Thursday, June 27, 2013

'He Made The Impossible Possible.'

The Edge has been speaking about the passing of Mark Fisher, groundbreaking stage designer, architect and friend of the band who worked with them for more than twenty years.

'Mark Fisher's vision and genius was his ability to translate dreams into reality. With his talent and passion, he created designs which never failed to push every concept to the absolute limit. He made the impossible possible. And it always looked beautiful.

'Mark was a dearly beloved member of the U2 family and we shall all miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.'

(Photo: Steve Humphreys.)

The 14 best quotes from Bono’s interview with Gay Byrne

 Here are the best things Bono said during their hour-long chat.

1. Talking teenage angst

You’re 14, you don’t know why you feel the way you feel and you have some… rage. Let’s put it like that.

2. On Irish men

Irish males are a piece of work, are they not?


(By the way, in this picture he’s imitating Pope John-Paul II wearing his shades.)

3. The Edge

The Edge’s original nickname was Inchicore. Can you imagine if I was introducing him now? Inchicore! Well, everyone in Inchicore would be up for it.

4. And…

Larry was Jamjar.

5. Explains a lot

When I look my most smug, I’m usually at my most nervous.

6. U2′s origins

We did not start the band to save the world, we started the band to save our own ass.

7. Quite

Paul McGuinness: the Winston Churchill of rock.

8. On his pal Bob Geldof

Bob is not famous for throwing it around. He’s… frugal.

9. U2 as a business

We live on a small rock in the North Atlantic and we would be underwater were it not for very clever people working in government and in the Revenue who made tax competitiveness a central part of Irish economic life. And that’s the reason we have companies like Google or Facebook – and indeed I helped bring those companies to Ireland.

10. Setting the record straight

I want to say – we pay a lot of tax. But we are tax sensible – as every business is.

11. On himself

I am tough. And I may sing from a very private and intimate place, and I make art, but I’m tough-minded and I’m intellectually rigorous.
(To be fair, he did add “I hope”.)

12. Religion

The Holy Spirit is much more anarchic than we think.

13. Life, the universe and everything

I do believe there’s a force of love and logic behind the universe.

14. I believe in miracles

I’ve no problem with miracles. I live around them. I am one.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bono in "The Meaning of Life"

Bono y Gay Byrne para The Meaning of Life

On Tuesday 25th, RTE broadcast Gay Byrne`s interview to Bono in his programme "The Meaning of Life" 
Bono talks about how his experiences have shaped his values, and how his beliefs have influenced his life.
Bono last night defended the band’s decision to move part of its business to Holland to avail of lower tax rates.
And the tough-talking anti-poverty campaigner, 53, gave two fingers to his critics by declaring U2 is a business just like Facebook or Google.
Bono said: “The shock horror moment here is U2 behaving like a business. We live in a small rock in the north Atlantic and we would be under water were it not for very clever people in Government and the Revenue who made tax competitiveness a central part of Irish economic life.

The singer opened his heart to Gay Byrne last night in his Meaning Of Life show and insisted being good businessmen doesn’t make U2 bad people.

He said: “The shock horror moment here is U2 behaving like a business.

“We live in a small rock in the North Altantic and we would be underwater were it not for very clever people working in Government and in the revenue who made tax competitiveness a central part of Irish economic life.

“It’s the reason why we have companies like Google or Facebook and indeed I helped bring those companies to Ireland so it is more than churlish for Irish people to say:’Well, we don’t want an Irish company involved in that stuff that we do want everyone else.’

“We do pay a lot of tax but we are tax sensible as every business is and why is it - because I am involved in these some people think are idealistic but I think are very pragmatic things - why can’t U2 be tough in business?”

Intense Bono said he is not a walkover and deals with all issues in the same way.

He said: “This thing of the warm fuzzy feeling I would like people to get over that because that’s not who I am.

“I am tough and I may sing form a very private and intimate place and I make art but I am tough minded and intellectually rigorous I hope.

