April 2010 Archives

Big Night for a Knight and an Ex-President

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Candid moment between Bono and John McCain
at Wednesday night's event

A Bono-fied humanitarian's in town for an award

By Barbara Harrison, NBC Washington

An honorary knight and a former president are being feted by the prestigious Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.

U2 lead singer Bono and former President Bill Clinton will take home awards tonight, and not for the interest they share in music. They are being acknowledged in the nation's capital for their distinguished work on the international stage in the interest of peace around the globe.

Bono will receive the Council's first-ever Humanitarian Leadership Award. Known worldwide for his music, Bono also has earned respect and praise for his longtime crusade against global poverty. The Queen of England tapped the Ireland native for honorary knighthood two years ago for his outstanding efforts for the world's poor and downtrodden.

Achtung Baby Front Sleeve

Achtung Baby
Front Sleeve | Purchase Album

1 U2, Achtung Baby, 1991

By Andy Battaglia; Scott Indrisek

With the middling reaction to last year's better-than-you'll-admit No Line on the Horizon, U2's chest-heaving big-box spectacle seems to be fatiguing more of pop's body politic than it's inspiring. Weirdly, this was exactly the case more than 20 years ago. After the critical and commercial sweep of Joshua Tree, the Irish conglomerate followed its bombastic muse with the ponderous 1988 docu-fiasco Rattle and Hum, which featured a Bono mot that would haunt many of us for years to come: "Okay, Edge, play the blues!" Flailing and directionless, the band retreated and reconsidered whether it was time to fold up their flag for good.

Instead, three years later they emerged with the album -- Achtung Baby, cheekily titled as a nod to German reunification -- that would energize their career and genetically engineer rock music into the hybridized mutant we know today. Initially recorded at Hansa Studios, a former SS ballroom near the reopened Berlin Wall (and later completed back home in Dublin), Achtung was an effort, stoked primarily by Bono and the Edge, to "deconstruct" the band and rewire it with jolts of beat-generated clutter and collage, nicked from industrial music, hip-hop, dance remixes, and the Madchester scene. That method almost collapsed the band -- bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr., as well as coproducer Daniel Lanois, were left bewildered and cranky.

U2 top Irish music millionaires rich list

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The Irish band and their manager have a combined wealth estimated at £429m

BBC News

U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness top the Irish Sunday Times Music Millionaires Rich List.

Their combined wealth is estimated at £429m, a rise of 1% on 2009.

In second place is Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley, with his total wealth calculated at £241m.

The paper said his fortunes have dipped by 2% in the past year because of a fall in the value of the The Lord of the Dance brand.

By Ellen Gamerman, Wall Street Journal Blog

More bad news for the Broadway musical "Spider-Man Turn off the Dark": Alan Cumming, cast as the villainous Green Goblin, now joins Evan Rachel Wood on the list of actors who have left the show citing scheduling conflicts.

Cumming said in a statement Monday night that the "Spider-Man" team could not resolve conflicts with his dates taping what has become a regular role on "The Good Wife," a CBS TV drama that shoots in New York.

Last month, Wood, cast as love interest Mary Jane, also quit the musical citing a scheduling conflict. The show, with a score by U2's Bono and the Edge and directed by Julie Taymor ("The Lion King"), originally was meant to open this season.

The future of Palm (PALM) looks bleak and U2 lead singer Bono investor in Elevation Partners may lose $460 million (€340m) on deal.

NEW YORK (Laureate BVI) -- Elevation, a private equity firm that includes U2 lead singer Bono among its partners, has made three more investments in Palm since its initial deal, buying common stock, convertible preferred shares and warrants worth about $460 million (€340m).

Elevation, which now controls roughly 30 percent of Palm, has stood by the smartphone maker, even as other shareholders bailed and analysts warned its days as an independent company may be numbered.

Palm's future has not looked good since the launch of the iPhone. But after reporting worse than expected results for the third quarter last week Thursday, some analysts think the company's stock is now essentially worthless. Three analysts even lowered their price targets to $0.

Bono's Top Tips To Being A Frontman

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He's been U2's sunglasses-sporting chairman of the board for 35 years. If anyone knows what this front man lark is all about, it's him.

Q Magazine

Words: Bono

1. Front is important but so is back. Get the right people to watch yours -- band, missus, management, your mates.

2. Lie about your height, even if you're 5'10" like me.

3. Don't imagine the audience doesn't know who you really are -- they really do...in a very intimate way. You live in their ear after all, just next door to the brain, down the hall to the bedroom of their heart. Especially if they sleep with earphones. Very, very intimate. They have heard the sound of your spirit snap and stretch. (Truth is, you probably don't know who you are.)

Africa Reboots

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By BONO, NY Times Op-Ed Guest Columnist

I SPENT March with a delegation of activists, entrepreneurs and policy wonks roaming western, southern and eastern Africa trying very hard to listen -- always hard for a big-mouthed Irishman. With duct tape over my gob, I was able to pick up some interesting melody lines everywhere from palace to pavement ...

Despite the almost deafening roar of excitement about Africa's hosting of soccer's World Cup this summer, we managed to hear a surprising thing. Harmony ... flowing from two sides that in the past have often been discordant: Africa's emerging entrepreneurial class and its civil-society activists.

It's no secret that lefty campaigners can be cranky about business elites. And the suspicion is mutual. Worldwide. Civil society as a rule sees business as, well, a little uncivil. Business tends to see activists as, well, a little too active. But in Africa, at least from what I've just seen, this is starting to change. The energy of these opposing forces coming together is filling offices, boardrooms and bars. The reason is that both these groups -- the private sector and civil society -- see poor governance as the biggest obstacle they face. So they are working together on redefining the rules of the African game.

by Chris Mugan, Spinner

U2's frontman Bono looks set to make a mint from the sale of troubled smart phone maker Palm.

Bono's private equity company Elevation Partners is a major investor in the company currently seeking buyers. In December 2008, Elevation bought $100 million (£64.8 million) of Palm shares at $3.24 (£2.10) a pop to take its stake up to 41 per cent. These investments jumped up 32 percent in value last week to $5.16 (£3.34) a share.

Palm originally made PDA devices and recently launched the Pre and Pixi smartphones, as rivals to the iPhone. While the handsets received critical acclaim, sales have failed to match expectations. Palm has posted losses for the last 11 financial quarters, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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by Brandon DuHamel, Blu-rayDefinition

International supergroup U2 have officially announced on their website U2.com that they will be releasing their U2360° at the Rose Bowl concert on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on June 7 2010 and the US on June 3, 2010 through Mercury Records.

Captured live in front of 97,000 fans at Pasadena's Rose Bowl in 2009 in support of their tour for the Grammy-nominated album No Line on the Horizon, the full-HD production utilized 27 HD cameras and was directed by Tom Krueger who had previously worked on U23D, the first live action 3D concert movie taken from U2's Vertigo Tour.

The release will be available in four different iterations:

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