October 2014 Archives

From the Edge's views on the future of rock to the making of their new album, here's the best of what didn't fit in their cover story

by Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

What's left to learn about U2 in 2014? Plenty, as it turns out - especially if you get a few days worth of intimate access to the band in three different countries. Here's the best of what didn't fit into the cover story, from the making of the new album to the secrets of Adam Clayton's jewelry.

It's not unimaginable that U2 could still be around when the band members are in their 70s.
"I don't know - if we're writing songs as good as these ones," says Bono. "I mean, I saw Leonard Cohen play Dublin, and he said, "The last time I was out on the road, I was 60. Just a kid with a crazy dream!'" Adds Adam Clayton, "When you're working up to 50, you think, 'Oh, maybe there will be some time where we can kick back and it can be slower, and we can enjoy life a bit.' And then when you kind of cross over the 50 mark, your thinking kind of goes, 'Oh, why would you want to stop? This is actually the best bit. We're really enjoying this, let's keep going.' And that's kind of odd, but I guess there's a reason why people like Paul McCartney and Elton John are still playing shows and making records."

A former personal assistant to U2 star Adam Clayton has lost an appeal against her conviction for stealing more than 2.8m euros (£2.2m) from the guitarist.

BBC News

In 2012, Carol Hawkins was found guilty of 181 counts of theft from his bank accounts. The judge said she had used the money to fund a "lavish lifestyle"

The expensive items she bought included 22 racehorses and a New York apartment.

The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the conviction. It has still to rule on the severity of her jail term.

Bono also talks about how discouraged he is with Australian PM Tony Abbott for not sending relief workers to West Africa to stop the Ebola outbreak.


U2's Bono and the Edge chat to Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy about coming home to Dublin and songwriting. They also perform The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) and Every Breaking Wave.

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They're the biggest band on Earth, but for U2 that's not enough

by Rolling Stone

U2, the biggest band left on Earth, make their latest appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone in our new issue, hitting stands Friday. In the cover feature, senior writer Brian Hiatt trails the band to Dublin and the French Riviera, where he shares pints of Guinness and a long, boozy dinner with Bono; watches an intimate full-band rehearsal in a Monaco basement; and hangs out in Bono and the Edge's oceanfront houses. At our cover shoot, photographer Mark Seliger captured a stunning video of Bono and the Edge playing "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" acoustic, with Bono pounding out drum parts on Edge's guitar:

The band is highly aware of what Bono calls the "shitstorm" over the iTunes giveaway of their new album, Songs of Innocence. Bono says he didn't understand that the album would automatically download itself onto some people's phones. "It's like we put a bottle of milk in people's fridge that they weren't asking for," he says. "It is a gross invasion!" He smiles. "But it was kind of an accident. The milk was supposed to be in the cloud. It was supposed to be on the front doorstep."

U2 made history in its very first appearance on Later With... Jools Holland on BBC 2 TV in London, England earlier today. The band performed 3 new songs: Volcano, Every Breaking Wave and California (There Is No End to Love). Below are the videos for Volcano and Every Breaking Wave.

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Couple claim they suffered significant loss due to alleged unsuitable investment advice

by Mary Carolan, Irish Times

U2 drummer Larry Mullen and his partner have sued their former accountants claiming they have suffered significant loss of more than €11 million due to alleged unsuitable investment advice.

The alleged advice related, among other matters, to a €3 million investment in a 'European hotel fund' and a €4.5 million loan for an investment in Romania, it is claimed.

In addition to at least €7 million investment losses, the couple claim they have incurred further significant liabilities related to loans issued in connection with the investments and bank funding costs.

The case relates to agreements dating from late 2000 under which Mr Mullen and his partner Ann Acheson allege they retained Gaby Smyth and Company accountants and/or Gaby Smyth as a sole trader in relation to their financial, taxation and investment affairs.

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In case you missed it, all four members of U2 recorded an acoustic live session on Jo Whiley's BBC Radio 2 Show at Maida Vale in London on October 15. The band was also interviewed by Jo Whiley. Listen to U2 performing "The Miracle", "Every Breaking Wave", "Cedarwood Road", "Song for Someone" and "Stuck in a Moment":


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U2 frontman says his trademark dark glasses are due to chronic ocular condition that can make eyes more sensitive to light

by Hannah Ellis-Petersen, The Guardian

For two decades his insistence on wearing sunglasses, even when indoors, has been seen simply as part of his rockstar image.

But Bono, 54, has revealed that his trademark shades are instead there to alleviate difficulties caused by a chronic eye condition.

Speaking on BBC1's Graham Norton show, the U2 frontman explained that for the past 20 years he has had glaucoma, a condition that can make eyes more sensitive to light.

Asked by Norton whether he ever removes his shades, Bono replied: "This is a good place to explain to people that I've had glaucoma for the last 20 years. I have good treatments and I am going to be fine."

Interviewed earlier today (October 16, 2014) on the Lauren Laverne's radio show on BBC Radio 6. The full 20 minute audio interview is presented below.

