Friday, September 27, 2013

Bono at the Late Show with David Letterman

Bono stopped by “The Late Show with David Letterman” last night to talk about ONE, (RED) and more.He had some great news to share about AIDS treatment in Africa and America’s role in the progress. He also talked about music, his activism inspiration, and ONE and (RED)’s role in putting pressure on politicians to do the right thing. Our favorite part of the interview? When Bono told the world to watch out for ONE members!

“The ONE Campaign is …a life-long commitment to fighting extreme poverty, fighting injustice, to fighting inequality … The NRA for the world’s poor, that’s what we want to be. The NRA are not my thing, not my cup of tea at all, but they  are very very organized, very effective. We have 4 million members, just under 4 million members of people around the world. So if you’re a politician and you step on the necks of the world’s poor, you’re dismissive of their plight — we’re going to hurt you.”

He didn't talk much about the so-much-awaited new album  but he explained they were waiting for God to be in the room (as Quincy Jones had once told him) to finish the album. As usual, he said that U2 fans are expecting a "great" album so they don't mind waiting...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bono & the Edge Endorse the Film About John Smith's Life

 Filmed a few days ago in Dublin, Bono and the Edge endorse the making of a film on their long-time friend Smithy. Join Bono & the Edge and support this film

The story of the project
'SMITHY: Something in Every Hue'
a feature length documentary film about
Founder of the Christian Motorcycle Club

'Smithy' is a feature length, biographical doco about a remarkable Australian, the Rev Dr John 'Bullfrog' Smith, who is probably best known as the founder of the Christian motorcycle club, God's Squad. His wife, Glena, says he got the bullfrog nickname because "John was considered to be the loudest frog in the pond". He has been called 'John Wesley on a motorbike' but Smithy, as he is affectionately known, is more than this - he is an author, social anthropologist, media personality, social commentator, advocate for the poor and marginalised, blues music lover, theologian, motivational speaker, teacher ... and biker.

Bono Takes On Oil Companies And Corporate Transparency During Clinton Global Initiative Panel

Bono had some serious gripes with the oil and gas industry at a panel during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday. The U2 frontman and cofounder of the ONE Campaign criticized a lawsuit filed against the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require oil companies to disclose how much they pay for foreign oil leases.
He spoke during a panel moderated by former President Bill Clinton about both government and corporate transparency and the effect they can have on poverty and health. The SEC disclosure rule was thrown out by a federal judge in July, who said the data would undercut global competition.
"As we know corruption is killing more kids than TB, AIDS, and malaria put together," he said. "There is a vaccine ... and it’s called transparency."
The singer did praise both Exxon and Chevron and their support of malaria and AIDS prevention, but said it was overtly hypocritical to offer aid with one hand and seek to undermine anti-corruption legislation with the other.
"I’m no cranky anti-corporate critic here,” Bono said. “I implore the people in this room, from Exxon, from Chevron ... You can’t have it both ways. You can’t give alms to the poor on one level and have your hands on their throats on another."

Pictures here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bono: 'There's a difference between cosying up to power and being close to power'

Interviewed during a trip to west Africa, campaigner and U2 frontman Bono talks about what drives his activism and responds frankly to criticism of aid to Africa, his relationship with politicians and his group's controversial tax arrangements
bono interview ghana
Bono in Ghana: 'I just thought: I’ll do what I can. And I will talk to anybody.' Photograph: Jonx Pillemer/ (RED)

For a week at the end of August Bono was travelling in west Africa, leading an invited group that included Condoleezza Rice, five Republican senators, corporate leaders from companies involved in the RED campaign (which donates money to the Global Fund to fight HIV/Aids), and artists including the LA dubstep pioneer Skrillex. The U2 singer was on what is a regular fact-finding mission – visiting hospitals, civil society organisations, politicians and young entrepreneurs – and introducing his eclectic tour party to some of the issues that his campaigning group tries to keep at the forefront of global leaders' minds. Having spent the first half of the tour in Liberia, he was in the Ghanaian capital Accra when this interview took place. A couple of nights earlier at a downtown bar, I'd watched him give an impromptu performance of Stand By Me with the house band. That morning we had met local advocates for the agenda of transparency – both for governance and business in Ghana. During that meeting Bono had heard the news of the death of his friend Seamus Heaney, so we talked first about that, before broadening the discussion to his 25 years as an activist for African development, the lessons he has learned and those he is still learning.

