October 2005 Archives

I Get The Picture

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View over 40 exclusive pictures from the show

By Jonathan Wayne -- U2Station.com

One minute past nine o'clock, I fumble for my digital camera and frantically look around me in a momentary state of vertigo. I gaze 10 o'clock and see the extraterrestrial, Edge, hovering around on the left corner of the stage, picking the beginning of that fantastic opening song called City of Blinding Lights, but I don't see Bono. The next moment, red light comes streaming down from the roof and all of these other directions, like from a UFO, crisscrossing right into my face. I'm standing in the photo pit at a U2 Vertigo concert in Pittsburgh, PA, on a chilly and rainy October evening, awaiting for the show to start. Suddenly, I see a short figure dressed in black standing literally right in front of me (or maybe its 30 seconds later), and there I am trying to keep my digital camera from not magnetically wobbling in my hands. Streams of confetti are floating down from the dome-shaped roof onto my face and Bono has his head turned skyward, 47 inches from where I am standing. I look around me trying to get my bearings, hesitant in taking the first of hundreds of pictures. A couple of photojournalists scurry past me and I try to keep my sign in one place. I am the only person with a photo pass who actually has a ticket to the concert this evening. I even bring a slightly vain sign I've made that I am hoping to hold up in my brief stay in the photo pit next to the stage, but my first instinct is to snap that picture. SNAP.

Those first few moments when Bono magically materializes on the walkway like some alien and stands like a statue right in front of me is a moment suspended in time. FREEZE.

Bush, Bono Have Lunch at the White House

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In town for a concert, U2 rock star Bono was invited to lunch Wednesday with the president. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the meeting at the executive residence would be a follow-up on talks he had with President Bush in July at the G-8 summit in Scotland.

"They had a very good discussion about some of our common priorities," McClellan said. "Both share a deep commitment to combating AIDS, preventing malaria and expanding trade to lift people out of poverty."

McClellan said Bono also planned to meet with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley later in the day, before U2's concert at the MCI Center. The spokesman laughingly told reporters that Mr. Bush was not planning to attend the concert.

Bono and Bob Geldof, the organizer of the Live 8 concerts, met in July with Mr. Bush - along with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin -- to try to bolster support for African aid.

Blair wanted agreement to double aid for Africa to $50 billion by 2010 and for the G-8 nations to further commit to a target of providing foreign aid equal to 0.7 percent of their economy.

At that time, Bono told reporters, "We had some very tough meetings here today, some risks being taken on both sides. It is equally unhip, it turns out, for the politicians to be hanging out with us as it is for us to be hanging out with them."

Bono Unhappy With Santorum, Clinton

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WASHINGTON -- U2's Bono says he is not involved in efforts by U.S. lawmakers to use his band's concerts to raise campaign money.

Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and other politicians have scheduled fundraising events in private suites during shows for U2's North American Vertigo tour, which runs through the end of December.

Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA, an Africa advocacy group that Bono helped found, said in a message posted on the band's Web site: ``Neither DATA nor Bono are involved in these (fundraisers), and they cannot be controlled. The U2 concerts are categorically not fundraisers for any politician; they are rock concerts for U2 fans.''

Another DATA spokesman said Bono was speaking for himself and not for the rest of the Irish rock band.

Bono is a dedicated lobbyist for the world's poor and AIDS-stricken.

Santorum's press secretary, Robert Traynham, said Thursday that the decision by the Senate's third-ranking Republican to hold a fundraiser during Sunday's Philadelphia show is based on his ``deep respect and admiration for Bono and their work together over the last few years to fight the global spread of HIV-AIDS.''

Traynham said Santorum's office has not spoken with Bono about his position, but it is routine for elected officials to host such fundraisers at sporting and cultural events.

Bono Hits All the Right Notes

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By Amey Stone

A crowd about 50 students was waiting eagerly near the entrance of New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts the evening of Oct. 5, when a shiny black SUV pulled up. Out stepped Bono, the lead singer of rock band U2 and arguably the world's most accomplished celebrity advocate for the poor, sick, and hungry.

Dubbed "the statesman" in a hagiographic New York Times Magazine cover story in September, Bono is rumored to be on the short-list to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced Oct. 7.

Wearing a tan cowboy hat and his customary black jeans and tinted sunglasses, the rock star was greeted with cheers. He graciously took a few minutes to joke with the crowd and sign autographs. Fans attempted to scale the building's walls to catch a glimpse of the short, smiling Irishman before security ushered him inside. College students eager to snare tickets asked every passerby if there was one to spare -- a hallmark of any U2 concert.

"WARM-UP ACT." Only this wasn't a rock concert. It was an economics lecture. And Bono wasn't even the main attraction. He was invited merely to introduce global poverty-fighter and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, who was night's main attraction.

Conan to Turn Entire Show Over to U2

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NEW YORK (AP) - In his 12 years in charge of booking musical guests on Conan O'Brien's "Late Night," Jim Pitt always listed U2 and Johnny Cash as the dream artists he'd tried but never succeeded in getting.

He lost his chance with the late Cash, but the U2 dream is coming true Thursday in a major way.

O'Brien will turn over his entire show to the band, which is in New York for seven sold-out engagements at Madison Square Garden.

"We were able to offer them something to feel enough like an event for them to do the show," Pitt said. "It's basically 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien,' the U2 edition."

The NBC show has never before devoted itself entirely to a musical guest, although it gave major time a few years back to a holiday appearance by bandleader Max Weinberg's other employer, Bruce Springsteen.

O'Brien's a big U2 fan, and made a personal connection by talking at length with Bono during breaks in rehearsals for the band's "Saturday Night Live" appearance last season, Pitt said.

It may be a nervous time for Bono, who is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in trying to ease Third World poverty. People who watch the Nobel closely list the lead singer as one of the favorites. The winner is expected to be named Friday.

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