Saturday, March 30, 2013

Julian Lennon Speaks About U2`s New Album

According to Julian Lennon, U2`s new album will be released by the end of this year. He also said that his photographs may be part of the artwork of the new album.
He spoke for Veronica Magazine from Holland.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 Les Paul Stars Of The ‘90s

Les Paul`s website has named the  10 top guitarists, from blues to metal, pop to rock, from stellar riffs to intense soloing that have made a difference in the 90`s. Among the greatest guitarists mentioned like Jimmy Page,Joe Perry, Neil Young,Slash and others, they listed The Edge. 

U2’s guitarist changed his sound around for ‘91’s dark Achtung Baby album, introducing Les Pauls for thicker, FX-driven tones. In the ‘90s, Edge mainly played two white Les Paul Customs, from 1973 and 1975. He also has a 30th Anniversary Les Paul Gold Top from 1982 and, more recently, a 2005 Les Paul Standard. Edge has since donated his more “cream-colored” Les Paul Custom to a Music Rising auction, with Gibson then creating an exact 2008 Custom Shop replica for him.

Here’s Edge and Les Paul Custom in full flow on U2’s legendary Zoo TV tour of ’92-’93.


In a rare interview, U2’s Adam Clayton discuses why battling his own demons has inspired him to help young people with mental health issues – and talks about the upcoming U2 album...

Heads don’t so much turn as spin Exorcist-style 360º as Adam Clayton walks into the Four Seasons Hotel. The Ballsbridge five-star is used to superstar guests – Metallica, Bon Jovi, Slash, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz among them – but in terms of being recognised and revered in their hometown, U2 are in a different stratosphere to anyone else. Something that, as we’ll discuss later, brings with it its own set of pressures.

The last time we spotted Mr. C at Christmas, he had a near Afro, but today the hair is almost back to regulation U2 bassist length.

We’re here to discuss Adam’s patronage of Walk In My Shoes, April 12’s mental health day of action, but before getting dopwn to business, he’s willing to talk about the day job.

“We very much want to have a record out by the end of this year,” he informs me. “September, October, November; that kind of time. We’re working with Dangermouse who’s a smart guy. He’s on it; he’s excited. It’s a great team and feels very liberating at the moment – anything goes.

“We have an abundance of riches,” Adam continues. “We could make three or four different records and justify that to ourselves, but to make the best record you can, you have to steer away from the ones you can make easily. We’re really trying to get into territory that we’re not comfortable in. If that makes sense…”

It does. During their five-decade career, U2 have never made the same album twice and in Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop they have thrown some serious curveballs. I found it highly telling a few years ago when I asked Bono who the competition was, and instead of fellow Hall of Fame-ers like The Who and the Stones he said, “Arcade Fire, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys.”

“Well, that’s the music we’re excited by,” Clayton avers. “You can still listen to Van Morrison, you can still listen to the Stones or whatever – but it’s different. I like to hear things being expressed in a new way. It’s like, if I was in a band coming up now I don’t think I’d be listening much to U2. You need something to kick against.”

So what’s been floating his musical boat of late?

“The Tribes album, Baby, is one I keep coming back to. I can’t wait to hear the latest Nick Cave record – there’s something a bit different and fresh about the single. The Vaccines have that garage-y Ramones thing going on, which I’m a sucker for. The Villagers album is great – Conor J. O’Brien is an incredibly talented guy. I made a bit of a connection today at the Walk In My Shoes launch with The Original Rudeboys – they have a lot of energy. A band I really like and got to see in London recently are The Maccabees. They sound quite tough on record, but live are a bit… not wimpy, sensitive!”

So that’s five new artists, plus old Nick, who’ll be hoping for a call when U2 take to the road next.

“Who knows?” he laughs. “Everyone always has their ears open. It’s like when Kings Of Leon were on their way up – I think we’d done Top Of The Pops with them and thought, ‘These guys would be perfect for the Vertigo tour'. Which they were. People think it’s us doing them a favour, but it’s the other way around. Nothing keeps you on your game like having a really hot band on before you!”

Is Adam still a massive reggae fan?

“It was a long time ago, when I used to like the reggae woodbines; my perspective changed a bit when I gave them up,” he smiles. “The songs are still great. If Bob Marley had been white he’d have been bigger than The Beatles. If you dissect how it works, rhythmically and everything, him and the Wailers were very on it. It’s not stoned or doped out or anything.”

Which brings us neatly to our main reason for being here – Adam’s ambassadorial role with Walk In My Shoes, a St. Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin initiative to raise both funds and awareness of the mental health issues facing young Irish people. How did he get involved?

“It’s a combination of three or four things,” he proffers. “My mother – who passed away last year – worked during the ‘80s on the fundraising committee at St. Patrick’s and introduced me to this great guy there, Dr. John Clooney. He said to mum, ‘If Adam wants to know where to invest his money he should look at art'. He really knew his stuff and guided me as I built up my collection. We also talked about the suicide rate among young Irish males being the highest in Europe – yet depression and schizophrenia and the like are treatable diseases.”

Being a teenager is doubly difficult when there are bugger all jobs out there.

“I’m very aware that we’re going through a recession very similar to the one we came out of in the ’70s,” Adam acknowledges. “For me, the rest of the band and lots of the ‘generation of no hope’, music was our salvation. I liked the idea of in some small way carrying on my mother’s work with St. Patrick’s and, then of course, I have my own history with drugs and alcohol.”

Which started when?

“I began smoking and drinking when I was around 15. Every time I had an uncomfortable feeling or problem, instead of figuring out how to solve it I’d self-medicate. Cigarettes and beer were how I dealt with that low-level depression you get as a teenager, and which can develop into something darker if not dealt with properly.”

Our perception of adolescent suicide being a predominantly male thing changed last year when Ciara Pugsley and the Gallagher sisters, Erin and Shannon, took their own lives after being cyber-bullied. Logging on to the site that they were reportedly all members of, one of the first messages I saw was: “Okay, this little slag its about time she fucking killed herself. Please send her messages and give her abuse to the point where she slits her wrists so deep that she dies please x.”