First of all I should say how sorry I was to hear of Seamus's death, I know the two of you were long-standing friends…

You may not know that to every meeting I have ever had since I began full-time advocacy I have brought with me a book of Seamus Heaney's poems. I always think if you are asking somebody for something it is a good idea to give them something first. So I always give them Seamus's poems. This is from the pope to every president I have ever met. In this last week I gave Seamus's book Electric Light to President Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia. She is currently obsessed with the efforts to bring electricity to her people, so she could not believe it…

He was a fellow traveller?

Literally so. Seamus has been with me on every journey I have taken and there have been many times when a retreat into his words has kept me afloat. Most of our life in this kind of work is very concrete, full of facts, but we all have to seek redress from time to time in poetry. Seamus was where I went for that. He was the quietest storm that ever blew into town. "From the Republic of Conscience" has been like a Bible for me as an activist, something I have returned to for as long as I can remember. Some of those phrases are like tattoos for me, worn very close to the heart.

It's interesting to hear you make that distinction between the rigour of the arguments you have to put across, and the need for empathy. In a recent TED talk you presented yourself as the "factivist", the nerd who is aroused by the statistics of development, but for all the data there also has to be an emotional engagement for any of this to work?

I think that is why artists are useful in our kind of campaign. As a musician and a songwriter it is an act of the ego to believe that other people might be interested in your point of view. But it is usually an empathetic nature that gets you going in the first place. Music keeps the heart porous in many ways.

Yesterday you were mentioning the former "slave castle" at Elmina on the coast that you visited with some of your group. That seemed quite an emotional journey for all concerned.

Bono at the 'door of no return' at Elmina Castle, Ghana. Photograph: Jonx Pillemer/(RED)

It was. And I wasn't expecting it to be. I didn't want to go. I thought I was here with a different agenda. But fate and a really hard-headed tour manager had us there and that obvious thing came home to me full force: that you can't begin to understand this continent without first understanding slavery. As ever the data is not super-sound, but it seems likely that 300 million lives were taken in three centuries. Only a third of those people survived. Hundreds of years of deliberate destruction of the fabric of African life, and the fabric of African families. I had never really confronted those facts in that way. And the guide we had there wasn't letting us off the hook at all. You know, someone said something about "Arab traders", but he came straight back: no, it was always the Europeans who were the cruellest, the worst. They were the drivers of it.

You suggested one of your inspirations as a campaigner was Josiah Wedgwood, and his inclusion of the slogan "Am I not a man and a brother?" in his pottery, which galvanised the abolition movement. Do you see him as a kindred spirit?

It was a kind of blueprint for what we are trying to do, certainly. The way they organised themselves, a lot of artists and writers involved – using slogans, including on bracelets I think. And like us they refused to hold their campaign hostage to a particular ideology. The abolitionists worked not from one political side or another but worked to find a radical centre. That is what we were thinking of when we called this the ONE campaign. That's why we work so hard in involving conservative opinion in it – everyone from religious conservatives to fiscal conservatives – which has made us unpopular with some people. That is also why we try to torture the left over protectionism in Europe as it affects farmers here. We try to be both popular and unpopular with everyone. And the abolitionists were a great model for that. Lincoln, of course, was a republican…

Bono, US Senator Lindsey Graham and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a reception in Monrovia. Photograph: Jonx Pillemer/(RED)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bono will attend next week's Global Citizen Festival to help fight poverty.

NEW YORK — U2 frontman Bono and a long list of world leaders will attend next week's Global Citizen Festival to help fight poverty.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, leaders from several countries and congressional members will join Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer at the free concert Sept. 28 in New York's Central Park. The concert coincides with the U.N. General Assembly. Fans earn free tickets for helping spread the word or volunteering to help end world poverty.

