In a wide-ranging interview with the journalist Martin Scholz for Germany’s Die Welt, Bono has paid homage to Mick Jagger who turned seventy on Friday. Bono is a longtime friend of The Stones frontman and says one of the many things he likes about Mick as a person ‘is that he always speaks his mind openly and he never talks much about himself. He is not a narcissistic person.’
Die Welt asks Bono '…. what goes through your mind when you see this man running across the stage for more than two hours, dancing, shaking, singing without stopping, as he has done it for more than, well, 50 years now?'
'There are a lot of things I admire about Mick Jagger, ' replies Bono, 'He looks like Baryshnikov, he is like a ballet dancer from another age. And he has a very beautiful face, and it is made more beautiful by all the lines in his face. Why? Because he wears them so well. I love the lines in his face.’
As consecutive tours by U2 and The Stones continue to break audience records, Bono laughs that any competition between the bands is ‘only on a humorous level’. ‘If you put on big shows, people understand by now better that you are spending the money on them. High production cost are investments in the audience, because you want to make sure that they get something for their money.’
Die Welt asks what is the most common misconception about The Stones. Bono muses that 'people often wonder why Mick is so savvy, they criticise that he is so good with the numbers and money' before explaining the reason is that The Stones lost a lot of money in the early days. He goes on to say. 'It´s that left-brain-right-brain-thing that I particularly admire, the combination of the creative and the management-part which is a rare thing among artists, musicians – not amongst filmmakers or architects though.'
Martin Scholz translated his interview with Bono directly into German for last week’s publication. But if you speak German and you read that original interview on the Die Welt website you'll have noticed several sections have been mis-translated and mis-reported by some English language websites. As Martin Scholz points out, these versions in English 'even invented a sentence which doesn’t exist’.
Martin got in touch with us to express his dismay with how some publications had created a false impression of the interview. The original interview in German is a great read and we’re planning to bring you an accurate English translation on U2.com.