A perfect example of what might more accurately be described as anti-social media.

“Wow… that’s obviously distressing,” says the visibly taken aback musician. “There’s a lot of unpleasant activity out there and weaker people are being picked on. It’s a whole different level of intrusion into their lives.”

Has Adam talked to his own internet-using young fella about the perils of cyber-bullying?

“I’m no longer with the mother – it was a short relationship – and he lives in Switzerland. I see him as regularly as I can. But it’s an interesting question… Personally, I don’t really use a computer very much – there are so many other things I’d prefer to be doing than being online – so I’m not fully aware of all the possibilities out there. I suppose I really ought to be.

“I experienced a limited amount of bullying as a child,” he adds. “I had glasses and was a little bit chubby. I figured the best way to stay out of trouble was to try and make people laugh. That was sort of my technique – later, it changed to getting thin and rid of the glasses (laughs)!”

Was he hassled at school over the English intonation in his accent?

“Em, a little bit. In some ways that was more imagined than reality. I arrived here as a five-year-old, which was the strangest experience. We’d been living in Kenya, so I was used to outdoor smells and the sunshine and talking in Swahili, which wasn’t on the curriculum at Howth National School! You had to ask permission to go to the bathroom, or to do anything, in Irish. I couldn’t figure it out and there were lots of ‘dún an doras’ and all of that stuff. It was a real mystery for me to be in this cold, dark, wet country. Maybe that was the start of my depression!”

The last person I had a sparkling water with in the Four Seasons reading room was Amy Winehouse, who was adamant then that her drug and alcohol-abusing days were behind her.

“I think every addict convinces themselves – and everyone else – that it’s going to be different next time,” Clayton niods. “In my own case, I was able to drink in a way that was destructive and detrimental to my health – but I was always able to do the gig. Until I couldn’t do the gig.”

He’s referring to November 1993's Sydney Football Stadium headliner which, with Adam drunkenly out of commission, U2 played with a roadie on bass.

“You’re in the lucky position of working in music and getting to entertain people… That was a pretty awful feeling and you promise yourself it’ll never happen again. I was lucky – I realised that if I didn’t do something about it I’d lose everything. I’d run out of excuses.”

Before that meltdown, had his bandmates been aware that his drinking was spiralling out of control or was Adam adept at covering it up?

“Not everybody understands addiction, but they were beginning to go, ‘He’s not handling this very well'. I became a very bitter kind of a person that wasn’t living up to my potential. There comes a point, as you age, when that’s not very gracious.

“I was in a successful band with great people whose lives were functional. They were in long-term relationships and raising families. I’d look at them and me and go, ‘What’s the difference here; what’s wrong with this picture?’ I hated not feeling good enough.”

Does Adam think that with a wife and kids at home – or, indeed, on the road with him – he’d have stayed out of trouble?

“I don’t know. I wasn’t very good at relationships. Well, it’s chicken and egg really, isn’t it?”

When did he go from having a few relaxing pre/post-gig drinks to draining the hotel mini-bar?

“Around Zoo TV. That was just a period of confusion for me. I suppose it had started with the success of The Joshua Tree. Looking back now, it being so successful took me about 10 years to get used to.”

Glen Hansard said exactly the same thing to Hot Press about his Oscar win with Once. You spend a lifetime striving for something only to feel a sense of loss when it happens and irrevocably changes your life.

“Nothing is ever quite the same,” he nods. “Everyone says, ‘Well, isn’t that what you wanted… blahdy, blahdy, blah?’ but there are things that you can no longer do. Some of which were very important to me.”

Such as?

“Sitting on public transport and observing people; going to gigs and not having people talk to you all the time so you can listen to the band. I found it hard being in that situation where everybody else in the room knows more about you than you know about them. The good news being that if you’re lucky enough to stay successful, you do get the hang of it eventually!”

Would Adam have had some kind of dependency problem if he’d been a plumber, or was it a specific reaction to the goldfish bowl U2 suddenly found themselves in?

“I can only speculate, but I have a feeling I had a predisposition. The first time I took a drink or drug or had any experience of excitement, my immediate reaction was, ‘I want to do that again, give me more, double it!’ That probably wouldn’t have changed if I was a plumber.”

Glen required a pep talk from Bruce Springsteen to get over the sudden fame ‘n’ fortune blues. What cured Adam?

“I worked it out on my own. You kind of give yourself a slap around the face, eventually. If you put limitations on yourself, you can remove them as well. Nowadays, if it’s the quickest way of getting somewhere I do catch the Tube in London or the Subway in New York. I enjoy that.”

What about the Luas?

“Not as much! I find Dublin a very easy city to be in – but I’m lucky, I’m just the bass-player!”

Hot Press – as you’ll read in our next issue – will be supporting Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan during the summer when he presents his private member’s bill to the Dáil calling for the legalisation of cannabis. Where, as a very much ex-smoker, does Adam stand on the issue?

“It’s a difficult argument,” he admits. “I used to be a lot more liberal about it. You don’t want to criminalise people (for using cannabis) but… I’m very respectful of drugs and I’m very respectful of alcohol and feel that we’re not properly educated about either. Let’s get the correct information out there rather than scaremongering.”

Adam has spoken of his continual battle with the “the devil inside". Who’s winning at the moment?

“That dark side was related to my inability to psychologically reason with myself,” he reflects. “I’ve worked hard at acquiring the tools to overcome my insecurities and low self-esteem. Unlike 20-years ago, I go to bed now looking forward to the next day. My hope is that Walk In My Shoes will break any remaining taboo surrounding mental health issues. If people feel they need help, they shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for it.”

Is he a Sopranos fan?

“Yes, massive!”

What I hadn’t realised until talking recently to Joey Pantoliano, AKA Aprile crew member Ralf Cifaretto, is that Amnesty International has made mental health a human rights issue.

