Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bono Remembers David Bowie: 'He Is My Idea of a Rock Star'

Bowie; Tribute; Bono
David Bowie and Bono at Royal Festival Hall in London in 2002. "I'd like to consider myself David's friend, but I'm more of a fan," Bono told us. Kevin Mazur/Getty

"He was so vivid. So luminous. So fluorescent. The sky is darker without him"

In Rolling Stone's new David Bowie memorial issue, out January 29th, various artists pay tribute to the late singer, songwriter and pop innovator. In this exclusive recollection, Bono reflects on the way Bowie helped him find "doors into ... other worlds."

I've played at being a rock & roll star, but I'm really not one. David Bowie is my idea of a rock star. Right now, I'm in Myanmar, a little cut off from the reaction to David's passing, but I can assure you the sky is a lot darker here without the Starman.

The first time I saw him perform was on Top of the Pops in 1972, singing "Starman." He was so vivid. So luminous. So fluorescent. We had one of the first color TVs on our street, and David Bowie was the reason to have a color TV. I've said he was our Elvis Presley. There are so many similarities: the masculine-feminine duality, the physical mastery of being on a stage. They created original silhouettes, shapes now seen as obvious, that did not exist before.

They both had that otherworldliness. With Bowie, you had this sneaking suspicion that if you hung around him, you might find some doors into those other worlds. In my teenage mind, "Life on Mars?" was much more about, is there life on earth? Are we really alive? Is this really all there is?

And some of the doors Bowie opened led to other artists. He opened doors for me into Bertolt Brecht, and William Burroughs — and, by the way, Bruce Springsteen, who he was on very early. And for me, the most important door he opened was the one with Brian Eno behind it.

I'd like to consider myself David's friend, but I'm more of a fan. He came and visited us when we were mixing Achtung Baby — and, of course, he had introduced us to Berlin and to Hansa Studios. We had a playful sort of banter — he would really go there in conversations, and we would even occasionally hurt each other's feelings. He took his daughter to a matinee to see Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and he sent me the reasons he didn't like it. And everything he said was really helpful, because it was in the early days of the show.

I’ve been talking with Brian Eno about this, because David sent Brian a goodbye note, and he shared the contents with me. It was so amazing, and it’s so funny. It’s a really surreal, defiant type of goodbye letter, a kiss-off. And I was saying to Brian that David had been on our minds. Over Christmas, my oldest daughter Jordan and I were listening to Blackstar a lot. David met her when she was two. He called her "Pixie," and she’s been a lifelong Bowie fan. 

I like Bowie when he’s evenly pulled in the direction of being a pop star and Picasso, where he’s right down the middle. That’s usually my favorite, when the songwriting is disciplined but the recording is not. I love when he’s pulled equally in the directions of art and populism. Blackstar is much more art, so I shouldn’t like it as much as I do. But I really loved it. And so did my daughter Jordan.

I sent him a picture of myself and Jordan toasting him on his birthday this year. I sent him a long email, and I sent him a beautiful poem by Michael Leunig called "Love and Fear" — one line goes, "there are only two feelings/love and fear." I didn’t hear back, but I was told he got it.

Ultimately, as a songwriter and as a performer, your currencies are thoughts and feelings. Some people may have original thoughts, but the musical landscape is not that unique. Bowie's musical landscape affected you in a way that is completely different from all the other music around it. You have to close your eyes, imagine you don’t speak English and just feel the songs and say, "What part of me is being played by those notes?" Or "Who else plays them?"

And in his case, the answer is nobody. That part of me is only played by David Bowie. So that part of me is now a void — I have to find other ways to wake it up. But it woke me up when I was 14.

As told to Brian Hiatt

Adam Clayton proud to be part of music programme

Adam Clayton and Enda Kenny cement commitment to Music Generation funding
Adam Clayton said that he's "proud" to be part of the national music education programme, to which U2 have donated €2m raised from their recent Irish concerts.

The U2 bassist, Taoiseach Enda Kelly and Minister Jan O'Sullivan gathered today along with students from Music Generation to cement their commitment to the programme.

