Bono, U2, Red and World Aids Day

Bono (Red) Program

Bono (Red) Program

Today is World AIDS Day, a day of particular significance to Bono, whose (RED) brand launched  years ago to help support the Global Fund in their effort to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Since its beginning, (RED) has garnered the support of major retailers like Apple, Dell, Starbucks, Gap, and American Eagle (just to name a few).

Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

Bono visits Washington


Bono will appeal to Democrats and Republicans during a visit to Washington this week to spare U.S. development assistance programs from cuts as Congress tries to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending reductions early next year.

he U2 lead singer's visit comes as the Obama administration and congressional leaders try to forge a deal in coming weeks to avoid the economy hitting the "fiscal cliff" - tax increases and spending cuts worth $600 billion starting in January if Congress does not act.

Analysts say the absence of a deal could shock the United States, the world's biggest economy, back into recession.

Kathy McKiernan, spokeswoman for the ONE Campaign, said Bono will hold talks with congressional lawmakers and senior Obama administration officials during the November 12-14 visit.

During meetings he will stress the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance programs and the need to preserve them to avoid putting at risk progress made in fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, she said.

Bono, a long-time advocate for the poor, will argue that U.S. government-funded schemes that support life-saving treatments for HIV/AIDS sufferers, nutrition programs for malnourished children, and emergency food aid make up just 1 percent of the U.S. government budget but are helping to save tens of millions of lives in impoverished nations.

The One Campaign would not elaborate which lawmakers and senior Obama administration officials Bono will meet.

Barack Obama's One

(RTTNews) - Mary J. Blige performed at Thursday night's Democratic national convention. She performed a cover of U2's classic track "One." She followed this up with her own hit "Family Affair," leading into the song by asking the crowd to "get it crunk for President Obama!" "One" is featured on U2's album Achtung Baby. "Family Affair" appears on Blige's fifth studio effort, No More Drama. Thursday was the final night of the Democratic convention. It closed with President Barack Obama accepting the nomination for another term in the White House. He will face off against Republican nominee Mitt Romney in November.

Bono Greets African Big Brothers

BONO stunned housemates on the African version of Big Brother – when he appeared on video screen to address them. The legendary rocker was beamed to the house live from Dublin, which contains housemates from 14 different African nations.

“This is your Irish rock star fan, Bono. You are my big brothers and little sisters”, he said.

The U2 front man spoke to the housemates about the garden which they have to cultivate over the course of the series, as part of the new campaign being run by his ONE charity.

“I hear you’re growing and farming the future, and that the fruit is the hope and change that we’re all hungry for”, he told them. The star finished up by telling the stunned housemates: “Big love, big respect from Dublin Ireland and everyone in the ONE campaign”. The housemates were elated by the appearance of the Irish rocker. One said: “I feel like I’m a star”. While another added: “This is so surreal, I cannot believe it”.

The African version of big brother is one of the most popular shows on the continent, attracting participants from 14 different countries and being broadcast in 47 countries.

One Looking for Inspiration

One” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, and it was released as the record’s third single in March 1992. It was recorded at three recording studios, Hansa Ton Studios, Elsinore, and Windmill Lane Studios. During the album’s recording, conflict arose between the band members over the direction of U2’s sound and the quality of their material. Tensions almost prompted the band to break up, until guitarist The Edge composed a chord progression that inspired the group to improvise the song, which was written as a ballad. The band worked on the mix for “One” throughout the remainder of the album’s sessions. The lyrics, written by lead singer Bono, describe fracturing interpersonal relationships, but they have been interpreted in other ways.

“One” was released as a benefit single, with proceeds going towards AIDS research. The song reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, and it topped the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. In promotion of the song, the band had several music videos filmed, although they were not pleased until the third video was created.

The song has since been acclaimed as one of the greatest songs of all time, and it is consistently featured in listener and critic polls. The song has been played by U2 at every one of their tour concerts since the song’s live debut in 1992, and it has appeared in many of the band’s concert films. In a live setting, “One” is often used by the band to promote human rights or social justice causes, and the song lends its namesake to Bono’s charitable organization, the ONE Campaign. In 2006, U2 re-recorded the song as part of a duet with contemporary R&B singer Mary J. Blige.

Looking for some new inspiration, the guys wrapped up their tour, spent several months at home and headed to Berlin in October 1990, flying into town the day Germany officially reunited.