“I hadn’t either, but that absolutely makes sense,” Adam concludes. “Everybody should have free and easy access to mental health treatment."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Collectors set to flock to Ireland’s first ever rock and pop memorabilia auction

A pop and rock memorabilia auction in Dublin at the weekend includes rare acetate and vinyl records, autographs, photographs and other items from artists including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Buddy Holly, U2 and Rory Gallagher.

Organised by Whyte’s Auctioneers, the 200 lots – due to go under the hammer at the RDS on Sunday – span 60 years of international and Irish pop and rock ’n’ roll. Almost all the items were sourced in Ireland.

An original copy of the first press mention of U2 in the Evening Press in March 1978, when the band was known as U2 Malahide, is estimated at €500-€700. All the names of the band members are misspelled in the photo caption apart from Adam Clayton.

Items from Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott, Van Morrison, Rory Gallagher, Christy Moore, Clannad and the Corrs are also included.

A chair designed by Stephen Colgan for Imelda May, signed by the singer, is being offered on behalf of the Parkinson’s disease charity in |Ireland. Other customised chairs signed by Nick Seymour, Michael Flatley and Daniel O’Donnell are being sold for the charity.

Ian Whyte of Whytes ’s Auctioneers said the collection had something for all music lovers.
“The items start at €100-€150 and then go up to the highest at over €50,000, but there’s something for every budget. It’s nice for fans to have a memento of their favourite music act, but there’s plenty of items for the serious collectors.”

Items are on show at the RDS from today until Sunday ; the auction tak es place from 2pm Sunday. See

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'Like Lighting Gunpowder...'

The best shows of the tour? 'South America,’ says Adam. ‘The other ones I remember for pure determination were where we had torrential rain – Zurich, Brussels, and one of the Austrian ones where we just had insane rain. The audience, they didn’t give up on it, they stayed there and they went right to the end of the show...'

'In 1976 Martin Amis reviewed the Rolling Stones at Earls Court for the New Statesman. ‘The ante-hall of the Earls Court Arena was a Brobdingnagian underground car park of remote and overcrowded bars, sweet shops and dirty hot-drinks machines. Normally a token homogeneity obtains at the average rock concert: David Bowie fans all look and behave like David Bowie, Bryan Ferry fans all look and behave like Bryan Ferry etc. But everyone is a Stones fan.’ Not everyone is a U2 fan, but not only do they appeal to U2 fans, they also appeal to people who don’t necessarily like any other sort of music, and the people who make up the crowd at a U2 show might not normally go to another concert all year. Because each time U2 go out on the road, they attempt to reinvent the rock experience, and each time they succeed. With the 360 tour, however, they produced one of the most extraordinary, one of the most extravagant live experiences in the history of rock ’n’roll, and one that is unlikely to be repeated on this scale again. The seven million people who saw it will never forget it.
‘I suppose in some sense a U2 tour is a little like a movie franchise,’ said Willie Williams, ‘where if you go and see the latest Bond you will expect that there will be that scene where they show you the gadgets and all that sort of thing, so similarly there’s an expectation that certain things and certain songs will be in the show. But then the audience always expects more, as do we.’
As Paul McGuinness described it, U2 was the equivalent of a football team that wins the World Cup not just this year but does it again four years later, and again four years after that, and again four years after that.
‘Biggest is something we’ve had for a while; best is something else, however ... In a way, good enough is easy to get to. Great is harder; maybe not every day, but I think they are clearly the greatest rock and roll band of the day, and of the age, and maybe of all time. And the longevity of the group produces commercial ambition to do great shows, great recordings, and better things than they’ve done before...
‘There was a guy we met once in the eighties – Bobby Colomby – who was the drummer in Blood, Sweat and Tears and he later went on to have a successful career as an A&R man and also as a TV personality in Los Angeles. He introduced Bono and Adam once for a television show in the early eighties in Los Angeles. After the interview he said, “Do you mind waiting for another minute? I’ve got something personal to say to you, not on camera.” And we all thought, “Oh shit, he’s a religious nut; what is it going to be?” And he said, “I was in a big band myself once and I loved it, and not ashamed to say that, but I’m saying this to you now because I think you can benefit from it. Try to enjoy every moment of it, because it won’t last forever; every time there’s a limousine or an enthusiastic audience, just remember that it doesn’t go on forever, and relish it.” It sounded like the truth, so we tried to observe that. So for a few years whenever somebody might mention the limousine’s late or something, we’d say, “Bobby Colomby!” And we’d think of Bobby.’

