Promo Appearances and Howard Stern

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-04)

The promotional appearances are finishing up in North America today with an appearance on the Howard Stern show. Bono and The Edge spoke with Stern for over an hour, and played a few songs acoustic in the studio including “You’re The Best Thing About Me” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.

The band are taking off for Europe next and there are a few things coming up to watch out for:

  • December 6, 2017: Bono and Edge will be in Berlin for a Question and Answers session with fans. Contests are being held for entry to the session. The venue is not yet known.
  • December 10, 2017: Bono and the Edge will appear on the television show Che Tempo che fa and will start at approximately 20:30 at Rai Uno.
  • “U2 at the BBC” will air in the evening of December 19, 2017 on the BBC, hosted by Cat Deeley and produced by Ed Wells. This was recorded at Abbey Road Studios last month on November 16, 2017, and U2 are said to have played “Beautiful Day,” “Every Breaking Wave,” “All I Want is You,” “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of,” “With or Without You,” “Lights of Home,” and “Love is All We Have Left”.

A preview of the U2 at the BBC show has been made available on YouTube of U2 performing “All I Want is You” with a long snippet of “Walk to the Water”:

For those who missed the Howard Stern appearance we live tweeted the interview and tried to capture some of the highlights of the interview. You can see our twitter feed below, but we’ve also copied the tweets over here:

  • Bono and The Edge are now on the air with Howard Stern. He says they make him nervous.
  • Bono: “Are we not living proof that video didn’t kill the radio star?”
  • Talking about the mullet. Talking about the fact Bono and The Edge like each other and don’t fight with each other (like the Stones, Van Halen)
  • Edge: “We were friends before we were in the band”. Also says they know it’s not a competition, better together than apart. Bono telling stories about Edge trying to knock Bono out, in defense of Larry.
  • Talking about the early days. Note on school board. Labels turning them down. People being fired trying to sign them.
  • Memories of Joey Ramone. Playing Ramones songs and passsing them off as their own. Writing their own stuff. Influences from Europe / Germany such as Kraftwerk.
  • Bono says his dad didn’t want him to dream, because he didn’t want him to be disappointed. Wanted him to get a real job.
  • Edge was into explosives when he was young. He and his brother were fascinated with fire and explosives. Used to borrow compounds from the chemistry lab, potassium permanganate…a petrol bomb scarred his brother.
  • “The names were an attempt to describe the vibe…the essence of someone…” – Bono on the Lypton Village nicknames. Bono’s father called him Paul and refused to use Bono.
  • Bono wanted to take Iris off the album, sounded too ‘sissy’ but it was too late, it was already delivered to Apple. Then he realized it may be anniversary of her death. Texted his brother who wasn’t sure of the date. The day Iris went into the world was the anniversary
  • Bono now watches rugby, and his kids come in and watch him shout at the telly like he used to watch his own dad and Norman shout at the TV.
  • Edge used to have cheese sandwiches every day for lunch. Needed something to shake life up. Explosives. Drums. Eventually guitar.
  • This interview so far with Bono and The Edge on Howard Stern has firmly been focused on the 1970s, and the early formation of U2. Great look back at the early days.
  • Bono finds it difficult to listen to the earlier stuff. Edge loves it and thinks Bono sounds amazing. Bono says he’s more of a singer now, he can make the text change depending on the reading of it, like Sinatra could.
  • Stern catches the fact that “The Hype” was because Bowie’s first band was called “The Hype” – Bono now singing Bowie lines from Blackstar.
  • Now asking about Bono getting a hobby, and starting an investment group. Bono returning with the never playing golf story. Finds math quite relaxing. Learned commerce through his work in Africa.
  • Edge “We’re not fussy. A great idea, wherever it comes from will be used”. Write solo. Write together. “We use the studio like a songwriting tool.”
  • Edge now playing “You’re The Best Thing” on acoustic, with Bono singing…
  • Bono hasn’t yet seen Springsteen on Broadway. (Wonder if he couldn’t get verified? Haha – AJ)
  • Stern saying the band looks like true friendships, a real family. Bono says the organization is run by women. Stern says they’ve really respected women.
  • Bono said if they got out of line, they had lots of women around to “slap them around”. (Names Sheila Roche, Karen Kaplan, Ellen Darst)
  • Stern now playing song clips and getting response. Bono says they started getting worried with October, that they would be dropped for their faith.
  • While Bono was on honeymoon, Edge went off and developed songs for War. Bono says while he was making love, Edge was making war. SBS was one of the songs Edge put together.
  • Bono and The Edge now performing an acoustic version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (“real slow”)
  • Bono says he’s realizing the experience of being in the front of the crowd, and the roar of the crowd, is screaming for their own experiences with the songs, and not the band. That the people are screaming for themselves.
  • Stern is playing songs through the 80s. Bono says he can’t stand listening to “With or Without You” when Stern plays it.
  • Bono tells a story about him and Larry in Jamaica at the bar commiserating that they didn’t quite get to the end point on recording The Joshua Tree…not realizing how big it would be.
  • Edge speaking about the ultimate live tune. Had a week off and came up with chords. Figured out how to go from slow to fast tempo. Playing opening to “Streets” on guitar now.
  • Edge took the opening to the band. Got the band into a room, and they figure out the song. Adam is next, ‘do something that works with these chords’ then Larry hops on the kit.
  • The backing track that Eno tried to destroy for “Streets” is actually what went onto the album.
  • They are going back through U2’s history almost year by year. Now covering “Rattle and Hum” in passing, and hopping to the 90s and moving to Berlin “The Grand Madness”
  • Bono prefers when Mary J Blige sings “One”. Edge loves covers of their songs, especially as muzak in elevators.
  • Now starting to talk about the new album as time is getting short.
  • Edge “We still believe in the album, but we know its under threat.” Edge still listens to great albums.
  • Edge makes fun of Bono showing people the album cover on radio.
  • Bono struggling to speak about the brush with mortality. Bono says he doesn’t want to talk about it. Had “a few warning shots.”
  • Bono says he can’t get away with talking about it where he comes from, and he doesn’t “have the courage” to talk about it.
  • U2 is not on twitter, they prefer Instagram. Adam goes on art hikes. Edge takes lovely photos. Bono avoids reading blogs.
  • Bono mentions his daughter’s ‘brittle heart’ which lead him to write “Get Out of Your Own Way”. Bono and Edge performing it next. Edge said this album has been one of his favorites from the beginning.
  • Bono wants to do the song lower so he doesn’t sound like a girl and asks Edge to back up.

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