Bono will present Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with a Global Citizen Movement Award for her work on women's equality.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak and U.S. Congress members Earl Blumenauer, Charlie Dent and Kay Granger also are expected to attend.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Awards in Dublin

Harry Belafonte

Singer-actor-activist Harry Belafonte is one of two 2013 recipients of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Awards to be handed out Tuesday in Dublin, Ireland, along with Pakistani teen human rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai.
U2 singer Bono and former Pink Floyd singer and songwriter Roger Waters will present Belafonte and Yousafzai with the organization’s highest award “recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example.”

“Since its birth, I have been devoted to the principles for which Amnesty International stands,” Belafonte, 86, said in a statement. “It is an honor to receive the recognition being bestowed. Amnesty International’s stand on any universal abuse to human rights has been courageous and is our moral compass.

“I am especially honored to receive the Ambassador of Conscience Award because I am having the distinction of sharing this with Malala Yousafzai, a true hero of our time,” he continued. “My admiration for her is unending. She has awakened many in the global family to a commitment in struggle against tyranny. For all this I remain eternally grateful.”

In her own statement, Yousafzai said, “I am truly honored to receive this award and would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that there are many millions of children like me across the world who fight every single day for their right to go to school. I hope that by working together we will one day realize our dream of education for every child, in every corner of the world.”

Yousafzai, the 16-year-old whose diary for the BBC detailed the repercussions of the Taliban’s decision to terminate operations of girls’ schools in Pakistan, was shot and severely wounded in 2012 in an attack for which the Pakistani Taliban took credit.

“Our two new Ambassadors of Conscience are different from each other in many ways, but they share a dedication to the fight for human rights everywhere and for all,” Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty said, also in a statement. “Harry and Malala are truly Ambassadors of Conscience, speaking up for universal rights, justice and human dignity and inspiring others to follow their example.”

Previous Ambassador of Conscience Award recipients include Nelson Mandela, Peter Gabriel, U2 and the band’s manager, Paul McGuinness, and playwright-poet and former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel.

Update from Amnesty Ireland Twitter: 

Enlace permanente de imagen incrustada
Bono and Edge with Malala in Dublin 

More pics here.
Here is the moving speech Malala delivered

Bono on Working with Tom Freston: "He Makes Everyone Better"

Tom Freston :After helping to found MTV, Tom Freston reigned as C.E.O. of Viacom. But it was never his natural habitat. Bono recalls how he cheered when Freston (V.F.’s Man in Kabul) left, in 2006—then promptly recruited him to become chairman of One and (Red), organizations fighting extreme poverty and AIDS in Africa.
 By Bono      Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

TOM TERRIFIC Tom Freston, photographed on his 2011 Triumph Bonneville T100 motorcycle in Santa Barbara, California.

Was I the only person in the world who punched the air when Tom Freston was forced out of One Astor Plaza, headquarters of Viacom? I should have been sobbing, like most of the hundreds of colleagues and staff who worked for him. His exit was not good for the audiovisual music business (i.e., MTV) or for the other Viacom companies, which would cry for imaginative leadership as they faced a life without the Walt Disney of Pop Culture.

But I punched the air because I had sensed for some time that this magnificent man, this satellite cowboy, this pioneer of communications, had long since been ready to ride off into a much more satisfying sunset than nail-biting box-office returns and Nielsen ratings. Tom Freston’s world has never been just the Northern Hemisphere, the safety of the corporate office or multiplex. This man has been on a magic-carpet ride since his early 20s, his intellectual curiosity leading him everywhere he wanted to go but shouldn’t. He had lived in India and Afghanistan for years, making and losing his first fortune, before he joined the start-up that became MTV.

For some time I had wanted—needed—his brain to go to work for the poorest of the poor. One and (Red), the organizations I helped set up, were blessed with influence and access, part of a movement helping to generate billions of dollars for vaccines, ARVs, bed nets, schools, wells, food security, etc. But what did I know about building organizations of hundreds of people in seven cities?

“Are you asking will I come work for you?,” Tom said when I began the campaign of recruitment harassment. “No! We all want to go work for you,” I replied. “Your genius is not just innovative thinking but innovative leadership and the structures that are necessary for creative people to succeed.”

