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“With U2, I always felt like we had a lot going wrong, but ultimately, we had something special. Lots of bands around us were much better-looking, better players, better songwriters–they had everything. But we had the ‘it’–whatever ‘it’ might be–and we built around that. That idea comes from the Clash–that you could come out of the audience, get up onstage, grab the microphone, and if you had something to say, then you had a valid reason for being there. That idea changed my life: It’s the reason that U2 exists today.”
On the first anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death, Bono has teamed with Elton John to discuss the influence and impact of the lead singer of The Clash for the December/January issue of Interview magazine. In their candid conversation, the musicians express their respect for Strummer’s work, discuss how the Clash effectively mixed politics with music, and share their personal experiences with Strummer.
At one point in their conversation, Bono reveals that he understands something about music fans:
“…the reason that people get into music is never an intellectual one. It’s because they’ve heard your piano playing or they’ve heard you singing a tune, and it’s gone into their hearts when they’re young; it’s made them think that melodies are something you can hang onto in your life…”
Strummer’s final melodies can be heard on the recently released Streetcore, the album he was working on with his band The Mescaleros when he died. Bono describes Streetcore as “probably his [Strummer’s] best.”