"A performance must be larger than life, but to be worthwhile you must have an element of humanity."
Bono Opens Corbijn Exhibition in Groningen
April 09, 2000
On Saturday the 8th of April, Bono opened Anton Corbijn's 25 jaar werk/25 years' work exhibition in Groningen, the Netherlands. The exhibition is held in the Groninger Museum and open to the public between April the 9th until June the 25th, 2000. Bono is a longtime friend of Anton Corbijn, who has been working with U2 since the mid '80s. Not only U2, but also various international artists, like the Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave have been in front of Corbijn's camera. An eyewitness report.
The exhibition opening, which was held between 21:00 hour till 23:00 hour, was only open for people who received an invitation. Many U2 fans, who came to see Bono, ended up waiting in front of the museum. Inside the museum were a lot of people from the press and some international artists. All gathering in a room waiting for Bono and Anton to appear. The press, with all their cameras, were located at the balcony.
Around 21:00 hour Bono and Anton walked through the crowd to the microphone up front. A bit like we remind us from the PopMart tour. Bono, all dressed in black, of course wearing his famous glasses looked very relaxed. Bono sits down on the front leaving Anton standing. While the museum director held his speech, Bono paid attention to a girl who was not feeling well because of the heat. She felt better after a word from Bono.
Then it was Bono's time to say a few words. Loud screaming and applause from the audience as Bono starts talking.
"You can sit now, it's gonna be a long one," he opens. Laughter all over. Bono: "When I first met Anton, I had one request. Make me look tall, skinny, intelligent and with a sense of humor. He (Anton - BR) said 'So you wanna look like me?' "
Again a big laughter from the crowd. Bono seemed relaxed and looked very cool. Bono continues, and while the audience listens very close, he makes a confession.
"Having your picture taken is an intimacy. It's like having sex. I have been having sex with Anton Corbijn for nearly 20 years now! He's very good at it and even better -- he writes, he phones, stays in touch. Our relationship is ongoing. It's very liberal. I don't mind him seen out with Depeche Mode, Michael Stipe. I don't mind cowboy hats and old cars turning up on THEIR album sleeves. Anton always comes back. Because Anton loves me, and I love Anton!"
After Bono's speech, he and Anton go downstairs where a photo shoot for the press is held. Meanwhile the rest of the people get drinks and take a look at all Corbijn's photos. One room has only pictures of Bono, from the early days till 1999. Between two videowalls, showing Corbijn's videoclips (from Depeche Mode and U2), there is hanging a huge(!) picture of Adam. The NAKED Adam. Yes, it is that tiny little "fifth" member which is on the Achtung Baby cover sleeve.
As we walk through the museum we notice a few artists. Howie B., producer and DJ is playing music in the upper room. Only a few people are dancing. Gavin Friday, longtime friend of U2 and former member of the Virgin Prunes is also present. Not many people recognise him. In a dark corner of the dance floor, we notice another special guest, Adam Clayton! He looks like he is having a good time. We ask him where the rest of the band is. He told us he and Bono are the only ones. This guy is so friendly and takes all the time for a picture. We decided not to hassle him anymore and leave him talking with his friends.
Around 23:00 hour we decided to leave, just in time to see large cars in front of the museum. Then Bono appears outside to get to his limo. The fans waiting outside are rewarded for their wait. He takes time to sign autographs and after 10 minutes Bono has to leave. After a few meters the car stops near a few other waiting fans, and Bono opens his cardoor and takes time again to sign things. Then it is all over, the car drives into the dark. We also leave, noticing Gavin Friday again, but no fans around him.
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