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"I can't look at the audience as a mass. It disturbs me. I have to look for individuals." — Bono

Column: off the record ..., vol. 16-752



Every now and then, I’m filled with hope for the future and Friday was one of those days.

I was hosting an event at my day job, which aligns corporate mentors with 7th grade female students who aspire to have a career in technology. One of the activities involved the girls meeting with us in small groups and asking us about our lives. In addition to the work-related inquiries, they were also tasked with getting to know us as people. One of the students in my group asked me what I liked to do for fun, so I answered, “I like to attend U2 concerts.”

She replied, “They’re the ones who sing ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),’ right?”

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I confirmed excitedly, “Yes! Yes, they do!” I confessed to her that I didn’t think she’d even know who U2 was, let alone be able to name a song of theirs and she said, “Of course I know them! I was raised on classic rock.”

I love kids.

Years ago when I thought I’d be a mother someday, I used to make lists of possible names for my eventual spawn. At the top of the list for boys was Lincoln Paul. The first name after my favorite president; the second my grandfather’s name … and my favorite Beatle’s first name … and Bono’s real first name. 

No, I never considered naming my future son Bono, but apparently many have — at least their four-legged children.

Pet Business World reports that the U2 lead singer’s name comes in second (only to “Max”) for the top names chosen by British dog owners in 2016. What’s more hilarious is that, “Eleven of the top 20 dog names are also on the Office of National Statistics’ most popular baby name lists.”

So there has to be some baby Bonos running around in the U.K., right?

Nutrias™ announced Wednesday that Bono and The Edge are their newest investors. The Irish company, founded by a mathematician and computational biologist, aims to revolutionize “the discovery of novel, natural and scientifically proven active ingredients that can manage and improve human health.” They do this using innovative technology like artificial intelligence and DNA analysis. 

The company is currently developing clinical trials to prevent the progression toward diabetes and won the Innovation Award at the Forbes Reinventing America Summit last year. You can read more about their efforts in the official press release, which announced the U2 members’ involvement. 

Northern Ireland residents: If you’re able to get BBC One on your telly, be sure to tune in tomorrow night for the documentary Across The Line At 30, which “charts the history of the famous show.” Adam Clayton is one of the featured interviewees, along with David Gray and Gary Lightbody. Get all the details at Hot Press.

2016 has been brutal when it comes to celebrity deaths. Last week we lost Greg Lake, the immensely talented founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and creator of the song “I Believe In Father Christmas.”

Back in 2008 when U2 premiered their cover of the song on World AIDS Day, our own Scott Calhoun reached out to Lake to see what he thought of it. The famed musician wrote back with a thoughtful response, which you can read in its entirety on our blog.

Here’s the video of U2’s cover and the original from 1975. There’s also a great overview of the song's history in the Financial Times, of all places.

Lake was 69 when cancer claimed his life on Dec. 7. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones.

Any opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of @U2 as a whole.

(c) @U2, 2016.