Bono and co. But this isn't really the truth at all. It may be motivated by religious impulses but their faith is one of money and free market capitalism. I don't believe in free music. Music is a sacrament. And Bono feels that this is not something that should be given for free: that there should be a hefty price tag attached to it. No doubt, all of this will be too tenuous for some.
I had a good time in good company and I heard some music I really enjoyed. However, there was one point in the show that made me so angry that I developed a migraine which I found hard to shake off.
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Not the fault of anyone in the studio I hasten to add. The source of the stress was having to listen to the new U2 single.
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The band had launched the song 'Invisible' in partnership with Bono's charity RED and the Bank Of America during the Super Bowl and for the first hour of release it was available as a free download. So let's be absolutely clear about this - lives will have been saved by this initiative and the lives of many more besides will have been improved. Which I guess should have made everyone - bar the most bitter and removed from reality - very happy. Except I wasn't; I was spitting blood.
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The anger wasn't caused by how appalling the song was, although the terrible quality didn't help. A lot of their early post-punkish and mid-period post modern rock is intrinsically great - even if it becomes harder and harder to like it with every passing year because of their narrow shouldered, shivering cretin of a singer. The band claimed 'Invisible' was like a mix of Kraftwerk and Ramones but really it was just more of the same, hedge-betting, song-writing by focus group they had been employing for the last 15 years, which rendered it more like a mix of Coldplay and MGMT.
It achieved the double-whammy of being utterly contemptible while playing and then utterly forgettable immediately after it finished. It featured the nauseating line: "There is no Hell, there is only us. This song was stunningly inane even by their own standards and it's not like they set the bar particularly high over the last twenty years.
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But of course Bono isn't any kind of socialist that I recognise - he's more like Smaug the Dragon with a mullet and two grand wrap around shades sitting on a giant mountain of gold, dressed like Che Guevara, talking about "us" and making peace signs any time someone gets out a camera.
But what is the 'us' that he's singing about? There is no 'us' when it comes to you and me and the rest of the plebs and Bono. Like anyone reading this who makes some or all of their money by freelance work, a few months ago I completed my taxes. Even though the figure I owed was hardly astronomical, I still felt sick to the pit of my stomach when thinking about how I would cover this debt and make my mortgage payments for the following few months.
And now that it's paid, I have to start saving up for next year's bill. This is one particular boat that Bono is not in though. For 20 years the band used s tax exemption laws for bands but when this was capped at quarter of a million, the band 'offshored' its main money making business - the publishing arm of the U2 empire - to a "special financial unit" in the Netherlands in But the U2 carried on and ended up playing a full set.
It was really funny, there were some brilliant bits. It was probably the best show on the tour. We came up with the idea of walking down to the stage from the top of the arena while the intro music was playing. We had not realised how difficult it was to walk down the steps of an arena with only a spotlight to light the way, especially Nigel Twist who had to do it in his dark glasses, we were trippng and stumbling and it took a lot longer than we imagined. We also had not allowed for the fact that we had to walk behind the stage to get on stage and by the time we got there the audience were slow hand clapping us.
When we came off stage after our set, Pete Williams was waiting for us with a big grin on his face. He knew all along that our grand plan was destined for failure but you can only learn from those sort of mistakes for yourself — by trial and error. Bono came and stood next to me so that they would stop which was a really great gesture. The version we played was pretty terrible as we had all forgotten how to play it to be honest. The next gig was in Witchita, Kansas, but this is what America is like. U2 were massive, and first gig was to people in San Francisco Civic, but four days later they were playing Witchita in Kansas and they were having to cancel shows because they were only selling 70 tickets.
There was a fairground going on, with all of these ferris wheels, so we wound the window down. Before MTV, bands had to play America state by state, the only real exposure being the radio, which only caters for a local city or two. Obviously, it was very hard for bands to have an impact on the American public as a whole because there was no national focus like NME or Radio One.
However, MTV has provided exactly this focus — and a talking point — across the nation.
The most interesting part of the interview for fans of The Alarm , is transcribed below:. George Gimarc : What a terrific tune. Excuse me from interrupting it like that. Golly, Mike!
BONO : That is a blaze of glory. I mean you talk about a No. Sort of No. A lot was being asked of them and the band were playing huge shows like San Francisco and Colorado and then having to cancel some shows. The Witchita show was cancelled because of a lack of ticket sales. We were under orders to get back to Los Angeles as fast as possible and so Simon, Nigel and I dead headed the van back to Hollywood without stopping for more than a fuel fill up and some food. It turned out to be us. The E. It would prove to be the first big exposure for the band outside of their U2 support slot.
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Not only was the band featured as new wave pioneers, but their first video for The Stand was filmed while they were in the studio. You can see it in that early PR shot where we are all sat down together. To give the set more character I asked the director if I could spray the lyrics onto some large format sheets of paper and he was totally up for it. They filmed me spraying the red poppy to cut into the performance, I was using a badge as a guide for the perspective to get the shape and dimension correct.
The first thing we did was the interviews and these were done one by one rather than the four of us together which was interesting.
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In fact, when the piece was first broadcast the first person on screen talking was Dave Sharp who said that he wrote songs on his own. We had never been filmed before and so we were very excited. I think we performed The Stand once only like it was a gig and that was it. It was over before we knew it and because we had the acoustic guitars we went off to record a piece on the top of a building which is where we cut the Blaze Of Glory part.
It really broke us across America and people still talk to me about now and where they were when they first saw it and the impact it had, and this was all before Sixty Eights Guns and Top Of The Pops in the UK. Bono could not get in and The Alarm had to sneak him in the back. U2 has been invited to co-host events at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and has earned numerous awards over its long history.
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