Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy 51, Larry!!

Larry Mullen, the boss in U2 (LOL!!) is 51 today...Happy Birthday!!!

Hope he had the best of days with family and friends!!! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

U2 drummer joins Binoche in Movie

Another U2 member with "another" career? 

Film shooting now in Dublin.

Irish U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (Downtown Abbey,The Tudors) have joined French actress Juliette Binoche and Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s A Thousand Times Good Night, which started principal photography earlier this week (Oct 22) in Dublin.

Mullen’s first film role was in Irish director Mary McGuckian’s Man on the Train (2011), with Donald Sutherland in the lead - “still he says acting is outside his zone of comfort, but he is courageous, becomes safer and safer and is perfect in the part,” Poppe explained.

Inspired by Poppe’s own experiences as a war photographer in the 1980s, A Thousand Times Good Night (aka Grenade) is the story of a photographer, Rebekka, who is torn between the job she feels as a vocation and the family she loves so much.

Binoche and Coster-Waldau play the photographer and her husband, Mullen Jr and Kennedy their best friends, in the drama, which will mainly shoot in Dublin and Morocco, Kenya and Afghanistan, for Norwegian producer Finn Gjerdrum’s Paradox.

Scripted by Poppe with Norwegian writer Harald Rosenløw Eeg, the $7 million (NOK 40 million) project is packaged in collaboration with Ireland’s Newgrange Pictures and Zentropa International Sweden. Norway’s Euforia Film will release domestically in the autumn 2013.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bono’s Beautiful Daughter Quietly Stuns In NYC Appearance

Eve Hewson (Photo: Charles Eshelman)

U2 frontman Bono may be one of the world's highest-profile musicians, but you wouldn't know it from the low profile his family tends to take. Case in point: The rocker's 21-year-old daughter, Eve Hewson, who's been building an acting career in an understated, non-splashy fashion. Not too many people are familiar with Hewson's stunning looks--have you seen her before?

The beautiful blue-eyed brunette--the second-oldest of Bono and wife Ali Hewson's four children--stunned onlookers in New York at a screening of her new film, This Must Be The Place, which co-stars Sean Penn and Frances McDormand.
The movie competed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and will go into limited release domestically on November 2. Hewson plays the teenaged Mary, a friend to Penn's portrayal of an aging Dublin rock star seeking revenge for his father's torment at the hands of a Nazi guard.
The Irish-born Hewson, who lives in Brooklyn, made her feature-length acting debut in the 2008 drama The 27 Club. She also features prominently in Irish band the Script's music video "For The First Time."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bono: We all belong on the cover of 'Time', not Enda

INFLUENTIAL rock star Bono believes that the people of Ireland -- not Taoiseach Enda Kenny -- should have featured on the cover of Time magazine.
"They are the ones who have taken all the pain," he told the Sunday Independent last week.
The international weekly news magazine featured Mr Kenny on the cover of the European edition above the headline 'The Celtic Comeback'.
"I heard the Taoiseach said -- and I think it's right -- that the real people who should have been on the front cover were the Irish people. If it's true he said that, then that says a lot about the man. Because it's the people who have taken all the pain."
The author of the article, Time Europe editor Catherine Mayer, is also a friend of Bono's.
They met over 15 years ago through her husband, guitarist Andy Gill of post-punk band Gang of Four.
In a piece for the Telegraph newspaper for the 10th anniversary of the INXS star's death, Mr Gill recalls how his then girlfriend Catherine and he used to fly to the South of France and spend time partying with Bono, Michael Hutchenceand Paula Yates.
As Gill recalled: "The first time I took Catherine to Bono's house, she and Michael and Bono took a naked midnight swim.
"While they were treading water, Bono asked her what she did for a living. When she told him she was a journalist, he ducked under the surface, came up spluttering and said: "Well, please write that mine is bigger than Michael's."
Mr Kenny gave the interview in Government Buildings to the international weekly, which said he was "leading Ireland's fight to recover from the bust".
Bono met Enda at Christmas time last year to discuss affairs of state.
The duo had a two-hour meeting in the Taoiseach's office, during which the U2 singer's offer to act as an ambassador for Ireland was discussed, the Sunday Independent revealed.
Meanwhile, Bono has also told the Sunday Independent that he is humbled that the Irish people are still intent on giving to the Third World, despite their own financial turmoil.
"The Irish people are amazing. What's so incredible about the Irish people is that if you poll them -- I think it's over 62 per cent -- even though they are hurting and there's a lot of pain in the country, they don't want to cut the aid budget. That just humbles me," he said.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bono Contributes to "Tosca Pops-up" Auction Event

