The African Well Fund has announced the details of its second annual fundraising drive to build wells in Africa in honor of Bono’s birthday. Last year the nonprofit organization, founded by U2 fans, raised more than $10,000 to build 14 wells in Uganda with its partner Africare. This year the African Well Fund is aiming to raise $15,000 for well projects in Ethiopia.

Contributers who donate a monetary gift are invited to sign a birthday card for Bono. Last year Bono responded to the African Well Fund’s efforts, saying it was “the best gift I could have gotten on my birthday.”

U2’s Book Deal

The U2 retrospective, tentatively titled In the Name of Love: U2 by U2, will be published by HarperEntertainment, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2005. Harper has purchased the rights to the book for a reported $3 million. Although the figure is an extraordinary amount for a book of its type, it’s far from the record-holding nonfiction book deals earned by Bill Clinton ($10 million), Pope John Paul II ($8.5 million), and Hillary Clinton ($8 million).

Kevin Shields: lost and found


My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields disappeared from the music scene after his band’s early 90’s successes. Re-emerging after a decade of fiddling with never released MBV material and stints with Primal Scream, his comeback on the Lost In Translation soundtrack has earned him a Bafta nomination.

Shields talks to Peter Murphy in the latest issue of Hot Press magazine. It is his first full length interview in 12 years. He talks about the early days, sings the praises of The Virgin Prunes, admits to ‘losing it’ after MBV’s stunning album ‘Loveless‘ and he comments on his band’s apparent influence on U2.

Peter Murphy: When U2 were on tour in Australia at the end of the Rattle & Hum campaign, The Edge, then going through the disintegration of his first marriage, was apparently heard playing MBV at deafening volume in his hotel room most nights. Was Shields aware of that?

Kevin Shields: “Only when U2 did interviews and stuff, and they talked about My Bloody Valentine having an influence on Achtung Baby. That was kinda nice,

Win a 5,000 Euro Wolf

Look what we found stuck in our spam filter:

“The Irish Hospice Foundation is offering you the chance to win a set of the very special Peter & the Wolf giclee prints illustrated and signed by Bono, currently selling for 5,000 Euro.

To qualify for this draw all you have to do is buy a Peter & the Wolf screen print by April 30th. The prints are 70 cm x 50 cm and are printed onto 100% cotton paper. There are two different types of prints, one illustrating Peter, one illustrating The Wolf.

The draw will take place on May 4th.”

Irish Hospice Foundation Thanks Gavin Friday

All four members of U2 attended a special dinner to honor Gavin Friday last Friday at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel. The Irish Hospice Foundation arranged the event to recognize and thank Friday, who was the driving and creative force behind the Peter and the Wolf project.

Update 23/3: Several of the evening’s guests performed live, including Bono who sang Sinatra’s ‘You make me feel so young’ to his friend. But it was The Edge who apparently stole the show, playing wild and wondrous bass on the Virgin Prunes’ classic ‘Art Fuck’. Brother Dik assisted on guitar, while Gavin and Guggi took care of vocals.

The Last Word

You’re sick of it, we’re sick of it, Bono’s sick of it, the FCC isn’t. But here’s an eminently quotable Bono on the subject of his linguistic naughtiness, in a New York Times piece by Frank Rich on America’s new obsession with “indecency” —

I guess I don’t speak American, but I thought I did. There are some obscenities in our culture, and this is nowhere near the top of the list. I never meant to be offensive. That language was genuine exuberance. It was a great moment for our band. If you’re Irish, you love language, and if you do, you’re going to fall on the occasional expletive; it’s the percussive side of language. For me, it is preposterous to have good, conservative people whom I like and respect taking on an expletive while the right to pack heavy ammo goes by. It says something eloquent, if not pretty, about where we are.

Lillywhite Gets Help

According to XFM, remix guru Garrett “Jacknife” Lee will be assisting Steve Lillywhite with the new U2 album. Lee has produced remixes for TLC, Eminem, and Pink, among other artists.

Lee, who is expected to join Lillywhite and the band in the studio this week, told XFM that the U2 album is “going really well.”

Bono to Receive Honorary Degree

Bono will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania, the university announced yesterday. University President Judith Rodin said that Bono was chosen to receive the honorary degree because of “his tireless efforts and use of his celebrity to remind us of our moral duties as citizens of the globe.”

Bono will address the graduating class at commencement on May 17, at which time he will be awarded the degree. This will be the second honorary degree that Bono has been awarded.