Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Bono's words [RED video]

New U2 Song to Debut During Super Bowl

U2's new song, "Invisible," will premiere during this year's Super Bowl in a commercial that will launch the band's new partnership with (RED) and Bank of America. The new agreement will reportedly raise over $10 million to fight AIDS.
After its debut, "Invisible" will be available on iTunes as a free download during the game and for the next 24 hours. Bank of America will donate $1 for each download of the song (up to $2 million) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – a service that provides treatment, medicine and prevention services to the populations of the world's poorest countries. Currently, one of the primary goals of (RED) – which U2 frontman Bono cofounded in 2006 with Bobby Shriver – and the Global Fund is to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.
Thanks to the extra proceeds from Bank of America, (RED) is expected to surpass a quarter-billion dollars raised for the Global Fund. In a statement, Bono said that Bank of America's commitment to donate $10 million spurred further donations from the Gates Foundation, SAP and Africa's Motsepe Family totaling $22 million.
The upcoming Super Bowl spot also lines up with U2's previously reported plan to announce a new album, which should see release sometime this spring. The band has been recording the follow-up to 2009's No Line on the Horizon with Danger Mouse at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. U2 will also be Jimmy Fallon's first musical guest when he debuts as the new host of The Tonight Show on February 17th.
Despite the long wait between albums, U2 teased fans with a new track this year, "Ordinary Love," which appeared in the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and was released as a 10-inch vinyl single as part of Record Store Day's "Back to Black Friday" event. The song recently won the Golden Globe for Best Original song and picked up an Oscar nomination in the same category as well.

Friday, January 24, 2014

U2.COM : Invisible - Free For (RED)

The band have given a new track, 'Invisible', to (RED) for a free download on iTunes next week - for 24 hours only. 

The song, produced by Danger Mouse and mixed by Tom Elmhirst, launches a partnership with (RED) and Bank of America to fight AIDS

Every time the track is downloaded, anywhere in the world, a $1 donation will be made to (RED) by Bank of America - up to a total of $2m. All the funds will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

'Invisible' will be available on iTunes for 24hours from Feb 2nd - 'Super Bowl Sunday'. A commercial during the Super Bowl will feature the band performing the track, from a forthcoming video directed by Mark Romanek. 

Since Bono and Bobby Shriver founded (RED) in 2006, to engage business in the fight against AIDS, it's generated more than $240 million for the Global Fund. (RED) and its partners – from Bank of America, to Starbucks, Apple and others – are working to end mother-to-child transmission of the deadly HIV virus by 2015, in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals

More in the FT here.

(RED), Bank of America and U2 team up to fight AIDS

Big news: (RED) & Bank of America partnership will deliver more than $10 million to fight AIDS. Kicks off with free download of U2 song “Invisible” debuting during Super Bowl 2014.
What a way to kick off 2014! Bank of America today joins the fight against AIDS and our partnership will generate more than $10 million to fight AIDS over the next two years.
The partnership kicks off with a commercial during the Super Bowl 2014 on 2/2 that features U2 performing “Invisible.” The song will be available as a limited edition release on iTunes for free download during the game and for the following 24 hours until 11.59pm ET on February 3rd. After that it disappears! For every download during that time, Bank of America will donate $1 to the Global Fund, the recipient of all (RED) monies. 100% of all (RED) monies to the Global Fund go to fund AIDS programs on the ground in Africa.
What’s more, the bank’s commitment of $10 million has resulted in the Gates Foundation, SAP and Africa’s Motsepe Family matching for a total of $22 million!
As well as raising funds to help deliver the first AIDS FREE GENERATION in over 30 years, Bank of America will be raising awareness for our goal among their customers and employees, and providing opportunities for them to take action at this critical moment in the global effort to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Bank of Americaserves one in two U.S. households with a network of approximately 5,100 retail banking offices and 16,300 ATMs, one of the most visited websites in the world, and more than 30 million online banking users and 14 million mobile users.
The clock is ticking. Now is the time to begin the end of AIDS. 
Thanks Bank of America, for joining the fight.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