A Bono-autographed copy of the "Uber Deluxe Edition" of the recent Achtung Baby re-issue is being auctioned as part of the Tosca Pops Up charity event this week in Dublin. 

A truly unique pop up to benefit the work of Self Help Africa and help people across Africa to lift themselves out of poverty.

“We’re delighted to be popping up for Self Help Africa. They’re all about empowering people to grow more food, giving people a help up, not a hand out and we’re proud to be doing our bit. It’s gonna be a cracking night, a real celebration of the very best of Irish – music, food, people, and all with a bit of Tosca attitude. It’ll be fantastic to see all the old crew and customers again after 10 years! I’m really looking forward to it.”- Norman Hewson, Tosca.

Tosca Pops Up refers to the one-time re-opening of Tosca, a popular Dublin restaurant that Bono's brother, Norman, used to own. The restaurant crew is re-opening for one night to raise money for Self-Help Africa 

Achtung Baby
Achtung Baby, 20th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors’ Edition signed and donated by Bono
Reserve Price: €300
Market Value: €800+

Tosca’s best known patron and little brother of Norman has donated this one-off collectors’ item – a must have piece for dedicated U2 fans!

Recorded over 6 months in 1991 in Berlin and Dublin, Achtung Baby was U2's seventh studio album. This limited, numbered Über Deluxe Edition is a magnetic puzzle tiled box and contains: six CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions; four DVDs including "From The Sky Down", Zoo TV, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material; five clear 7" vinyl singles in their original sleeves; 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, four badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono’s trademark "The Fly" sunglasses.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bono's 'Humbling' Realizations About Aid, Capitalism And Nerds

An article from Forbes magazine:
Bono at the F.ounders Conference in Dublin on Friday (Photo by Conor McCabe)

Bono has learned much about music over more than three decades with U2. But alongside that has been a lifelong lesson in campaigning — the activist for poverty reduction in Africa spoke frankly on Friday about how his views about philanthropy had now stretched to include an appreciation for capitalism.

The Irish singer and co-founder of ONE, a campaigning group that fights poverty and disease in Africa, said it had been “a humbling thing for me” to realize the importance of capitalism and entrepreneurialism in philanthropy, particularly as someone who “got into this as a righteous anger activist with all the cliches.”

“Job creators and innovators are just the key, and aid is just a bridge,” he told an audience of 200 leading technology entrepreneurs and investors at the F.ounders tech conference in Dublin. “We see it as startup money, investment in new countries. A humbling thing was to learn the role of commerce.”

Bono’s work with ONE was borne out of a charity he co-founded in 2002, DATA, which sought to raise awareness around debt, AIDS and trade in Africa; it created ONE in 2004 and the two organizations were merged under the name ONE in 2008. (Disclosure: Bono is a managing partner of Elevation Partners, a investment firm that owns a stake in Forbes Media.) As part of his work on the board of ONE, Bono has lobbied American congressmen, presidents and other leaders from developed nations.

The singer, who dropped by the F.ounders conference on Friday in between working on songs for U2′s next album, said he’d had other, similarly tough realizations: that there are “enormously useful,” people on the left and right. “You just have to reach them.”

Hence the “unusual” people he has on the board of ONE, including the former U.S. Secretary of State under the Bush administration, Condoleeza Rice, Desmond Tutu and the finance minister of Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “People go, ‘Huh? Why?’” said Bono. “Our single idea is that normally these issues we fret about, which are seen as left-wing subject matter, we figure, ‘Why divide our audience in half?’ So we work with left and right.”