“And I think U2’s tax business is our own business and it’s not just to the letter of the law it is to the spirit of the law.

“And in Ireland especially at this moment when really people are hurting so badly and are being deeply affected by problems they had no part in creating.

“I am amazed at the intelligence of the Irish people actually in figuring a way out through this because they could be out on the streets and torching the place and you would have to be sympathetic.

“But they are being smarter than that and realising we have to attract jobs and we have to get through this. And I think it is heroic actually - my kids go to a regular school a non fee paying school I don’t think of myself as removed but to answer your question I probably must be.”

The U2 frontman opened up about his life and spirituality to Gay Byrne and said he became involved in campaigning thanks to Bob Geldof and Live Aid.

He said: “I owe Bob big time for turning my life upside down or right side up depending on your view.”

Bono said he is a committed Christian but feels the church is fragmented into too many different religions.

He wears the crucifix that Pope John Paul II gave him every hour of every day. And Bono said being a child from a mixed marriage was sometimes difficult and he spoke of the tough relationship he had with his father.

He said: “My mother died died at her own father’s funeral right at the side of the grave.

“It took her a few  days - she had a stroke and it was a few days later when we gathered around the bed I think at the Mater Hospital and said goodbye to her.”

Afterwards Bono turned into an angry young man and his relationship with his had was fractious.

But he said: “It’s my fault and I realised that later in life and I realised he was really doing his best.”

Bono said the band first got into religion after meeting a member of the Christian group Shalom and both Bono and The Edge almost quit U2.

He said: “It was Edge and me really but he said to me: ‘It’s right, the world is a broken place there are a lot of broken lives and this is really not the way to go about anything useful with our lives so we both left the band.”

It was just after their debut album and it was Paul McGuinness who coaxed them back in.

Bono added: “And he said: ‘Would you mind speaking to God about the commitments I have made on your behalf to do another tour? I presume breaking your contract wouldn’t be in accordance with God.”

The lads agreed to do one more album and tour which was October and it was during that time the Edge started to write Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Bono revealed: “Somehow we started to realised our music was the way we spoke to the world and these were prayers of a kind and what were we doing hanging out with these people who didn’t understand they had somehow turned God into a very retail relationship.”

Bono said it was his fault he and his dad fought but he feels he has inherited his father’s voice.

Growing up Bob Hewson believed to dream was to be disappointed but Bono said having faith was the thing that got him through.

He added: “It’s my revenge on that idea to have the most impossible dreams - that was my way of getting back at him - he could have been anything he was wonderful painter and a beautiful singer.

“I believed in my friends and I believed in the bands and I believed you were as good as the arguments you get.

“I think had I been left on my own I could have been like all the people I don’t like people in the corner of a bar with big ideas that never came to anything and it just turned me bitter and I would probably be looking at someone like me now going the letting the wine turn to vinegar.”

Bono told how he used to fly in from the Elevation tour dates to sit at his father’s bedside to give his brother Norman a break.

He said: “I was sleeping with him the night before he died he woke up - he had Parkinson’s at this point as well as everything else so he was whispering.

“I called the nurse I said: ‘What’s up da?’ She’s got her ear down and I have my ear down.

“I could just hear him and he said: ‘F**k off. I just want out of here, I just want to go home. And those were his last words. What a great exit. And I’m sure he is at home and I am sure it will be a lot more of a home than 10 Cedarwood was without my mother.”

Watch the  full video here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bono: David sang the blues and Jesus did some punk rock

Bono exchanged Bible references with Focus on the Family’s president Jim Daly as they bantered about music, theology and evangelicals’ role in AIDS activism in a recent radio interview. Photo by Lisa Cadman/courtesy of Focus on the Family
Bono exchanged Bible references with Focus on the Family’s president Jim Daly as they bantered about music, theology and evangelicals’ role in AIDS activism in a recent radio interview. Photo by Lisa Cadman/courtesy of Focus on the Family

(RNS) U2 frontman Bono exchanged Bible references and bantered about music, theology and evangelicals’ role in AIDS activism in a recent radio interview with Focus on the Family president Jim Daly.
 Growing up in Ireland with a Protestant mother and a Catholic father, Bono imitated C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity,” where Lewis argued that Jesus was a lunatic, liar or Lord. 