The city was joyous. While the Wall between East and West Berlin was falling down, though, new barriers were being built between U2’s four members. Bono and the Edge wanted to explore new sounds, with hip-hop, Madchester and club music serving as good places to start. Adam Clayton, the only one with any real nightclub experience, told the others they didn’t know the first thing about dance music. Meanwhile, Mullen balked at the drum machines that producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois had pulled into the studio. Wasn’t he supposed to be the band’s percussionist?

With U2’s future in doubt, “One” literally brought the band back together. Working one evening at Hansa Studios – ground zero for David Bowie’s groundbreaking work with Eno in the 1970s – the Edge began composing a bridge for the song that later became “Ultraviolet (Light My Way).” He banged out some minor chords on piano, then came up with a major-key resolution. When he switched over to acoustic guitar and starting playing the sections back-to-back, a new song was born. The other bandmates joined in, with Bono improvising some lyrics inspired by a recent invitation from the Dalai Lama, who’d invited the group to attend a festival called Oneness. Within minutes, the framework for “One” was complete.

On an album filled with irony, sex and self-deprecation, “One” cuts through to the heart of a relationship. Each verse poses new questions – Is it getting better? Did I disappoint you? Have you come here for forgiveness? – without offering any answers in return. Keeping things deliberately vague, Bono lobs his inquiries into thin air, aiming them at his band, his spouse, the Edge’s estranged wife, or maybe even none of the above. The addressees don’t matter. “One” isn’t about love, after all; it’s about resignation.

“The song is a bit twisted,” Bono explained in Neil McCormick’s U2 By U2, “which is why I could never figure out why people want it at their weddings. I have certainly met a hundred people who’ve had it at their weddings. I tell them, ‘Are you mad? It’s about splitting up!’”

But U2 didn’t split up. They tied up some loose ends in Berlin, flew back to Dublin and finished Achtung Baby, which reinvented the band’s sound, image and audience. The God-fearing boys who’d appeared so earnest, so unapologetically self-righteous during the Rattle And Hum days had grown into clever, comfortable men who could laugh at their own success. Bono even began hamming it up onstage in leather jackets and oversized sunglasses, finally embracing the “rockstar” persona that his job afforded. The rest of the band followed suit.

Still, “One” is Achtung Baby’s most vulnerable moment, the human heart that beats between the glitzy, industrial gloss of “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and “Until The End Of The World.” Bono sings the lyrics in a half-broken voice, sounding worn out and dejected until the last 30 seconds, where he flips into a gorgeous falsetto. The Edge, who ended “With Or Without You” with a simple guitar pattern instead of a traditional solo, does the same thing here, chiming his way around Bono’s vocals with ringing, slightly delayed quarter notes. The two parts support one another, perhaps taking their cues from the song’s own words (“We’re one, but we’re not the same / We get to carry each other”).

It may have been cooked up in a frenzied half-hour of inspiration, but “One” has enjoyed a long shelf life. Every U2 concert since 1992 has featured the song. Johnny Cash covered it on 2000’s American III: Solitary Man, and Mary J. Blige scored a hit six years later with her own version, which turned the tune’s fragility into an anthem of unity. Recently, “One” has also been linked to Bono’s work as a social activist, even lending its name to the ONE Campaign.

People tend to attribute U2’s success to an ability to adapt, change and reinvent, often one step ahead of the mainstream. “One” was the group’s first major transformation, the song that blasted through a decade’s worth of self-serious rock and roll and signaled something different. Other transformations followed, including an eventual return to the anthems that kicked off U2’s career. But without “One,” there’d be no Achtung Baby … and without Achtung Baby, there’d be no U2.

U2's Best 15 Songs ?

This months Slate magazine has a story U2 The Paradox, which takes a deeper look into the band and the history behind the band. One the interesting comments was the selection of the best 15 songs. Its seems to be a hit list with all of the songs making the charts. However we are sure that U2 has a deeper list to select from. The question, do you agree with the list or can you remove and add a few more songs that define U2 beyond a hit chart? Post your thoughts and comments on facebook or twitter.

The 15 Best U2 Songs

“With or Without You”


“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

“Pride (In the Name of Love)”

“Sunday Bloody Sunday”

“All I Want Is You”



“Where the Streets Have No Name”

“I Will Follow”

“The Wanderer”

“New Year’s Day”


“Miss Sarajevo”



Bono’s star-studded famine commercial has been banned from airing on U.K. TV – because broadcasting officials fear the clip breaches rules regarding political advertising.