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Lead issues video apology for marketing stunt at September Apple launch in which new album was given to 500 million users

by Robert Booth, The Guardian

For a global rock band that has sold more than 150m records worldwide, won 22 Grammy awards and has a frontman whose ego is as big as the stadiums they sell out, U2's explanation for why gave away their latest album to half a billion iTunes users seems unlikely: they were worried that otherwise no one would listen.

The Irish band's lead singer, Bono, has issued a contrite video apology for last month's marketing stunt which angered thousands of users of the music software who found that regardless of their tastes they woke up one day to find U2's album Songs of Innocence had appeared on their phones or iPods. U2 worked with Apple to ensure the album, which received a lukewarm critical reception in some quarters, was given away to an estimated 500 million iTunes account holders as part of the promotional exercise that went along with the launch of the California tech giant's latest phone.

Bono apologised in response to a question from a Facebook user named Harriet Madeline Jobson in a question-and-answer session on the social network site which had been billed as a celebration of the launch of the band's 13th studio album of a 34-year career. She asked: "Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples' playlists ever again? It's really rude."

Post by U2.

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Former Stooges frontman's John Peel lecture also takes aim at free downloaders and music industry executives

by John Plunkett, The Guardian

Iggy Pop has criticised U2 over their controversial tie-up with Apple in the course of a broadside against the record industry that also saw him lambast music executives and people who download songs for free.

The "godfather of punk", delivering the fourth annual John Peel lecture at the Radio Festival in Salford on Monday, said the music industry was now "laughably, maybe, almost entirely pirate" and said electronic devices had "estranged people from their morals, making it easier to steal music than to pay for it".

But he reserved some of his toughest criticism for Irish band U2, who prompted howls of protest when they gave away their latest album as a free download for iTunes users as part of Apple's launch of its new iPhones and Apple watch.

"The people who don't want the free U2 download are trying to say, 'Don't try to force me,' and they've got a point," said Pop at the event, hosted by 6 Music's Lauren Laverne, on Monday night. "Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it's kind of an anointing, you are giving that person love.

A gallery from our U2 Station Facebook page:

© 2004-2014 Blogo.it

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U2 singer wades into row over Apple and Irish state aid - and says that capitalism and commerce play a vital role in lifting people out of poverty

by Rupert Neate and Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian/The Observer

From stadium-packing rock star to champion of the impoverished, Bono has fronted a band and causes that have endeared him to millions. But the U2 frontman is likely to alienate more people than he wins over with his latest rallying cry: backing Ireland's corporate tax regime.

In an interview with the Observer, the Irish singer says his country's controversial policies - which help multinational companies avoid billions in tax - have "brought our country the only prosperity we've known".

The 54-year-old says that Ireland's economy is dependent on attracting multinational companies - including Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon - with tax avoidance strategies, including a loophole dubbed the "Double Irish", the use of two Irish companies to lower the effective tax rate.

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Bono and Ali Hewson at George Clooney's
wedding in Venice, Italy, Sept. 27, 2014

by Independent.ie

The U2 frontman has been married to Ali Hewson for 32 years and they have four children together. But the 54-year-old musician admits she still keeps him on his toes.

"When we're leaving for tour, my family is in very good humour which is a real worry because I'm thinking, 'Can't you cry?' My missus has been playing hard to get for quite a while now and she's an elusive character," he revealed to British newspaper The Sun.

"She's not easy to get to know and other people's praise holds not much sway for her. She's a very independent, smart kind of girl, who, I think, sees me as a figure of amusement. Most of the time, I enjoy her company."

Bono and his bandmates - The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. - are used to travelling the world to perform their hits for fans. Amid this, the Beautiful Day singer keeps himself grounded by making sure he's in regular contact with his inner circle.

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'Songs of Innocence,' the band's latest release delivered for free, is firmly entrenched with 26 million customers downloading the set in its entirety.

by Shirley Halperin and Andrew Hampp, Billboard

U2 has gone from setting records to breaking them and, with the band's game-changing Apple partnership, simply defying all imaginable expectations.

So how did the album Songs of Innocence fare after being made available to 500 million people around the world as a free download on iTunes? No surprise here, scale pays off.

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of internet software and services, tells Billboard that U2's Songs of Innocence has racked up a staggering 26 million complete downloads since its Sept. 9 release as a free download exclusively to Apple's 500 million global iTunes customers. In total, Cue adds, over 81 million Apple customers experienced songs from Innocence, a global figure that includes plays and streams through iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music. "To help put this into perspective," he says, "prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."

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by Ann Powers, NPR

The last short story Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote is about being seriously ridiculous. In "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man," an intellectual prone to existentialist despair is saved from suicide when, in a vision, he discovers a parallel planet where humanity has never sinned. "It was like being in love with each other, but an all-embracing, universal feeling," he tells the reader. This contact with Eden reinvigorates him, but then, during a playful moment, he teaches the planet's innocents how to deceive each other -- and this leads to a catastrophic, Biblical fall. By the time the man awakens, his Eden has become just like Earth, full of violence, crime and war. It's the world he once thought was meaningless. And still, the man finds himself redeemed. He stands on a corner, preaching the essential goodness of humanity, despite his knowledge of the equally omnipresent potential for corruption. He's a rube for being optimistic, and he knows it. But he declares at the story's end, "I shall go on and on!"