When people say ‘Good teacher,’ ‘Prophet,’ ‘Really nice guy,’…this is not how Jesus thought of himself,” Bono said. “So, you’re left with a challenge in that, which is either Jesus was who he said he was or a complete and utter nut case.” “And I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God,” Bono said, according to a transcript provided to RNS. 

“I understand that for some people and we need to…if I could be so bold, need to be really, really respectful to people who find that ridiculous.”

 In the interview that will be broadcast on Tuesday (June 25), Bono made comparisons between biblical characters and music. 

 “First of all, David’s a musician so I’m gonna like him,” Bono said. “What’s so powerful about the Psalms are, as well as they’re being gospel and songs of praise, they are also the Blues. It’s very important for Christians to be honest with God, which often, you know, God is much more interested in who you are than who you want to be.” 

 As Bono praised David’s “honest language with God,” Daly noted that “sometimes it gets you into hot water with the more orthodox folks, because they see you as edgy, maybe too edgy at times.” It’s a criticism that Bono’s used to hearing. “You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior, where we’re just nice, sort of ‘death by cupcake,’” Bono said.

 “Politeness is, you know, is a wonderful thing. Manners are in fact, really important thing. But remember, Jesus didn’t have many manners as we now know.” Bono recalled the section in Luke 9 when Jesus told a man not to wait and bury his father but to follow Jesus immediately. 

Daly responded to Bono’s summary, “Seems cold-hearted.”

 Bono replied, “No, seems punk rock to me. He could see right into that fellow’s heart. He knew he wasn’t coming and he was just, it was pretense. We’ve gotta be a bit more cutting edge, not look to the signs of righteousness. Look to the actions.” 

 Bono made an explicit connection between his faith and his work with the ONE Campaign, the humanitarian organization he founded to fight poverty and disease.

 “It’s very annoying following this person of Christ around, because he’s very demanding of your life,” he said while chuckling. “You don’t have to go to university and do a Ph.D. to understand this stuff. You just go to the person of Christ.” 

 Daly threw a C.S. Lewis quote at Bono: “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that’s left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.” Bono jokingly replied, “Yeah, that could turn up on the next U2 album, but I won’t give him or you any credit.” 

 In his work on HIV/AIDS, malaria, poverty and other areas, Bono noted the challenge of finding the right issue to take on. “We have a pastor who said to us, ‘Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing, Bono.’ Which by the way, I constantly do. He said, ‘Find out what God is doing, ’cause it’s already blessed,’” Bono said. “And when you align yourself with God’s purpose as described in the Scriptures, something special happens to your life. You’re in alignment.” 

 Most of the 9 million HIV/AIDS victims who were saved are alive because of treatments funded by the U.S., Bono said. “I am here to thank the American people for that,” he said. “And I also want to thank the evangelical community for that, because it wouldn’t have happened without their leadership, because they like myself, pestered George Bush and the administration, who actually deserve praise for starting this out.” 

 He compared HIV/AIDS to biblical stories of leprosy. “People don’t understand in that Scripture, the Samaritan was at odds with the ideology of the person he stopped on the road for. This is why we call it The ONE Campaign,” he said. “You and I can have many disagreements on many philosophical, theological things. But on this we know we can agree on.” Daly said he expects potential blowback from Focus listeners who might see Bono as unorthodox. 

 “Does he use a bad word here and there? Yeah, probably. Does he have a Guinness every now and then? Yeah, probably,” Daly said. “When you look at it before the throne of God, I think (God will) say, ‘You saved so many children.’” 
 Daly said his predecessor James Dobson might not have done an interview with Bono, but Dobson did get blowback for having Dr. Laura Schlessinger on his program because she is Jewish. “Bono clearly accepts Jesus as Lord. I wasn’t prepared for his quickness in inserting Scripture into the dialogue,” Daly said. “I celebrate with them that they have four children and have been married 30 years. Not everyone in the Christian community can say that.”