Bono has also had realizations about how useful the Internet can be for transparency. “The strongest and loudest voice with moral punch on the continent at the moment is a nerd,” Bono said, pointing to the tech company founders in the audience, many of whom were programmers. “He’s a tech innovator.”

Websites like, a site founded in India where citizens can report incidents of bribery and corruption, and another African site in which school kids can report if their teacher hasn’t shown up to class, were fighting the “biggest killer disease of them all: corruption,” said Bono. “It kills more kids than AIDs, TB and malaria. Right now in Africa we spend time with groups in civil society, with groups who are using technology to inform themselves better on what governments are doing and holding them to account.”

Bono spoke of the “network effect” and a radical shakedown affecting hierarchical institutions, particularly among repressive regimes in regions like the Middle East. “It’s affecting everyone from the Tea Party to Occupy,” he said, adding that his organization and others like it needed “an ethical online activist army pressing buttons at the right time… The next wave will come online. There’s a lot of smart people with smart ideas."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Latest News on Bono and Edge

Bono en la conferencia de F.ounders en Dublin 2012

Bono and Edge participated in the the F.ounders high-tech conference in Dublin on 19th.
Speaking at  conference in Dublin today,  Bono was effusive in his praise for grassroots social movements and the change they can effect on a global scale. The Irish rocker attended the event to promote the ONE anti-poverty campaign that he leads together with a number of other well-known figures, but his message was firmly focused on what we, the anonymous masses, can do by simply participating.

"Make it dangerous for a lawmaker to object to a bill that's transformative on behalf of the world's poor."
Citing the example of an Iowa Congressman that was opposing exactly such a piece of legislation, Bono pointed out that it was the strong and persistent backlash from his constituents that forced him to yield in his objections. Similarly, the Drop the Debt campaign and march that Bono was involved in organizing produced tangible results in pushing developed nations to cancel debt to developing countries in Africa. It's a familiar refrain about the effectiveness of direct democratic participation, but its undercurrent is about the importance of information technology.

How can you keep your Congressman in check if you don't know what he's doing behind the closed doors of Capitol Hill? How could the Occupy Wall Street movement have been mobilized without the communication facilitated by the web? Transparency is of profound importance to a democratic society and technology is one of the keys to unlocking the information we need to effect meaningful change.

Couching his argument in more dramatic terms, Bono goes on to say that "the 21st century began last year in Tahrir Square, where the pyramid of power was inverted." He is, of course, referring to the Egyptian uprising that resulted in the overthrow of dictatorial leader Hosni Mubarak, a campaign that was built upon a foundation of social networking organization, with such standout Facebook groups as the 6th of April Youth Movement and We are all Khaled Said. The organizer of the latter group, Wael Ghonim (pictured below), was imprisoned for his efforts to spread information about the treatment of Khaled Said by Egyptian police, but he considers that a small price to pay. He agrees with Bono in believing that "technology narrowed the gap between the power the politicians have and the power that average individuals have."

Read more.

The Edge was interviewed in the same event

Bono leaves The Cellar Bar at The Merrion Hotel after having a meeting with Irish Economist David McWilliams Dublin, Ireland -

Bono leaves The Cellar Bar at The Merrion Hotel after having a meeting with Irish Economist David McWilliams Dublin, Ireland -

Friday, October 19, 2012

From the Sky Down in Reus International Film Festival

Edition 2011

MEMORIMAGE 2012, Reus, Spain. 
Memorimage. Reus Internactional Film Festival is a competitive film festival targeting films that use archival footage. Memorimage is the appreciation of the past in the cinema filed.For this year’s celebration, Memorimage presents a programme that places priority on quality and seeks out the most recent film productions and also a number of additional activities for all kind of audiences, making Memorimage a strategic point of encounter to learn about and debate on the use of archival footage.

