Saturday, August 31, 2013

'The Quietest Storm That Ever Blew Into Town...'

While visiting a clinic in Ghana earlier today, Bono heard the news of the death of Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate and widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish poets of all time. 

'Seamus was a great, great poet. I know people throw around this phrase a lot, but his poem From the Republic of Conscience, literally changed my life. As an activist he was the quietest storm that ever blew into town. In fact, in so many things he was a gentle genius, whose words challenged us with the grit and beauty of life as much as they gave us solace. He wrote with a brevity that strangely spilled to the brim. 

'We all envied how he made that most complicated of things, the balancing of work and family, appear so simple. In Marie he found his other whole. And it is a joy to be around his kids... Michael, Chris and Catherine Ann. They have all of his humility in their sharpness. 

'I take his poems with me wherever I go. I was in Liberia just a few days ago and I gave his collection 'Electric Light' to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose entire country is in darkness. She knew exactly who he was and immediately started reading the poems while standing beside me. A few days after that I gave another collection 'Seeing Things' to President John Mahama of Ghana, whose vision of his country is everything... 

'I am bewildered to think Seamus is no longer with us. Because his words will be around forever, it seemed so would he.'

 Bono talking about Heaney

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lillywhite: new U2 album sounds great

Today FM image

U2 producer Steve Lillywhite teases details

Anton Savage was joined in studio today by Steve Lillywhite, Johnny Logan and Samantha Mumba to talk about the big finale on The Hit.

U2 producer Lillywhite teased details of the new U2 album saying: “I’ve heard some of it, I was round Bono’s house the other day and it sounds very good”. However, he kept Ray D’Arcy Show listeners in suspense as he wouldn’t comment on a release date or on the style of the album.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bono in Ghana

Bono is still in Africa but this time he`s in Ghana. He`s visited the Meltwater enterpreneurial school of technology.

There was some fun too...

At the 233 Jazz Bar in Accra, Ghana

Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of The ONE Campaign and (RED), met with Ghanaian entrepreneurs to hear how technology is transforming Ghana and discussed ways in which digital innovation can spur economic development and increase transparency in health, agriculture and government services.

Approximately 70 people joined the session at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), including internationally renowned Ghanaian business leaders and entrepreneurs such as Bright Simons of mPedigree, Edward Amartey-Tagoe of Nandimobile and Eyram Tawia of Leti Games.

Bono was joined at the visit by a diverse delegation of leaders from the international policymaking, business and creative communities who are traveling with him in Ghana as part of a ONE/(RED) listening and learning trip to the region.

Bono said: "Technology can play a huge part in eradicating extreme poverty. As well as building thriving businesses, it can be used to battle corruption by helping citizens hold corporations and governments to account. Transparency is the best vaccine against corruption, and harnessing the talent of these tech-savvy innovators could dramatically change the game against those trying to game the system."

Bono and ONE have been working over the past few years with African partners on the fight for greater transparency and accountability in development, with a focus on increasing transparency in the extractives industry, and on how to increase international investment in Africa.

The group at Meltwater also discussed how technology can serve as a tool to ensure grassroots voices are heard as the future of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are discussed. The MDGs, created by former UN secretary general, Ghanaian Kofi Anan and adopted in 2000, are a set of globally-agreed development goals that aim to halve extreme poverty and hunger and massively reduce disease by 2015. As that deadline approaches, world leaders are debating what should follow. It is important that the voices of the citizens in developing nations are heard in this process. ONE's 'You Choose' campaign used mobile technology to ask people in South Africa, Zambia and Malawi what their priorities are for the future.

Jorn Lyseggen, Founder and CEO of Meltwater and MEST, added that "MEST was started on the fundamental belief that technology entrepreneurship is one Africa's most exciting untapped opportunities. We are proud that Bono and chose MEST as the venue to discuss how tech can help address Africa's challenges'.

Earlier , the group also visited the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to see the difference being made by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. (RED), which partners with corporations to drive funding to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa, has generated almost US $215 million for the Global Fund to date.

Prior to arriving in Ghana , the group was in Liberia meeting with local leaders in government, business, healthcare and the energy sector. Bono and members of the ONE / (RED) team met President Sirleaf in Monrovia and President Mahama in Accra.