By common consensus the best gigs of the tour were the Spanish and South American ones that had the feistiest, most expectant crowds. In those parts of the world the audience really does come to be part of a communal event, rather than just to come and ‘see a show’. ‘I would say South America,’ said Adam. ‘The other ones I remember for pure determination were the ones where we had torrential rain – Zurich, Brussels, and one of the Austrian ones where we just had insane rain. The audience, they didn’t give up on it, they stayed there and they went right to the end of the show. I think every crowd is slightly different depending on what their cultural touchstone is and what their experiences are. I think American audiences are very familiar with the pace and the language of the concert; they understand the beginning, middle and end, they understand the narrative. And because they see a lot of shows, they go to a show a week in the summer or a show a week in college, they don’t ever go manic. They’re fairly well educated, if you like, in terms of the concert. When you go into places like South America where you might get one big show like us through every two years, they must see a concert that a lot of people turn out to as a cultural event. In South America, as soon as you get on stage, it’s like lighting gunpowder.’
After the (Montreal) show, Bono, Ali and I took a helicopter back to Guy Laliberté’s house, twenty-three kilometres east of Montreal, in Mont Saint-Bruno, in the beautiful Monteregian Hills.  The tour was coming to an end, and Bono was in a typically reflective mood (it comes naturally). How did he feel about this tour of tours?
‘Many of these people on the tour have been with us for thirty years,’ he said. ‘And I can assure you it’s not sentimentality – we don’t keep people because they’re old friends. All these people are the very best at what they do. We want it to be good for them too. We don’t want to let them down.’
And it is so very obviously a community. There might only be four stars above the parapet, but having dropped in and out of the tour for two years, it was impossible to imagine the 360 tour as anything other than a kind of benign circus, with everyone working for the common good.
‘My mother’s family was so big and so joyous, and that sense of community has stayed with me all my life,’ said Bono. ‘They were so inclusive. With everybody. I remember being in this old railway carriage that was on the dunes in north Dublin, and everyone singing. And I remember when community disappeared from our family, when people left, and I remember thinking, this is bad, this is not as much fun. Community is so important, and I suppose we look on everyone who works with us as family, and as a way of not being corporate.
‘We keep this community going because we are a family. If we were Jamaican nobody would question the way we operate. Oh yeah, they make this kind of spiritual music, a bit political, they all hang out together. Yeah, got it. But then I suppose there’s always been a Jamaican vibe to a lot of what the Irish get up to. I’m sure Joe O’Herlihy’s Jamaican. His accent is totally Jamaican. Lots of one, two, trees and t’ing. He’s the blackest Irishman I’ve ever met.
‘This band is about joy, it’s about community, it’s about loyalty. And it’s very powerful to be with the same people for such a long time.’
In Chicago Bono had celebrated the city’s ‘majestic skyline’, as well as the audience: ‘We’re the wind in the windy city. When you put this band with this crowd, there is no room for modesty. Anything is possible.’ 
It was a sentiment that almost everyone on the tour appeared to share. With U2, anything really did seem possible. Which begged the question: what in the world were they going to do next? Would there ever be a more extravagant tour? There was a feeling amongst the touring party that, enormously proud though they were of their achievement, a further extravagance might be too much, and that anything bigger than this might be impolite and self-aggrandising. Paul McGuinness was already arranging to sell the Claws as permanent event space around the world (‘Six million a piece, free assembly, postage and packing!’), and there was an unspoken assumption that nothing of its type, or size would ever be built again. Not by anyone. Arthur Fogel actually thought the next U2 tour would be a lot less stressful than 360, principally because it almost has to be less ambitious.
 ‘Personally I think the encore is going to be easier,’ he told me. ‘I think that the pressure was much greater to bring this home as an ultimate success. Now that they have done it, it opens up a whole realm of possibilities in terms of what to do next.’

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bono pays a visit to British PM at 10 Downing Street

Bono arrives at Downing Street

HE’S more used to No1 than No10, but Bono sure knew the name of the street he was on yesterday.

The U2 rock legend paid a visit to 10 Downing Street in central London — home of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

It’s not known why the singer was calling on the leader of the Tory party.

Glaoch - The President's Call

At the President’s invitation, some of Ireland’s and the world’s renowned writers, musicians and singers, gather at the home of the President of Ireland to make a special programme dedicated to Irish people worldwide. Featuring Bono, Séamus Heaney and Christy Moore with music performances from Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, Imelda May and The Script.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St Patrick's Day!!!

Oldie but goldie...


image: James Browne©

Ali Hewson: 'In the next 20 years, Africa is going to blow our minds'

Ali Hewson, photographed by Helena Christensen
Ali Hewson: ‘Bono and I feed off each other.' Photograph: Helena Christensen for the Observer

You've just launched the new capsule collection from your clothes label Edun, this time in collaboration with Diesel, at Parisfashion week. How did it go?
We held a great party, with various young artists and musicians fromAfrica, and Solange Knowles agreed to play a few numbers. It's a small collection, so we had an event rather than a show. For this collection we've brought together a range of young African creative talents – designers, photographers, musicians – from across the continent, under the heading Studio Africa. I really feel that what Africa is going to do creatively in the next 20 years is going to blow our minds. We just wanted to harness some of that energy.
Edun was founded by Bono and yourself in 2005 as a for-profit fashion brand to promote fair trade in Africa. Has it been a steep learning curve?
It has. The fashion business is tough. The calendar is relentless. We have a mission, as you say, but our priority as a fashion label is to deliver the most beautiful clothes we can on time. Until now it's been hard to reach the volume we want, but with Diesel on board, we can expand.
How big do you want Edun to grow?
Well, for example, we currently have 8,500 farmers in northern Uganda supplying our cotton, and we're aiming to have 10,000 next season. Our mission is to drive trade, but we have got to walk before we run. So far we are in Kenya, Tunisia, Morocco, Uganda and Madagascar. And there's talk of a new factory in Ethiopia. I'd love to go to Senegal and Mali, but it has to make business sense. We're pioneers and we want to show that this model works, that it can become self-sustaining, but we want to do it in a clever way. Hence the collaborations, the limited-edition pieces. It has been tough, and I think it's fair to say that we were a little naive about the challenges at the start. We're not making money yet, but we've survived a recession. We're still in the game and growing. It's a long-term commitment.
Bono is so associated with Africa as a cause, and he also happens to be your husband. Does that ever make for a tricky working relationship?
No, not at all. As you may have noticed, Bono tends to work on the macro level. One of the reasons we originally wanted to do Edun was to see how all these big policies worked on the ground. So, really, we feed off each other. He's like a sounding board for us. It's amazing to have his input and his influence, and he's great at staying out of the day-to-day stuff. Plus, he has so much else going on. But, no, we don't fight about anything to do with the running of Edun – we're on the same page on that one at least!
What's life like when he and U2 gear up for an album and a tour, as they're doing now?
Well, in a way I think life actually gets easier for him when he's just working with U2. He can completely focus on the music, which he does 100%. He gets to immerse himself in a day job that he loves. He gets to hang out with the lads. It's all good.
And they're in the studio now?
They're well down the road on the new album and it sounds good. That's all I'm saying.
You studied politics at university, didn't you?
Yes, I got that from my dad.
Jordan, your oldest daughter, seems to be following in your footsteps.
Yes, she graduated from Columbia University with a degree in politics and French, and she's working with a poverty action group at the moment.
Your second daughter, Eve, is an actress. [She starred in Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place in 2011 alongside Sean Penn and Frances McDormand.] How do you feel about her career choice?
Oh, I just reckoned that by the law of averages we'd have to lose one to the entertainment industry. I suppose, if I was honest, it's not where you want your kids to go, because it's such a precarious place. And it can be kind of lonely too. So you worry about them. But I'm sure if you'd asked Bono's parents what they thought about his career choice back in the day, they would have said the same thing. But she has a certain charisma and she is passionate. And, you know, I've seen that before.
Can I clear up a lingering rumour? Is it true that you were approached in 2008 to stand for the Irish presidency?
No! That was one of those press stories in Ireland that came out of nowhere. It must have been a really slow day for news. I mean, I'd have to learn Irish. [Laughs] And Bono would have to walk behind me.
Diesel + Edun present A Denim Collection Born in