U2 New Album Set For June Release And Rumoured Residency At The O2

U2 are set to unveil their new, ‘Invisible’ when they play at Super Bowl XLVII at the beginning of next month. The track will be part of their 13th studio album which is reportedly set for a June release.
Bono was quoted in Showbiz411.com talking about the forthcoming release. He said “We’re still working some things out. In the meantime, they will release a new single in the next few weeks. It’s called– and this is exclusive– “Invisible.” It’s not what you expect, it’s not your typical love song.”
It is likely that U2, who have just won a Golden Globe for their song ‘Ordinary Love’ from the movie ‘Mandela’, will embark on a world tour in order to promote their brand new work that comes after 2009′s ‘No Line on the Horizon’.
And here comes a great news for all the UK fans of the band: Gigslutz have been informed that the band have booked the O2 in London and will play there for a string of nights later this year. The news is still to be officially confirmed by the band with full tour dates yet to be announced. Keep your eyes peeled to Gigslutz for further developments.
Stay tuned!

U2.COM 'Going Somewhere'

The fortnightly music and politics magazine Hot Press was launched in Dublin in 1977, just in time to cover early Irish gigs by The Clash, The Stranglers, The Ramones and The Jam. And just in time – as it happens – to keep a keen eye on U2 from their very first live chords, as members of Feedback.

Niall Stokes has been editor from day one – and so was perfectly placed to raid the back issues to compile an unmissable collection of the earliest Hot Press reviews, articles and interviews with Dublin’s most famous local band. To run alongside those articles, he also commissioned retrospective pieces from some of the people who were there when it all started to happen for U2, many of whom have never spoken publicly about the band before. The book is called North Side Story: U2 in Dublin, 1978-1983 and published in a limited edition for subscribers to U2.com.  Brian Draper spoke to Niall Stokes.

U2.COM : Oscar Nomination

'Ordinary Love', written for Mandela:Long Walk To Freedom was among this week's nominations for Best Original Song at the 2014 Academy Awards. The band have been speaking about what a great honour it is.

"We are humbled and honoured that Ordinary Love has been nominated for an Oscar… it was a privilege to be asked to write a song for this extraordinary film, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and to help tell this extraordinary love story. We have been working for this great man since we were teenagers and for our song to be recognised in this way by the Academy is beyond our wildest teenage dreams."

The other nominations for Best Original Song are: 'Alone Yet Not Alone' from the film of the same name (music by Bruce Broughton, lyric by Dennis Spiegel);  'Happy' from Despicable Me 2 (music and lyric by Pharrell Williams); 'Let It Go' from Frozen (music and lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) and 'The Moon Song'  from Her (music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze.)

Billboard's 2014 Industry Icon: Paul McGuinness on 35 Years Guiding 'The Biggest Band in the World' (Q&A)

The following extended Q&A with U2's long-time manager Paul McGuinness is from the new issue of Billboard, which features a cover story on Howard Stern; a  MIDEM special section with Billboard's inaugural International Power Players list and 14 Things to Watch at this year's confab; a look at a day in the life of Secretly Canadian's Ben Swanson; Beats Music's marketing plan and way more. Order this special issue here. Subscribe to Billboard here. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

U2.COM : 'Best Original Song'

At the 71st Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles tonight, the band took home the award for 'Best Original Song' for 'Ordinary Love'.

All four band members accepted the award, for the song they wrote for Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom.

"This really is personal for us," said Bono. "This man turned our life upside down, right-side up, a man who refused to hate, not because he didn't have rage or anger or these things, but that he thought love would do a better job. 
"We wrote a love song because it kind of is what is extraordinary about the film — it is kind of a dysfunctional love story. That's why you should see this film. You know about the global statesman, you don't know about the man, that's why you should see this film. We're good at the dysfunctional love stories."

Also nominated for Best Original Song were Coldplay's 'Atlas' for The Hunger Games, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's 'Let It Go' from Frozen,  Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's 'Please Mr. Kennedy' from Inside Llewyn Davis and Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff's 'Sweeter Than Fiction' from One Chance.

More reaction and photos coming.


There's been some online buzz this week about what the band have been up to in LA. 

Here's the scoop.

It's all about a new song called 'Invisible', a track the band will be releasing as part of an initiative with (RED), to support the fight against AIDS.

