(01-04-2007) Bono Knighthood May Help Aid Work, Will It End Rebel Anthems? - Bloom* - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-04-2007, 10:36 AM   #1
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(01-04-2007) Bono Knighthood May Help Aid Work, Will It End Rebel Anthems? - Bloom*

Bono Knighthood May Help Aid Work, Will It End Rebel Anthems?


By Mark Beech

(Bloomberg) -- The sword of knighthood that is descending on Bono's shoulders is double-edged.

The British honor gives a richly deserved stamp of approval to U2's music and to his humanitarian work. It is good news for charity, though it may harm Bono's rock credibility, encourage other stars for all the wrong reasons and make music duller.

U2 has sold more than 130 million albums and won 22 Grammy awards. Even Bono's enemies must agree the knighthood is more worthy than those bestowed on Cliff Richard and Tom Jones.

The honor, which was announced on Dec. 23 in an e-mailed news release from the British Embassy in Dublin, also recognizes the singer's globe-trotting humanitarian campaigns and Live-8 in 2005. He and fellow Irish rocker Bob Geldof, who got his honorary knighthood in 1986, were joined by R.E.M., Coldplay, Madonna and others who pressured Group of Eight leaders to forgive debt and back an immunization program that aims to save 10 million lives.

It's true that Bono has moved far away from his rock roots in grungy Dublin pubs. That is not necessarily a bad thing for a maturing artist. He also has made himself a target for critics, whose attacks often reveal pettiness and envy. Bono has been pilloried as a pretentious fraud, a pompous do-gooder entranced with political power and a publicity seeker out of his depth.

Human-rights campaigner Bianca Jagger attacked a ``club of mutual admiration'' between Bono and Geldof, while Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher scoffed that Bono's Live-8 was a waste of time, according to a Washington Times report in 2005.

Musical Sermons

It would be unfortunate if he heeds such comments and sticks to the day job. It's hard to argue against lives being saved. It would be equally regrettable if the acclaim pushes Bono the other way, into abandoning U2. It would be sad, too, if Bono's preaching were to further weigh down the music.

There are encouraging signs that none of this will happen. The new tracks on the compilation, ``U218 Singles,'' show the quartet as powerful as ever. ``The Saints Are Coming'' collaboration with Green Day suggests the best is yet to come. Also, Bono may seek to play down the hype and adopt a modest stance. In the ``U2 by U2'' autobiography, he notes: ``If we get our songs right, I think we could really be very popular.''

He should be applauded for trying to discard the decadent, superficial rock-star lifestyle.

Rockers have long sought to alter the world by blazing with passion on record. Geldof's gong was proof they could berate and bludgeon aid from individuals and governments. Bono's bauble is recognition that they can now do so through diplomatic statements and private chats with leaders who appear to be their buddies.

Rock Establishment

There is a ``to be sure.'' This means that we may never again hear the outsider desperation of anthems such as ``Street Fighting Man,'' ``Won't Get Fooled Again'' or ``Revolution.'' Rebellion has been the rallying cry of everyone from Bob Dylan, the Clash and Bob Marley on the political left, to Ted Nugent and James Brown on the right. Now some of them are going from being anti- establishment to becoming part of it themselves.

An army of increasingly serious and respectable celebrities may join the humanitarian bandwagon. Perhaps the prospect of a glittering prize will encourage some for selfish, careerist reasons? They will be seeking to emulate Bono not for his altruism so much as for his three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and his 2005 Time magazine ``Person of the Year'' title, which he shared with Bill and Melinda Gates.

All of this buzz has resulted in a caricature image of Bono and jokes such as this old one, which has been revived and doing the rounds on e-mails since Christmas. ``A man dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter is showing him around when they spot a leather- clad figure in Bono shades. The new arrival exclaims: `I didn't know that Bono had died.' St. Peter replies: `No, that's God himself. Every now and then, he likes to play at being Bono.'''

``U2 by U2'' is published by HarperCollins (350 pages, $39.95 in the U.S. or 30 pounds in the U.K.) ``U218 Singles'' is released by Interscope in the U.S. priced at $11.99 or $21.98 for an edition with an extra DVD. It is on Mercury in the U.K., at 8.99 pounds or 16.99 pounds for the expanded edition.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...hd0&refer=muse
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:45 PM   #2
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People are acting like this knighthood business is going to turn Bono into some serious, un-rock person. It's just another award and I'm sure he won't make a big deal out of it. He didn't abandon the elements of rock and roll after he became a French knight or after winning all the other awards he has gotten lately. What's the big deal? I don't think this will mean "abandoning U2." Give me a break.
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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Ditto on the supposed upcoming "lack" of rebellion type songs--as long as there are songwriters, there will be protest!
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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Exactly, what is the big deal? It is notable because he is Irish
(yeah!!) but I don't think that will be a silencer on Bono's penchant for writing songs about injustice.
He makes me proud to be an Irish-American!
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by kimby
Ditto on the supposed upcoming "lack" of rebellion type songs--as long as there are songwriters, there will be protest!
I agree totally with you as a Irish American 2nd generation!!! Susan
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel D.
People are acting like this knighthood business is going to turn Bono into some serious, un-rock person. It's just another award and I'm sure he won't make a big deal out of it. He didn't abandon the elements of rock and roll after he became a French knight or after winning all the other awards he has gotten lately. What's the big deal? I don't think this will mean "abandoning U2." Give me a break.
I agree. I actually believe Bono being Knighted is a great thing. It will add more weight on his opinions on making a better world, and this honor is long overdue.

People like Bono make this world a better place. Bono is my hero!
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #7
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Absolutely. Bono is a tell it like it is guy that stands up for what he believes in.

What's incredible is that he actually reads and researches, so he knows and speaks on an equal level with prime ministers and presidents alike.

I too would be proud to be Irish, unfortunately, some of my forebears were terrorists in the North that killed several innocent people in bombing attacks. This makes me feel ashamed, because I really don't know what to think. I mean, I was sort of proud of it for a while, as an Irish-nationalist once removed. But after seeing Bono's speech where he denounces the Enniskillen bombing in "Rattle & Hum," I realized that it was wrong to harm people in this way, no matter how just the cause was.
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:51 AM   #8
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That is horrible! I'm glad Bono and U2 helped you see the light.

There is NO cause that justifies harming other people.

Or insulting, even.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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Zoopunk...this world needs more open-minded people like yourself.

You are an inspiration. Thanks for making my day.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZooPunk
Absolutely. Bono is a tell it like it is guy that stands up for what he believes in.

What's incredible is that he actually reads and researches, so he knows and speaks on an equal level with prime ministers and presidents alike.

I too would be proud to be Irish, unfortunately, some of my forebears were terrorists in the North that killed several innocent people in bombing attacks. This makes me feel ashamed, because I really don't know what to think. I mean, I was sort of proud of it for a while, as an Irish-nationalist once removed. But after seeing Bono's speech where he denounces the Enniskillen bombing in "Rattle & Hum," I realized that it was wrong to harm people in this way, no matter how just the cause was.
Wow, that's pretty heavy stuff. I am sorry you feel ashamed.
I think you can still be proud of your Irish heritage though! I am sure there are people in all of our family trees at some point to be ashamed of but that shouldn't negate the fact or lessen the fact that you have Irish blood. Bravo to you, I am a proponet of non-violence also and have marched for peace here in America, in DC and NYC!
Guess who inspired me? Yep!
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