A Night for Christy: "This is it"

U2 did a cover of Irish band`s Aslan  "This is" for "A Night with Christy", an event  that  took place in Dublin's Olympia Theatre, to raise money for Aslan`s singer, Christy Dignam who is fighting against cancer.
U2's performance happened at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. 

The one-off event  featured performances from Bressie, Danny O’Reilly (The Coronas), members of Horslips, Ryan Sheridan, Paul Brady, Shane MacGowan, Mary Black, Don Mescall, Tom Dunne (Something Happens), Jerry Fish, Steve Wall (The Stunning), Gavin Friday, Mark Feehily, Paul Walsh (Royseven), The Riptide Movement, Jedward, Gavin James and Kiera Dignam. All artists handpicked their favourite song from the Aslan setlist and  stepped into Christy’s shoes for one night only. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Michelle Obama and daughters have pub lunch with Bono

Bono and Ali Hewson on their way to lunch with the Obamas
The Obamas ate in Finnegan's Pub in Dalkey with the U2 singer and his wife Ali

US First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha have had a pub lunch with Irish rock star Bono.The Obamas ate in Finnegan's Pub in Dalkey, County Dublin, with the U2 singer and his wife Ali Hewson and others.The menu included smoked bacon and cabbage, cottage pie, salmon and chicken and ham with mozzarella.
The family has now left Ireland, flying out of Belfast International Airport in Air Force One.Earlier the Obamas visited the 6th Century monastic site at Glendalough, in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Malia and Sasha were given a lesson on the ancient ruins by local tour guide George McClafferty.The valley, in the heart of the Wicklow mountains, is a well-worn tourist path for visitors to Ireland's east coast. Sasha was given the honour of closing the door to the ruins of St Kevin's Church, which dates back 1,500 years.The teenager was handed a key and after locking the door, she turned to her older sister and gave her a high five.
Mrs Obama and her daughters were with President Barack Obama when he made a speech in Belfast on Monday morning.However, they travelled to the Republic of Ireland when Mr Obama went to the G8 summit in County Fermanagh.Later on Monday, Malia and Sasha Obama were presented with an Irish certificate of heritage at Trinity College in Dublin.It was presented to them by Henry Healy, an eighth cousin of Mr Obama.The first lady and her daughters then attended a performance of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre, where Mrs Obama also addressed a group of children.

A Night For Christy

Dublin's Olympia Theatre will host a unique collection of artists this Friday, a collective show of goodwill for Aslan's Christy Dignam. U2 will take part from a studio in New York and the entire show will be streamed live in venues around the world. MC for the night will be the artist Guggi.

Along with U2, performing Aslan's 'This Is', the show will feature performances from Bressie, Danny O'Reilly (The Coronas), members of Horslips, Ryan Sheridan, Paul Brady, Shane MacGowan, Mary Black, Don Mescall, Tom Dunne (Something Happens), Jerry Fish, Steve Wall (The Stunning), Gavin Friday, Mark Feehily, Paul Walsh (Royseven), The Riptide Movement, Jedward, Gavin James and Kiera Dignam. 

All the performers have handpicked their favourite song from the Aslan setlist and are stepping into Christy's shoes for one night only. Venues in Dubai, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, Canada, the UK and across Ireland will be carrying the show live, with more being added every day and the full list announced later in the week on

'With the gig selling out in a few hours a lot of fans who have supported the band for years were not able to get tickets.' said Aslan's Billy McGuinness. 'This type of gig will never happen again so its great to give people a chance to see it by streaming it live from the Olympia.' 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

“The Meaning of Life” : Gay Byrne interviews Bono

 RTE  has just posted on YouTube a video with a small excerpt of "The Meaning of Life" , where Gay Byrne interviews Bono. We`ll see the full interview on 25 June by the Irish TV network RTE One.