Everybody's really excited about the song and the band have been shooting the video in LA.

That's all we can say for now... we'll keep you posted!

U2News - Collage of videos of U2 at 3rd annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME gala

Friday, January 10, 2014


U2.COM : 'Flash Of Colour'

'It was a penniless city, dull and grey. But for me, as a kid, it was David Bowie and then Johnny Lydon that gave this flash of colour...'

North Side Story
 tells the story of U2's earliest days in Dublin. Commissioned from the Hot Press team in Ireland, it covers the formative years from 1978 to 1983, from the first single, 'U23', to the live album, Under A Blood Red Sky. 

Below, in our latest edited extracts, Gavin Friday, recalls Dublin in the 1970's and how The Virgin Prunes grew up with U2.

North Side Story is available with a 2014 U2.com subscription. At 274 pages, this heavyweight book of rare photos, original interviews, diaries, letters and profiles comes with 'North & South Of The River, Wandering In U2's Dublin', a poster-size map charting U2's Dublin. Subscription benefits also include: exclusive music (for example subscribers can now download the song 'Ordinary Love' ); a dedicated subscriber site streaming every U2 track with unique video & archived news; the opportunity to enter ticket presales if the band tour and 25% off your first purchase in our Store. 

Find out more and get your own copy of North Side Story here.  Over to Gavin Friday.
'Dublin in 1978 was a grey, dull, miserable place. It was recession all the way. But you don’t think about things like that when you’re a kid. You don’t know that this is heavy – which it was. 

As teenagers, the Northside of Dublin was primarily where we hung out. There was this invisible Berlin Wall at O’Connell Street, so Northsiders never really ventured Southside. But punk rock changed that. It created this scene where you’d have to go to show off your clothes or hang out in Advance Records on South King Street. So it was then we started going Southside – and also because gigs were happening over that side of the city.

The way I remember it, there was incredible violence in Dublin at the time. I mean, I chose to dress quite flamboyantly from an early age so the amount of beatings I got was incredible, even going down to the bus, never mind when I was in the city centre. It wasn’t just punk rockers or people like that. It was like this sort of time-bomb waiting to go off, like the younger generation had had enough of this old Ireland. It felt like this wasteland. Gangs of bootboys: they weren’t as stylish as the skinheads in their Dr. Martens and their tight jeans; these were just yobs, you know? I remember going to a U2 gig in the Baggot Inn, and this crowd that called themselves the Black Catholics came and started throwing stuff at the stage. I think Bono jumped down and went for them. But I would usually get the hidings. I can’t fight. Verbally I can set a house on fire, but it was always Bono and Guggi that defended me.

And there was no money. I’m talking about no money. To go in and see gigs there was always a toss up, ‘Will we walk in and see The Ramones and then we’ll have money to get a bottle of beer and a bag of chips – or do you get the bus?’ It was a penniless city, dull and grey but for me, as a kid, it was David Bowie and then Johnny Lydon that gave this flash of colour.  And we joined that club very quickly and then we hung out in town a lot more. 

Trinity College became a  big
 centre for us because Dik Evans, who is The Edge’s brother, was lead guitarist
 in The Virgin Prunes, and he had accommodation there. So that became like our hangout: if you missed the bus home there would be six or seven of us sleeping on the floor in Dik’s room. The Buttery in Trinity was quite a vibrant place for gigs. So Trinity was our HQ along with the Coffee Inn. That was a very big meet and greet place, it’s where everyone gathered, and it would be like six slices of bread and chips between four. That’d fill you up. 

To tell the truth, I was
 a little bit more advanced than the punks who hung out at Advance Records. A good friend of mine – ‘Tommy the bottle of milk’
 we called him – ran the Virgin Prunes fan club. We had a fan club before we even played a gig! His Dad worked in the BNI, which operated the ship route between here and England, so I used to go over on day trips to Liverpool. We’d have a shopping list for all me mates so we’d go over and come back with a load of records as well as getting cool trousers that you couldn’t get in Dublin. 

