parents to do, quite out of character. It was more my mother, I suppose. She had something of the romantic in her and probably thought it wouldn't do any harm. I guess there was enough music in the family that she could relate to it. So there I was, fifteen years old, with a dark brown Ibanez-copy bass guitar and no amp. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. Absolutely none. Not a clue. It just sounded good to me. Deep and fat and satisfying. Presumably, in the big picture, someone like me would have been expected to have a couple of years of amateur rock and roll and then move on to something more sensible. But it was all that I had. I didn't have anything else. My grades were so bad the following year that my parents said they were not prepared to keep me at this expensive school. That was pretty bad news for me, or so it seemed at the time, because we were just getting a band going. John Leslie and I had started writing an Irish rock opera based on the Celtic myth of the Children of Lir, in which children are turned into swans by their wicked stepmother. But I had to leave before having the chance to establish myself as Ireland's answer to Andrew Lloyd Webber. I thought that was it, the musical career was over. And so I was dispatched to Mount Temple, a comprehensive school in north Dublin, which was not a place where I felt comfortable at all, to contemplate a future without much in the way of career prospects. '

Taken from the book "U2 by U2"


Friday, February 26, 2010

Music of Ireland

The Documentary "Music of Ireland-Welcome Home" is a two-part music special celebrating 50 years of contemporary Irish music. Part one features performances and exclusive interviews from many of the greatest Irish artists of our time including: The Cheiftains, The Clancy Brothers, Bob Geldof and U2 among many others.


This is clip from the video, where Bono is interviewed and U2 performs "King of Trash" at Gavin Friday´s show in the Carnegie Hall.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Muse and Colin Farrell on Bono

Collin Farrell ,the Irish actor, had to perform live country music for his role in musical drama Crazy Heart and couldn’t believe how difficult it was. The experience gave him new respect for people like U2 singer Bono, who performs for a living.

“Performing live was deadly,” the 33-year-old star said. “We had 12 minutes after the opening act at a Toby Keith gig. People go on about Bono having a big sense of self – after what I tasted, if I was Bono I’d be driving around Dublin in a chariot with a laurel leaf crown. Bono is nothing but the most humble f**k I’ve ever met.”

I guess Bono would love to be called "humble"for a change!!!

And Muse singer, Matt Bellamy wants to invite Bono to sing with them at Glastonburyon June 26.

Speaking to NME Radio at last night's Shockwaves NME Awards, Bellamy said he is thinking about asking theU2 frontman – who headlines Glastonbury the night beforeMuse on June 25 – if he'll be sticking around for the whole weekend.

"It should be great," Bellamy explained. "We're hoping to do something a bit unusual there. A little collaboration with someone, maybe get Bono to come and sing a song. I'm not sure if he'll be hanging around for that but I'll ask him anyway."


Michael Hutchence in Memoriam

Michael Kelland John Hutchence (1960-1997) would have been 50 last January 2010.
The front man of the Australian band INXS had all the ingredients to be a number one: a powerful voice and magnificent stance;his own inimitable style, strong yet passionate, moving fluidly between some surprisingly funky upbeat numbers to more predictable, occasionally haunting ballads.
His music was a catchy mixture of hard rock and dance music.Hutchence had a voice that was easy to like and to recognize, and loads of charisma to make him one of the music idols of the 80's and early 90's. His life was passionate and stirring.
Hutchence became the main spokesperson for the band and gained a reputation as an enigmatic, sensual frontman, although his close friends and family always maintained he was much more introverted than his onstage persona. A talented lyricist, he co-wrote almost all of INXS's songs with Andrew Farriss, who has attributed his own success as a songwriter to Hutchence's “genius”.
In 1997 when he was working on his first solo album, he was found dead in his hotel room in Sydney. Michael was only 37 and left a daughter to Paula Gates (who passed away in 2000) Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence who now lives with her stepsisters and their father, Bob Geldoff.
Last track on his solo album (called plainly "Michael Hutchence") is ''Slideaway'' a duet with U2''s Bono. Hutchence began writing the song just before his death but sadly didn''t finish it so Bono and Gill co-wrote an extra section. Slated to be the next single, ''Slideaway'' is a husky slice of emotion-ridden outpourings, a perfect finish to the album.

Among the greatest of INXS songs with Michael´s imprint to be remembered forever: "Mystify", "Suicide Blonde", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Don´t change", "Need You Tonight","Devil Inside", among many more.