About MEST: The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and the MEST Incubator program provide training, investment and mentoring for aspiring software entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa.

MEST is based in Accra, Ghana and is fully funded and run by Meltwater Group through the non-profit organization, Meltwater Foundation

Since 2008 MEST has trained over 100 tech entrepreneurs and has invested over $1.5M in 13 tech start-ups in Ghana. MEST companies have raised external capital, competed in top technology events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO, and the Launch Festival, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as HealthXL and 500 Startups.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bono in Liberia with ONE

President Sirleaf, Senator Lindsey Grahan and Bono make statements at Press Stakeout following talks.
President Sirleaf, Senator Lindsey Grahan and Bono make statements at Press Stakeout following talks.

Monrovia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met on Monday with high-powered delegations from the United States of America, representing Senators, former senior government officials, business leaders, entertainers and philanthropists.

At a meeting Monday evening at her Foreign Ministry office, President Sirleaf held discussions with six U.S. Senators, Bono, the founder of the ONE Campaign and RED, the CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, and more.

In welcoming the delegation, President Sirleaf said that Liberia owed so much to many of those seated around the table, as she singled out former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, singer Bono and the members of the U.S. Congress present.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President recalled the measures taken by her administration during the first six years, which she called the period of stabilization, and the plans for the second term, the period of transformation, and cited measures the government is taking., in implementing its Agenda for Transformation, in the areas of peace, security and the rule of law, economic transformation, human development, and more.

Also making comments about their impressions about Liberia were Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Johans (R-NE) and John Thune ((R-SD). Former Secretary of State Rice and Bono also spoke, comparing the Liberia today with when they last visited the country.

The CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Muhtar Kent, said he had come to Liberia because President Sirleaf had invited him to do so two years ago, when they appeared together at the Clinton Global Initiative.

He spoke of his company’s plans to expand operations in Liberia and introduce new packages, including the production of juices, and spoke of his company’s support for women entrepreneurs who, because of owing their business, they are today able to support their families and send their children to school.

Before the meeting with the two delegations, President Sirleaf held a tête-à-tête with former Secretary Rice. She then met with CEO Kent and other executives of the Coca-Cola Company. At a press stakeout following the meeting, there were statements by President Sirleaf, Senator Graham and Bono.

President Sirleaf expressed a warm welcome to Senator Graham, the other Senators in the delegation, to ONE/RED and Bono. She said that Liberians were happy to receive this delegation, as it was important to let Liberians once again recognize the support that the country has received from the United States. The President said a special welcome to former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and recalled the role she and Bono had played in Liberia’s debt relief.

The President said that the support Liberia received from the U.S. Congress has enabled the country not only to celebrate ten consecutive years of peace, but also to have made progress in reconstructing the economy, and trying to make sure basic services are delivered to the people.

Senator Graham observed that he has been in Congress almost 20 years, but had never seen a delegation like this one, and he attributed the high-powered delegation to Liberia, the President and the people. He said he had come to Liberia because Bono had told him that Liberia was one country in Africa that he should visit, “because it all comes together here: a struggling people who have lived through incredible difficulty but who are on the rise to a great future.”

For his part, Bono declared that himself to be a great fan of President Sirleaf’s, and he felt as if he’d been working for her, for a while now. “I’m starting to understand this success that’s unfolding here,” he said, but noted the President’s impatience with the pace of this success.

This success, he said, was not only the President’s; he had had met with members of her Cabinet, who are so smart, and so committed. In Liberia, he said, there is this sense of optimism that we can do it. Other countries have taken a more autocratic approach to their post-conflict situation.

Of Liberia, he said, “this is a real democracy; it is a really beautiful thing to see and very difficult to pull off, and everybody has to believe in it. Most people do, and I will continue to work for you.”

Referring to the congressional delegation, Bono pointed out that there are no votes to be gained by them in coming to Liberia. This is not politics as usual. Rather, these are people who, in a way, have a vision of the future.

They see that Africa will probably double the population of China by 2015. Everyone says China is the country of the future; but these people see Africa as the continent of now! They are visionaries, in that sense. They are here because of their hearts and their heads, and I’m so glad to be a part.

