August 2010 Archives

Bono's friends in high places

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Brian Boyd, The Irish Times

BONO, AFTER a few impatient months spent recuperating from back surgery, has resumed tour duties - and is also back bending politicians' ears and arguing the case of Africa's poor and the continuing scourge of HIV and Aids on the continent.

In Russia this week for a U2 show, the now 50-year-old singer took the time to meet the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev. Bono wasn't talking rock riffs with the music-loving leader: he was making the case for Russia to write off the money owed to it by poverty-stricken African countries, and explaining how 40 US cents a day could eliminate the transfer of HIV from mother to child by 2015.

Bono's humanitarian and advocacy work on behalf of the African continent has seen him nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and awarded a knighthood in the British honours list. "Believe me, I know how absurd it is to have a rock star talk about the World Health Organisation or debt relief or HIV/Aids in Africa," he has said of his time strolling the corridors of power in his leather jacket and sunglasses.

NASA video of the U2 360 Tour

WASHINGTON, PRNewswire-USNewswire -- NASA and U2 released a commemorative video highlighting a year's worth of collaboration in space and on the Irish rock band's 360 Degree tour.

U2 approached NASA in 2009 with an idea to include a dialogue between the band and the crew of the International Space Station during U2's world tour. The astronauts of Expedition 20, the crew then living aboard the space station, agreed to participate and spoke with U2 several times before recording a video segment the band incorporated into its concerts.

The space station crew members were Michael Barratt of NASA, Frank De Winne of the European Space Agency, Bob Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency, Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Gennady Padalka and Roman Romanenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Luke Harding, The Guardian

It had seemed like a relationship that was destined to be long and even meaningful, but now it appears to have gone wrong very quickly.

Against a balmy Black Sea backdrop, U2's frontman, Bono, and Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, had swapped views on poverty, ecology and music on Tuesday. Bono even made fun of Medvedev's devotion to Deep Purple. "I come here to cross the great divide between me, a Led Zeppelin fan and you, the Deep Purple fan," Bono joked, strolling next to Russia's leader at his summer residence.

A day later, U2's first concert in Russia ended in political controversy.

The Moscow authorities took a dim view when activists from Amnesty and Greenpeace put up tents at the concert venue and invited fans to sign petitions. Officials detained five Amnesty volunteers hours before the show started and ordered others to remove their Amnesty T-shirts and to tear down their headquarters.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Rights group Amnesty said five of its activists were detained while distributing flyers at a U2 concert in Moscow on Wednesday, which ended with a celebrated Kremlin critic joining the Irish rock stars on stage.

Police detained the five volunteers who were distributing leaflets and displaying banners for holding an unsanctioned protest at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, the head of Amnesty International in Russia Sergei Nikitin told the Interfax news agency.

"I am very sorry about what happened ... it overshadowed the concert," Nikitin said. He said the activists were later released without charge. Interfax quoted an unnamed police official as saying two activists were detained.

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Russia (Reuters Life!) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev welcomed U2 frontman Bono to tea on Tuesday ahead of the group's first ever Russian concert, and the Irish musician asked for Russia's help in fighting AIDS.

"Taking care of people is not just what politicians do," self-proclaimed rock music lover Medvedev told Bono, adding that U2's music has united generations of people.

Their meeting on the sun-drenched veranda of Medvedev's summer residence on the Black Sea comes a day before U2 take to the Moscow stage for their first ever performance in Russia.

Earlier this month in Italy, U2 resumed their 360 Degree Tour following a two-month absence while Bono recovered from a back injury.

Pride....GONE COUNTRY?

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Well I like to not do the traditional posts that you will find on every site everywhere. I like to include what other musicians out there are doing as well..but this being a U2 fan site...obviously I must make it U2 based. So here you go. Another artist remade recently Pride (In the name of love). I am not a country fan. I went through the line dancing country phase of course. I do like this artist though. Dierks Bently. If you are a country fan I am sure you have heard of him. So here is the track...enjoy.

Hope everyone is doing well.
angela

U2's manager: how to save the music industry

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By Neil McCormick, The Telegraph UK

Bono's back. And so am I.

I've been on holiday and so (no doubt to the dismay of my personal Twitter parodist) missed the return of U2 to live action. I gather all is going well and that Bono's back problems have been sorted out: "rebuilt by German engineering" as the man himself said. Apparently his doctor told him he would "run further and faster in the future." Vorsprung Durch Technik and all that. I still say they could have saved a lot of money, disruption and heartache with the simple deployment of an ergonomic stool. It worked for Val Doonican.

Anyway, enough about the man who stands at the front of the U2 juggernaut. In the new issue of GQ, we hear from the man who stands behind it. Manager Paul McGuinness has written a fascinating article: How To Save The Music Industry.