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Taking on an ambassadorial role with the 'Walk In My Shoes' campaign in support of St Patrick's University Hospital, Adam Clayton has joined forces with the Dublin initiative to raise funds and awareness for the mental issues that young Irish people face today.

Talking to Stuart Clark about his own struggle with drugs, alcohol and "the devil inside", Clayton admits:

"That dark side was related to my inability to psychologically reason with myself.  I've worked hard at acquiring the tools to overcome my insecurities and low self-esteem.  Unlike 20-years ago, I go to bed now looking forward to the next day.  My hope is that 'Walk In my Shoes' will break any remaining taboo surrounding mental health issues.  If people feel they need help, they shouldn't be ashamed to ask for it."

Clayton explains how and why he got involved with the initiative and speaks about his own downward spiral and battling his own demons:

"I liked the idea of in some small way carrying on my mother's work with St. Patrick's and, then of course, I have my own history with drugs and alcohol. I was in a successful band with great people whose lives were functional.  They were in long-term relationships and raising families.  I'd look at them and me and go, 'what's the difference here; what's wrong with this picture?' I hated not feeling good enough."

In this intimate, revealing interview, Clayton voices his concerns over cyber-bullying, his tough transition from Kenya to Howth at the age of five, dealing with life in the public eye, the importance of understanding addiction and its pressing need for public awareness.

Read Clayton's full candid interview in the latest issue of Hot Press.

Bono at TED 2013: Eradicating extreme poverty doesn’t have to be a dream

Bono’s much-anticipated talk at the recent TED2013 conference is being made available online today in its entirety. 

In the speech he calls on a new generation of evidence-based activists, or “factivists,” to see that the injustice of extreme poverty is brought to an end. He notes that global extreme poverty has already been cut in half over the past 20 years and, if we remain on the current trajectory, could be virtually eliminated by 2030.  Reaching this 'Zero Zone' means that less than 5% of the world’s population will live in extreme poverty. 

Bono also highlights the incredible progress in the treatment of AIDS, the fight against malaria and the stunning reduction in child mortality - all in the last 10 years.  Compared to a decade ago, 7,256 fewer children die every day from preventable, treatable diseases – that’s 2.65 million lives saved every year. 

“Have you read anything, anywhere in the last week that is remotely as important as that number?” he challenges. 

Bono warns the progress we have made is in jeopardy – getting to the ‘Zero Zone’ is not inevitable and gains could be reversed.  He exhorts the audience to fight corruption, inequality, apathy and inertia in the pursuit of empowering the world’s poorest people. 

Addressing the threat of corruption, Bono says open data tools and social networking services are helping to let in the light. "There's a vaccine for that [corruption] too… it's called transparency.” Thanks to open data, Bono says, “It’s getting harder to hide if you're doing bad stuff.”

In the talk, Bono challenges viewers to become “factivists” who share the facts of progress and help campaign for more progress – by joining groups like ONE.  He also urges governments to continue to fund programs successfully combating extreme poverty and disease like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.  

Watch the Bono TED talk and get the transcript at

ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Adam Clayton!!!

Today is Adam Clayton`s 53rd birthday. Happy birthday, Master Bass Man!!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Irish President Higgins answers Ireland's call

On St. Patrick's Day, in partnership with RTÉ and The Gathering Ireland 2013, President Higgins is calling on all Irish people worldwide to share with him a celebration of an Irish culture through craic agus ceol.

Through words and music, Glaoch - The President's Call, celebrates Irishness, Irish creativity and its reach and impact across the world.

At the President's invitation at Áras an Uachtaráin some of Ireland's and the world's renowned writers, musicians and singers, as well as emerging artists, gathered at the home of the President of Ireland to make a special programme dedicated to Irish people worldwide.

The special programme features President Higgins in conversation with Bono, Séamus Heaney, Druid Theatre's Garry Hynes and playwright Tom Murphy and Christy Moore.

There are music performances from Steve Cooney, Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, Martin Hayes, Imelda May, Christy Moore, Róisín O, Iarla O Lionaird, Peadar O Riada, David Power and The Script.

Glaoch will be broadcast worldwide at 9:30 p.m. GMT on 17th March on RTÉ.ie, RTÉ News Now and RTÉ YouTube and on 18th March on RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and RTÉ Radio 1 Extra.

Here are Adam Clayton's signed shoes for . To be showcased for 6 weeks & auctioned at the end of April.

Today it  begins in Dublin a presentation of the project 'Walk In My Shoes'. The campaign is supported by Adam Clayton, bassist of U2, which aims to raise awareness and raise funds for St. Patrick's University Hospital, which cares for young people with mental illnesses.

One of the events WIMS 2013, promoted this year, will be an exhibition in  of  shoes in Fitzpatrick Shoes in Grafton Street. Over 40 pairs of shoes form part of the exposure. All of them  were donated and autographed.

