Friday, November 30, 2012

The Fight Goes On: Bono’s Unwavering Quest to End AIDS

In recognition of this year’s World AIDS Day, U2 singer and global activist Bono is stepping up his fight against HIV/AIDS by personally lobbying American legislators to maintain funding for global AIDS initiatives and awareness. His plea comes at a moment when Washington is embroiled in tensebudget debates over how to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” which would trigger automatic spending cuts and tax hikes. Bono showed up in Washington a few weeks after the presidential election to make his case and he didn’t just bring star-appeal, he brought data. His international advocacy organization, The ONE Campaign, recently released a report, warning that despite scientific strides made in combating the pandemic, the United Nation’s goal to achieve the “beginning of the end of AIDS by 2015” will fail if funding is cut to AIDS programs. The report also says financial and political commitment to AIDS efforts from the usual donor countries are varied, with the U.S., U.K. and France leading efforts while Germany, Canada, Japan and Italy lag behind in funding. Bono pushed lawmakers to continue to make AIDS financing a priority. Given the current status, the beginning of the end ofAIDS—defined as when the number of new HIV infections each year is surpassed by the number of people receiving treatment—will not be reached until 2022

American support is key to reaching the ambitious goals set by the United Nations. When Bono sat down with TIME’s managing editor, Rick Stengel last year, he shared his confidence in the Obama Administration’s financial commitment and praised the U.S’s role in leading efforts to fight the virus. “It is an extraordinary thing that the United States has done, which is in the war against this tiny little virus, which has caused so much destruction and heartache, American leadership has been the turning point,” said Bono in the interview. “Five million lives have been saved around the world because of American leadership.”
Despite the anxiety over whether lack of fiscal support will slow the momentum the movement has already achieved, Bono’s organization, The ONE Campaign and its fundraising division (RED), are continuing to spearhead awareness with a new pop culture initiative coinciding with World AIDS Day on December 1st.
ONE is launching a first-person YouTube video series called “It starts with me,” with video messages and stories from contributors like AIDS activist Cleve Jones and actor Colin Farrell. (RED)  has teamed up with Tiesto, a leading electronic music DJ to release a compilation album, DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES with fellow EDM musicians. The album corresponds with a global YouTube livestream from the Stereosonic Festival in Melbourne, Australia.
As Bono told TIME prior to last year’s World AIDS Day, the beginning of the end of AIDS is nearing with continued international political and financial support. “With some breakthroughs in science there is a chance to turn [this around]… As I say it to you, I can hardly believe the sound of it. For some people, this is a really emotional moment,” he said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bono and Paul Mc Guinness Remember Frank Barsalona

Bono with Frank Barsalona in 2002

Frank Barsalona, founder of Premier Talent and one of the pioneers of the modern touring business, passed away Thanksgiving morning  after a long illness. U2 manager Paul McGuinness  responded with this touching tribute. 

"Trying to get U2 signed to Premier Talent was the reason for my trip when I flew to New York for the very first time in 1980. I was a baby manager but I knew that Premier were the agency that had driven the British Invasion for the Who, Zeppelin and all the great bands. U2 were recording their first album, "Boy," in Dublin, with Steve Lillywhite producing, for Island Records. When I arrived in New York, I phoned Frank Barsalona's office for an appointment. They took my number, maybe they would have called back.  The next day my father died suddenly back in Dublin. I phoned Premier to say I wouldn't be able to see Frank that week because I would be at the funeral  but I would be back soon. He had to see me when I returned, I was the guy in Ireland whose father had died ... 

"When I met Frank a week or two later he listened to the U2 tape, looked at a video clip I had made,  and (with some encouragement from Chris Blackwell, who had once bailed out his agency) agreed to represent the band. It was the most important alliance we had made up to then. 

"Through the 1980s in North America, Barbara Skydel and Frank guided U2 to becoming one the great live act they are now. Over many late nights sitting in his office as he told me his stories, after everyone had gone home, he gave me my education in the business. Sometimes we went to watch a Yankees game, but mostly we sat and he talked, often till midnight. 

"He taught U2 and myself something that has stood us in good stead ever since -- that an artist has two parallel careers: one on record and one live. The fact that record success came later for U2 was compensated for by their much quicker rise to fame as one of the great live attractions. 

"He and his network of regional promoters gave us so much of their skill and wisdom. In 1991/1992 we did the ambitious, expensive, and deservedly legendary, ZooTV tour. We kept the ticket price low and only broke even. 

