"One of the central ideas of Zooropais that it is of the moment, it's catching the stuff that's in the ether at that time."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
Bono will participate in this year's Red Nose Day Special, a TV fundraising entertainment program airing live at 9 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC.
Red Nose Day, run by the nonprofit organization Comic Relief Inc., raises funds for needy children around the world. In the U.K. it has raised more than $1 billion globally over the past 25 years, and was launched last year in the U.S.
Thursday's two-hour TV special will include comedy and music performances, plus short films about kids in need. Yes, wearing a red nose is part of the fun. Perhaps Bono will don one?
He is among 60-plus other celebrity guests scheduled to appear including Elton John, Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Blake Shelton, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Black, Tracy Morgan, Kobe Bryant, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bill Gates, Tyler Perry and Zac Efron.
People are invited to wear red noses and participate in "FUN-raising" Red Nose Day events throughout the day.
One Republic's Ryan Tedder, who had production credits on four tracks from Songs Of Innocence, is apparently co-producing Songs Of Experience, too, and talked about U2's progress in a recent Radio.com interview:
"What is the most modern thing you can do that still has the DNA and soul of U2 but just elevates the songs [by making them] more accessible? It's a very, very accessible sounding record. But it's not pop. It's just great. It's like: I would buy this album. And I know that a lot of our younger fans would buy, or stream, the album."
Tedder sounds like a fan of All That You Can't Leave Behind, because he says U2's new material is "the most exciting stuff" he's heard since that album.
Opinions aside, the most newsworthy thing from the Radio.com interview comes when Tedder says U2's next album may only have one or two songs that were remaining from Songs Of Innocence.
Our newest podcast is now available and ready for your listening enjoyment. This week, Sherry Lawrence, Aaron Govern and Chris Enns talk about the Paris DVD announcements and the merits of that $125 Super Deluxe version. They also share their admiration for The Edge's recent appearance on the Sam Jones program, Off Camera, answer a new batch of #askatu2 questions and more.
We have a couple hashtags you can use to contribute to the podcast going forward:
Thanks again for listening!
Bono has contributed to Louder Than Words, a new exhibit that opens Friday (May 20) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The exhibit "will showcase the intersection between rock and politics" and "explore how artists exercise their First Amendment rights, challenge assumptions and beliefs, stimulate thought and effect change," according to RockHall.com.
Bono narrates some of the videos throughout the exhibit, and is also featured in a short video where he explains the background of U2's 1987 song, "Bullet The Blue Sky." (Note: F-bomb included in this video.)
The exhibit is a partnership between the Rock Hall and the Newseum in Washington, DC. It'll move to DC for an opening there in January 2017.
A wreath-laying ceremony was organized today by Justice for the Forgotten to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings.
Bono (photo) and Adam attended a remembrance service at the memorial on Talbot Street in Dublin. A floral tribute on behalf of U2 was left there with the note: “Justice for the Forgotten. To all the victims and their families. In our thoughts and prayers on this day. Love, Bono, The Edge, Adam, Larry and Gavin.”
Last year, U2 displayed photos of the victims on the screen during the I+E tour as a background for the song “Raised by Wolves,” written about the 1974 massacre.
With the Innocence + Experience Live In Paris DVD just announced late last week, U2 is keeping the momentum up with today's release of a teaser from that show. The full version of "I Will Follow" arrived this morning on U2's Vevo channel, and is embedded below. (If you look closely, and if you care, you can see that the video is an edit of the song from multiple nights.)
With the DVD's arrival still several weeks away, I'd expect at least a couple more full-song videos to be released between now and then.
Swing those lightbulbs, U2 fans. The official announcement came today that the Innocence + Experience Live In Paris DVD will be released on June 10. Amazon.com and U2.com are offering preorders on four different formats:
U2.com has the most detailed information on the release formats:
Single DVD (2 hours, 31 minutes) ($19.98)
2 Disc Deluxe DVD ($24.95)
1. Ordinary Love
2 Disc Blu-Ray ($24.95)
Super Deluxe 3 Disc ($124.95)
The U2.com shop is also bundling a DVD t-shirt along with the release at an additional cost as well.
Last night, Adam Clayton attended the 41st annual American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala. The event raised $2.7 million for hundreds of Irish charities.
"We in U2 benefited from access to musical education — it transformed our lives. We want the same opportunities for young people across Ireland," said Adam. "Music Generation is achieving this beyond anyone’s imagination. We are delighted that The Ireland Funds have joined us in committing to extending the program."
He continued: "Forty years ago when we got together as a band, our ambitions were predictable and simple: We just wanted to be the biggest band in the world. Forty years on, that seems like an innocent conceit. It did give us a healthy respect for how music can change lives and it is a rewarding irony that the success of Music Generation has been more fulfilling than any other achievement. That is why we believe that Music Generation is more than a cultural project — it is a social movement, too."
Adam also paid tribute to Prince, calling him "an extraordinary talent" and pioneer of the "new America" music scene. He told The Irish Times that U2 met Prince a couple of times during the '80s and early '90s. "Before Prince you didn’t have a black artist that could play lead guitar like, that could be on MTV and videos, that could be a fashion icon," said Clayton. "That didn’t exist and from him and MTV forward, the whole music scene and cultural scene in America shifted, and I think that’s why, particularly in America, Prince’s passing is considered such a cataclysmic event."
What do you give to a 56 year old rock star who has everything? The African Well Fund has a great idea - a well!
For the 14th year, the African Well Fund is celebrating Bono's birthday by inviting everyone to make a donation in Bono's name to a clean water project in Africa. So far, U2 fans and supporters have raised $245,000 for Bono's birthday, benefitting over 73,000 people in Benin, Angola, Mali, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Zimbabwe. This year, their goal is to raise another $5,000 to bring that total to a cool quarter million.
After making your donation, don't forget to sign the birthday card. Every year, a hand-made card gets delivered to Bono and your message will be included as a donor to the campaign. Bono has said it's his favorite birthday gift, so let's keep up the tradition of the gift that keeps on giving. Donations will be accepted through May 31 for this year's Build A Well For Bono's Birthday campaign.