U2.From the Sky Down will be presented in the festival on November 8th  at Teatre Bartrina


Monday, October 15, 2012

"With Bono, defending aid," Bill Gates

Bill Gates was in Europe last week for stops in London and Paris. He’s traveling part of the time with Bono to meet with government leaders and policy makers of countries that are key contributors to global health and development work. This piece was originally published on the Gates Notes blog.

I spent Wednesday in Paris, talking about the importance and effectiveness of foreign aid. My partner in many of those meetings was Bono, who has used his voice so effectively to advocate for development aid and the needs of the poorest people on earth.
By any estimation, my few days in Europe were off to a good start.
We spent the better part of the day meeting with senior French officials, including France’s new president, Francois Hollande, his finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, and their new Development Minister, Pascal Canfin.
We spent the better part of our first day of the trip meeting with senior French officials, including France’s new president, Francois Hollande.
France plays a critical role in encouraging the European Union to keep its commitments to overseas development assistance programs, particularly in the face of Europe’s economic difficulties. Its own commitment to foreign aid is a tremendous example to other donor countries. That was the context for our meetings.
President Hollande was clear he remains committed to aid, and that he is an advocate for both the effectiveness of foreign aid when it is carefully done, and the responsibility developed countries have in working with the developing world.
I’m very pleased with our meetings. They took place in spectacular surroundings, but the focus was on the poor. And that made for a very good first day in Europe.
President Hollande was clear that he remains committed to aid, and that he is an advocate for both the effectiveness of foreign aid when it is carefully done, and the responsibility developed countries have in working with the developing world. France has a remarkable history of support for Africa and for its assistance efforts around the world, with organizations like Médecins sans Frontières. The President also spoke about how aid can benefit both the recipient and donor countries.
France’s finance minister Pierre Moscovici made this point last month when he noted that Europe’s growth over the next 20 years will depend heavily on Africa’s growth and development. Ensuring that all Africans have a chance for a better future is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do from an economic standpoint.
Click the graphic below to watch a video from Bill Gates & Bono’s trip: 
Screen shot 2012-10-15 at 9.57.54 AM

We had a good exchange about getting the most out of every Euro of aid. I’m a big advocate for the incredible impact that investments in vaccines can achieve, and was very happy to hear the President specifically call out France’s commitment to staying involved with the Global Fund, which provides funding for programs to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria. France should be particularly proud in their leadership with the Global Fund. Their help is making a real difference in millions of lives around the world.
Support from leaders like President Hollande is critical to preserving those life-saving investments in aid and explaining why staying true to the EU goal of devoting .7% of national budgets to foreign aid is the right course.
Bono was very persuasive about the impact foreign aid is having, as well as the devastating consequences withdrawing it could have on poor countries, particularly in Africa.
I was really pleased with our meetings. They took place in spectacular surroundings (the Élysée Palace is a stunning example of French style and decoration). But the focus was on the poor, on both sides of the table. And that made for a very good first day in Europe.

Bono' s collaborations

'There’s always more to Herbert’s songs than you first hear,’ says Bono, who duets with Herbert Grönemeyer on 'I Walk’

Herbert Grönemeyer is Germany’s biggest music star...Grönemeyer is a singer-songwriter of the highest order, a deep lyricist and richly melodic composer with a gruff, grown-up voice and vigorous stage presence, whose thoughtful songs deal with the real stuff of life. At 56, he regularly sells out stadiums, commanding his devoted audience with a lot of energy and humour, and interspersing his own, often darkly intense songs with brash, soulful cover versions. He’s been making albums since 1979, outsold Michael Jackson’s Thriller in Germany in 1984, and made the biggest-selling German album of all time, Mensch, in 2002...
This week, Grönemeyer releases an English-language album, I Walk (on his own label, Grönland). It’s a powerful, philosophical, adult collection of songs of love, loss, grief and recovery, which includes duets with Bono and Antony Hegarty, and guitar work from Manic Street Preacher James Dean Bradfield. It was recorded in London, where Grönemeyer has been living since 1998. “I am totally a Belsize Park man,” he smiles.

