29 October 2001
Part Showman, Part Soul Man, Details Magazine
As U2's Elevation Tour returns to America, the last rock star may have finally found what he's looking for, reports Andrew Essex in a Details Magazine cover story.
In a lengthy profile, talking to Bono at several points on the current tour, including before the Slane Castle shows in Ireland, the writer also catches up with the singer during the recording of What's Going On - released commercially this week.
You'll have to buy the magazine to see this excellent piece in full but here's a couple of tasters:
'Walking back into the studio, Bono asks (producer Jermaine) Dupri to run down the song again. He likes it. It showcases the falsetto that went missing in Philly. The groove kicks in, a little more guitar-heavy than Gaye's original, and Bono starts bobbing his head. "I'm very secure with the fact that I'm not black," he says as his voice begins to soar against the backbeat. "I'm white, pink and rosy. But I've got soul."
And on the commercial importance of rock bands in general:
Let's start owning up to our ambition, he says of his would-be-colleagues, because suppressing it is what has hip-hop walking all over white middle-class college kids with guitars. I'm not running with that crowd. Understand? We come from the north side of Dublin. We've more in common with the hip-hop people. We want to win. Bono feels that up-and-coming bands, particularly those of the aggro variety, could work a bit harder. They're getting the agony, he says. That's easy. Any first-year art student can. Ectasy is a whole different matter. To his urban colleagues, he's more charitable. Destiny's Child, he says, are vying with us to be the best band on the planet."