"It's a record about looking for some kind of transcendence as well as trash."
-- Bono, on Pop
U2 Lists: 12 Months Of U2 Soundbytes
December 21, 2011
[Ed. note: This is the 33rd in a "U2 Lists" series, where @U2 staffers pick a topic and share their personal rankings on something U2-related.]
Most of the time, we just want the U2 guys to sing or play guitar or hit drums. But they talk, too, and other people talk about them, bequeathing plenty of quotable prose for mining from print, TV and online interviews, concert appearances and other sources, even the @U2 forum.
Some sound bites (or soundbytes as we call them at @U2) from 2011 were repeated over and over, like Bono saying on the final leg of the delayed tour, "Some of you were two years younger when you bought tickets for tonight's show,” and suggesting in interviews that U2 have become irrelevant.
Bono also waxed eloquently about AIDS and poverty and the ONE campaign all over the place to anyone who would listen, which was pretty much every prime-time reporter and/or talk-show host with more than a little reverence for Paul Hewson.
Even the usually mum Larry Mullen Jr. spoke up a little to promote his film Man On The Train.
The list that follows features one U2 soundbyte for each month of 2011.
"U2 bass-player Adam Clayton has become a dad." — Belfast Telegraph, confirming Adam's fatherhood. (OK, technically this is an information line from a news story, not a quote, but Adam wasn't chatting about his new paternal role to the media.)
"There's girls singing some of the songs, just for starters." — Bono, on how the songs from the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark are different from U2's hits
"The magic trick of the 360 production is that at some point in the show, it disappears. You don't know how it happens, but this giant structure, no one's looking at it ... the show becomes about the audience and the band. It's a very intimate show." — Bono, on The Claw
"If we weren't all U2 fans this would turn into a class-action lawsuit for defective product." — Manos73, an @U2 forum member, commenting in a thread on Duals
"I have had an amazing career for a man who hits things for a living. I understand some people being skeptical. I've no plans to change careers; however, I'm enjoying experimenting on myself. Why not?" — Larry Mullen Jr., in The Hollywood Reporter, on delving into acting in Man On The Train
"We go to walk our dog and Bono ends up in our car." — Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule, talking about picking up an unusual hitchhiker in West Vancouver in the rain: Bono, who was in town for a concert
"In the '80s, I think." — Bono, with Edge on Late Show with David Letterman, answering the host about when previews started for Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark
This one you've got to hear: “Howling by B” comes in at 2:15 when you listen to the radio edit.
"It's like a load of songs and they turned out pretty good in the end, and this is a film about how they nearly didn't. I don't know why anyone would watch it, I really don't." — Bono, at the Toronto Film Festival talking about Davis Guggenheim's U2 documentary From The Sky Down
"Steve was a very, very tough and tenacious guardian of the Apple brand, but the thing that endeared him to artists was his insistence that things had to be beautiful. He wasn't going to make ugly things that made profits." — Bono, on Apple CEO Steve Jobs
"No, and I think I would have heard." — Paul McGuinness, putting to rest speculation that U2 have reached some kind of end
"You know, I will use everything at my means to talk people into doing the right thing. And there are 2,013, I think it is, verses of scripture that talk about the world's poor. Christ only speaks of judgment once and it is not about your sexuality, it is not about your bad behavior. It's about how you treat the poor." — Bono, in a CNN interview. Yes, he's delivered some form of this line before, but it deserves repeating.
© @U2/Lindell, 2011.