"We were flying between shows and someone called and told me about Michael's death. I still haven't figured out quite how I feel about it. I don't know whether I'm angry or guilty... You always think if it's a mate that there was something you could have done. I still find it hard to figure it all out, because I had a conversation with him not that long ago where we talked about something like this, and we both agreed how dumb and selfish it would be, and Hutch was not at all selfish." Bono said that he and Hutchence were neighbors in France and that their personality differences helped to fuel their friendship. "He was a nice guy to be around. He was very light, whereas I don't think I'm the easiest person to be around, so we balanced each other out. But I hadn't seen him for a while, because we were both off doing our thing. I'm finding the whole thing very hard to understand..." Bono

Your songs will live in our hearts forever, Hutch.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
To commemorate Michael's 50th birthday, Michael's sister Tina Hutchence and Watcham want to get Michael's name onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For more information,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bono´s Personal Wishes for this Year

U2’s vibrant frontman Bono has the kind schedule that would make us normal people spin uncontrollably. However he did take the time to reflect on what he would like to accomplish this year, as a member of U2 and as a regular guy.

The February issue of the UK’s “Q” magazine, Bono lets loose in a small feature titled “Bono’s 5 Step Plan to Take over the World”. First on the list for Bono is obviously any new music that U2 are testing out.

“We’ve been listening to new material for “Songs of Ascent”. We haven’t fully decided to press ‘go’ on that,” Bono admitted about the spiritual record where the “360” opener “Kingdom of Your Love” came from. While still unsure as to what the band will focus on, he does feel the need for audiences this summer to hear some fresh tracks. “Even if it’s an EP or a single song,” he said.

Bono said that the work he and Edge contributed to the “Spider-Man” musical for Broadway is “potentially one of the best things we’ve ever done” and while waiting for the show’s financial problems to be worked out, he expects the show to be running later this year.

Bono also discussed U2’s upcoming debut at the Glastonbury festival in June. He said that “everyone is excited” and because it’s on a smaller scale than “360”, expect a performance without so much spectacle. “I think it will just be about the music on that day,” Bono said.

Also on his mind was (RED) and Bono was happy to report new developments shaping up. Nike has joined the campaign, he revealed, and Africa’s hosting of the World Cup this year is something he is truly thrilled about. “It’s important that the world gets to see the majesty and magical side of that most extraordinary continent,” he said.

As incredible as Bono’s year sounds so far, perhaps the most special event will take place on May 10, when he turns 50. And he already feels the pressure. After attending a Leonard Cohen concert last year where he got emotional during the show, Bono confessed, “I realized that all my favorite songs he wrote in his 50s and 60s. That, to me, was a throwdown.” However daunting as turning 50 seems, Age is nothing but a number, Bono!

If Bono does what his idol ,Leonard Cohen, did we may expect his best songs in the decade to come.You go Bono!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

No Meteors for U2

As it happened with the Grammys, there was no Meteor Ireland Music Awards for U2.

The band had been nominated in three categories: Best Irish Band, Best Irish Album (No Line On The Horizon), and Best Irish Live Performance (for the U2 360 shows at Croke Park).

The only member of the band present at the award in Dublin was Adam Clayton who presented an industry award to Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles.

Edge Says Go! to Spiderman

U2’s The Edge (aka Dave Evans) says the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” is on.

The $45 million musical has been in limbo for a while as new financing was found to replace old.

But Edge says a meeting took place yesterday with all the principals, including director Julie Taymor. New producer Michael Cohl is getting everything in place. The wheels are turning.

Says Edge: “It will open before the end of the year.”

Unlike many naysayers, we want to see Spider-Man spin his web on Broadway. We also want to hear that U2 score. “The music is just about finished, too,” Edge says.

Friday, February 19, 2010

21st Annual Pollstar Awards

The live music biz honored its own Feb. 17 at the 21st annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards.

The Pollstar Concert Industry Awards is an annual affair where the folks that make it happen, including promoters, artist managers, booking agents and technical companies – are the stars of the evening.

The winners are chosen by the folks that make the concert scene happen. It’s an insider’s look at which bands mattered in 2009, and which companies and individuals kept the concert biz a hummin’ throughout the year.

The event took place last Wednesday at the Nokia Theatre in L.A.