As well as U2's €2 million paycheck for the programme, The Ireland Funds also donated €1 million, which ensures the programme will be funded to 2020 and beyond, and it also got a boost from the Department of Education, who have committed to ongoing funding, which means the music initiative can be expanded.

The programme, which currently reaches 26,000 children and young people annually who would otherwise not have had access to music education, can now be expanded in up to nine additional areas across the country.

Clayton said of the news: "Five years in and Music Generation is continuing to thrive. It is wonderful to see this further commitment from the government which will bring us closer to achieving the goal of access to music education for every child and young person in Ireland.

"The support we received at school was very important to us as young musicians, and we are very proud of our part in this programme."

Speaking at the announcement An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "This is extremely positive news for music education in Ireland and a fine example of how partnerships across sectors - local, public, private and philanthropic can deliver long term benefits in different sectors. This announcement is a further mark of government's ongoing investment in our children and young people and in the future of our country.

Bono: ‘People think Aids is done – it’s not done’

Bono and Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos to mark the 10 years of RED. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

‘Battle against Aids is not a last decade issue. It’s going to be the next decade issue’

It’s 10 years since Bono and Bobby Shriver established RED, a fund set up to fight AIDS and other diseases in developing countries, after meeting business leaders in Davos. A decade later, the U2 star was back in the Swiss resort this week to celebrate the 10-year launch of the initiative which has raised more than $350 million for the fight against Aids. 
Speaking to The Irish Times on the fringes of the World Economic Forum, Bono said his aim this year was to continue the momentum behind the campaign. “The battle against Aids is not a last decade issue. It’s going to be the next decade issue. We need to finish the job, get new companies, new interest. It’s kind of annoying and sometimes upsetting that these global health issues can become creatures of fashion. People think Aids is done – it’s not done.” This week at Davos, Salesforce confirmed a $5 billion investment. Bono has also met with companies Weiss and Philips on Friday about potential investment. “To bring it to the next level, we need some new blood – 60 million lives have been touched by Red money – $350 million of it – we’re proud about that.” To date, more than 60 companies have collaborated with Red, including Starbucks and Apple. The charity works by licensing a brand, Product Red, to companies who then donate part of the profits generated by the sale of products sold under that brand to the fund. Bono was one of more than 2,000 individuals from the world of business, politics and social activism attending the 46th World Economic Forum. Also present was Daire Hickey, one of the co-founders of Web Summit , the tech event which controversially announced plans to move to Lisbon next year. On Tuesday, Web Summit hosted a networking event which was attended by representatives of Facebook, Microsoft, the deputy chairman of Nasdaq, and a host of media start-ups. Hickey, who attended the IDA’s dinner with Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Thursday, said that preparations were progressing well for next year’s web summit in Lisbon. “We’ve lined up some incredible speakers that we’re going to announce over the next few months. We’ve already sold more tickets than we had at this point last year for Dublin, so there’s been a huge interest.” Speaking on the final day of the World Economic Forum, which had been overshadowed by concerns about the health of the global economy and signs of slowdown in China, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that markets needed more “clarity and certainty” on how China was managing its currency, particularly the yuan’s relationship with the dollar. The IMF late last year announced that the renminbi – official currency of the People’s Republic of China – would be admitted into the fund’s basket of currencies. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told the forum he believed China should use capital controls to stabilise its currency. Despite this week’s sell-off in global equity markets, most analysts and senior banks at Davos played down the possibility of a major slowdown, predicting that China would experience a soft landing. But billionaire financier George Soros disagreed. Speaking on Thursday he said a hard landing was “practically unavoidable” for China. “I’m not expecting it, I’m observing it,” he said.