At an intimate show in Berlin, he holds his own duetting with Bono, whose superstardom is global compared to Grönemeyer’s local fame. The two have been friends since 2005, when Grönemeyer set up the Berlin leg of Live 8. Backstage, Bono reveals that he has been humming Mensch to himself all summer, before volunteering to sing it. “There’s always more to Herbert’s songs than you first hear,” explains Bono. “Mensch is a really profound song about the coldness and steeliness that friendship and love sometimes need to survive, a most unromantic paean to romance. That stuff appeals to me. Herbert has kind of a macho and manly presence, he’s got a gruff voice and a slightly gruff attitude towards dealing with problems. The song is full of 'get over it’ and 'just get on with it’, and I tried to offer a subtle counterpoint to that.”

To read more of  Neil McCormick`s article, here.

Bono also participated in K'naan`s album Country, God or the Girl with the song "Bulletproof Pride". They had premiered the song last year at the Concert "A Decade of Difference" (A concert celebrating 10 years of the William J. Clinton Foundation). The album will be released tomorrow.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rolling Stone:13 Tours We'd Like To See In 2013

Rolling Stone magazine has posted an article where they speculate with the tour they`d like to see in 2012. U2, of course, is in the list.

"There's no possible way for U2 to top the size and scope of their 2009-2011 stadium tour. It grossed $736,000,000 over 110 shows. That's a record that may never be broken. They shouldn't even try. When their next album hits in 2013, they should go back to arenas instead. It also might be time to drop some war horses from the set lists. Sure, "Where The Streets Have No Name" should be played at every U2 gig until the end of time, but maybe we've heard "Pride (In The Name of Love)," "With or Without You," "New Years Day," "Mysterious Ways" and "One" enough times. They're all great songs, but they've been played to death.

It would be even more exciting if U2 considered actually rotating their set lists from night to night. Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen shows are so thrilling because you never know what's coming next. An act with as deep a back catalog as U2 should at least set aside a few slots per night where they mix it up – maybe bring back early favorites like "Drowning Man" or "The Refugee," or forgotten 1990s tunes like "Acrobat" or "Gone."

At this stage in U2's career, it might be tempting to just keep flogging the same old hits in stadiums for enormous sums of money. They need to resist that temptation at all costs. "

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bono, Adam and Edge at the Premiere of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour in London

Bono , Adam and The Edge  together with his wife Morleigh and Gavin Friday were at the premiere of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour at the 02 arena in London.

Adam Clayton and Bono 'Michael Jackson The Immortal...
Adam, Gavin Friday and Bono 

The Edge aka David Howell Evans 'Michael Jackson...
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh

Bono Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, stage...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bono: "Great Things Happen..."

Bono has been visiting European leaders with Bill Gates this week, on the campaign trail with ONE. 

'Sometimes great things happen when nobody’s looking.' he said this afternoon, after meeting with the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Minister Jo Swinson. 'That’s what happened today. Nick Clegg and Jo Swinson have thrown Britain’s weight behind strong EU transparency laws, at least matching the new US legislation. This legislation says – let the daylight in. Transparency is the best vaccine against corruption.'

Campaigners have been lobbying for an EU-wide law requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publish what they pay to governments around the world.  ONE is part of a coalition of 650 civil society organisations  calling for greater transparency in the sector. Over 160,000  European ONE members  signed the petition calling on European leaders to deliver strong laws - following a successful campaign by ONE members in the US to pass a similar law.

Nick Clegg, the UK's Deputy Prime Minister said, 'It is time to end the injustice where ordinary people are silent witnesses, left to suffer without basic services, as the profits from their countries’ assets are hidden and plundered by corrupt regimes.'

As Bill Gates explains on his blog, 'I've been travelling in Europe this week with Bono. The two of us are meeting with government leaders to encourage them to renew their commitments to fund development assistance programmes that help the world's poorest.'