The serious ridiculousness expressed in that conclusion differs from the unthinking kind that entangles people every day. Ordinary ridiculousness comes from not being aware -- from either simply not thinking about bad or excessive choices, or from embracing blind faith in the self, a God or a system. A seriously ridiculous person is clear-eyed. She knows that idealism is a fool's game to begin with, and that every conviction carries the risk of closed-mindedness. But she takes on belief as a practice, a way of being around others that seeks common ground. The ridiculous man or woman has found a way to connect things within life's inevitably broken landscape. It's an act of reaching out that can never be fully fulfilled, but which changes things in the moment, which is all we really have.

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The Irish band will be joined by Interpol, Zola Jesus and Sam Smith on the BBC Two programme

by Leonie Cooper, NME

U2 are set to appear on Later... with Jools Holland.

The band will be playing songs from their recently released 13th album, 'Songs Of Innocence', on the BBC Two show later this month, with the show set for broadcast on Tuesday October 21 at 10pm and Friday October 24 at 11.05pm. Sam Smith, Interpol and Zola Jesus will also appear on the long-running live music programme.

Meanwhile, U2's bassist Adam Clayton recently said that the band have finished '70 per cent' of their next album. Speaking to Q, Clayton said that they have already got over half of the material together for the follow-up to 'Songs of Innocence'. Their next album will be their 14th and is set to be titled 'Songs of Experience'.

He commented: "I think we've probably got 70 per cent of the material that we think will go onto it. The 30 per cent that we're missing I think we'll be able to generate relatively easily. But the amount of energy it will take to refine the perspective of those songs is hard to predict."


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A new album has divided opinion and now U2 - the ultimate stadium act - are downsizing to arenas. Have they lost their pulling power

by Ed Power, Irish Independent

What's going on with U2? The band have just crawled free of the controversy over their 'freebie' album, Songs Of Innocence, and its opinion-dividing overnight appearance in the iTunes folders of 700 million people (a chunk of whom turned out not to want a giveaway U2 record, thank you very much). Now Bono and the Edge have let it slip that, when the group tour next year, they won't be taking in their traditional stadium stomping grounds. Instead, they are to step down to smaller venues, such as Dublin's 14,000 capacity 3Arena.

This is quite downsizing for an outfit who have always placed great store in being as big as possible. Granted, only an artist at Bono's level could describe a vast shed such as 3Arena as "intimate".

Nonetheless, compared with the cloud-scraping buttresses of Croke Park, where U2 pitched up for three nights during 2009's 360° tour, 3Arena and its ilk will make for spectacularly modest backdrops. Indeed, for many, the idea of experiencing U2 at close quarters may feel ridiculous, even surreal.

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The music heavyweights made headlines for offering their albums as downloads - but is anyone actually listening?

by Myf Warhurst, The Guardian

It has been a big couple of weeks for music lovers. The trouble began with U2 turning up uninvited and gatecrashing the party in our private iTunes collections, gifting us their new album for free.

This little bit of electronic shazammery caused a terrific stir, and after much kerfuffle, iTunes backtracked and released a special program that would take the album away for those disgruntled by the dump. Think of it as a post-party iTunes carpet clean to get rid of any unwelcome stains and odour left by Bono and the lads.

Then, without notice, Radiohead's Thom Yorke dropped a solo album via BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing service usually associated with illegal downloading. What Yorke's gone and done by offering his album for $6 on such a service is a little like selling a legal, official DVD at a market among the illegal movies for sale that are always shakily filmed on some bloke's camera phone. It's an interesting move and one that may help establish a new power player in the cut-throat world of music distribution.

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Drummer admires the Irish band for their 'attempt to reinvent the wheel'

by NME News Desk

Lars Ulrich of Metallica has spoken out in favour of U2's recent decision to distribute their latest album, 'Songs Of Innocence', as an automatic and free iTunes download.

Speaking to Billboard, Ulrich stated that U2's iTunes stunt had inspired him 'immensely' and praised the band for their "attempt to reinvent the wheel".

On the subject of the album's unique release method, Ulrich said: "It's 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded. To me, it's not about whether the endeavour is a success or not. It's the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at us."

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Band makes 'Songs of Innocence' available for purchase right before eligibility cutoff date

by Jason Newman, Rolling Stone

After U2, Interscope Records and Apple made the band's latest album Songs of Innocence available for free to 500 million iTunes customers, a spokesperson for the Grammys said that the group would not be eligible for the next Grammy Awards due to the album being unavailable for purchase before the September 30th cutoff.

With that deadline quickly approaching, U2 have sent a limited number of vinyl copies of Innocence to retailers that will be available to buy on Tuesday's cutoff date, a source close to the situation tells Rolling Stone.

A spokesperson for the Grammys tells Rolling Stone that once the record is available on Tuesday, the band will be eligible for the upcoming 57th Annual Grammy Awards on February 8th, 2015. "As long as the album, be it CD, vinyl or digital, is available commercially for sale to the public by our eligibility cutoff date at a nationally recognized retailer or website, then it's eligible for consideration," the spokesperson says.

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