U2 won in three categories:

Major Tour of the Year
Most Creative Stage Production

Road Warrior of the Year: Jake Berry

U2: Gotta Have It!!!

From 1 to 19 March Gotta Have It! will auction hundreds of memorabilia objects.
Featuring over 500 lots including stage worn and movie worn costumes, personal clothing, jewelry and accessories, handwritten lyrics, set lists and letters, signed and inscribed guitars and album covers, signed contracts, never-before-seen photographs, rare concert and movie posters, gold and platinum album awards, inscribed acetates, tour memorabilia, and much, much more! Covering the entire Rock and Roll spectrum, performers represented in this special online include: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, U2, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Madonna, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Lenny Kravitz, David Bowie, The Grateful Dead, James Brown, BB King, Prince, The Sex Pistols, and more!

A special collection of U2 artifacts(16 artifacts): it includes a rosary given by Bono as a gift, Bono signed and inscribed original photograph,Larry Mullen, Jr. Signed and Inscribed Personal Bible,:Larry Mullen Jr. Signed and Inscribed Worn Sneakers,Bono and The Edge Used Mugs, among others.

GOTTA HAVE IT!® has partnered with Sothebys for highly successful auctions such as The Beatles, Madonna (both record-breakers!), Baseball For America with Roger Clemens (benefiting the Twin Towers Fund) and Muhammad Ali. Auctions hosted on include the extraordinarily successful Britney Spears charity auction, Kenneth Cole’s “Celebrity Help USA,” UGGs Australia (2003, 2004), Samsung’s “Four Seasons of Hope” and many more. Our charity auctions have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for such high-profile charities as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, The Roger Clemens Foundation, VH1's "Save the Music," Muscular Dystrophy, and Long Island Jewish Hospital's Children's Medical Fund.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Killing Bono" Set

Hot Press has been on the set of 'Killing Bono' – the Irish musical comedy film loosely based on former Hot Press writer Neil McCormick’s hilarious 2004 memoir, 'I Was Bono’s Doppleganger'.

The €3million film, which is funded by Northern Ireland Screen with help from Invest NI, is being directed by Nick Hamm, and stars Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Pete Postlethwaite and Krysten Ritter.

Speaking to Hot Press writer Olaf Tyaransen, Nick Hamm – whose previous credits include The Hole (the acclaimed 2001 psychological thriller, which featured Keira Knightley) explained: “We’ve been shooting for just over four weeks now and it’s gone incredibly well. We expect to wrap on February 19th.”

A lifelong U2 fan, Hamm snapped up the movie rights to 'I Was Bono’s Doppleganger' as soon as the book came out. McCormick went to Mount Temple Comprehensive with U2 and the book tells the story of McCormick’s own ultimately fruitless pursuit of rock stardom, contrasting it with the stratospheric success of his famous friends.

“I bought the rights to the book as soon as it came out, and I’ve been working on this film for more than five years,” Hamm explains. “It took a long time, though, to get the script right because different script writers saw different things in the book, and different ways of telling the story.

“It’s a hard story to tell,” he adds. “The challenge is to find a way to balance the comedy and the emotion. Ultimately, I used the book as a kind of source material. I didn’t tell the story of the book because the book is a series of incidents, and that wouldn’t make a movie.”

Given that McCormick is a former alumnus of Hot Press, the magazine inevitably features in the movie.. “Yeah, it’s very important to me to have Hot Press involved in the whole thing,” Hamm says. “Hot Press was a very big part of that whole genesis of Irish music. It’s a seminal magazine and newspaper, that’s been world renowned, and it’s very important for us, and the movie, to have that authenticity and give the movie that sense of veracity.”

Although U2 have no financial stake in the production, the band have granted permission for two of their songs to be used. The film will also feature original music from Castledawson singer/songwriter Joe Echo aka Ciaran Gribben.

Prince Caspian star Ben Barnes (who plays Neil McCormick) performs Echo’s songs onscreen. “He is absolutely an astounding man, a wonderful musician, and a brilliant composer,” says Barnes of Gribben. “And he wrote these brilliant songs – we used quite a lot of his lyrics. He’s got these very quirky, quite cool lyrics. He writes these songs about rape, and weird things, but makes them into pop songs.