The Power of Rights

Bono has worked in the video "The Power of Rights" for the Open Society Foundations, one of the world's most important supporters in the defense and promotion of human rights.

But what do  human rights really mean? Kofi Annan, Bono, Amartya Sen, George Soros, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chris Stone, and many others share their thoughts (Bono appears in the following positions: 2:20, 3:20 and 6:40).

From Bono to Bob

Detail from Sleep Inside the Pillow illustration of Bob Hewson by Bono
Detail from Sleep Inside the Pillow illustration of Bob Hewson by Bono

Dear Bob,
I’m sorry,
Love Bono

“My brother Norman was the most consistent carer of my Dad in the last year of his life,” says Bono. Their father Brendan Robert Hewson died in 2001 after a battle with cancer.
Until the latter years, Bono and his dad had a difficult relationship. The U2 singer says he only realised after his death that he, not his father, had been the cause of most of their problems. “When I figured this out a couple of years after he died I went up a hill to a little chapel in the South of France to ask for his forgiveness. I felt an incredible weight lift from me. There’s nothing like a grudge to give you a limp in life. I rolled back down the hill and I’ve been rolling ever since”. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

"A Message for Iran"

In a message sent to Bono, Amir Hossein Jahanshahi, founder of Green Wave, expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the continued support that Bono and his group have given the Iranian nation's struggle for the liberation of their country.

This message was sent following the launch of a new music video for U2, which is now available for the Iranian public via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube of Amir Hossein Jahanshahi. In his message to Bono, Jahanshahi says:

"While I express my thanks to you as a great international artist who has always supported  the causes of the struggle of the people and freedom movements everywhere, I'm sure your moral support  to the Iranian nation will serve as a important drive to further enhance its efforts to the establishment of a civilized order in line with the aspirations of all Iranians. Yourr support comes at the time when Iranians ,more than ever,are  in need of support and international solidarity to prepare to confront the dictatorial regime prevailing in our country today. Bono and U2 once again have shown their support and solidarity with the love of freedom for the people of Iran and  the regional search for democratic change. "

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Video: "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" for agit8

U2 made this video on  May 31st on the roof of Electric Lady Studios in New York City.  Bono changed some lyrics (as usual) in the second half of the song. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is one of the songs that appear in the Agit8 campaign  launched by ONE for the leaders meet at the G8 Summit.

Bono, Benedict and Whoopi among secret offerings at Affordable Art Fair

U2 singer and actors Goldberg and Cumberbatch and other celebrities turn artist for postcard sale to raise funds for school.

Bono's postcard for the Affordable Art Fair
Bono's postcard. Photograph: Affordable Art Fair/Rex Features

The work will appear along with equally distinguished ones by  Benedict Cumberbatch, and Julian Lennon in a silent auction to raise funds for a primary school in north London at the annual Affordable Art Fair.

Cumberbatch and Bono have gone for self portraits – the Sherlock star's a Byronic profile, the U2 frontman's a quick slash of blue marker conjuring up his trademark sunglasses. Lennon has sent a sweetly traditional landscape in red marker on cardboard, complete with duck pond and cottage with smoking chimney, which any of the pupils might feel they could at least match in art class. Goldberg's is more a message than a painting, a cheery greeting to "all students everywhere".

The bidders will know which celebrity they're aiming for, but more starry names will be hidden among the hundred little works on sale. The comedians David Baddiel and Morwenna Banks; Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid; and Babybird singer, Stephen Jones, are among those providing their artistic juices.

The postcards will be on sale for £45 each, but the buyer will only learn the name of the artist after the money is handed over – a fundraising scheme modelled on the postcard fair at the Royal College of Art, which now has buyers queueing round the block every year for bargain works by artists including Tracey Emin and the Chapman Brothers.