Tom was already up to his knees in some of these issues, quietly supporting an orphanage in Burma and many other good works. Before he gave me an answer he asked to go to Washington, D.C. I think he wanted to discover the quality of the people in our U.S. headquarters and assess how lawmakers felt about them.

After three days, he called me from his hotel, mildly traumatized by the scale, the stakes, and the jeopardy involved in organizations trying to change bad policy and protect good policy by appealing to both sides of a very fractious political aisle, not to mention corporate America and the public. “In all my years of traveling through Afghanistan and Iran,” he exclaimed, “hell, I’ve never felt like emptying a whole mini-bar. I’m lying here on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking, this is some mad hill to climb. I want to help you people climb it.”

They say a genius record producer is the guy in the room when someone writes their best song. I disagree. It’s being in the room and showing them how. When Tom Freston walks through the door, somehow everybody else gets a whole lot better.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Beautiful day for Adam

It was another Beautiful Day for Adam Clayton – this time under the French sun.U2's Clayton said "I do" to his Brazilian bride, Mariana Teixeira de Carvalho, for the second time in less than a fortnight as the couple held a lavish wedding reception in the French Riviera.

After tying the knot officially at the Dublin Registry Office at the start of the month and holding a low-key celebration for a select group of family and friends in Clayton's Georgian mansion in Rathfarnham, the couple threw a second party for hundreds of guests in an historic chateau overlooking the Mediterranean at the weekend.

Security was tight around the 14th century Chateau de la Napoule in the chic resort of Mandelieu La Napoule which lies a few miles west of Cannes.
All of his U2 bandmates were there to wish the newlyweds well. And The Edge even reprised his role as wedding photographer having snapped the couple as they left the registry office on Dublin's Grand Canal Street earlier this month. This time around he was spotted whipping out his camera phone to capture the beaming bride and Bono on the balcony of the chateau.

The bride wore a white silk dress with a structured bodice and a delicate, floor-length chiffon cape tied at the neck. She topped the unusual ensemble off with a dramatic white headpiece.

Guests thronged the palm-lined terrace of the chateau and sipped champagne. The groom looked at ease as he chatted to friends and family including Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, the Edge and his wife Morleigh Steinberg, and Larry Mullen and his partner Ann Acheson.

The chateau can cater for up to 500 wedding guests seated in a courtyard and overlooking lush gardens.

It was originally built in the 14th century and was destroyed and rebuilt at least 10 times in its history. In 1918 it was bought by the American banker-turned- artist Henry Clews who restored it to its former glory. It is now the home of the La Napoule Art Foundation.

More pics here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I wanna be like Bono!!

I Can't Sing!.jpg

The upcoming musical "I can't sing-The X Factor Musical" based on the TV show of the same name will make its its West End and world premiere in March 2014.Written by Harry Hill with music and lyrics by Steve Brown, it is co-produced by  Simon  Cowell. - 
One of its songs is called "I wanna be like Bono", sung by Alan Morrissey  and it's about a plumber  who wants to become a star and save the world.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jony Ive designs one of a kind pieces for upcoming Product (Red) charity auction at Sotheby’s

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ive has teamed up with designer & friend Marc Newson to create one of a kind pieces for Bono’s Product (Red) charity auction scheduled for November 23 at Sotheby’s New York. Ive commented on the upcoming auction in statement today released by Sotheby’s:

“It’s been a fantastic honour to curate this collection of objects with Marc for the auction at Sotheby’s. Each piece represents the value of thoughtful design. What we create for each other is not only a comment on our culture but of course in many ways defines it. (RED) is making a difference in the lives of millions of people and we’re humbled to make this contribution to such an important and worth cause.”

Among the items to be auctioned off that were designed by Jony and Marc: a unique Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera, an aluminium desk produced by Neal Feay Studios, a Steinway & Sons Parlor Grand Piano, a 2012 Range Rover, and the rose gold Apple EarPods pictured above.