“And so we’re using some of Neil’s lyrics, but I think it’s mostly original music by Joe Echo,” he adds. “Because it should be something fresh and new as well, with that eighties feel, but still a new album. It’s something that should go along with the film. It should be a new soundtrack.”

Killing Bono finishes shooting this week.!/pages/Killing-Bono

Monday, February 15, 2010

Achtung Baby Makes it into The Vatican´s 10 Best Albums

L'Osservatore Romano,the Vatican´s newspaper, has published a list of the best 10 albums in history. They have included Achtung Baby in the list.

The Vatican´s choice include:

- Thriller, Michael Jackson
- The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floid
- Revolver, The Beatles.
- Supernatural, Carlos Santana.
- Rumours, Fleetwood Mac.
- If I Could Only Remember My Name, David Crosby.
- Achtung Baby, U2.
- Nightfly, Donald Fajen.
- (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis.
- Graceland, Paul Simon.

The paper said that just the song "One" justifies AB to be in their list, and consideres it a "symbol of the 90's".
Do you think Pope Benedictus has listened to "Acrobat" in his I-pod? I wonder what he thinks of this line..."I’d break bread and wine, if there was a church I could receive in".

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Comcast Corporation and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) have launched the second installment of musical assets for Stand Up 2 Cancer On Demand, the first-ever video-on-demand (VOD) initiative focused on broadening awareness and raising funds for innovative cancer research, which debuted on Comcast in December. Twenty-eight additional artists are providing content to On Demand, adding to the library of musical entertainment that already includes many of the world’s biggest stars. In addition, select content from Stand Up 2 Cancer On Demand is available on

Available for no additional cost to viewers in more than 18 million Comcast homes through March 14th, Stand Up 2 Cancer On Demand features more than 60 of viewers’ favorite artists including: Beastie Boys, Ben Harper, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Common, The Dixie Chicks, Diana Krall, Duran Duran, John Legend, John Mayer, Joss Stone, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Kenny Chesney, Mary J. Blige, Melissa Etheridge, Ne-Yo, Sugarland, Tina Turner, U2 and more...

Viewers are encouraged by numerous celebrity participants to “stand up” to cancer and make a donation at or call a dedicated 24/7 phone line that appears during the On Demand music videos. Viewers are also able to select content from the “A Reason 2 Give” folder [“On Demand” > “Top Picks” > “Stand Up 2 Cancer” > “A Reason To Give”]. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative scientific “Dream Teams” or innovative research projects aimed at bringing better treatments to patients faster.



Friday, February 12, 2010

U2 in Music of Ireland Documentary

"The Music of Ireland - Welcome Home," a documentary featuring interviews and performances from U2, Pete Seeger, Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftans will debut on New York public television station WLIW on Feb. 17, then rollout to other PBS affiliates throughout March.

"Music of Ireland" will be available as a CD and DVD in a number of outlets: Barnes & Noble is the exclusive brick and mortar retail partner and will debut an in-store promotional campaign on March 2; will feature all the CD tracks digitally on a 45-day exclusive starting that same day. In addition, the CD and DVD will be bundled as a bonus for those who donate to public television during pledge drives.

The CD was produced by John Reynolds, and features new material by Clannad's Moya Brennan - who also hosts the documentary - O'Connor, the Chieftans, former Irish Tenor Ronan Tyanan and Shane MacGowan of the Pogues, among others.

The documentary "Music of Ireland" opens in 1960 with the success of the pioneering Clancy Brothers, and includes Liam Clancy's final U.S. television interview before his death. Other interviews include "Riverdance's" Michael Flatley, Bob Geldof and Academy Award-nominated director Jim Sheridan.

A sequel to the "Music of Ireland" is planned for later this year, and will focus on U2, Celtic Woman, The Cranberries, The Corrs, the Irish Tenors and songwriters Glen Hansard and Damien Rice.

The documentary was executive produced by The Elevation Group's Denny Young, who previously produced "Bonefish Grill's Notes From The Road" for Ovation, and is presented by WLIW in association with and Tourism Ireland.

"For such a small country to produce such amazing talent and the way their music defines the people is just extraordinary," Young says. "It has fascinated me for most of my life and is something I wanted more people to be in tune with."

More info: ,you can also see a trailer of the video and some words from Bono.