Among the participants is Adam Clayton, golfers Rory Mc Ilroy, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Paul Mc Ginley, chef Nevin Maguire, the presenter of the Late Late Show Ryan Tubridy, TV personalities Lorraine Keane and Sybil Mulcahy, models Rosanna Davison and Alison Canavan, players Paul O'Connell, Rob Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll, etc..

The exhibition will open  to the public next weekend in Fitzpatrick Shoes and then it will move to the campus of St. Patrick's University Hospital, where it  will remain for six weeks.

The walk's official WIMS 2013 will take place on April 12 and Adam's shoes will be auctioned at the end of the same month.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


U2 Pop

U2’s early-‘90s transformation from stadium-shaking messiahs to experimental-rock giants doesn’t sound all that revolutionary in hindsight. Don’t get us wrong: 1991’s ‘Achtung Baby’ — and to a lesser degree its hastily assembled 1993 follow-up, ‘Zooropa’ — is a great album, one of the band’s best. It just doesn’t sound out of place on U2’s timeline now. But 1997’s ‘Pop’ still does.

The group’s members – together, solo and in side projects – spent the downtime between ‘Zooropa’ and ‘Pop’ playing around with electronic beats, most notably on the album they recorded in 1995 with producer Brian Eno as Passengers. So they went into their ninth album operating under the premise that it would be a techno record. They enlisted electronic producers Flood, Howie B and Steve Osborne and wrote a bunch of songs that shifted rhythm to the beats. It was a grand experiment and a bit of a mess. And it’s way more exciting than you think.

But beneath all the electronic glitter and machine grime lies a pretty solid set of songs. ‘Discothèque,’ ‘If God Will Send His Angels,’ ‘Last Night on Earth,’ ‘Gone’ and, especially, ‘Staring at the Sun’ are prime ‘90s-era U2, all ringing guitars, roof-raising vocals and, yes, digital dusting. Strip away the electronic elements that alienated many fans and you’d have a hard time pinning the songs to anyone’s techno album.

Even though it doesn’t receive much love these days, ‘Pop’ debuted at No. 1 and eventually went platinum. Six singles were pulled from the album, but only ‘Discothèque,’ which hit the Top 10 and No. 1 on the modern-rock chart, and ‘Staring at the Sun’ (also No. 1 at modern rock) made much noise. It would be another three years before U2 made another record, and they learned their lesson: ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ was their most U2-like album in years. It stalled at No. 3 (the first U2 album since 1984’s ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ to not reach the top spot), but it sparked the band’s rebirth. It took their electro-techno experiment to get them back on path.

Bono addresses François Hollande in French in the name of the fight against poverty

Bono sent a message  on Friday, March 1 to François Hollande in French on the subject of the fight against extreme poverty.

U2 frontman and co-founder of   ONE  involved in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases, speaks  in French during the first thirty seconds of the video, posted on the YouTube account of the Ministry Foreign Affairs.  It was originally broadcast on March 1 at the occasion of the closing of  "Assises du développement et de la solidarité international".

"More than 200 years  France  brought to the world the message" liberty, equality, fraternity "still firmly you cling to the idea that denial of human rights anywhere is a threat to the rights  ", stated the Irish singer.

On the particular subject of Mali, Bono spoke directly to the President of the Republic, "Mr. Holland, you are 100% right when you say, 'now it is the time for the development in Mali." It is very important to me. Mali is a country which I love like many musicians. "

translation: mysteriousways©

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bono & Ali: Front Row at Stella McCartney

Bono and Ali with Paul Mc Cartney and wife at Stella Mc Cartney`s show in Paris last Monday

DO THE RIGHT THING: Among the seat cards in the front row of Stella McCartney’s show in Paris on Monday morning was one “Paul Hewson” — though the world at large knows him better as Bono. Next to the Irish pop star was a place reserved for “Paul” (that would be Sir Paul McCartney, the father of the designer).

Suzy Menkes zipped over to snap a picture of the two on her disposable camera, scrambling back to her seat just as the first model hit the catwalk. Bono was in town for a party celebrating the collaboration between Edun, the socially conscious clothing line he launched with his wife Ali Hewson, and denim giant Diesel.
Though Edun is 49-percent owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the couple still follows Stella McCartney, whose brand belongs to rival conglomerate PPR. McCartney refuses to use leather and fur in her collections, and Bono said he hoped socially conscious design would eventually become commonplace.

“I think right now it’s luxurious, but I would love it to become more mainstream. But right now, it seems like meaning is the new luxury, in a funny way,” he mused.
The show at the 19th-century Palais Garnier opera house also drew Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie, Marianne Faithfull, Elettra Wiedemann, Natalia Vodianova and Dhani Harrison, the son of the late George Harrison.

Diesel Celebrates Collection With Edun

Renzo Rosso, Bono and Ali Hewson
Photo By Dominique Maître

AFRICAN BEATS: Diesel took over Paris' Gaîté Lyrique theater on Sunday to launch its 25-piece capsule collection with Edun, the clothing label founded by Ali Hewson and her husband Bono. It is manufactured in Africa with cotton from Uganda. 

Bono, wearing Edun pants, said he did not advise his wife on the collection. "Our marriage would end if I advised Ali on design," the U2 singer said, with a smile. "Unfortunately, this is not an equal equation; she knows a lot more about music than I know about fashion."

As for cotton, Bono described it as "a beautiful thing. I love to be in the cotton fields."

Solange Knowles performed her song "Losing You," while wearing a Diesel dress, Kenzo shoes and assorted jewelry. "I have a little bit of a ring obsession," she confessed backstage.  

Knowles first met with Bono when she was 17. "I was going to Johannesburg," she explained. "He was part of charity initiative with Nelson Mandela [and] there was a big concert. I sat next to him on the plane between South Africa and Houston. I went there with my sister, who was performing."

Jessica Alba, sporting Maje knitwear and Céline, said she is going home after the shows to launch her new lifestyle book that includes recipes and organizational tips. It was published by Rodale. 

