U2: Rock Hall Can Wait Awhile
USA Today, November 23, 2004
Of 16 nominees up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, U2 is the surest bet to make the class of 2005. So why is the front-runner hoping to be shoved to the back burner?
"We're definitely too young," says U2 bassist Adam Clayton, 44. With their hotly anticipated 11th studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, out Tuesday, the Irish foursome feels the Rock Hall mothballs might be premature.
"We tried very hard to get out of it," says Bono, also 44. "Our respect for the people on that (selection) committee is the only reason we'd turn up. Others deserve it before us. We are humbled by the support for us and the esteemed company, but this is no time to look back.
"Those nights are extraordinary," says the singer, who inducted the Who, Bob Marley and Chris Blackwell at past galas. "I have seen the toughest men in town in tears. It's the greatest night of your life."
Artists become eligible 25 years after their first record release. The lads were teens when they wrote songs for 1980 debut Boy.
"We did our growing up in public while most bands spent five or six years figuring it out before they did their first album," says guitarist Edge, 43. "We're in the middle, so this doesn't quite seem credible."
Drummer Larry Mullen Jr., 43, says the honor would be more appropriate in, say, 2030.
"We've got another 25 years," he says. "They need to change the rules. We're still creative and still out there competing on every level. It would be great to get this when we're 75 and we can bring the grandkids along."
U2's competition on the ballot includes the J. Geils Band, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Buddy Guy, Wanda Jackson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Randy Newman, The O'Jays, Gram Parsons, the Pretenders, the Sex Pistols, Percy Sledge, Patti Smith, the Stooges and Conway Twitty.
A maximum of seven inductees will be announced in December.
© USA Today, 2004.