News Bits: Melissa Etheridge telling stories, More Alica Keys and 5SOS, Bono’s birthday

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-04-17)

Hello hello. Hoping that this finds you all well at this time. There’s been a lot of smaller stories that we’ve been keeping an eye on and we’re going to do a little wrap up on all these pieces, rather than do individual stories. These are new pieces of information, that we have not reported on previously, or additions to previous stories.

Rolling Stone has recently interviewed Alicia Keys about her autobiography and audiobook which was published on March 31. She spoke about many of the guests who appear and was asked “Who had the most trouble making deadline?”

Keys answers Bono:

Maybe Bono. He wrote to me one day: He’s like, “Alicia, I forgot to tell an adult that I had to turn this in, and now no one’s been able to hold me to task. I forgot.” He’s so amazing, and he’s such a brother.

More details about Bono’s involvement in the audiobook can be found our article here.

While unable to perform, Melissa Etheridge has been streaming performances on Facebook to her fans. Yesterday was April 16, and she performed a song she had originally written on April 16, a song called “Royal Station 4/16.” That song featured Bono on the harmonica when it was released on her 1989 album, Brave and Crazy and introducing the song yesterday she told the story of how Bono came to be on the album. If you want to watch the performance you can see it on Facebook, her story about Bono starts at the 22:00 mark and the song follows.

Her story about the song is as follows:

This is one of my favourite songs. Did I tell you? I might not have told you the Bono story when I did this. I don’t think I did. So I was recording the second album at A&M Studios. It’s called Henson studios now. It was called A&M Studios, it was where A&M Records was in Hollywood. It was a pretty busy studio. It was a very famous studio. And at the time I was making this record, I’m not kidding you I was in studio A, in studio B was Don Henley, in studio D was Bruce Springsteen, and in studio C was U2. They were mixing Rattle and Hum I believe. They would, every now and then they would drop in to this kind of unknown girl’s album. Don Henley brought me in to sing on his album, you can hear me singing on “Gimme What You Got” on the end of the End of the Innocence album with Edie Brickell. He kind of mixed our voices together.

Bono would come in. He would just come in and stand in the back in the studio I wouldn’t even know he was there. He’d come in and listen. They would tell me. They’d say “Bono was here.” I’d be like “oh my gosh!” I finally got up the nerve to say hey, would you do something on the album? I knew he had just done the song “Desir-ir-ir-re”. He had just done that so i knew he played the harmonica. I was going to lay the harmonica track down on the song, we had tracked the song, this song, “Royal Station.” I said, maybe he’ll play harmonica. So he said, he said “Yes!” and he came in and the way that he would record his vocals or harmonica was pretty unusual. Usually you would go into the vocal booth, it’s a separate booth off on the side of the studio, on the side of the main control room, you put headphones on, you’ve seen people do that and people are singing on the vocals.

But he would, take just a regular stage mic and he’d put it in the back of the control room and he’d have the speakers on kind of low and he would sing to it like he was live. He didn’t like wearing the headphones when he sang. And so he did the same thing with the harmonica so I basically stood next to him as he played this part. That’s him on “Royal Station” playing the harmonica and I’ve always thought that was pretty cool that I got Bono to play. The end!

More information about the original recording of “Royal Station 4/16” can be found in our discography entry for Brave & Crazy.

In our last news wrap up in February, we told you about the “Bono’s Global Birthday Bash“ initiative to celebrate Bono’s upcoming 60th birthday.

The Italian fan site is also making plans to celebrate the occasion. They are calling their initiative VivaBono60, and the details are available on their site. There’s an English translation that follows the Italian on that site, so scroll down if you wish to read it in English. They are asking fans to join them in celebration on social media by sharing photos, images and videos.

Speaking of birthdays, we just recently celebrated our own by taking some questions about the site and our history, including some questions by Angelo at For those who might have missed it, the full set of questions and answers is here. We’d like to thank everyone who took a moment to wish us well on our own anniversary. We appreciate all the love and support we have received over the years.

On Saturday we were able to share the news that while at home, Zucchero was in communication with Bono to write a new song via the phone. And while it may be some time until we see that song, Zucchero is performing tomorrow. He’s taking part in the One World Together at Home performances that are part of a COVID-19 benefit being curated by Lady and Global Citizen. Although it is likely that Zucchero is performing something that he is more known for, we’ll be tuning in tomorrow just in case. The performances will be streamed worldwide tomorrow, and Zucchero will be part of the six hour preshow, which will be streamed on the internet ahead of the planned Television specials later in the day. U2 either as a group or solo, have not been mentioned as participating in the show in any of the announcements to date.

Also streaming this weekend? U2.Com will be presenting another streaming video for subscribers for the 2020 subscription year. This time out, they’ll be streaming the 1993 concert from Sydney Australia of “Zoo TV”. The film was initially done for a pay-per-view broadcast on television, and was released on May 16-17, 1994 on home video, and later released in September 2006 on DVD. More information about the film can be found in our discography entry. Unlike the other streaming gift for this year, the high definition version of the Experience + Innocence concert which will be available for the full term of your subscription, Zoo TV will be streamed for a shorter time, just 48 hours.

We recently told you that The Edge is part of 5 Seconds of Summer’s new album CALM. We’ve been updating our discography entry with more information about his involvement on that project including some quotes from 5 Seconds of Summer about how it came about and his participation. That includes this exchange by the band in conversation with British radio host Ash London:

“Actually on “The Best Years” The Edge from U2 plays on it. It’s actually him playing on it! That was Andrew Watt. He did “Youngblood” with us and this whole album. He [Andrew Watt] was recording on Ozzy Osbourne’s new album, so it was at the time that guests were coming in, Elton John, Tom Morello, blah blah blah. Tom Morello is playing on “Teeth.” Tom Morello and the Edge. They actually liked doing it. They are so cool with it. We didn’t have to give them a big pay day or anything. They really enjoyed the band. Maybe their kids liked the band. That’s an actually bigger point, they actually wanted to do it!”

We are continuing to work on the site at this time. Right now we’re focusing on scans for the discography, recently adding hundreds of new images for the singles “Angel of Harlem,” “When Love Comes to Town,” and “All I Want is You.” and we’re now moving on to the Achtung Baby stuff. We also added a new release to our archives, the Alles Box Set by Grönemeyer. Not only does the box set contain his song “Mensch” which was previously released with Bono, the set also includes an audio version of a performance of “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” where Bono joined Grönemeyer on stage in 2012. This is the first time it has been released in audio format. The box set was originally released in Germany in late 2016, but we just found out about the additonal Bono material recently. We’re also working to confirm that Bono has worked on another past release that isn’t in our discography.

And a reminder, you can find many other stories on our social media accounts as they happen. Do you follow us on the various sites? Now’s a good time to check us out!

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