BBC 2’s Culture Show featured U2 on Monday, June 13. From their newsletter:
“First up, an exclusive TV interview with U2, on the eve of the UK leg of their world tour. After twenty five years together as a band, U2’s music has become closely associated with their high profile campaign against world poverty. Their lead singer, Bono, is now courted by politicians like Tony Blair and George Bush. As the Live Eight concerts once again focus attention on the campaigning role of music, Mariella Frostrup met up with U2 to talk about the relationship between their music and their politics.”
The broadcast featured brief clips of the opening show in Brussels as well as an interview with all members of the band. The Edge claimed going out on tour is still exciting because they have to prove they are still good, and because they made a great album. Bono added that was a great statement for a Presbyterian to make. Larry said they’d been ‘given a lot’ and that they’d ‘got away with it’ a lot – another reason to go out and prove themselves.
Bono said ‘Boy’ and ‘How to dismantle an atomic bomb’ have got a lot in common, the first was ‘holding on to innocence’ and the other ‘looking back to the time you were still naive’. He said that the band, when they first started, were 17, 18 years old, but were as naive as 14, 15 year olds, coming from Ireland: ‘We knew nothing.’
Trying to explain their current show with its mix of politics and music, The Edge said ‘It’s got to mean something’, while Bono described it going from Punk rock, Vegas, political rally to gospel show, before launching into a party broadcast on the obscenity of rich rockstars preaching from the stage. His justification: ‘We are asking governments, not the audience.’ Using the plural ‘we’ he said they (we sincerely hope he means the ‘One’ organisation rather than the band) were after political muscle in the next USA election as the cause was ‘an issue you can run on.’
Going back to the subject of U2, he closed off with a hopeful: ‘One day we’re going to get it right.’