A TimesTalks Event: Bono
By Elaine Criscione
On March 16, 2003, as part of the TimesTalks series, Jon Pareles, a pop critic, and John Darnton, an editor and former correspondent, talk to Bono, the lead singer of U2, about his music and activism.
Audio excerpts from the discussion are available here:
Requires Real Player.
Early Ambitions, Today's Success (2:20)
"With U2, our ambitions were always way out of kilter with our talent. We had a kind of chemistry between us that was much more interesting than the music we first made. I'd like to think that it has caught up."
Musical Experimentation (3:22)
"When you know what you're doing too much, it becomes dull. So what we've really been good at over the years is changing the scenery until we really don't know what we're doing again."
A New Album (3:06)
"It's a very visceral album. The songs are very direct. They're big songs, big melodies and really, some full-on guitar playing by a very frustrated man....[The Edge] is so gifted. If this is a great record, and I really think it will be, it will have a lot to do with him."
President Bush and Fighting AIDS (3:53)
"It was a big priority of his State of the Union speech to talk about AIDS as a defining moral issue of the times. How can we watch people die when we have these medicines? And we had argued with him, these medicines are advertisements for America, they're advertisements for the best of the West."
An Ability to Influence Conservative Politicians (3:12)
"I've always tried to appeal to people's convictions that they may have had once and lost....A lot of these people have come into public service for good reasons, and maybe they've lost some of their fire. I think you can rekindle that."
Debt Cancelation for African Nations (3:06)
"Never argue it as a charity issue. Argue it as a justice issue. That's really important. The same is true of trade. When you find out that the poorest people on the planet are not allowed to put their products on our shelves, it's unsettling."