The U2 rocker shot the minute-long advert with a slew of his celebrity pals, including George Clooney, Jessica Alba and Colin Farrell, to raise awareness about the famine crisis sweeping across Eastern Africa.

The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity, which was produced by Bono’s One charity, is aimed at urging government officials to do more to tackle the hunger issue, but the TV commercial has now been taken off the airwaves by bosses at governing body Clearcast amid worries its message could potentially conflict with the terms stated in the 2003 Communications Act.

A Clearcast spokesperson tells BBC News, “These rules ensure that adverts aren’t being broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political.”

“One (charity) appears to be caught by this rule as they state that part of their raison d’etre (reason for existence) is to pressure political leaders. It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad that we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules.”

Amnesty International and U2 Fans

Eric Shivvers Chicago :

When U2 played here in Chicago two nights ago, I was asked to take some pictures of the show and I did. Yeah, I have a great shot of Larry playing his djembe and a couple of the Edge, both of which will make great mementos but as I stood against the rail behind the stage taking in the show, I turned around and observed a group of One campaigners and Amnesty International volunteers lining up to go onstage.  I thought to myself, if Bono Edge, Adam and Larry are the generals of philanthropy and we are the army of followers, then these are the lieutenants. Night in and night out on this tour, local volunteers give up their time to sign up us fans for these causes. Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry know that we are a community of good-hearted people, willing to join a cause they promote. 

As stage crew handed out the props that these good Samaratins were going to walk with onstage, I knew this would be the one photograph that no one else would take. The smiling happy volunteers were excited to go onstage, even if it was just to stand for five minutes or so, representing their great organizations. It didn’t matter that they weren’t going to play along with Edge or sing with Bono. What they were doing was more important. They were speaking to us in silence for those who don’t have a voice. The people they represent are the AIDS patient waiting to die in a hospital in Central Africa or a political prisoner such as Aung San Suu Kyi. Both of whom need these organizations to set justice straight.

I thought it was a little camp the first time I witnessed this on the 360 tour, but after seeing their smiling faces in these pictures, I have greater respect for this spectacle during the show. U2 keeps teaching me something new about the world every time they go out on the road. With these volunteers and our passion for the band, we have made a difference. Aung San Suu Kyi was finally freed from house arrest and 4 million lives were saved from AIDS with anti-retroviral drugs. These two accomplishments came from rock stars that didn’t have to take up these causes, but they did and they made a believer out of me when I joined their army 25+ years ago.   

In closing, these pictures will never grace the entertainment section of the Chicago Tribune, but the opportunity to represent their cause for five minutes onstage will last a lifetime. They will tell their friends and family about standing shoulder to shoulder with U2 on a hot July night in 2011. There may be no photographs of witness to their triumph but that’s okay. They are volunteers who will slip back into their day-today world unrecognized as the rockers they shared the stage with, but recognized, through their passion, as the keepers of the flame, telling us that we can change the world one U2 fan at a time.


ONE Campaign Under Fire

The non-profit ONE campaign, which was co-founded by U2’s Bono, has come under fire over a series of lavish gifts sent to journalists.

The organisation sent items including a $15 moleskin leather notebook and a $20 bottle of water to New York newsrooms.

ONE aims to increase government funding for and effectiveness of international aid programs.

The gifts were timed to arrive ahead of the UN’s Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, which began yesterday (September 20).

According to the New York Post, all of the packages were delivered by courier. Other items included  a small tin of Band-Aids and two syringe-style pens.

A spokeswoman for ONE declined to comment on how much money had been spent on the gifts, but said they were aimed to attract journalists’ attention.

“We think it’s important enough to try and break through the clutter,” she said. “That’s why we sent the boxes.”

Daniel Borochoff, from the the American Institute of Philanthropy in Chicago, said the PR drive as a “risk”.

Bono's Special Video Message

Bono: “Here’s a thought to leave you with: By 2015, we could live in a world where no kids are born with HIV. The first born AIDS-free generation of our lifetime, by 2015. That’s a thought, right? Every day, 1,000 mothers give birth to a child with HIV. And it doesn’t have to be, so sign up to the ONE Campaign, choose RED, support your First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and the Global Fund. They’re here tonight. This is for them. Thank you, you’re our heroes.”