Bono’s U2 Bandmates Would Rather He Didn’t Play Guitar
"I shouldn't really tell you this, but there's often a move in U2 to stop me playing guitar," the frontman joked during a recent interview, adding that although they're outnumbered, "I do have the Edge beside me, and he's often saying 'No, no, let him play one or two or three songs.'" And they may not be able to stop Bono's son from plugging in and rocking out: "My boy's a really great guitar player and a big Oasis and Nirvana fan," he explained, saying his progeny is "down with the rock songs" on the band's new 'Songs of Innocence' album.
Bono delved into the songwriting process behind those new songs during an appearance on the Sheila & Marconi show (which you can check out below), sharing a few particulars about the way he tried to travel back to his emotional roots while writing them -- and occasionally suffered a few pangs of nervousness, as with the song 'Iris,' which deals with memories of his mother and the heartbreaking circumstances of her death. "I had a few nervous moments about it," he admitted. "In fact, just a few days before we put the song out, I woke up thinking, 'This is not a really punk rock thing to do.' But then I said, 'John Lennon wrote about his mother. I can do it -- I have to do it. The rage that propels me and got me interested in punk rock came from death, and from grief, and all that."
He also looked back on a painful chapter in U2 history that occurred in his hosts' home city of Portland, Ore., discussing a time early in the group's run when he lost a collection of lyrics. "It was around the time when the band were just figuring out how to be a band, and I lost a case with lyrics in it. It was kind of a difficult memory, but it was put right recently in the last few years," he mused. "Somebody discovered it, and rather than sell it or put it out on the Internet ... they were decent people who could have made a buck and decided not to. So I had what was a bad memory turned into a very beautiful memory." As for the lyrics themselves, he laughed that after getting them back, he couldn't see using them on a future release: "To be honest with you, they weren't very good. That was the humbling bit."
And as for those who complained that they wanted to delete 'Songs of Innocence' from their iTunes accounts after the band made a splash by giving it away to all of the online music giant's account holders? Bono insists the band doesn't hold a grudge. "Nobody has deleted more U2 music over the last five years than the members of U2," he quipped. "That's why it took five years."