Among other guests were Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Yves Carcelle and Ellen von Unwerth. 

The party continued with African singers and dancers’ performances. "I love African music; it carries you away," said von Unwerth, while snapping photos of the party with her small digital camera. "I was taking African dance lessons when I was young, but I saw myself in the mirror and I stop right away, as it looks totally ridiculous on me."

Friday, March 1, 2013

20 Things you may not know about U2`s War

20 cosas que quizás no sabías sobre 'War' de U2

Yesterday it was the WAR's 30th Anniversary the album that turned U2 into a committed band with a message, thanks to singles like"Sunday, Bloody Sunday" or  "New Year`s Day".

After an album on relatively naive feelings of adolescence (Boy, 1980) and another one more spiritual themed (October, 1981),  U2 reflected their adult rage   in War (1983), the first album with songs  openly themed about  politics. The album  was characterised by the aggressive militant pacifist, the military boots, white flags, martial rhythms.

1-War is an album that tried to  reflect in its title concisely the tense atmosphere of the early eighties, with wars in various parts of the world (Middle East, the Falklands ...) But the war is not only an act of violence, but also  an internal fight being waged within each. Always looking for peace as the only possible ending

2- Bono wrote good part of the lyrics  during his  honeymoon in the mansion of the owner of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, in Jamaica, _called unpretentiously 'Goldeneye' (it formerly had belonged to Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond). It is significant that someone writes songs for a record called War during their honeymoon, but the singer and his wife Ali  are on their way to their 31st anniversary...

3 -While Bono, Larry and Adam were on holiday, The Edge was in charge of the first musical sketches in Dublin, frustrated by not feeling a good enough composer. In this struggle against himself emerged  the preliminary ideas  that will later become "New years' day" and models of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Seconds" and "Drowning man".

4 The sound of the album is deliberately more abrupt, harsh, angry, with less effect on Edge`s  guitars . There will be be time later to create atmospheres, this is rock battle line in their beloved The Clash`s style, but always with the epic heroism inherent to U2 from their first steps.

5 -The force of  Sunday bloody Sunday resides mainly in the martial drums  that Larry Mullen plays, who has acknowledged that  what he learned during his years in the Post Office Workers Band playing military marches is reflected in the song. By the way, it was in the recording sessions of this album when the drummer began using the click track to schedule his rhythms in the studio, something that before he felt reluctant limiting and uncreative.

6 -With the theme of Sunday bloody Sunday U2 played  a wild card, because in the British Isles it is not exactly  comfortable  talking about the issue of violence in Northern Ireland. The song refers to the Irish independence demonstration in Derry on 30 January 1972 that killed 14 people. The first time  they played it in Belfast, Bono previously warned of its subject and said that if they did not like they would not play it  anymore. The reaction could not be more positive.

7- The bass line of New Year's Day is one of the most famous one in rock music and, as usual, it  came almost by accident. In fact, Adam Clayton has admitted that it all started when he was trying to play Visage's techno pop success   "Fade to Grey". The more trained ears certainly would find similarities, never denied by the band.

8- New Year's Day began as a love song for Bono's wife, but eventually it won the political background  shaping the history of the Solidarity Movement in Poland led by Lech Walesa against the communist regime. Bono has stated on several occasions that he  thought  on Walesa  who had been imprisoned without the possibility of being visited by his wife because of  the Martial Law. Once  the song was recorded, on December 30, 1982 the military government outlawed martial law in Poland, almost in New Year, making real that of "I will be with you again" even before the album was released.

9- The first promotional video for the album was  for New Year's Day, hot topic in advance. It was recorded in northern Sweden in the snowy, icy  countryside.  Bono was unable to lip synch as his lips were frozen . Somehow this brings even a more epic detail the outcome.

10- In the album credits   Steve Wickham appears  as violinist in Sunday bloody Sunday and Drowning man. The involvement of this young man (who was just twenty years oled) could not be more casual:  he just went to The Edge while he  was waiting at a bus stop to go to Windmill Lane recording studios and asked if he was the guitarist for U2. Three days after Wickham spent half a day in the studio playing with the band and leaving his mark on those songs forever.

11- Another more or less random collaboration was the Coconuts, choir girls of Kid Creole & The Coconuts. The New Yorkers  met with Irish lads in  a party in Dublin and ended up participating in Like a Song, Surrender and Red Light.

12 Bono's stay in Jamaica  was prolific , but back in the Irish capital  he could not go back to that  creativity. While remembering those months he  always stresses that his new-wife Ali had to get  him out of bed  and practically forced him to write. Under pressure somehow Bono finally began to feel comfortable as a lyricist.

13- Next to the policts implied in New Year's Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday , there was also space in  War for other topics. For example, love in another powerful composition of the album, which was the second official single in the U.S., UK and Australia, Two Hearts Beat As One (Sunday Bloody Sunday  was in the Netherlands and Germany). Other themes include prostitution (Red light), the reaffirmation as punk rock band Like a Song, warning about a hypothetical nuclear war in Seconds, the religiosity of Drowning man ...

14 Bono, The Edge and Larry finished the last song on the album, 40, just when they were running out of time engaged in the study while the next band, Minor Detail, was waiting to enter . Desperate after a sleepless night, they took up an idea that stripped of all complexity and Bono opened the Bible to meet face to face with Psalm 40. In 40 minutes everything was perfect, thanks to the effectiveness of producer Steve Lilywhite, who mixed it in a hurry.

15- War was U2's first number one in the UK, a position which debuted in its first week, ousting no less than the almighty Michael Jackson's Thriller. In the United States it had to settle for 12th place, and was generally quite well received in all markets, albeit with disparate positions. In its original version cassette tapes bearing the entire disc with 43 minutes in each of its two sides.

