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Bono Grants Rolling Stone First Official Interview Since 2005

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Bono granted Rolling Stone his first official interview since 2005. Among the topics the U2 frontman discussed with magazine co-founder Jann Wenner was the band’s recent return to the road in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree. Bono explained how the band wrapped their heads touring between touring an old album as if it was new: “The stance that we took was (to act) as if we had just put out The Joshua Tree the week before. So there were no old Super 8 films or anything to give the sense of that time. We felt that its strength was that it had meaning, maybe even more meaning now than it did then. That was the conceit, and it got better and better. We ended with four nights in Sao Paulo, in front of, I think, nearly 300,000 people, and it was quite the crescendo.”

Bono talked about the fact that U2 remains in rarified air as they are one of the few major acts to still receive radio airplay well into their 50’s: “The Apple experiment really helped in that way. Larry (Mullen Jr.) had been very skeptical about that. But, later, he was saying, ‘Look, I am up on my (drum) perch (at concerts). I can see what you can’t see, and I can see that the audience is younger.’ I asked him how did he know it was related to the Apple experiment. He said, ‘Well, because they don’t know the words of ‘Beautiful Day,’ but they do know the words of ‘Every Breaking Wave.” And as we go ahead with this album, we are on the radio — it’s amazing. I can’t think of another artist in their 50’s who is on the radio. On mainstream radio. Can you think of any?”

He went on to say that U2 does not take for granted how lucky they are to have a wide demographic willing to receive their new music, explaining, “You know that song Bruce (Springsteen) wrote, (2007’s) ‘Girls in Their Summer Clothes’? I heard that song and said, ‘This song should be on the radio, why is that not all over the radio?’ I spoke to somebody recently, a Bruce fan, and I said, ‘Do you know this song? It is the most insightful song about aging. It is a song of experience, actually.’ And they said, ‘No, I don’t know that.’ So these songs, they can slip through the cracks of culture. That’s why U2 go after selling our wares the same way we did for our first album.”

Bono told us that the band immediately knew “Beautiful Day” was an era defining U2 song that fans would relate to right from the beginning. “It seemed to lift everyone up when we listened to it. There was a kind of ordinary despair about the verse, y’know? It wasn’t like a popsicle. It’s an interesting idea, I think as well, that you can lose everything, lose a relationship, lose your possessions, lose everything and. . . It’s just a nice thought to plant that sometimes when people are right at the bottom is when they really discover who they are and what they’re capable of.” :

May 2 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
May 4 – St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
May 7, 8 – San Jose, CA – SAP Center
May 11, 12 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena
May 15, 16 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
May 22, 23 – Chicago, IL – United Center
May 26 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
May 28 – Atlanta, GA – Infinite Energy Arena
June 5, 6 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
June 9 – Uniondale, NY – NYCB Live
June 13, 14 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
June 17, 18 – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena
June 21, 22 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
June 25, 26 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 29 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center

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