Edge in Benefit Concert for Haiti

About a month has now passed since a horrifying earthquake struck Haiti, destroyed countless buildings and have left thousands dead. The country is still in need of medical supplies, food, water and cash for relocation purposes. The outreach from both average Americans and celebrities has been unprecedented, and the support continues. On Monday night, Mary J. Blige performed at a benefit she helped co-organize with fashion icons Andre Harrell, Donna Karan and Andre Balazs. At the Standard Hotel in New York, Blige took the stage (along with Wyclef Jean) and welcomed a roomful of stars from the fashion world as New York Fashion Week gets revved up. During her performance, Blige pulled U2 guitarist the Edge up with her for a feel-good moment that helped raise even more money for a cause that will require support for quite a long time.

Blige also rubbed elbows with an eclectic group of guests that included Michael Stipe, Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg and Russell Simmons.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Larry Mullen Jnr in Cartoon

Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas's and U2's Larry Mullen Jnr are just some of the stars lending their voices to new Family Guy cartoon spin-off The Cleveland Show.

The series, showing on E4 in the UK, and created by Family Guy boss Seth MacFarlane follows the adventures of Cleveland Brown and his family.

Mike Henry, who voices the main character said: "Kanye could not be a cooler guy at our show - we do definitely have some jokes where he makes light of himself."

Other music stars lined up to take part in season two of The Cleveland Show are Black Eyed Pea's and rapper T Pain - who'll play sidekicks for Cleveland Jnr.

U2's drummer Larry Mullen Jnr also got in touch with the programme's creators through a mutual friend and asked to be involved. Black Eyed Pea's voices a character in season two

"He came in and we hung out for a couple of hours. We just recorded him doing a couple of different parts and he was very funny.

"It's a thrill for me to do all this. U2 is my favourite band of all time and David Lynch the film director plays a part on our show.

"He [Mullen Jnr] plays a mobster in one episode; he plays a bad Elvis impersonator by design in another episode.

"He's got his own studio so we just record it from Dublin. You don't have to record at a certain time. It's an easy gig and one that people like to do.

"It's very cool to have all these people from different walks of entertainment participating in what we're doing."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

U2's latest tour has been voted the year's best stage show

The 360 Degree tour, which used a groundbreaking "claw" stage, was named live production of the year at the Total Production International Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by TPI magazine, rewards roadies, riggers, truckers and other behind-the-scenes workers.

Dallas Schoo

The Edge's roadie Dallas Schoo won an award, while U2 production guru Willie Williams picked up two prizes.

Willie Williams

TPI magazine editor-in-chief Mark Cunningham said the Irish band's tour had "made the biggest noise" of the last 12 months in more ways than one.

"It is a massive engineering feat - from scenery to video to audio, with the biggest PA system that has ever been seen on a tour," he said.

"It's a fantastic achievement and the four members of U2 are effectively the icing on the cake."

The TPI Awards were first held in 2002 and the winners are voted for by readers of the magazine.

This year's ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Chris Evans and attracted artists including the Pet Shop Boys, Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson and former Public Image Limited bassist Jah Wobble.

Speaking about the nominees at the black tie event, Wobble said: "It's very interesting seeing all these people with mohican haircuts and beards done up looking very uncomfortable wearing black suits and bow ties and all that.

"You just know they'd rather be wearing jeans and bomber jackets."


What Rock'N'Roll Has Taught Us By U2

NME has posted an interesting and funny interview to Edge and Bono(although it doesn´t look new). Enjoy it!

Being successful doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve compromised your credibility

The Edge: Looking back, there are so many bands that, at different times, were considered to be the zenith of what was important and relevant and resonant but who are now gone. Having lived though the whole rock Vs disco thing, it’s a shock to realise that disco was better than most rock. Bands like the Bee Gees, OK, they had terrible dress sense and not everything they did was great, but their best work is genius.


So that’s kind of our challenge, we’re not surprised that at times we’re written off as being on the wrong side of artistic credibility. There have been so many groups that have tried desperately to hold on to their status of cool and just ended up becoming so bloody safe and repetitive. They end up in a ghetto of their own making artistically.

Morrissey is up there with Bob Dylan.

Bono: I laugh out loud listening to Morrissey albums. Only Bob Dylan and Morrissey make me laugh. Sometimes, I’ll be listening to the music and doing some press-ups and I’ll fall over.

Bono might seem like a saint but he can be a devil when it comes to driving.