Many European leaders have expressed support including European Commission President Barroso,  European Parliament President Schulz and, pictured above, French leader President Hollande.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bono Met VIP European People for ONE

Bono con el Presidente de Alemania Gauck

Bono met Joachim Gauck , the president of Germany at Bellevue Palace in Berlin on Monday 8th October. He has talked on behalf of ONE about world poverty and preventable diseases in poor countries. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes.

Bono junto a Martin Schulz

On Tuesday he met Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament at Brussels  to confirm his  strong support in the European Parliament for EU development aid.

Bono y Herman Van Rompuy

Later in the day he met  Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council who wrote in his Twitter account:

“Another beautiful day. EU committed to 0,7% GNI to development aid. Happy that Bono also interested in EU budget deal” 

Bono y Jose Manuel Durao Barroso

Finally he met Jose Manuel Durao Barroso,President of the European Commission to coordinate their efforts on fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease.

Today Bono and Bill Gates,ONE Co-founders, met with with French President Francois Hollande today to discuss crucial development & humanitarian issues.


Friday, October 5, 2012

What Is It About... Moment Of Surrender?

Once any artist has written and recorded a song, it's no longer theirs to keep.

They release it, set it free, turn it over to the audience. Some songs are quietly forgotten; others enter your head, and your heart, and refuse to leave quietly.

But what is it about these songs, exactly? asked their subscribers to tell them their own stories about an unforgettable U2 song - one that stopped them  in their tracks, or is forever associated with a particular moment in their lives.



1. It's an epiphany. On No Line on the Horizon, Bono stopped writing in the 'first person' and was singing from the perspective of different characters. The hero of 'Moment' is an addict, who has a crisis of faith, and an epiphany. 'When I had one drink, I couldn't stop,' writes Frenchwoman2. 'So I quit drinking all together. At the one-year mark I got myself a commemorative bracelet that I had engraved with the Moment of Surrender lyric: 'Vision over Visibility'.' The song's title itself is the term used in Alcoholics Anonymous for when an addict admits their helplessness. 'It's when you know that you can't control anything or anyone,' says Frenchwoman2, 'so you surrender that control. Sometimes you can't see where you're going; but remember the destination, and you'll get there with faith.' Amen. 

2. It was the most magical studio experience ever.  At least, it was for Brian Eno. Recording Moment of Surrender is when he and Daniel Lanois thought the band were closest to realising their original concept for the album - to write 'future hymns'.  As Eno explained at the time to,  'It was 'the most magical  experience I've ever had in a studio.'

3. It's a great idea for a tattoo. 'My husband has the 360-tour logo tattooed on his back, with the words 'Moment of Surrender',' writes ceesje. 'He's always thinking of his dead mother and father when Bono sings that song.' In the meantime, ceesje admits to having a Stuck in a Moment tattoo, herself. His and hers tattoos, U2 style... 

4. The critics loved it.  Rolling Stone magazine crowned 'Moment of Surrender' the 'Best Song of 2009'. A year later, it made the magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of All Time': 'The most devastating U2 ballad since 'One' sets lush, gospel-tinged music - much of it improvised live in the studio - against dark subject matter: It's about a junkie riding the subway.' 

5. You can fall in love to it. 'This track reminds me of a very, very special moment that took place during the 360 tour in Mexico City,' writes AleMorando. 'I went to that concert with my best friend Juan José... Bono started to sing 'Moment of Surrender',' she continues, 'and in a magic moment, all of a sudden we held each other in a big hug, surrounded by the lights of the cellphones like a million stars.'
And ..?
'And that's when I fell in love with Juan José,' she declares. 'Thanks, U2.'

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview with Ralph Larmann

The German website has posted an interesting interview with Ralph Larmann, the photographer and journalist who published the photography book From the Ground Up. Dear fans, I am delighted to have a very special interview partner today and give a warm welcome to Ralph Larmann, the photographer and journalist, who is about to publish the photography book From the Ground Up. The book is to be published on 18 October 2012 and I am glad to have the opportunity to do a phone interview with him. Most certainly, I have some exciting questions, which we collected among the fans prior to today. Mr. Larmann, could you please introduce yourself to those readers who are not yet that familiar with your work as a U2 photographer and also please tell us how you got into journalism. 

