News Wrap Up: Bono’s Birthday Initiative, Sun City, Merchandise, and Drive for Five

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-02-12)

Did you know Bono’s 60th birthday is coming up in May? May 10, 2020 marks sixty years since Bono was born Paul Hewson. To mark the day a group of fans have come up with plans to organize U2 fans worldwide to host birthday celebrations around the globe. They are suggesting that people raise a glass on May 10, 2020 and to take a picture of yourself toasting Bono on that day with the tag #bonosglobalbirthdaybash

As well, some are organizing parties or other events around the world to celebrate the initiative, if you are near and want to celebrate with others. We won’t be planning a party ourselves, and are not directly involved with the initiative, but wanted to share the information for those who are interested.

The group is called Bono’s Global Birthday Bash. They can be found on Facebook and on Twitter if you would like more information.

(Before we get to May 10, there’s a few other milestone dates to celebrate. Adam Clayton will turn 60 on March 13. And our site celebrates 25 years since it was first launched in April. Stay tuned for some contests for the second!)

Speaking of fan initiatives, you may also want to check out one fan’s project to preserve the remains of the Joshua Tree that graced the album The Joshua Tree. To that end he’s started to capture images of the tree with the final plan being a 3D model of the photographed tree. This includes aerial shots, and photographs of the surrounding area. Information about the project can be found at which details the project plans and progress so far.

Rolling Stone published a story yesterday about Little Steven’s Sun City album, and how it has been re-released. The album includes Bono on the title track, “Sun City” as well as the solo track “Silver and Gold” which is different than the band version that appeared as a b-side on the “Where the Streets Have No Name” single.

The article on Rolling Stone mentioned that the rerelease was part of the box set Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel – The Early Work which was released before Christmas. The release featured five albums on coloured vinyl, including the album Born Again Savage which Little Steven worked on with Adam Clayton. Each of the albums were also reissued last fall as digital releases, which can be bought now. It appears however, that plans to release these by themselves on vinyl is also happening. Rolling Stone has updated the article to list “The albums will also be available individually starting March 13th.”

It is not known if this March release will be on black vinyl, or on coloured vinyl like the ones in the boxed set. The vinyl included in the box set for Sun City was black with red vinyl. A word of warning, the album artwork and sleeves appeared to be reproduced from low quality images on these new issues in the boxed set, hopefully this will be fixed for any stand alone release. Our discography entry for the boxed set, released December 6, can be found here.

For those looking for U2 merchandise, U2 continues to add new material to their shop. The latest additions are a series of long sleeved shirts being described as “military style” embroidered over each pocket. We told you about three shirts on January 17, however at that time, only The Joshua Tree design was available to purchase. Over the weekend, they’ve now added the War design to the UK Shop on U2.Com. The third design, the Zoo TV one, has not yet been put on sale.

And for those asking, people from outside the UK can order from the UK Shop on U2.Com. They will ship from the UK to international orders. But if you live outside of the UK, you may have additional customs duties and fees. The shirts are not in stock currently, this is a pre-order, and they are listed to ship mid-February.

Bono joined former Irish president Mary Robinson to launch a “Drive for Five” campaign at the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday. The campaign calls for action to help adolescent girls access to 12 years of quality education in safe environments. At the event, young women from various countries spoke about their personal experiences being denied education. More coverage of the event can be found on RTE.

As always we’ve been working away at our U2 discography and have uncovered a few releases that we missed the first time around. The first was found by our friend Anam, Back in 2006, Mary J. Blige released a version of “One” which she had recorded with U2. It was released as a single and featured Blige trading vocals back and forth with Bono throughout the song. That was the version widely released as a single and on her album The Breakthrough. But at the end of 2006 she also released another version of the song for her compilation album Reflections (A Retrospective). This time however, you get far more Mary and far less Bono. Bono can only be heard singing back up vocals on one chorus (just repeating “One”) and Blige does all of the remaining vocals. The track still features The Edge on guitar, Larry on drums and Adam on bass, but Bono’s role is minimal. For those interested we have more information in the discography entry for the album. Thanks Anam for finding this one that we missed the first time out.

The second recent addition to the discography is the entry for A Taste of Reality Bites which was a promotional sampler given out to cinema goers in the UK when the film debuted in 1994 at the UCI Cinemas chain. The promotional disc features 20 tracks, most of which are spoken clips from the actors involved in the film, but they also include short edits of the different songs from the soundtrack album, including a version of “All I Want is You” that is 1:10 in length. The release has been added to the U2 discography here.

And a reminder, you can find these and many other stories on our social media accounts as they happen. Do you follow us on the various sites?

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