The Edge: Bono’s a ‘creative’ driver who sees the rules of the road as helpful suggestions. He’s fine as long as he’s not trying to play you music at the same time, because male brains are more mono-orientated. Female brains have more connections between the two sides – that’s an actual fact.

Men tend to be great focusing on details of things as a result. Bono’s incredible at keeping the wide-angle view, but when he’s driving he really can’t. He has terrified people at different times trying to play our work in his car while he’s driving.

Musicians and politicians can work together – if only because they’re all human beings.

The Edge: I know Bono gets stick for meeting with politicians, but he cares deeply. That’s not so unique – a lot of people out there care deeply – but what probably is unique is that he has opportunities that very few other people have. I think if you were to ask him he would admit to being amazed how successful his initiatives have become, how many of the doors of power have actually swung open and the influence he’s been able to have.

I suppose it says that, in the end, no matter whether you’re the Prime Minister of Britain or the President of the United States or the Chancellor of Germany, you’re a human being and it’s about relationships and it’s about everyone wanting to do the right thing in the end. Whether you want to admit it or not, I don’t think there’s a politician in the world that’s ever got into politics who didn’t want to do the right thing.

If you’re gonna get into politics, one of the great calling cards if you’re doing what Bono is doing is to be bipartisan; this is not about supporting one side or the other in political terms, it’s about just getting the job done with whoever he has to work with.

Don’t underestimate the business side of things.

Bono: The Grateful Dead’s music didn’t connect with me, but as a phenomenon, they’re doing something similar to us. They invest, they were into business – bunch of hippies, but into business. They were early investors in the internet. I think you can be creative in business and if you’re not creative in business, it gets you by the throat.

That’s the other thing that screws bands, you get a few albums and then they’re looking around wondering whether the money went up your nose or on some accountant’s new nose. We’re spending fortunes trying to turn stadiums – which can be ugly, brutal pieces of architecture – into extraordinary places of imagination and soul. And we’re spending fortunes, nearly bankrupting ourselves. But we’ve learned to be savvy about business.

You’d be surprised how far back fans can remember.

The Edge: There was one gig we played at The Lyceum in London – it must have been the early-’80s, because Echo & The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes were on the same bill I think. Every other act on the bill was sort of shoe-staring, totally cool, 25 minutes getting their hair right, all the rest.

U2 came out, looking like a complete mess and proceeded to just go at our thing with total energy and commitment but in a totally haphazard and uncool way. Bono ended up ripping his pants and freaking out, berating the crowd. There are still people who hate us vehemently for that one performance!

If you’re into playing the guitar, Rory Gallagher is someone you need to know about.

The Edge: Very early on, Rory Gallagher was the first guitar player I really had a connection with, probably because he was Irish. His early albums were really raw and really inspiring and he always had something very interesting on them.

Living in Dublin keeps you grounded.

The Edge: In Ireland, people love us and they hate us. They don’t hate us really, but there’s a kind of healthy disrespect, put it that way. Everyone really wants to bring you back down to earth.

I remember Bono did a guest slot with Bob Dylan early on at Slane Castle, which was a big, big deal for Bono. He did a song with Bob called ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’ and he had no idea what the lyrics were. But he didn’t wanna say that to Bob, so he did the song and totally made up all the lyrics on the spot – went into a stream of consciousness moment.

After the gig, some guy was at a set of traffic lights in his car and Bono was crossing over the road and he said, ‘I saw you with Bob Dylan there tonight, what the fuck were you talking about there?’ That’s Dublin.


Friday, February 5, 2010

The Joshua Tree with New Eyes 23 Years Later

NPR has carried on an interesting experiment. They have chosen a young intern(they don´t say how young) who had never listened to "The Joshua Tree" album to give a review of what he/she thought about it.
Here´s the result...

I've never been a real U2 fan. But any time I tell someone this, they invariably ask, "Well, have you heard The Joshua Tree? And when I tell them no, they're incredulous. So maybe this is the missing link.

I start with the cover. The black-and-white photo of the band members and U2 insignia are simple and interesting without being distracting. I'm a big fan of a black album cover: Like a black-and-white photo, it leaves more to the imagination, which I think is good for first impressions.

