Dec
06
2004

'Chasing Away Ugliness'


06 December 2004
'Chasing Away Ugliness'
"The job of art is to chase away ugliness", Bono tells Chuck Klosterman for the cover story of the new issue of Spin Magazine.

"So let's start with the roads. Cars are so ugly. America is supposedly the country that brought us the love of the automobile, yet they haven't produced a beautiful car in decades. Americans used to make feminine cars with a sense of humour, but now it's all SUVs. The Germans kind of picked up the slack for a while, but the Italians ultimately were the ones that took them on. But the Italians pick such arrogant names. Do you know what quattroporte means? Four-door. It means four-door..."

...We begin driving away from the studio, a faceless two-story building
nestled along the canal in Dublin's most relentlessly industrial
neighborhood. Suddenly, Bono
"I'm going to talk to these kids," Bono says as he stops the Maserati and jumps out. I can see him signing autographs in the rearview mirror. This strikes me as quaint, and I begin jotting down the event in my notebook. But then Bono opens the trunk and throws the teenagers' bags inside. Suddenly, there are four pale kids climbing into the backseat. I guess we're lucky this is a Quattroporte.

"We're gonna give these kids a ride," says Bono. I look over my right shoulder at the girl from Austria, and I witness someone's mind being blown out of her skull; I can almost see her brains and blood splattered across the rear window. The car takes off. Bono drives recklessly, accelerating and braking at random. "Do you want to hear the new album?" he asks the glassy-eyed teenagers. This is more than a month before How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb will be released. They say, "Yes." Bono punches up track four, "Love and Peace or Else." He hits play, and it's loud; it sounds like someone dropping the throttle on a Harrier Jump Jet. Bono starts singing along, harmonizing with himself. He's playing air drums while he drives. The music changes, and he exclaims, "This is the Gary Glitter part!" The music changes again. "This is the Brian Wilson moment!" The teenagers aren't even talking. They're just kind of looking at each other, almost like they¹re afraid this is some Celtic version of Punk'd. ...............

Further extracts are available in the current edition of Spin //