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Old 01-28-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
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Great Bono Edge interview

Outtakes from Bono & Edge's Sundance Interview

USA Today's Sundance Blog, January 27, 2008



Anthony Breznican, who interviewed Bono & The Edge at the Sundance Film Festival last week for USA Today, has shared with us some of the interview outtakes, which he posted on his Sundance blog:


Bono's the chattier one, as you would guess, but The Edge has that low-key sense of humor that sneaks up on you. These anecdotes didn't fit into the larger story, but they're still fun little moments.

The drive began at Robert Redford's Sundance Ski Resort about an hour's drive from the main festival in Park City, where their three-dimensional concert film was premiering that night.

Redford invited them over for lunch and then toured them through the facility, catching their fancy with a restored 1890s rosewood bar that he brought in from Wyoming. It was once frequented by the bandit Butch Cassidy and his Hole-in-the-Wall gang.

"They got it from Ireland. It was built in Ireland," Bono says excitedly from the front seat, repeating what Redford had just told them. "It was 500 outlaws holed up and they had everything, but they were complaining about the quality of their bar. Of course a lot of them were Irish as you might imagine."

The Edge smiles and bobs his head in the back seat.

"And a bunch of them get together and go, 'Umm, this bar isn't really up to much. Who's good at bars...?' Butch Cassidy had it commissioned."

"You know, it's probably one of the first Irish bars ever exported out of Ireland," The Edge says.

I tell him, well, the Hole-in-the-Wall gang was a successful operation. The Edge says admiringly: "They had a lot of money."

Bono leans back and says he ordered a Bushmills Irish whiskey at the bar, but then wasn't sure how Redford would respond: "I'll tell you, fairplay to Bob. I order the Bushmills and I thought, uh, in America it's kind of against the law to drink during the day. And he was like, 'Yeah...gulp!'" The singer and guitarist laugh. Bono turns back to the front, "I said, 'This is my kind of man!'"



******************************

We conducted the interview in a car during an hour-long ride to Park City for their premiere, and shortly after we started off on the trip I explained to them that I'd asked friends who were U2 fans for a couple question suggestions.

I hit them with some serious ones, which led to most of the quotes in the top half of the story.

However, my brother, Greg, had responded to my call for a U2 question with: Ask them, if you're riding in a car at the speed of light and you turn on your headlights, what would happen?

The guys were in a joking mood (having just done whiskey shots with Robert Redford back at the Sundance Resort) and I wanted to keep things light.

So I asked my brother's stupid question.

Bono laughed, but The Edge was stone-faced, sitting beside me in the back seat.

"I can answer that," he said, holding back a smile.

Bono leaned in from the shotgun seat, while the driver glanced occasionally in the rearview mirror. "Edge is the band scientist," Bono said, pointing at the guitarist. "Go."

The Edge said, with finality, that what would happen is -- nothing. "No. Because the speed of light...is...it." He crossed his hands in the air.

Bono considered this in silence, then looked at me and asked, "Know what I think?"

The Edge, the driver and the reporter were all ears. Bono said: "I think you can see where you've come from..."

Twin eyebrows raised over his circular violet sunglasses as he gauged our reactions.

"Ooohh," The Edge said turning to me slowly. "He's very deep, you know."


******************************

Bono said the best for him was the rendition of "Miss Sarajevo," a song the band had originally recorded with a tenor part sung by Luciano Pavarotti.

Hearing it now, Bono said, will raise a lot of memories of his friend, who died last September. "Oh my God, it's going to be very difficult to watch," he said.

U2 and Pavarotti recorded that song in 1995, and over the next 12 years remained close.

"He was a funny one," Bono said. "Pavarotti was so great because he didn't just want everyone to love his music -- but to look like him. So at Christmas he would send these sides of beef and parmesan cheese -- stuff that if you ate you would immediately..." He held his hands out over his belly.

Bono said it was that little thing -- the Christmas present -- that reopened a sense of mourning months after the tenor's death.

"All of the sudden this year, after Christmas, I went and opened the fridge just to look for it. Over 10 years it's been happening. The fridge is filled by Pavarotti." He looks at The Edge in the back seat with me. "And yours too, I'm sure."

The Edge says, "Yes, mmm, good stuff."

Bono continues, "I went to open the fridge, and it wasn't there. Nicoletta (Pavarotti's widow) had sent something, though she would send something more discrete. But he was opera..."


******************************

They also played a one-off song, written for their friend Ronnie Drew, co-founding folk singer of The Dubliners, who at 73 is battling cancer.

"It was a night with some wine bottles," Bono said, as The Edge listened on from the back seat. "We started talking about great singers, like this guy from The Dubliners. We started talking about Robert Hunter from The Grateful Dead. Never met him, but he learned German to translate The Duino Elegies, by Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my favorite poets. So I happen to know him from that..."

The singer went on: "With the wine, we thought we could ring him, and we got the number eventually and we were going to write a song for this fellow Ronnie Drew. Anyway, he misheard the message -- not write a song for Ronnie Drew to sing, but write a song about Ronnie Drew."

Bono and The Edge agreed that worked out even better.

"He sent us some lyrics and we worked on the music and lyrics together. It was just recorded a few days ago," Bono said, slipping a homemade CD into the car stereo.