When I hit "play," I can barely hear the synth-pad murmur of the opening cut, so I turn up the volume. "Where the Streets Have No Name" slowly builds, and finally, Bono cries out: "I want to run / I want to hide / I want to tear down the walls / that hold me inside." I'll admit, this got me going. It's vaguely reminiscent of another band, though I can't quite put my finger on who it is. It has something to do with the tightly synchronized bass line and drums, which thump along steadily as Bono wails in anguish off in the distance. Then I realize where I've heard this particular sound before: It's the bread and butter of Arcade Fire.

As I get into the second cut, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," an inkling of apathy starts to creep back. It's hard to put my finger on what it is about U2 that doesn't do it for me, but I'm beginning to think it's just Bono's melodramatic theatrics. The '80s, defined by characters like Morrissey, Michael Jackson and Madonna, had different standards for what you might consider "overly dramatic." But their schmaltz seems sincere, while to me, Bono's doesn't.

That said, "Bullet the Blue Sky" is a pretty sweet song. It's a refreshing departure from the sentimental, syrupy quality of "With or Without You," and I like the direction it's going. Larry Mullen starts it with that solid beat, and then the song really takes off into grungier, more dangerous territory. Bono begins by growling out a few verses, but his theatrics serve this type of song well. It's also politically charged. I don't think there's any way that Rage Against the Machine, which formed four years after this song came out, could deny that it was a direct influence. You can hear Zack de la Rocha in Bono's vocals, Tom Morello in the guitar work, Tim Commerford in the bass and Brad Wilk in the drums. I can even hear hints of The Mars Volta.

As the album enters its second half, I'm hoping for something that surprises me, but I'm having trouble differentiating one song from the next. "Red Hill Mining Town" and "In God's Country" could be the same song. But when "Trip Through Your Wires" comes on, I start to hear something I've been missing: a serious nod to American folk music. There's the harmonica howling, a guitar twanging or imitating a banjo, and all the varied rhythmic explorations, such as those on "One Tree Hill." Going back through the album now, I'm shocked I didn't hear it before. These subtle touches add a new dimension to The Joshua Tree. Suddenly, I'm excited to explore the album in greater depth.

I think I tend to like U2's darker songs, as evidenced by my immediate affection for "Bullet the Blue Sky" and the penultimate "Exit," a strangely disjointed cut that travels through some interesting and different musical landscapes. "Exit" begins with a beautiful hymnal chorus that's bordering on gospel. Then the song takes us to the eerie nighttime depths of the synthesized ocean, where Bono is Poseidon and The Edge rides on the back of a giant winged dolphin, surfacing from time to time to whip up a minor guitar-driven monsoon.

So how do you follow that? Many times, I find myself dissatisfied with album closers. But in this case, I think "Mothers of the Disappeared" is an appropriate way to bring the album to a close. It meanders along, spacey and introspective, eventually fading away into the distance, leaving behind one pleasantly surprised intern.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Out and About with Bono

Last Friday, January 29th, Bono visited Rabbi Schneier at Park East Synagogue. Through the work of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Rabbi Schneier and Bono have developed a friendship as they both work for the cause of human rights around the world. Day School students and parents were treated with the opportunity to meet Bono at an assembly was held in the Synagogue. Bono delighted a very excited audience by singing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and everyone joined in the chorus.

And last Saturday he and Ali were at Damien Hirst´s Exhibition at Gagosian Gallery,New York.

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Grammys for U2

It was a tough competition and U2 was shut out at the 52nd annual GRAMMY Awards. Two of the band's three nominated categories were just announced during the pre-show awards ceremony. "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" lost to "Use Somebody" (Kings of Leon) in both the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rock Song categories.

U2 is also nominated in the Best Rock Album category (No Line On The Horizon) and they also lost the category to Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown.

Bono Joining "We Are World" Remake

Just as George Clooney used the Golden Globes as recruiting grounds for his Haiti telethon, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones did the same with Grammys for their "We Are the World" remake.

The veterans of the original 1985 charity single spent the festivities stocking up on music stars to perform on the new rendition, to be recorded Monday in Los Angeles.

Bono and Lady Gaga are among the latest on board for the Haiti-helping tune, joining the likes of Usher, Jason Mraz, Akon, Jennifer Hudson, Carlos Santana, Enrique Iglesias and Toni Braxton. There could be as many as 100 singers on the new rendition. "It's like the biggest honor in life to get a call from our father in music, Quincy Jones," RedOne, who will help produce, told E! News backstage.