How to save the music industry

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By Paul McGuinness, GQ Magazine

Even after three decades managing the world's biggest rock band, I have a lifetime hero as far from the world of U2 as you could ever get. He was a feisty 19th-century composer of light orchestral music. His name was Ernest Bourget.

It was Bourget who in 1847, while enjoying a meal in a Paris restaurant, suddenly heard the orchestra playing one of his own compositions. He was startled - of course he had not been paid or asked permission for this. So he resolved the problem himself: he walked out of the restaurant without paying his bill.

Bourget's action was a milestone in the history of copyright law. The legal wrangling that followed led to the establishment of the first revenue-collection system for composers and musicians. The modern music industry has a lot to thank him for.

Bono Takes Up Cigarettes Again

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Bono admits he's started smoking cigarettes due to his back surgery. The rock legend blames his painful, often boring back surgery. Can Bono quit again?

Bono has restored his health since his recent back surgery that had him out of the music world for over two months. The U2 frontman missed out on their North American tour and Glastonbury Festival, but he's back and ready to rock.

'That's in the past now and I'm very much fit for the future. This band is like a family. I am the prodigal son. I would like to thank my brothers for their patience.'

With so much time on his hands, Bono not only took up smoking, but took time to write and enjoy delicious ice cream.

What U2 Has Taught Me About Love.

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*dusts off cobwebs*

Awfully sorry it's been so long since I've written here. Life's been pretty busy the past few months. I will make an effort to try to post a bit more often...honestly.

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By the Daily Mail

If he's not careful, hard-bitten actor and director Sean Penn will earn himself a reuptation for being a lightweight.

He celebrated his 50th birthday with a lunch in Dublin with local boy Bono but skipped out of proceedings after a mere two hours.

However, in true Irish fashion, his U2 frontman friend felt able to carry on the revelries, emerging from the restaurant an impressive six hours later.

The duo were enjoying lunch together at Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse and Grill in Dublin, ahead of the actor's landmark birthday tomorrow.

However, when Penn emerged he didn't look like he was celebrating much at all, with his head down and a scowl on his face.

Bono was a different matter though.

When the U2 frontman left it was night time and he looked a little worse for wear as he clung onto a lamp post at one point for some much needed support.

U2 Bassist Reveals Plans For New Songs

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Adam Clayton discusses the next U2 album release

by Jimmy A, TripleM Sydney

In a rare interview on U2.com, Adam Clayton, bass player for the legendary Irish rockers, has spoken about plans for new songs.

Talking backstage in Turin, Italy during rehearsals, Clayton said the band have been doing loads of recording and they have quite a few tunes in the can now they'll be wheeling out during the tour.

"We've been doing some rehearsing but mainly we've been doing recording," he said. "That was the one thing Bono was able to do during his recovery. We're gonna toss a few out into the show and see how they go down."

"If we can get four songs into the show it gives us a chance to get to know the songs and [see] how they play in front of a crowd. Then you know if you're communicating, so you can tweak them."

Opening Night Set for U2's Spider-Man Musical

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Actors replacing departed stars are announced

By Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

The Broadway musical Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark, featuring original music by U2's Bono and the Edge, will finally debut this winter, after production delays led to the departure of its two marquee stars. Producer Michael Cohl said today that preview performances start November 14th at Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre, and that opening night is scheduled for December 21st. Jennifer Damiano will fill the role of Mary Jane Watson, and Patrick Page will play both Norman Osborn and the villain Green Goblin. The actors join Reeve Carney, playing Peter Parker.

Production for Turn Off the Dark shut down in August 2009 due to "unexpected cash flow problems," ultimately bumping the musical out of its scheduled February 2010 preview run. Because of the delays and the uncertain nature of the production, both actress Evan Rachel Wood, who was to star as Mary Jane, and Alan Cumming, in the Green Goblin role, quit. Wood's replacement, Damiano, has rock-on-Broadway roots thanks to her Tony-nominated role in Next to Normal. Page, the new Green Goblin, has experience behind a mask, having played the Grinch in the Broadway musical of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

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By Ian Simpson

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - U2 frontman Bono burst back onto rock's center stage on Friday after a two-month absence for a back injury, as the Irish band resumed what its manager predicts will be the most lucrative concert tour in history.

U2 shook a packed Olympic stadium in the northern Italian city of Turin as Bono strutted, pranced, jogged and danced with little sign of being a 50-year-old rock star just 10 weeks off spinal surgery.

"I don't really know how to hold back, is the problem. You have to let the songs sing you at a certain point," Bono told Reuters just before relaunching the second leg of U2's 360 Degree Tour, so called because fans surround a giant circular platform.

U2 and Bono, who said he had done rehabilitation work for three to four hours a day, kicked off a rousing set with "Beautiful Day" and "Magnificent." They also played two new tracks called "North Star Acoustic" and "Glastonbury."

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