“World Peace Tomorrow”: U2′s 1987 Manifesto Resurfaces

May 8, 2017 · Print This Article

The U2 manifesto to change the world has resurfaced, buried in a 1987 interview available on YouTube.

During the conversation with NBC television in the United States that took place during the third leg of the first Joshua Tree tour, the band were pressed on their reputation as the new religious and social conscience of rock music. As in other interviews where this topic was pursued, the band pushed back against any messianic implications that they were or are spokespeople, while also owning their commitment to justice.

Edge emphasized, “We refuse to accept that there are certain things that you can’t deal with in a rock n roll song.”

Toward the end of the interview (around the 6:25 mark of part 5 of the clips), the band kicked into playful mode and dropped a point-by-point declaration, which we can now show the world again, their 1987 manifesto. It all seems sincere, except for a silly point about hats and Texans, which is hilarious considering the band’s late 1980s obsession with American head-wear. The points follow:

  1. Solve World Hunger
  2. World Peace Tomorrow
  3. All Political Prisoners Released Tomorrow
  4. Removal of All Borders
  5. Removal of All Hats from Texans
  6. Free Fuel
  7. Another 100,000 Rock n Roll Bands Formed

Thirty years later, the world is still dealing with these problems. There has been lots of cynicism from left and right toward the band’s activism over the decades, but they still address the issues of the day. It will be interesting to see how the current controversies and commentary factors in to the upcoming U2 world tour.

The interview clip with the “manfesto” is here: https://youtu.be/H8B6ESxYkRw

The whole interview begins with this clip: https://youtu.be/nNmROSiqb7U

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