There was another quirky thing that very few people know about. At one stage, early on, U2 had a residency in this really bad hotel in Sutton Cross, and they had to do a two-hour set, where they were doing some of their new songs and some covers. And Bono used to be bolloxed and sweating and he’d say, ‘Gav, will you go up?’ and I’d do two Ramones songs, or whatever, with U2 backing me. That was the first time I got up on stage.

Now, the first gig The Virgin Prunes played was in a disco in early ‘78, and the backing band was all of U2, plus Dik and me and Guggi. There was no Strongman. No one else. And to camouflage them - I had worked in Dublin Meat Packers  - I covered their heads with this sort of sheep’s carcass netting and put white coats on them: they looked like something from Devo. We played a 22 minute version of ‘Satisfaction’, really slowly, just to provoke everyone. It was after that gig Dik joined us and we got our own bass player and drummer – and that was the real genesis of The Virgin Prunes...'

Gavin has signed a limited number of deluxe editions of his recent album 'catholic',  which is available on triple tri-coloured vinyl.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

U2's best years still to come, insists Bono

Despite the band being formed almost 40 years ago and members hitting their mid-50s, the Dublin rocker vowed the group still had the ability to forge classic songs.
"I'm humbled that in our little post-punk combo from the northside of Dublin, to think that maybe our best work might be to come, even if the odds are against us," he said.
"There's no one, no band, who has done their best work, who has been around for 30 years," said Bono, attending the Palm Springs Film Festival in California.
"That's not true for filmmakers, that's not true of a novelist, that's not true of a poet, so why should that be true of a rock 'n' roll band?"
Fans will be hoping that it is true when they buy the new album due out in April, which has been hailed as a return to U2's roots.
Bono admitted that he used song-writing to fill a void within him, and that it was a form of therapy. He said his ability to write and perform depended on what was happening in his personal life.
"Performing for me comes on like a twitch, really. I have no choice. The songwriting piece is different. It comes out in two ways: despair and attempt to put things right that have been wrong, or joy, just ebullience, you know, it's just overflowing."

AIDS: Bono thanks US for bipartisan leadership

AIDS: Bono and the Edge accepted the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Visionary Award this week on behalf of U2 with a speech on the power of activism and American bipartisan leadership in delivering more antiretroviral treatment to AIDS patients. This is the first time the award was given to someone other than a filmmaker, and Bono took the opportunity to speak about his band’s advocacy work. The following is a transcript of his entire speech, which Bono delivered at the awards gala on Saturday night. 
I guess this is an award for not shutting up and sticking to what you’re good at. This is kind of an award for being a pain in the arse, isn’t it? That’s what this is. And we do understand that people find it insufferable when artists stray out of their box, but for a lot of us in this room, that is the definition being an artist, straying out of your box.
It is worth mentioning that more people live off their imaginations in California than any other place in the world. No other geography comes close. People around here like to ask questions about the real as well as the imaginary world, and this, of course, is the start of being annoying. Demanding answers is when you upgrade to the proper pain in the arse status of the activist, although some people here have managed to do the activist thing without being annoying.
I am of course thinking of Jane Fonda. How could you not? I’m thinking of Meryl Streep in “Sophie’s Choice.” Steve McQueen has challenged intolerance his entire career. Idris Elba, Naomie Harris were activists long before they took on the giant lives of the Mandelas. Julia Roberts, before she took on “Erin Brockovich,” she was an activist and is an activist, and an extraordinary movie star, the definition of, I would say. And we’d like to pause for a minute to consider our Chairman, Tom Hanks, and his stigma-defying, game-changing role in “Philadelphia.” And what Matthew McConaughey has done again now in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Extraordinary performances.
HIV/AIDS has stolen so many lives in this country. 650,000 to be exact, and 23 million lives outside of this country. What people like Harvey Weinstein and groups like amfAR did for the domestic AIDS problem, ONE and RED and many others are trying to do for the global AIDS crisis. Our one simple belief is that where you live should not decide whether you live.
Now our leader in this campaign lost a son to the disease. His name was Nelson Mandela, the greatest activist of them all. His genius was a refusal to hate, not because he hadn’t experienced rage, but because he thought love would do a better job. His cleverness was to put aside tribalism and partisanship, the kind of partisanship, I think you’ll agree, that has betrayed this great nation and the great American idea at the heart of it, even in the last couple of years.
It’s ironic that by following an African’s example, American and European AIDS activists like ONE were successful in encouraging Democrats and Republicans here in the US to put aside their differences and work together on what is turning out to be the largest health intervention in the history of medicine. Thank you, America.
You probably don’t know this, but there are now 10 million lives in the developing world saved by antiretroviral therapy, and American taxpayers have paid for about three quarters of them. Thank you, America. 7.8 million sentient souls are alive because of AIDS drugs that the United States of America paid for, and they are not just alive, but allowed to thrive, to have healthy kids, to be alive to raise those kids, to work, to contribute to their economies. And we’re at the tipping point — amazing to be able to say this — we are actually at the tipping point if we keep up the pressure.
We are within reach of declaring the first AIDS-free generation. What a thought. What a thought for this community. And it’s down to the activism of this generation, actors, directors, producers, musicians, but also students, doctors, nurses, priests, NASCAR drivers, soccer moms, CEOs, NGOs, politicians, people who just don’t normally hang out together not just hanging out together but working together. And that’s what it takes.
Edge and myself have had our mind and our values shaped by some important books and scribes, but for us, in truth, it was movies and music that kindled that fire and put our imaginations on a course to meet you tonight. So thank you to the visionaries in this room, and you all know that a vision without a promise is just a fantasy, and we’re not interested in that. Thank you and good night.