16- The boy on the cover is Peter Rowen, the youngest brother of one of Bono's  best friends since adolescence , Guggi. Peter had starred in the cover of Boy (1980), and War presents a more disgruntled face, as if he had grown too fast in a short time, leaving the innocence along the way. Earlier, in 1979 Rowen appeared on the cover of U2 single-Three. Also in 1983 his image appeared again in the maxi single for New Year's Day and on the compilation The Best of 1980-1990 years later, becoming a symbolic face for fans of U2.

17- Before hats, giant screens and sunglasses, Bono waving a white flag in the War Tour concerts of 1983 is the first major iconic image of the history of U2. So much so that even a famous namesake fanzine published in Spain in the eighties, at that time without internet and social networking was called  White Flag.

18 War is a key work in U2's career. It opened the doors of massive success and carried  a handful of timeless classics. Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year's Day in fourth and fifth place in the history list of the songs that U2 has performed live more full times (apart from 'snippets') with 751 and 698 respectively. Just behind  I will follow, Pride and Where the streets have no name.

19 An extension of what U2 did in the study was the direct War Under a Blood Red Sky (recorded at different locations) and the legendary concert in the auditorium at Red Rocks (Colorado) on June 5, 1983, a concert for which the band had invested previously  everything they had earned, about $ 30,000, with the intention to register it on video. A terrible storm was about to send it all to hell, but the group took the stage ignoring those who wanted to persuade them to quit. The mix of combat rock and inclement weather resulted in a context concert infernal battler. U2 still cemented their legend as tireless  fighters.

 20-For years, 40 was a perfect closure for the gigs , very chanted by the audience. A stadium anthem repeating like a mantra that "How long to sing this song?" Seeking explanations in a world inexplicable. The foundations of the Bernabeu still tremble to remember that moment in that first U2 concert in Spain on July 15, 1987 along with UB40 and The Pretenders. There is no other possible way to finish this memory of the album which marked the end of innocence for Irish education: 40 at Red Rocks.

David Gallardo

translation: mysteriousways©

10 Great U2 Guitar Songs

According to Gibson website, the following are the 10 best U2 guitar songs:

New U2 albums are always a celebrated affair. While nobody knows whether U2’s long-awaited The Songs of Ascentwill arrive this year, it’s possible, if you believe frontman Bono.
“We’re working on three albums at the moment and we haven’t decided what order we’re going to put them out but The Songs of Ascent have the kind of beautiful intimacy that we’re speaking of now,” Bono said in a post on last year. “They fit into this moment, the mode of some of these artists that I was hanging out with on Christmas Eve.”
Whether or not we get new U2 this year, here are 10 great U2 songs that show off the band’s spunky Irish post-punk roots and show the chaps at their best.
Beautiful Day
“Beautiful Day,” from All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
Writing a happy rock song can be a daunting task, but U2 pulls it off with “Beautiful Day.” The song is a tribute to all the simple pleasures in life, told through Bono’s descriptive lyrics and the band’s anthemic, powerful sonics. From the opening reverberating electric piano to the closing, fading guitar lines, “Beautiful Day” makes one feel grateful for life’s blessings.
Still Haven't Found
“I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For,” from The Joshua Tree (1987)
Who can’t relate to the experience of finally reaching a major goal, but feeling like something is still missing? U2 captures that sentiment in their anthem “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For,” thanks to Bono’s longing lyrics and the Edge’s soulful, spiritual guitar playing.
Mysterious Ways
“Mysterious Ways,” from Achtung Baby (1991)
“Mysterious Ways” is one of U2’s greatest love songs. The rock track features a dance-happy beat, the Edge’s funk-driven guitar hooks and Bono’s chivalrous lyrics.
New Years Day
“New Year’s Day,” from War (1983)
“New Year’s Day” marked a breakthrough for U2, since it was the band’s first single to chart in the U.S. Coming off that initial success, the song helped shaped U2’s direction as a socially-minded rock band, as the song was actually about the first non–communist party-controlled trade union in Poland. Musically, it follows U2’s traditions of warm, sweeping guitar lines and near-spiritual lyrics.
“One,” from Achtung Baby (1991)
“One” is one of U2’s most celebrated songs, presenting heartfelt vocals, relatable lyrics and big, grandiose instrumentation. The song was first released to support AIDS charities, although it was originally written about the band’s splintering relationships at the time. Regardless, it’s a U2 classic.
“Pride (In the Name of Love),” from The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
U2’s “Pride in the Name of Love” pays homage to the late, great Martin Luther King Jr., and in addition to the emotive lyrics, the Edge’s guitar work really makes the song soar. The track boasts one of the Edge’s most famous guitar solos, painting a sonic of hope and optimism, while Bono’s lyrics (“Free at last/They took your life/They could not take your pride”) are simply inspiring.
Sunday Bloody Sunday
“Sunday Bloody Sunday,” from War (1983)
The Edge’s guitar soloing really stands out on “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” as it breaks through the song’s steady, march-like vibe with moving, sweeping lines. War, in general, highlights the Edge’s guitar work, and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is a stand-out.
Walk On
“Walk On,” from All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
Like many of U2’s songs, “Walk On” takes on a socially-conscious aura, as the track was inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest in Burma from 1989 to 2010. The song won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2002, thanks in no small part of Bono’s poignant lyrics and the Edge’s guitar lines that sing and soar.
Walk On
 “Where the Streets Have No Name,” from The Joshua Tree (1987)
The Joshua Tree was a breakthrough album for U2. The album was U2’s first No. 1 release and thrust the guys into the rock ‘n’ roll spotlight. “Where the Streets Have No Name” gets the set off to a strong start, with sparkling textures and an epic presentation.
With Or Without You
“With or Without You,” from The Joshua Tree (1987)
“With or Without You” brings it all together for U2: Bono’s divine vocals, the Edge’s elevated guitar lines and the band’s overall angelic aura. It’s one of U2’s biggest hits and represents the moment when U2 went from being a great rock ‘n’ roll band to one of the most influential groups on the planet.
Learn more about The Edge’s guitar sound here.

Anne Erickson