"In 1997 when costs were even higher, we were planning the PopMart tour and we changed the business model, and decided to invite bids from interested parties who would underwrite the whole world tour, and shoulder the financial risk that the band had hitherto taken. This meant working without an agent and I had the painful task of informing Frank and Barbara that U2 were no longer Premier clients. The business was changing. I had to say the same to Ian Flooks of Wasted Talent, who had been our brilliant agent in the rest of the world. 

"We then started working worldwide with Michael Cohl and Arthur Fogel, then working under the name TNA. Though Michael is no longer part of the organization, TNA became SFX, that became Clear Channel and the current Live Nation concert organization, which is in many ways the successor to Frank Barsalona's network.  We are still working with Arthur Fogel, who first played U2 in the El Mocambo in Toronto in 1980, a date booked by Premier. 

"Frank was a great man and we will not see his like again. My sympathies and condolences go to his wife June and daughter Nicole."

Bono also said to

'Beyond a gentleman to deal with. Graceful, very family orientated. Working with Frank as U2 did, it was like you were in his family.  His stories were sometimes long but always memorable - my favourite featuring The Who smashing their instruments on stage for the first time in his presence and starring Frank, who, starting to get it, turns to his beloved but aghast wife, June and says, 'It's ok honey, it's all part of the show.'
'Maybe you had to be there... hard to explain somebody like Frank as they just don't make them like that anymore. We think of June and Nicole as the band and I salute him. I don't think U2 would have enjoyed the kind of success we have had without Frank Barsalona building it with us. One of maybe ten in the business who believed in U2 as much as we did and cajoled and crooned his peers into doing the same.'

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"I know the real thing", says Bono's girl

eve hewson stuns in flaunt magazine 01
Eve Hewson goes glam inside the November/December issue of Flauntmagazine.

THE youngest daughter of U2 frontman Bono has told how her father's fame can bring out the worst in people when they find out her connection to the global superstar.
The 21-year-old actress Eve Hewson, who is studying acting at New York City University, said she is rarely recognised.
Eve Hewson Stuns in 'Flaunt' Magazine!eve hewson stuns in flaunt magazine 02
But the student told 'Flaunt' magazine she can instantly recognise the people who want to be friends with her in college because of her rock star father.
"It's made it, in some ways, easier to find friends because it brings out certain bad things in people," she said. "Then you can see easier. Well, you can smell the desperation in people."
For most of her life she has been kept out of the limelight by her parents but her roles in a string of high-profile films are turning the dark-haired beauty into a budding film star.
But she said her father's status as the frontman of the world's biggest band rarely encroached on her happy, sheltered childhood in southside Dublin.
"Obviously, every now and then someone would start singing a U2 song at a party but, aside from that, it's not really about who you are, what you have.
"It's just like, how you can hang out, if you can tell a good story, if you can make a good laugh."
Her performance alongside Hollywood star Sean Penn in the film 'This Must Be The Place' has already caused a buzz around the young actress.
She plays the surrogate daughter to Penn's depressed rock star. She said she wasn't recognised much while making the film. "Nobody really cares about me. There are other famous actors on set that are more fascinating."
The actress, who has an older sister Jordan (23) and two younger brothers Elijah (14) and John Abraham (11), has recently finished the movie 'Blood Ties'.
eve hewson stuns in flaunt magazine 03eve hewson stuns in flaunt magazine 05
It stars a string of Hollywood heavy-hitters including Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, legend James Caan and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.
The young actress lists edgy star Juliette Lewis and Evan Rachel Woods as big influences.
"I think you have to be very forward about what you want. You have to be confident that you have a vision and that you want to play different sides of yourself. I think the crazier and weirder you are you will be able to get there."
She also said she really admires actress Frances McDormand for picking kooky roles.
"I love Frances for that. It's so cool. And Catherine Keener, who I am working with right now – she is the kind of cool chick that doesn't play into any of the bull***t."
- Lynne Kelleher
Irish Independent

pictures: (from Flaunt magazine)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The ONE Effect: Feel Real Change

Jamie Drummond

As a teenager in the 1980s I experienced three exhilarating moments which shaped my view of activism. I was one of thousands who responded to the call to fight apartheid and enjoy the Free Mandela concert - and then Mandela was freed. We were asked to buy a piece of vinyl, a simple song, a single of solidarity for the hungry in Ethiopia - millions of us did and millions were fed. Then we heard about a crumbling wall of oppression in Berlin - so with friends I got on that train, took a sledge hammer to the Berlin wall, joining a massive party of positive protest.

Each time the sensation was amazing - mass participation in campaigns, moments of solidarity, freedom, and above all, the realisation that by coming together as one we could help make change happen and be part of history. 