This time all the works at the fair, which opens on Thursday for three days on the edge of Hampstead Heath, are being sold to raise funds for the New End primary school. The fair, now an international event aimed at art lovers with lighter pockets than those who flock to Frieze or the great auction houses, has attracted more than 1.2 million visitors and sold art worth more than £180m over the past 14 years.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Artists get behind agit8 , the ONE campaign designed to galvanize action against poverty.

Ending extreme poverty in the world seems like an impossible task. But with Bono and a little help from his friends, the end is in sight.

In anticipation of the G8 summit next week, the rocker's advocacy organization,  ONE, kicks off agit8, a week-long music campaign designed to put pressure on policymakers to take action against extreme poverty. Agit8 recruited the help of at least 50 artists, ranging from U2 and Sting to Mumford & Sons and Ed Sheeran, to release music videos of themselves doing covers of protest songs.

"Music is a powerful tool in galvanizing people around an issue," says a statement from Sheeran, who recorded a new version of Bob Dylan's Masters of War. "There's no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song." Mumford & Sons teamed up with Elvis Costello for a video. Tom Morello threw in his star power, along with Green Day and Kid Rock. Macklemore & Lewis are performing their own song, Same Love, as well as Sting, who is performing The Police's Driven to Tears.

"We'll use amazing protest songs performed by contemporary artists to get people to take action," says Jeff Davidoff, chief marketing officer of the ONE campaign, who also masterminded agit8. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, London's Tate Modern museum will be running a 30-minute film about music and protests, which harnessed actors Colin Firth and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The music videos and the film will be projected onto the museum facade.

It's not necessary to physically be in London to see the magic happen. Fans can watch the music videos, film and live performances on

The hope is that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will be convinced to lead the charge at next week's G8 summit (June 17-18). "Extreme poverty (defined by the World Bank as living on $1.25 or less a day) has been halved in the last 20 years, from 43% to 21%," says Davidoff.

But with 20,000 children dying every day from poverty and hunger, there's still a long way to go. "It's possible that it could be virtually eradicated by 2030, but that will only come through sheer force of will," says Davidoff.

Getting the attention of younger generations is key to achieving that goal.

"I was talking to a group of kids and asked, 'Who here knows Bob Dylan's Masters of War?' No one," says Davidoff. "Then I asked, 'Who here follows Ed Sheeran on Twitter?' All hands shot up."

A few notable artists participating:

Chris Daughtry, Pride

Ed Sheeran, Masters of War

Elvis Costello and Mumford & Sons, The Ghost of Tom Joad

fun., The Decline

Kid Rock, For What It's Worth

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Same Love

Sting, Driven to Tears

Tom Morello, Flesh Shapes the Day, It's a New Day

UPDATE: LISTEN, WATCH AND SHARE   If you click on the link to ONE you can "discover the songs  that changed the world"

Monday, June 10, 2013

At Downing Street For Mencap

Edge was in London recently for a Mencap  reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street. Mencap is the national voice of learning disability in the UK.

As well as sharing news of the past year, Mencap chief executive Jan Tregelles outlined plans to reach a million people with information about learning disability and the help the organisation offers.

Other Mencap ambassadors at Downing Street included Sunday Times journalist Kate Spicer, whose brother Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, and Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley, sister of Frances, who has a learning disability. Jo, a longtime friend of U2, is MC of Mencap's annual music nights The Little Noise Sessions  - Edge and Bono performed at Little Noise in 2007.

'Not many people know what a learning disability is,' explains Edge. 'Or the challenges people with a learning disability face. I've seen how much work goes into Mencap and want to continue to see it flourish.'

Edge was accompanied by his cousin Ciara Lawrence who works for Mencap as a celebrity booker and campaigns assistant. Caroline White blogged about the evening for MENCAP and had a chat with Edge.
 'I had to speak to him! So I got my introduction and also met his wonderfully inspiring cousin Ciara who has a learning disability and works for Mencap. She excitedly told me how she had just got married and showed me her wedding ring. The Edge told of what a special day it had been, his pride (see what I did there?) gushingly obvious. I said to her, 'That’s one pretty cool cousin to have,' and The Edge was quick to chip in that, actually, 'she’s one pretty cool cousin to have'. Lovely.'