Fender presents THE EDGE STRAT®

Enthralling millions worldwide with his acclaimed textural guitar work—as well as his knack for writing catchy riffs and hooks—U2 guitarist, The Edge, relies on his trusty Strat® guitar to sculpt his unique sound. Designed in close collaboration with Fender®, The Edge Strat is his new constant companion, replacing his favored vintage Fender instruments onstage in arenas around the world.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

U2 nomimated for BritAwards 2016

U2 has been nominated for INTERNATIONAL GROUP together with  Alabama Shakes, Eagles of Death Metal, Major Lazer & Tame Impala

The award ceremony will be nxt 24th February at the  02 , Londres.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bowie’s influence on U2

Planet earth is blue- Bono (U2 twitter account)

Back in 2010 , Rolling Stone magazine did a special “Playlists” issue where popular artists listed their favorite songs from other artists. Bono gave the magazine a 15-song playlist of his favorite David Bowie songs. The top five:

1. “Space Oddity”
2. “The Man Who Sold The World”
3. “Changes”
4. “Five Years”
5. “Life On Mars”

In his write-up, Bono talked about Bowie’s influence on U2 — and note the talk about concert-as-drama, which is something U2 has incorporated into its live shows since day one.

"U2 owe him a lot. He introduced us to Berlin and Hansa Studios, to collaborating with Brian Eno. It’s the high singing, beyond your ‘man’ voice into the feminine. And there’s the staging, the attempt to be innovative. It has been pointed out that the Claw [the 360 stage] looks like the Glass Spider. Bowie wasn’t afraid to use scale, to dramatize things. His set list was not just a jukebox he could run through. It was drama.”

Rolling Stone put Bono’s full Bowie playlist on Spotify.

David Bowie (1947-2016)

R.I.P. David

Friday, January 8, 2016

Bono on Holidays in Burma

 Bono, the stage name for Paul David Hewson of the Dublin-based band U2, poses with staff of the hotel he stayed at in Bagan, Mandalay Division.  (Photo: Facebook / Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort)

Bono paid a holiday visit to Burma this week, including a tour of the ancient city of Bagan in Mandalay Division.

In a post on Tuesday to the Facebook page of U2,  a photograph of the Bagan skyline dotted with hot air balloons, a popular means of taking in the sacred Buddhist site, was accompanied by the caption “Hot & cold air – Bono.”

Fans were quick to show their support, thanking Bono for visiting the former hermit state and doling out thousands of “likes” to the post. One user shared a picture of Bono with well-known Burmese comedian Zarganar, also known as Maung Thura.

Eleven Media reported on Thursday that the singer-songwriter flew Wednesday to Shan State’s Heho, where the airport is commonly used as the fly-in point for Inle Lake, another popular tourist attraction.

When National League for Democracy (NLD) chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest for nearly two decades under Burma’s former military junta, Bono dedicated the band’s 2002 Grammy Award-winning song “Walk On” to the pro-democracy leader.

In an interview with ITV News in 2012, Bono said he was “very, very moved” to meet Suu Kyi, referring to when he met the face of Burma’s pro-democracy movement in Dublin to award her Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, also in 2012.

“Ms. Suu Kyi is enormously admired in this country, and her visit here is something which we have long hoped to see,” Bono said in the interview.

“I expressed the warm welcome and admiration which is felt for her in this country. I wished Daw Suu Kyi every success with her Irish visit and her ongoing important work on behalf of the Burmese people, which enjoys the full support of the Irish people.”

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Edge Says U2’s Next LP Is Coming Soon, Sounds Like ‘Zooropa’

After U2 released 2014’s Songs of Innocence, they promised that the record’s companion album, Songs of Experience, would drop soon. Now, in a new interview with Q magazine (via DIY), guitarist the Edge has confirmed that U2 is in fact completing the William Blake-inspired Experience during the downtime between legs of their Innocence + Experience tour.

The Edge also compared the recording process to how they made their 1993 album, Zooropa, adding that its producer Brian Eno “would love to see us making albums a bit more like that. Where we go, ‘You know what? We’re not going to second-guess any of this. Let’s just go for it.’ I think there’s a quality you get when there’s a certain momentum to the process.”

Bono also noted that his 2014 bike accident had a lot to do with getting Experience out the door in a timely manner: “The gift of it was that I had time to write while in the mentality that you get to at the end of an album. There is a reason why all the great groups made their best albums while in and around touring, because the ideas have to come out of your head.”