I am lucky enough to relive that incredible feeling every day, because I co-founded an organisation, the ONE Campaign, whose entire purpose is to help people unite in the fight the injustice of extreme poverty - and be part of history. Just as I got to be tiny part of big change with Live Aid, the anti-apartheid campaign or the Berlin Wall-busting party, so we give our members real opportunities to bust this global injustice.

Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and other activist leaders in Africa first asked Bono, Bob and our team to step up our activism in partnership with Africans in the late 1990s. Following the anti-apartheid campaign they wanted to see serious global movement on issues like debt, AIDS, increased aid, transparency and trade reform. So we answered in various experimental ways and eventually by setting up ONE. Then Mandela really upped the ante in 2005 when he demanded we be "that great generation to make poverty history". Some might think Mandela naïve for demanding this. But we will see shortly this great man's vision is on the right side of history.

Inspired by this African ambition we now have over three million members around the world, networked with tens of millions more in great activist organisations like Oxfam, Save the Children and Global Witness. The story of how ONE grew from its roots in those moments of activism is told in a new documentary being shown on BBC4 on Sunday as part of the Why Poverty? series.

Our members sometimes just send emails or tactical tweets to push politicians, sometimes they turn up outside their offices, and often enough go into them - to ensure their voices are heard demanding specific policy changes on trade transparency or smart aid programs that help the poorest help themselves. At the same time as our members are pushing so are our other influential friends like Bill and Melinda Gates, George Soros or Bono. This strategy of "inside influence and outside mobilisation" combined often forces leaders to pay more attention - and act.

African activist leaders, such as the Sudanese telecoms entrepreneur and activist Mo Ibrahim and the Nigerian "corruption cop" Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and host of other African advisers continue to inform and advise our work. In Ngozi's words - "As an African leader and policy expert I just want to say how cognisant I am of the efforts ONE and Bono make to ensure the real concerns of Africans are heard in the decisions they make about the policies they chose to campaign on. When I asked they campaign for debt cancellation, they did. When I asked for help in fighting corruption and promoting transparency, they did. Bono and ONE systematically listen and learn from leaders and citizens in Africa in ways I wish others sometimes did. This kind of partnership is what we need much more of from our friends around the world."

In 10 years together we've helped a series of campaigns go from margins to mainstream and make change happen. The successes don't always hit the headlines, but they are real. The "publish what you pay" transparency legislation we're pushing for in the oil and gas sector is now going global. Or take AIDS - when we started 50,000 people in need in Africa had access to life saving drugs - now it's 6.2million. Or malaria - deaths down by a third in sub-Saharan Africa in a decade. Or child-killing diseases - altogether we've campaigned for vaccines which have helped save over 5million lives this last decade. Or Drop the Debt - removal of the debt overhang has helped African leaders put 50m more kids into school and contributed partly to many nations faster economic growth since 2000. Recently campaigning has also helped force more transparency in the oil and gas extraction sector in developing regions like Africa.

The credit for these achievements doesn't lie with celebrity rockstars, though they've certainly helped. It belongs to African citizens and the millions who campaign in solidarity with them such as those who marched for Drop the Debt and Make Poverty History. In their name these African successes should be far better known and they amount to something profound. The Millennium Development Goal set in 2000 of halving extreme poverty has already been achieved before 2015, the target date. And since Mandela spoke poverty reduction in Africa has also picked up with many African nations driving down poverty reduction rapidly. Globally poverty reduction is now on course to near ZERO by 2030. So we could really be that generation Mandela asked us to be. Joining ONE is a great way to accelerate the achievement of his vision.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES / U2 vs Tiesto-Pride (In the Name Of Love)

On Tuesday Tiësto releases an exclusive compilation album, DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES, featuring artists like Calvin Harris, Avicii and Diplo. 

The album is designed to mobilise dance music fans in the fight against AIDS - and raise vital funds ahead of World AIDS Day. More information here

One of the stand-out tracks is a collaboration between Tiësto and Bono on a remix of Pride (In The Name Of Love) -

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More on Tiësto`s collaboration with (RED)

(RED) have announced a collaboration with one of the world’s leading DJs and electronic dance music pioneers, Tiësto. 

Next Tuesday, November 27, Tiësto will release an exclusive compilation album, DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES, followed by a global livestream – powered by YouTube - from Melbourne’s Stereosonic Festival over World AIDS Day weekend on December 1st and 2nd.

The compilation features artists including Calvin Harris, Avicii and Diplo, as well as an exclusive collaboration between Tiësto and Bono on U2's 'Pride'. 