President Sirleaf also recognized the CEO of Coca-Cola, Mr. Kent, pointing out that the company has a lot of investment in Liberia and has been with Liberia through thick and then, through the difficult days. Following the press stakeout, President Sirleaf hosted a reception for the delegations.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Michael Kimmel, the man behind the theatre success of the Jeff Buckley musical The Last Goodbye, wants to collaborate with U2

Michael Kimmel, the creator of the Jeff Buckley musical, The Last Goodbye, has told Hot Press that he'd love to collaborate with U2. The Last Goodbye is a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, using the music of Jeff Buckley. It has been critically well received in the US originally launching in 2010 and playing to sell-out houses at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. It is set to run in The Old Globe in San Diego, opening this September.
Now the man who dreamt up the synergy of Jeff Buckley and Shakespeare has set his sights on a potential link-up with the biggest band in the world.

"The U2 album that I think would lend itself best to a theatre, and for me personally is so powerful, is Achtung Baby," he told Hot Press. "I don't have a show that I am working on, by the way, but it is an album that I cherish. It has such a huge range and the thought of working and adapting a piece like that for theatre would be such an exciting prospect indeed."

Michael has long been a fan of U2, and also of Ireland, describing Dublin as his favourite European city.

What did he make of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark – the successful Broadway musical, for which Bono and Edge wrote the music?

"U2 are one of the most successful bands in the world," he said, "and Spiderman is obviously a huge popular cultural figure. So anytime you have two huge things like that coming together, to get people to come and see live theatre, I think its wonderful."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

U2-funded children get a chance to record song on board ‘Beatles’ bus

Music students from Dundalk Youth Centre taking part in a workshop on the John Lennon Music Mobile an Education Tour Bus. Engineer Jamie Thompson, Conor Loughnan and Kate Rogers play outside the bus at the National Concert Hall today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Music students from Dundalk Youth Centre taking part in a workshop on the John Lennon Music Mobile an Education Tour Bus. Engineer Jamie Thompson, Conor Loughnan and Kate Rogers play outside the bus at the National Concert Hall today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Students attached to the U2-funded Music Generation project have been given a chance to participate in a venture founded by another musical icon: John Lennon. The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus rolled into the National Concert Hall in Dublin to allow the students to avail of one of the advanced studios on wheels. 

The tour bus is funded by the John Lennon Foundation and endorsed by his widow Yoko Ono Lennon who has maintained that the late Beatle would have loved the project. 

A dozen students from Music Generation projects in Louth and Mayo were tasked with assembling a song, recording it and shooting a video in the space of a day. 

The project has been funded by a €5 million grant from U2 and €2 million from the Ireland Fund. Projects are up and running in 10 local authority areas with two more to be announced by the end of the year. 

Niamh Drum (16) from Dundalk, who plays guitar, piano and ukulele, said she came to master the art of songwriting. She was honest enough to admit her preferences were for contemporary acts such as Taylor Swift and Mumford & Sons rather than The Beatles or U2.

 “I’ve never written songs before today, but I’d be interested in learning,” she said. “It is such a great experience.” 

Music Generation director Rosaleen Molloy said the calibre of the recording facilities, which have been used by artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, would not otherwise be available to young music students.

 “It is a fantastic way of us reaching more than 10,000 children and young people in the programme’s development over the last 18 months,” she said. “It puts them in contact with an opportunity to work with the very brightest and best of music producers.” 

The tour has taken in Cork city, Portlaoise and Dún Laoghaire and will visit Temple Bar on Thursday.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Bono apoya al Fondo Mundial

As the Global Fund seeks new funding for the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria , Bono, Bill Gates,Charlize Theron, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and others call on world leaders to be the generation to defeat the three pandemics.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bono and Ali at Nile Rodger's concert at Vence

Bono y Nile Rodgers

Bono at  Nile Rodgers  and his band  Chic's concert at  Festival “Nuits du Sud” in  Vence.

In an article published by "Nile Rodgers strikes it lucky again" he said:

"This is a window into how I've always worked, but now people can see it. I meet somebody, we get along, we work together. The other day I was doing a show in Dublin and The Edge came, he's been writing me really supportive letters every day. Then I got an email from Bono. They're in the middle of a U2 record, but you forge these friendships that turn to musical events."

Rodgers is quick to point out the U2 connection is not musical - yet. "No that new record is Danger Mouse's (production) from what I know. We've only just met."

More pics here.
pics: Nile Rodgers`Facebook account