Ralph Larmann: Well, I took my own very special path. Originally, I am a drummer, studied popular music in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and then, about 25 years ago, moved into journalism as I was very interested in interviewing musicians and in releasing stories about music in professional publications. I started writing, yet, at the same time, I also wanted to take the pictures accompanying my stories. Thus, I more or less got into photography - writing stories, doing interviews and then myself taking photos of my interview partners, objects, concerts or whatever. So it evolved sort of automatically. I published my first books in the early 90s. Back then, I composed a book, or rather documentation, for Marek Lieberberg (German concert promoter) called Heute die. Morgen du (Today it's them. Tomorrow yourself) covering a concert against right wing extremists in front of the Festhalle in Frankfurt. The next book was 10 Jahre Rock am Ring (10 Years of Rock am Ring, a huge German music festival), again for Marek Lieberberg, followed by close cooperation with various artists. I worked a lot with Udo Lindenberg, Fury in the Slaughterhouse, Howard Carpendale, the Schürzenjäger (all German acts)...indeed, a very broad range. I covered very diverse fields of music, including classical music. David Garrett's current live DVD, for instance, is designed using exclusively my photographs. And in comedy, the current Bülent Ceylan DVD (German comedian), recorded at Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt. By now, I cover a very broad field. There was, for example, my latest project photographing the Golf VII presentation by Volkswagen in the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. So, I feel at home in the field of events and concerts and that is the world I feel utterly comfortable in, that I enjoy enormously and in which, I feel, there is no end in sight for me. There is progression after all: events and concerts visually evolve in a very interesting way and there are always new, exciting visual productions. This is my profession and this is where I feel at home! You perfectly anticipated my next two, three questions and already mentioned that you also cover industrial photography. On your homepage, I noticed some photos related to industry and architecture, yet the majority is rather music-related. Knowing that you studied music and that you are a drummer, I now fully understand why and get to my next questions: How did you get so close to U2? There is the longtime U2 photographer Anton Corbijn, who is very close to the band, and Andrew MacPherson has taken quite some pictures of U2 - How did you get into the large U2 family? 

Ralph Larmann: I published two photography books, Stage Design (2007) and Stage Design Emotions (2010) and for the first one, I took pictures of the Vertigo production. On this occasion, I met Willie Williams and, at the Berlin concert, gave him a CD-ROM containing my photos. Two months later, he wrote me a short mail telling me that he finally found the time to look at my photos and that he just wanted to let me know that these were the best he had seen of the Vertigo production and whether he could use them for his website. Most certainly, this was a huge compliment - coming from a designer like Willie Williams, who I consider one of the most creative and best designers in show and stage business regarding modern stage productions. At the same time, I was also photographing stage stories for my first Stage Design book. And learning that he (Williams) had also designed George Michael's 25LIVE, I asked for the permission to also take pictures of that production for my book. Two days later, I got the OK from the management. After seeing my pictures, they called me and asked whether I could take pictures of the production in Copenhagen directly for George Michael. Well, and when U2 started their 360° tour, I knew that I absolutely had to photograph this tour for my second Stage Design book. I had stayed in touch with Willie Williams and he said: "Come to Berlin and photograph that show! The band is eager to meet you, wants to see your photos and wants to see how you catch the show in pictures." 