Mobilizing the huge global community of dance music fans in the fight against AIDS, Tiësto and his fellow DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES artists will livestream their sets from the Stereosonic Festival on YouTube, bringing fans an unforgettable live global music experience. The stream will be available at

The announcement comes as (RED) and its partners mark an important milestone in the fight against AIDS, having generated $200 million for the Global Fund.

Speaking about his collaboration with (RED), Tiësto  said; “When I went to Africa in 2006, I was struck by the devastating effect of AIDS. Now the world has an incredible chance to make sure that babies are born HIV free by 2015, and the dance community is going to make a lot of noise to help make this happen.” 

The war against AIDS faces a critical battle: to deliver the first AIDS Free Generation since HIV was diagnosed 31 years ago. In 2003, new childhood HIV infections peaked with more than 1,500 babies born with HIV every day. For only 40 cents a day, mothers can be treated to prevent transmission to their unborn children, and just over 900 babies are now born daily with the virus. By 2015, that number can be near zero. Ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV is a component of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED), said “Tiësto represents a generation of young music fans with incredible passion and energy. We want to tap into that passion to help deliver an AIDS free generation by 2015; a monumentally important milestone in the fight against AIDS. What Tiësto and his friends in the dance music community are bringing to this fight is invaluable. They bring the kind of heat that is so desperately needed to keep this issue at the top of the agenda. This World AIDS Day, I want fans to buy the album and DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES!'

Find out more.

(RED) was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage business in the fight against AIDS. It partners with  iconic global brands who contribute up to 50% of profits from (RED) branded goods and services to the Global Fund  to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Bono,The Edge and other rock stars pay for tapestry to honor late Czech president Vaclav Havel

Václav Havel and Bono (photo: ČTK)

Bono, The Edge, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Yoko Ono Lennon have covered the cost of a tapestry that will be unveiled next month to honor Vaclav Havel at Prague's international airport, that has been renamed to honor the late Czech president.
The airport says the tapestry, which has been designed by the Czech-born New York-based artist Petr Sis, will be unveiled at a ceremony on Dec. 9.

The musicians donated a total of 1.5 million koruna ($76,000) to cover the project proposed by Bill Shipsey, the founder of Art for Amnesty, a project of artists supporting the Amnesty International.

Havel was the dissident playwright who led the 1989 revolution that toppled four decades of communist rule before becoming the country's president.

He died in December, 2011, aged 75.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bono with Tiësto for (RED)

Tiësto posted this photo in his FB with this caption:

"It was amazing to be in the studio with Bono for (RED)." - Tiësto

So  we have to get ready for something coming from these two soon (Perhaps for December 1st, World AIDS Day??? Stay tuned...)

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Killers: With or Without You

The Killers' version of "With or Without you" at the O2 Arena, London, 16th November 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

All About Eve

Rock princess Eve Hewson, daughter of Bono, will make her first major acting debut in the Sean Penn film This Must Be the Place, set for commercial release in January. The recent N.Y.U. grad posed in a variety of holiday outfits at her November-issue Vanities shoot. 

PROVENANCE: Dublin, Ireland.
AGE: 21.

ROCK STARLET: Despite growing up as music royalty—Bono is her father—Hewson, who graduates from N.Y.U. this December, had a grounded childhood. “My parents work really hard to make sure that we don’t feel entitled. They just don’t spoil us. They want us to work for things.

PARENTAL SUPPORT: When Hewson decided as a teenager to become an actress, her parents at first had misgivings. “I think because they’ve been around that world and they know what Hollywood is, especially for a woman—it can be really difficult.” They’ve since become enthusiastic supporters. “They’re excited about it now, almost too much. They’re like obsessed parents, but it’s cute.”

BIG START: Hewson landed her first major movie role in the Sean Penn film This Must Be the Place,which debuted at Sundance this year and is set for commercial release in January. She says of her co-star, “He was actually really fun. He wasn’t as Method as you’d think. It was a fun set.

IRISH-AMERICAN GIRL: In addition to an untitled project with indie darling Nicole Holofcener in the works, Hewson is planning to move from New York to L.A. following her graduation. And she speaks without an Irish lilt these days. “When I go home, all of my friends are like, ‘Shut up with that American accent. You’re Irish. You better talk like an Irish person.’ ”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Good news for all U2 and Design Fans

A very limited amount of Stealing Hearts At A Travelling Show, a book about the graphic design of U2 by the band’s graphic designers, have recently been found in storage! This unique softback book is again available while stocks last for only €29 euro which includes shipping anywhere in the world.
Each book will be signed by the designers. Also, there will be a signed hand-drawn postcard by the designers to the first 60 orders. Furthermore, for all those who buy the book, they will automatically be entered into a draw to win a rare numbered copy of the 12″ vinyl of U2 Wide Awake In Europe.
Produced to coincide with the comprehensive U2 exhibition In The Name Of Love which opened at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland in February 2003, Stealing Hearts At A Travelling Show is a lavishly illustrated, beautifully metallic printed, limited-edition book about U2’s collaboration with their design team. This is a must for all U2 and design fans alike.

