"I think the important thing to retain through life is optimism. It doesn't have to be something that you necessarily get from Christianity."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
Bono, The Edge, Paul Simon and Paul McGuinness have helped pay tribute to Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet who died last year.
A tapestry titled "Out Of The Marvelous" was commissioned by Amnesty International and partially funded by the rock stars. Designed by Czech artist Peter Sis and woven in France, it's now hanging in Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 (see the photo here).
According to the Belfast Telegraph, Bono said Heaney should be an inspiration to people on their travels:
"With my life, I pass through a lot of airports. Seamus' poems are my companion on every journey ... they come with me wherever I go. Now, when any of us travel -- be it leaving our home, or our visitors returning to their own homes, Seamus will be there to bid us all farewell."
Edge agreed that Heaney was an inspiration to U2:
"Seamus Heaney was an inspiration to our band -- as well as to politicians, artists, dreamers and all in between, from every corner of the world. I love the idea that the words of this great poet -- and Sis' beautiful tapestry -- will send travelers from Ireland and beyond safely on their way 'out of the marvelous.'"
U2 will show up this week in a pre-taped BBC Radio Wales special in honor of the 30th anniversary of The Alarm's album, Declaration. If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen some of the tweets back on April 11 about U2's brief video that was played during the taping of the concert special. The BBC made that video available for all to see now (embedded below). It begins with U2 singing "Happy Birthday" and ends with them doing The Alarm's "Blaze Of Glory." Bono delivers a short message in between.
The Mike Peters/Alarm special is due to air at 9 pm local time on BBC Radio Wales.
U2 fans aren't optimistic about the band having many more studio albums left in their career.
In a recent @U2 survey, almost 76 percent of fans said they think U2 will release two more studio albums or less. Almost 40 percent said there'll be only one more U2 studio album, and more than 12 percent said U2 won't release any more studio albums.
We posted the question on March 7th, the same day that Billboard magazine reported that U2's next album won't be released until 2015 -- a report that U2's spokespeople denied a couple days later. More than 3,400 fans voted during the two weeks that the poll was open.
On the flip side of the coin, 15 percent of fans think U2 will release three more studio albums and more than five percent voted "5 or more." Here are the full results.
One of the common things fans say when it looks like the new album gets pushed back is along the lines of "it gives us more time to save money for the next tour." So that's our new poll question: Have you started saving money for U2's next tour? Let us know by voting on our home page.
You've seen those quizzes online, right? You know, the ones that let you answer questions to find out things like What Star Wars Character Are You?, What Justin Bieber Song Are You? and so forth.
There are several websites offering these quizzes regularly, but we noticed that there's a severe lack of U2-related quizzes. In fact, we don't think there are any. (Gasp!) So, the @U2 crew is setting out to change that, starting today with our first quiz:
It's only 12 questions and shouldn't take too long. You'll get your result as soon as you click the "Finish" button at the end. When you're done, be sure to tweet about it or share it with your friends on Facebook so you can compare who's Bono with who's Larry, Edge or Adam.
And no ... I'm not telling which band member I am. Not yet.
With 40 days to go before Bono's 54th birthday on May 10, the African Well Fund has kicked off its annual "Build A Well" campaign. According to the AWF site, this year's "Invisible"-inspired theme, "there is no them, there's only us" will "benefit a community-based water and sanitation project in the Ebo municipality of the Kwanza Sul Province in Angola. The project aims to increase access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation for more than 12,000 people living in these communities."
As in previous years once a donation is made, fans are encouraged to sign the birthday card. All well wishes will be conveyed to Bono at the conclusion of the "Build A Well For Bono's Birthday" campaign.
Over the past 11 years, fans have generously donated over $225,000 for Bono's birthday.
Tweets by @atu2