Bono said, “When you think of Jony and Marc, you think of design which is both iconic and sublime. Those two words can be applied to the unique collection of objects on the auction block this November. Each bang of the hammer will be raising critical dollars to fight AIDS… by getting medication to mothers with HIV which means they will not pass the virus on to their newborns.” 

The press release from Sotheby’s says that Marc and Jony spent the last year and a half curating the collection that includes “objects from disciplines as diverse as space travel and lighting design to contemporary art and rare automobiles.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Adam Clayton weds his Brazilian girlfriend in Dublin sunshine

U2’s Adam Clayton left the bachelor life behind this morning when he married Brazilian model girlfriend, Mariana Teixeira, in a low key ceremony.
The 53-year-old bassist proposed to Mariana at Carnival in Brazil earlier this year and the couple were expected to wed in the south of France, but stole a march on everyone by tying the knot this morning in Dublin.

There was no sign of Bono, or drummer Larry Mullen at their nuptials which took place at a top secret location in Dublin city-centre at 11am this morning.

However the Edge, accompanied by his wife Morleigh Steinberg, did attend congratulating the couple after they took their vows.

The couple had been dating for four years.

On Monday, they attended the funeral of poets laureate Seamus Heaney together in Donnybrook Church.

Adam, 53, proposed to former model Mariana, earlier this year at the Carnival in Brazil.

It is not known where the couple plan to honeymoon.

The couple are celebrating at a reception for 150 guests at a secret location.

More pictures here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Thousand Times Goodnight wins Special Grand Prix of the Jury at Montreal World Film Festival

A Thousand Times Good Night (the film starred by Larry Mullen Jr) won the Special Grand Prix of the Jury at the 37th Montreal World Film Festival, which ended on the 2nd of September. The Ecumenical Jury gave it a Special Mention.

Directed by Erik Poppe , A Thousand Times Good Night follows a famous woman war photographer, Rebekka, who is seriously wounded when following a suicide bomber in Kabul; when she returns home she is met by an ultimatum - job or family.  

The world premiere on Saturday the 31st of August was received by standing applause from the 1,500 audience, and the following screenings were sold out. "The Montreal grand prix is a prestigious prize in the world of cinema - it certainly highlights Norwegian film, this particular feature and Poppe," said head of international relations; feature films Stine Oppegaard, of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B Kvae for Paradox and scripted by Harald Rosenløw Eeg, A Thousand Times Goodnight stars Juliette Binoche, Irish actors Maria Doyle Kennedy, Lauryn Canny, Larry Mullen J (U2), Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Norwegian actor Mads Ousdal.

Co-produced by Ireland's Newgrange Pictures and Zentropa International Sweden, the film which was mainly shot in Dublin and Morocco, will be domestically released on 18 October by Euforia.

Bono talks Seamus Heaney & Africa on The Pat Kenny Show

Bono was Pat Kenny's first guest on his new show and the two spoke about Bono's work in Africa. He also talks about the new U2 album.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Seamus Heaney's funeral takes place in Dublin

Mourners outside church after Seamus Heaney's funeral
Large crowds attended Seamus Heaney's funeral in Dublin
The funeral of renowned poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney has taken place in Dublin.

Bono and U2, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Irish President Michael D Higgins were among the mourners in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook.

He will be buried later in his native Bellaghy, in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Heaney, acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since Yeats, died on Friday aged 74.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell and former Irish president Mary McAleese also attended the service.

Bono and Ali Hewson
Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, and the other three members of U2 are among those in attendance

'Final words'

The mourners were led by the poet's widow, Marie, and their three children, Christopher, Michael and Catherine Ann. In an emotional tribute, his son Michael said the family had drawn strength from the many messages of support they had received in the days since his father's death was announced. "His generosity in spirit as well as obvious gifts as poet left everyone who met him feeling lucky to have known him," he said. Michael Heaney also revealed details of the poet's final words to his wife of almost 50 years. "In his last few words, in a text message he wrote to my mother minutes before he passed away, were in his beloved Latin, and they read: 'Noli timere', don't be afraid." Monsignor Brendan Devlin, principal celebrant, said the family were suffering an "immeasurable sense of loss".

Larry and Edge at Heaney`s funeral

Read more here.