Written by Dr Lisa Godson, graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the RCA, with insights from Bono and Adam Clayton as well as from the band’s design team, Steve Averill and Shaughn McGrath. The book takes a graphic journey from the very first ‘Irish only release’ single through the Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and much more, to the Best of 1990-2000 album and associated tour programmes, t-shirts and posters over the years.
Unique still to this day, Stealing Hearts At A Travelling Show features a series of ‘out-takes’ from the album design concepts, many never seen before, which help explain the design process, and how the band work together with their designers to find the visual expression of their music. This is a must for all U2 and design fans alike, with over 100 full colour pages recreating colours and images of the original designs.
Produced in a softback version, this strictly limited number of books is available again while stocks last.

Any queries, please

Bono at the Vatican

(Vatican Radio) Irish rocker and anti-poverty campaigner Bono was back in the Vatican on Friday to thank the Catholic Church for its support of the Drop the Debt campaign a decade ago and to discuss further ways of working together on aid and development.
Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen met up with the lead singer of U2 as he was coming out of a meeting with the president of the Vatican’s Justice and Peace Council, Cardinal Peter Turkson…
During an almost hour long meeting the cardinal and the rock star turned activist talked about the huge success of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to free the poorest countries from their burden of foreign debts. Thanks to the success of that popular movement, Bono told me, World Bank figures show that “there are an extra 52 million children going to school” as governments have been able to invest in education instead of debt repayments. 
Bono said he was encouraging the cardinal to communicate to ordinary people in the pews the extraordinary impact they’d made by turning out on the streets in support of that campaign. He said the Church deserves “incredible credit for being in the vanguard of that movement.……it was an interfaith movement and it was also what you might call inter-disciplinary because you had priests and nuns walking alongside punk rockers and musicians and sports people and soccer mums… it was a great panoply of characters…..but I just think the Church hasn’t done a good job yet of telling people what they’ve achieved and we were just trying to figure out how best to do that.”
The U2 front man, who met with Pope John Paul II to seek support for his humanitarian work, said he’d “be delighted” to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. During his private audience with the former elderly pontiff, Bono’s famously gave him his blue fly-shades to try on. He also received from the Pope a silver crucifix which he pulled out from under his shirt to show me – I still wear it, he said with a smile. And he still clearly believes very much in the Catholic Church as an important partner in the struggle to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor. 

Philanthropy in Fashion

Bono Alison Hewson and Bono arrive for the third day of the 2012 International Herald Tribune's Luxury Business Conference held at Rome Cavalieri on November 16, 2012 in Rome, Italy. The 12th annual IHT Luxury conference is the premier meeting point for the luxury industry. 500 delegates from 30 countries have gathered in Rome to hear from the world's most inspirational fashion designers and luxury business leaders.
Alison Hewson and Bono arrive for the third day of the 2012 International Herald Tribune's Luxury Business Conference held at Rome Cavalieri on November 16, 2012 in Rome, Italy. The 12th annual IHT Luxury conference is the premier meeting point for the luxury industry. 500 delegates from 30 countries have gathered in Rome to hear from the world's most inspirational fashion designers and luxury business leaders.

As Ali Hewson and her husband Bono stood with the fashion entrepreneur Renzo Rosso on an African trip earlier this year, the raw white cotton in the hands of the Diesel founder led to an epiphany.
Why not create a collaboration among three people who believe passionately in the promise of Africa?