source : http://www.one.org/

U2.COM : Special Award

Edge and Bono were guests at the Palm Springs International Film Festival over the weekend, honoured for the band's social and political work.  

With Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts among the stars on the red carpet, this was the first time the Sonny Bono Visionary Award had been awarded to artists beyond the film world. They wanted, said Festival Chair Harold Matzner,  to celebrate U2  'for their humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease and social injustice.'

Here's some highlights from the speeches, after Bono and Edge received the award from Naomie Harris and Idris Elba, stars of Mandela:Long Walk To Freedom.

'I know I can speak for the band when I say how honoured we feel to even be invited to be here tonight, let alone to be the first musicians ever to receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.'  Edge

'I understand that people find it insufferable when artists stray from their box, but for a lot of us in this room that is the definition of being an artist. It is worth mentioning that more people live off their imaginations in California than any other place in the world.' Bono

'Our simple belief is that where you live should not decide whether you live. We are within reach of declaring the first AIDS-free generation.' Bono

'Thank you to the visionaries in this room. You all know that a vision without a promise is just a fantasy and we're not interested in that.' Bono

Some 25 years ago journalist Steve Pond visited Dublin to interview the band for Rolling Stone. Steve was on hand again this weekend, speaking to Edge and Bono for The Wrap.  
'The idea of U2 writing a song for a Mandela movie could make people think they’re going to get a big political song. But “Ordinary Love” isn’t that at all.
Bono: Maybe they were thinking we should write a big anthem, a “Pride (In the Name of Love).” But we were more focused on the eros and the agape. A complicated love story, which is this film, deserves a complicated love song. And that’s kind of our specialty.  ‘Cause when things get too straight, in terms of writing a love song, we start getting embarrassed. We come from that Roy Orbison school of dark love songs.
Edge: And the great arc of the story is to see how he emerged after his captivity as this wise sage who had incredible judgement and incredible ability to forgive and to move forward into the future. A visionary....'

On Sunday the musicians joined the actors for a Q&A in the festival’s 'Talking Pictures' programme. Highlights here

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Charming" Bono jumps into wedding photoshoot

An Irish couple gained a "special momento" of their wedding day when Bono posed for pictures with them in Dalkey.

Sinead O’Sullivan and David O’Connor were just finishing up their wedding photographs when they bumped into Irish rock star Bono.
The couple were walking back from the Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey to their reception when they happened to cross paths with the "very charming" star.
Photographer Carol Ryan told Independent.ie that the couple were "a little bit stunned" to "bump into" Bono on their wedding day. "He was walking with his daughter (but) he was happy to jump into some shots".
Ryan, who is in touch with the couple, says they are "delighted" with the attention their "special momento" is getting, adding that Bono was "really nice" to the couple.