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bono and Bill Gates atForbes Philanthropy Summit

Bono y Bill Gates en la Forbes Philanthropy Summit

The richest man in the world and the biggest rock star in the world made a rare joint appearance Wednesday at the second annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, discussing the genesis of their partnership, friendship and their goals as they work together going forward.
Bill Gates and Bono joined approximately 150 billionaires, near-billionaires, philanthropist and leading social entrepreneurs, as well as two Nobel Peace Prize winners, all of whom spent the day sharing ideas and seeking solutions to extreme poverty.
And what did this duo have to say? Over the course of a free-wheeling hour, which I moderated and encompassed more than a half-dozen questions from others in the room, ranging from Paul Tudor Jones II to Indian billionaire Prakash Hindura, quite a lot.

Bono on trying to first meet Gates: “It’s an interesting story in not judging your friends. I said to Paul Allen, would you help me get to Bill Gates?…Paul’s a kind of shy guy, but he usually answers my emails. And he stopped answering them…I got a bit cross with Paul. I said, ‘That’s not very nice, this is one thing I’ve ever asked him to do.’ And I had no idea of course that he’d been asking Bill, but Bill was actually like, no, I’d don’t want to meet him. It’s Sonny Bono.’”

Gates on Bono’s attempts: “I have to admit, I did not make it a priority.”

Gates on their first meeting: “I was kind of amazed that he actually knew what he was talking about and had a real commitment to making things happen. It was phenomenal. After that, we’ve been big partners in crime.”

Bono on his partner in crime: “I couldn’t do anything that I do without the Gates Foundation. We couldn’t move, neither ONE nor (RED).”

Bono on (RED), which has raised $207 million for AIDS drugs: “It was an attempt to piggyback on the great companies…to create heat and excitement around the issue of solving a problem…That’s what (RED) does; it creates heat.”

Bono on Africa: “It’s an incredible, exciting time on the continent of Africa…the richest continent on Earth….One of the biggest obstacles is corruption….There is a cure for that—a vaccine. We call it transparency…it’s really a revolution. A transparency revolution.”

Bono on his emergence as a numbers geek: “That’s just me pretending to be Bill. I’m Irish, we do emotion very well. You’re just experiencing some of it, and it can go on and on and on. I’ve learned just to be an evidence-based activist. Cut through the crap. Find out what works. Find out what doesn’t works. I don’t come from a hippie tradition of let’s all hold hands and the world is going to be a better place. My things much more punk rock. I enjoy the math, actually. The math is incredible.”

Bono on reducing poverty: “I love these numbers. These are sexy numbers. They rhyme somewhere in my head.”

Gates on using real-time data: “The poorest 2 billion are nowhere near the Internet. The infrastructure you build—the primary health care center, the school—can be hooked up. The data from the UN system is very slow to arrive, and in many cases, not that accurate. We can use satellite data… there are surveillance systems that can get you real-time data.

Gates on when to start becoming a philanthropist: “I do encourage people to start young…I think it’s amazing that people like Mark Zuckerberg, he’s starting in his 20s, doing good things. He’ll have a lot of experience by the time he gets to his 40s an 50s. I wish I’d started a bit sooner than I did. I think I would have been further down the learning curve.

Bono: “We do have a lot of fun doing this.”

New U2 Album for the End of the Year?

Yes , rumours have started again. U2  will release their new album around the end of the year. Is it possible that this time, rumours are more than that??? There seems to be more clues:

Billboard said:

"U2 Working On New Album With Danger Mouse: 

"There were shades of 'Achtung Baby,'" says longtime producer Daniel Lanois

Update: sources tell Billboard that the band is aiming to release their next album in December, although no plans have yet been finalized.

And then: 

Some more: 

And this one which comes from one of U2 members, Adam Clayton, tweeted by MTV Ireland