This week the tangible results of that trip will take the fashion for philanthropy fast forward, into a smart business. Bono, a persistent and vocal supporter of help for Africa going back more than 25 years, and his wife are expanding the reach of Edun, the fashion company they set up in 2005.
Through a partnership with Mr. Rosso, founder of the Diesel group, fashion products, sourced or made entirely in Africa, will be sold in Diesel stores under an Diesel+Edun label.
“Bono and I have known Renzo Rosso for over 10 years,” Ms. Hewson said. “When we decided to travel to Africa to visit both Renzo’s Millennium Village in Mali and our own cotton farming program in northern Uganda, we realized that the result would be both an amazing journey and a collaboration resulting in a line of beautiful clothes made from our cotton and 100 percent made in Africa.”
Bono himself is reticent about the overall subject of “Africa rising” and says that he would rather leave it to his African team to discuss aid to the continent in a wider context.
“There is a bit of a minefield here which you can choose to ignore. You don’t have to be an expert on this stuff,” the U2 musician said of his long-term support to African countries.
Bono’s attitude is that Africa is not a poor continent, but rich in everything: people, land, diversity — and especially young people, with 60 percent of its population younger than 25 years old.
“In my experience, the entrepreneurial spirit has always been alive and kicking. In tough circumstances of extreme poverty, the survival instinct is an innovative one,” he said, adding that new technology had brought new opportunities to the continent, like farmers managing their money via smartphone applications.
“People want control over their own destiny. You can see it in the Arab Spring, you can see it on college campuses, you can see it in on the streets of Nairobi,” he continued. “Economists predict that between 2010 and 2015, 7 of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world will be there. For those who think the 21st century will belong to China, look where the Chinese are: They’re in Africa!”
Bono’s active participation in founding Edun puts him and Ms. Hewson in a strong position to follow the code expressed by Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general: “Africa does not need charity, it needs investments and partnership.”
While the entire Edun+Diesel line will be made in Africa, that goal has not been easy for Edun itself to achieve, although Ms. Hewson plans for 40 percent of its men’s and women’s ranges to be made in Africa in 2013.
The company, which sold a 49 percent stake to the luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2009, manufactures its clothing in a variety of countries including China, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda.
Mr. Rosso is as plainspoken as Bono when he talks about Africa and his enthusiasm for the new partnership. His Only the Brave Foundation is philanthropic, but he says the African projects are founded on good business sense.
“I think working in Africa is both brave and smart: Brave because we are currently investing our time and money in building know-how in these parts of the world; and smart because Africa is the next big market, as the Chinese have already understood before anyone else,” he said. “I don’t feel I am doing it for philanthropy. We are doing it to generate sustainable development.”
The foundation’s initiatives, in spite of the recent political coup in Mali that has destabilized the country, have included building a secondary school with a dormitory for students from remote villages, laboratories used for teaching job skills and other modern facilities.
“Africa is a rich continent: rich in resources, rich in culture, rich in the ambition to grow permanently” out of its current problems, said the Italian entrepreneur, who, in addition to the Diesel jeans lines, also owns the upscale brands of Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf as well as the production specialist Staff International, which has licenses for labels like DSquared2 and Just Cavalli.
Mr. Rosso says that he wants the fashion industry not only to bring trade to Africa, but also to channel and give visibility to the continent’s creativity in style, fabric graphic design and craftsmanship.
Why this new collaboration? Ms. Hewson says the benefits will be a “two-way street”: Edun’s Conservation Cotton Initiative in Uganda will be alongside Diesel denim product skills, as well as the global commercial clout of the Diesel brand.
To all three, the initiative therefore is a small, but significant, part of a bigger picture.
As Mr. Rosso puts it: “With this project we want to show to consumers and to the industry alike, that it is indeed possible to source, produce and generate sustainable trade — and, hence, development — in Africa.”
While admitting that “there are kinks in any industry that need ironing out,” Ms. Hewson’s commitment to Edun, along with that of her husband, is to create “great clothes,” creating new jobs and serving consumers along the way.
“We are a tiny company with big ambitions — one of which was to persuade some of the fashion heavyweights to take more interest in this part of the world,” she said. “The business environment is getting easier in many places, and the more people and companies that show interest, the quicker that will change.”

FEED the World
When Lauren Bush, a scion of the Bush political family, was a college student in 2003, she traveled with the U.N. World Food Program as an honorary spokeswoman.
From her understanding of the importance of U.N. school lunches, in both feeding children and enticing them to school, came her current project: FEED.
“I would return from these travels to Latin America, Africa and Asia always inspired to get more people — especially young people — involved,” said Lauren Bush Lauren, as she became when she married David Lauren of the Ralph Lauren family in 2011.
Finding it frustrating that world hunger seemed both an overwhelming and a faraway issue, she was determined to act.
“I had an ‘aha’ moment and came up with the FEED bag as a way for consumers to give back in a tangible and meaningful way,” she says.
With help from the fashion industry, Ms. Bush Lauren produced a burlap and organic cotton bag that went on sale through Amazon in 2007. The FEED Web site now sells it for $80, which will provide school meals for a child for a year.
“I designed it to look like the bags of food rations I saw being distributed. I wanted the aesthetic to be connected with the cause — very industrial and utilitarian,” she said.
Five years on, 60 million school meals have been bought through partnerships with Bergdorf Goodman, Tory Burch, Clarins, DKNY, Gap, Godiva, Pottery Barn and, of course, Ralph Lauren.
“I love being an entrepreneur,” the designer said, explaining that while 20 percent of her time was spent speaking for the cause, the rest was a hands-on involvement with design, communication and partnerships. And, in creating the apparel and accessories that also are sold on the FEED Web site, she said, “We are able not only to give meals, but to support artisans’ livelihoods.”
“The combination of business, fashion and philanthropy is a powerful one,” she continued. “And when done right can make a huge difference in the world.”