It's a jaunty Irish folk tune with lines that sound like a pub-full of admirers reciting a toast. Sinead O'Connor and Andrea Coor sing backup.

"It's not for our album it's just a gift for him," the singer said. "I think we might put it out in the next few months, or the summer. I don't know when it will be put out. He's one of the great folk singers of all time and we’re trying to cheer him from the sidelines as he fights against his illness."

I said the subject reminded me of an earlier song for another singer, "Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad," written for Frank Sinatra in his final years.

Bono described performing it for Ol' Blue Eyes, but said: "The best bit with that would have been if Frank had sang it." Then he launches into a Sinatra lounge impression, complete with the flat Hoboken accent: "Yes, I've been GREEDY / All of my LIFE / Greedy with my children / my lover, my wife..."

"We played it for him," Bono said wistfully. "He never sang it though."


******************************

Bono had just finished playing me a demo track from their upcoming album, a song called "No Line on the Horizon" that he was inspired to slip into the CD player by the gorgeous white sunset settling over the surrounding mountains.

Bono looks back at the guitarist and says, "Edge -- look, it's 6 o'clock," and the two look from the green digits on the stereo to each other. Bono explains that numbers are significant in each of the new songs, and slips in another CD that may be the first track on the album. It's opening lyric is, "It's six o'clock..."

I said, "Isn't it weird how certain numbers seem to turn up in our lives? It seems like this kind of thing is especially common kind of game with musical people, who must make numbers and patterns a part of their art." "Yeah, we like numbers," Bono says.

Some friends of mine in a Pittsburgh band called Race the Ghost have that thing with 316, which would pop up with all of us at strange times -- the address of a party, part of an important phone number, the title of a Van Halen song, the row and seat number at a concert...

"Three-sixteen?" Bono says, turning down the music to ponder it. For a moment I think he's going to dismiss the phenomenon. Then he jerks his head toward the guitarist and says knowingly: "Edge's is 42."

"I discovered recently that it is actually the secret number of the universe," The Edge says.

"What is it?" Bono asks, and The Edge repeats himself. Bono feigns concern and says, "Steady on, The Edge..."

"Why is that funny? Quite honestly..." The Edge replies. He's so stoic it's hard to tell if he's joking -- but he's joking. "It was in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...But scientists have recently discovered that it's actually true..."

The Edge's voice is then drowned out as Bono blasts the volume on his jangling guitar intro, just in time for the "six o'clock" lyric. Bono sings along with himself for a moment, then turns the sound down again and looks back at the guitarist and smiles sarcastically: "Say it again...Sorry, Edge, for interrupting you, oh master of the universe."

The Edge is undaunted by his friend's teasing and describes a mathematical study about 42 recurring in formulas relating to mass, energy, speed and other physical properties. It's clear he's the scientist, and Bono is the poet -- but both see a mysticism in numbers from different directions.

While transcribing the interview recording, I was trying to Google the number 42 and see what Edge was talking about. But I stopped when I noticed something...

This discussion started precisely at minute 42 on the recording. No joke. I went back to 3:16 on the recording, and that is the precise end of my very first question.

Coincidence...or Mysterious Ways?
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:50 AM   #2
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Cool ,thanks

42 is the secret number of the universe..

Edge had some more muchrooms??
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:55 AM   #3
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42 is an important number... as you can see in "Lost"
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
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That was fantastic, thank you for posting that!

I love reading random quotes and things from the band. That was one of the things that was so good about U2 at the End of the World, we got to see a side of the band not normally seen in the run-of-the-mill interviews which always ask the same boring questions we've already heard 100 times, and this article brought the same thing to the table
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:27 PM   #5
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LOL!! Thank you for sharing this I so enjoy these 2 guys humor.....though sometimes I just dont get it
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:58 PM   #6
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Thank you for posting that! That was great!
That felt like a real converstion, they are so down to earth.
LOVE THEM so much. What great guys!
I wanna hang out with them like all of us wish we could!
I would gladly do whiskey shots with Bono at 3pm ...
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:54 PM   #7
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Any interview that has a Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference is a good interview
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:30 PM   #8
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Pavarotti in the refrigerator...great! Thanks for that.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:49 PM   #9
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Great interview, thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:30 AM   #10
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That was awesome, thanks for posting
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:27 AM   #11
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This was excellent, thanks for sharing...I'd heard there were "outtakes". I would love to share some time with Bono and Edge in a car, a room somewhere and listen to them banter back and forth. They really play off one another well and have the greatest senses of humor!

No joke in the topic of numbers though.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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Re: Great Bono Edge interview

Quote:
Originally posted by europop2005


The Edge's voice is then drowned out as Bono blasts the volume on his jangling guitar intro, just in time for the "six o'clock" lyric. Bono sings along with himself for a moment, then turns the sound down again and looks back at the guitarist and smiles sarcastically: "Say it again...Sorry, Edge, for interrupting you, oh master of the universe."

I can totally see him doing this, it's so typically Bono
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #13
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I loved the original interview and I love these outtakes even more. Great read, thanks for posting!
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:38 PM   #14
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They've got it all going on.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:30 AM   #15
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Oh christ, I love those two. And they mentioned the Hitchhiker's Guide.
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