For that concert, I upgraded my equipment a bit, in order to be able to take 360° roundshot pictures, perfectly fitting the 360° tour. In Berlin, I photographed my first roundshots - at that time, not from the stage. The band was not familiar with that photography technique but liked it that much that they told me to come on stage with them in Gelsenkirchen. This is when I personally met the band. Most certainly, Larry Mullen, who was next to me on stage, wanted to know who he was dealing with. Among the Berlin photos, there was this star picture that you are familiar with. This photo was so popular with everyone involved in the production that, when arriving in Gelsenkirchen, I saw that everybody used it as wallpaper on their cell phones or notebooks. And even Bono came up to me and explicitly thanked me for my Berlin photos and this felt like knightly accolade to me right there. To receive such a compliment from Bono, from this artist, is just like a dream! The fact that he appreciates my pictures this way. I then took roundshots in Gelsenkirchen which also turned out fantastically and they were perceived brilliantly. So, as a consequence I was directly booked. During the two shows at Wembley Stadium in London, I photographed directly for the band and management. Some of these pictures were used for promotion and for concert posters. The Berlin picture became the official cover of the tour programme and was available as poster at the merchandising booths. As such, I ultimately got in through my work. Willie Williams then wrote the foreword to my Stage Design Emotions book, which was certainly very special to me. I will never forget the moment when he sent me his foreword and I read it. The way he perceives my work and described it was such a huge compliment that I got all teary-eyed. The band liked the way I caught their shows in photos and as a next step I directly accompanied the band in America for one week. In the US, I took pictures in St. Louis, at New Meadowlands Stadium in Newark and in Minneapolis. It was my objective to take pictures of a quality exceeding the 35mm format. During these three concerts and during set-up in Newark and taking down the stage in Minneapolis, I used one, respectively two Leica S2 cameras to shoot in digital medium format, which quality-wise is a dream come true. There are more than 180 of my pictures in this book, more than 100 of which were taken with the Leica S2s. These have a very unique quality. The depth and detail resolution is fascinating! This was my objective: to photograph this tour, this unique stage, this production in a quality exceeding the normal standards; and I have to say that I succeeded. Absolutely. As you said earlier, your Berlin pictures created quite a stir! I have it right in front of me on my notebook and it is just unbelievably great! I personally attended this show. You listed the concerts you attended, have you been to any other concerts on this tour? In your book, we read that you were travelling with the band in their private jet. Or was that just Dylan Jones, your author? 

Ralph Larmann: No, I was travelling with the band. Ok, Bono always travelled separately (laughs), as he was travelling also to other destinations, but other than that I was in the same jet as the band, the production and management team; altogether roughly 50 people.

Bono in "B.B.King-The Life of Riley"

BB King - The Life Of Riley, is a new documentary about the legendary blues singer/guitarist .Narrated by  Morgan Freeman and directed by Jon Brewer ,there are guest appearances of Bono ,  Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana  among  other artists.

The Guardian shows  part of Bono's appearance.

Theatrical release in UK : 15th October.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bono and Ali Hewson to speak at IHT Luxury conference in Rome

Bono and Ali Hewson, founders of EDUN, and Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel, are the latest names added to the line-up for the International Herald Tribune (IHT) Luxury Conference in Rome on November 15-16. This year’s conference focuses on “The Promise of Africa and The Power of the Mediterranean”.
The conference, which is curated by IHT Fashion Editor, Suzy Menkes, will discuss the power of the Mediterranean area and the promise of Africa as both a creative source and a new consumer of luxury. Other speakers include Diego Della Valle of Tod’s, designer Manolo Blahnik, Donatella Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier and several international executives.
“We are so proud at the IHT to have Bono and Ali Hewson at the conference”, said Menkes. The couple’s support for Africa is legendary and their urgent enthusiasm will help transmit the story of Africa’s needs and achievements to our delegates – and across the world. The EDUN range is proof that ethical and responsible manufacturing is a good fit with fashion.” She added that “Diesel founder Renzo Rosso has been working in Mali and across Africa, through his Only The Brave Foundation, and has a vision of what can be achieved, with imagination and enthusiasm, across the continent.”
Now in its 12th year the conference brings together more than 500 of the most senior business and creative leaders from the top echelons of the industry to gain insights, share ideas and expand their international networks. The 2011 conference took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil and analyzed the luxury industry in BRIC countries with contributions from major names such as Sarah Burton, Mario Testino and Diane von Furstenberg.