More pictures here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bono & Nicholas Kristof at Hero Summit

Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s inaugural summit honors the people who change lives across the globe.
Bono interviewed one of his heroes Pulitzer prize winner Nicholas Kristof      at “Newsweek & The Daily Beast 2012 Hero Summit” at theUnited States Institute of Peace. on  14 th in Washington, DC.
Bono y Nicholas Kristof en Washington DC en Noviembre de 2012
Leigh Vogel-Getty Images North America

Not all heroes wear uniforms. Bono, the lead singer of U2, reversed roles with the New York Times columnist for an interview about Kristof’s international reporting. After lauding the writer as one of his own heroes, Bono asked Kristof if he’s ever been accused of crossing the line from journalist to activist as a result of championing certain issues. “I’ve kind of looked in the mirror sometimes and wondered, you know, why am I straying a little far,” Kristof said.

It’s been a week in high-profile affairs, but Nick Kristof assured Bono that he only shares a bed with one activist—his wife, writer Sheryl WuDunn. But, what’s it like in the Kristof-WuDunn household? The New York Times columnist said he and his wife have exposed their children to social issues through traveling. “In retrospect, I think she felt a little cheated when she discovered her Caribbean holiday was Haiti during the cholera outbreak,” he said of a trip with his daughter. As for sharing a hotel with George Clooney: “Let me explain,” Kristof quipped.

Bono and World Bank President Talk Next Steps to End Poverty

Bono joined  World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in a conversation on how to end world poverty, drawing on ideas crowdsourced from social media.

Jim Yong Kim: “We can find a path to ending poverty sooner than 25 years” 

Bono: “I’ve learned to talk abt diversity of African continent rather than overdramatizing, generalizing” 

Bono: “Open data and transparency will turbocharge ending extreme poverty.” 

Bono : “We know there are going to be cuts … but not cuts that cost lives.” 

Jim Yong Kim: “It’s amazing that we seem to have to relearn the importance of putting women at center of development again & again” 

Bono: “If my father was alive it would make him smile: I want to work for the World Bank!” 

Bono durante el webcast con el Presidente del Banco Mundial   


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'Being on stage,' reflects Adam. 'Is sometimes like being in an iPod.'

'From the Ground Up' is the story of U2360°,  the inside track of what became the biggest rock'n'roll tour in history. The newly announced ' Music Edition' of this essential book, adds the soundtrack - Edge's Picks, a 15 track live CD curated by The Edge.

In this edited extract, writer Dylan Jones is backstage on showday in Moscow, describing how the band get ready each night - and how they hear each other during the show.  'Being on stage,' reflects Adam. 'Is sometimes like being in an iPod.' (And that stunning photo above ? It's from the book. They're all sensational!)

'On the 360 tour, every date was a party, every pre-gig meet-and-greet a summit, every after-show a VIP love-in. This was the first time U2 had ever played in Russia, and in August 2010, a day after Bono traveled to Sochi on the Black Sea for an official meeting with Medvedev, the band finally played the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. And there were nearly as many security guards at the show as there were genuine fans. According to the crew, being in Moscow meant that anything you needed to get done would probably take at least twice as long as usual and would be fraught with entirely pointless obstacles. 

'Why hadn't we played Moscow before?' said Paul McGuinness. 'For the same reason as Hitler and Napoleon actually: it's too far. Until recently there weren't many places in between you could route to. If it takes three days to get the trucks to Moscow and three days to get them to the next place you can play, let's say it's Berlin, it's not worth it. So as Eastern Europe has become more prosperous and there are places to play, it gets easier. It certainly wasn't a decision in principle, we just never got round to it.' 

'In many ways it's a country that's come very far and in other ways it's not moved very quickly at all,' said Arthur Fogel. 'So doing business can be very challenging, but it's definitely opened up as a real market for shows, and there's a lot of tourists that go through there.' 

'They knew the tunes, and they were enthusiastic and rowdy, although there was a lot of security,' said Adam. 'The authorities had a problem with Amnesty International and Greenpeace, who were both petitioning, and wanted to arrest them all. So a phone call was made and everything calmed down. But we had police with guns and stuff like that, and we're just not used to that. In the past we were always slightly wary that there wasn't a real market in Russia, that you couldn't actually get tickets out to the general public, and it's still questionable because there¹s such a differential between the middle classes and the poor. But it's better than it was.' 

At the Moscow show, Bono treated the crowd to an ad hoc a cappella version of 'Singing in the Rain, though most fans seemed more familiar with the words to 'Where the Streets Have No Name', 'One' and 'With or Without You'. And as it rained, ­ and in Moscow the rain falls like it does nowhere else in the world, ­ Larry's own computerised umbrella shot up to cover the drum riser, making the crowd instinctively applaud yet another of the show's sci-fi elements. 

The band's show-day afternoon regime was much the same as it ever was. Adam's regime certainly was. In the afternoon he'd see a physio, to loosen him out after training in the morning. Then he'd have a light meal in the dressing room, and go into wardrobe. Then the band would discuss the set, which would see them through to about quarter to eight, at which point they'd go to their various hospitality rooms, to meet any guests they may have invited for the evening. 

'I have to say nowadays I can really cope with a lot more distraction before the show than I used to be able to,' said Adam. 'I'm much more focused than I used to be. I empty the mind of anything that might be distracting, trying to get present in the now as opposed to thinking about phone calls you have to make or emails you have to reply to or anything that's too in the organisational mode that could be a distraction. The dressing room has quite a monastic quality; people are quiet, concentrating on the running order.' 

Bizarrely, Adam actually gets apprehensive. 'There are times when, even though you've performed a song thousands of times, every time you come back to it it's trouble. So there are times when I have a brain freeze, where if I haven't wrestled a tune into submission and it's usually when we recorded it, when I couldn't quite resolve a chord change, or didn't think it was fluid enough it always niggles me and it kind of just wrong foots me. So it's a bit of a battle of wills and then eventually I'm fine with it. 'Walk On' is a tune that I just dread, and I can see it coming with real horror. I've kind of got there now, but I just keep forgetting a block of notes. And you know 'Streets' is always a problem as there's always a lot of chord changes that takes a lot of concentration. But, you know, it changes.' 

360 was the second U2 tour on which Adam had worn his 'ears', as they are known in the trade. These are the in-ear monitors used by musicians today in order to hear what they're playing on stage. They look like iPod ear buds, and are made-to measure from moulded impressions taken from the wearer's ears. Essentially you have a syringe put in your ear, which squirts out a substance akin to modelling clay and toothpaste, creating a thrillingly violating sensation in your ear canal. This is left to set, then extracted with a satisfying squelch before being sent off to the audiologists. 

'The rest of the band have been using them since Zoo TV, but I only started on the last tour,' said Adam. 'They give you a very accurate sound mix no matter where you are on the stage, so it's a bit like listening to a proper live gig, whereas traditionally if you're performing you tend to get your little sweet spot; so for a bass player you're hearing the drums, you're obviously hearing the bass. You're hearing enough of the rest of the band to know where you are. But if you need to hear more of anything you just move, because you can stand nearer the guitar amp if you want to hear the solo, or you can be nearer the singer if you want more of the vocal. So once you've got these things in it's like having headphones in, it's like listening to your iPod. Actually, being on stage is sometimes like being in an iPod.' 

Just before show time, Edge would quietly strum a guitar, Larry kept himself to himself, and Bono would start his vocal warm-up. If you sat in one of the adjacent rooms you could hear him doing his exercises, which, through stone and plasterboard, often sounded like badly recorded Bjork bootlegs. The show schedule almost never changed: 5 p.m. Doors, 7.15 p.m. Snow Patrol (say), 8 p.m. Set Change, 8.45 p.m. U2 On Stage, 11 p.m. Curfew. 

And while the band did soundcheck in the early days of the tour, as they were playing stadiums, it was fundamentally problematic as the doors opened so early. They started letting people in at five o'clock, which meant that any sound check would need to start at 3 p.m., which seriously compressed the day. The pre-show ritual never changed either. Each night, before they go on stage, U2 do exactly the same thing. They walk from their individual dressing rooms, or from their hospitality suites, and they convene with each other. 

Often the band won't have spoken to each other all day, as they've been doing their own thing, or looking after their family, and it's a way of reconnecting. It's not exactly a self-administered pep talk, as they're not really that jockish (not at all, really), but a kind of communion, and a moment of

('From The Ground Up: Music Edition' comes with Edge's Picks, a 15 track live CD from the tour and is only available with a subscription. )