Monday, July 04, 2005

Bono is my hero!

Well, he's definitely an amazing guy. Didn't make it to Live 8, so I figured I should spend the day getting to know Bono better by reading his new book. Good decision.

(If you haven't already checked out and become part of the One campaign to "make poverty history" by relieving debt loads and envigorating economies in African nations, check it out.)

And, check out clips from the shows.

For your reading pleasure, I include a few of my favorite passages:

On Dreaming & Dads (who don't):
"As I say, my father's advice to me, without ever speaking it, was: "Don't dream! to dream is to be disappointed," which would be a pity, wouldn't it, never to dream...And, of course this is where my megalomania must have begun. To never have a big idea was his thing. That's all I'm interested in."

Hah. Love that.

On how he would have become a traveling salesman (like a lot of people in his family) if he wasn't a musician:
"I am very much a traveling salesman. and that, if you really want to know, is how I see myself. I sell songs from door to door, from town to town. I sell melodies and words. And for me, in my political work, I sell ideas. In the commercial world that I'm entering into, I'm also selling ideas. So I see myself in a long line of family sales people. I really do. Thank God for my Uncle Jack!"

That's genius as well. I know I'm a traveling salesman...selling the ideas I'm passionate about. You?

On fear and Failure:
"And fear, as you know, is the opposite of faith."

"You have to dare to fail. I think that's the big one: fear of failure. I've never had a fear of failure. Isn't that mad?"

"Defeat was not an option, though it was much more likely, if you're honest. I think, you know, I really sensed defeat at any minute, and I was so determined to drown out the vice of failure that I just took out all peripheral vision. I just became very single-minded."

On the subject of taking risks to express himself and look like an idiot with pie on his face: "Fuck, I don't mind. I'll be the clown, throw the pie."

On change:
"That would be awful, not to change. And of course you should be changing."

"I think what punk rock gave to us was that you could knock everything down and start again, either decide who you wanted to be: a new name, a new pair of shoes, a new way to see the world. Everything was possible, and the only limit was your imagination."

On wanting it:
"Yes. Nothing happens by chance. You don't end up in front of twenty thousand people on stage by accident."

On solitude/reflection vis a vis instinct/intellect:
"...See, I always believed in instinct over intellect. The instinct is what you always knew; intellect is what you figure out...So for me it's not really a question of sitting and figuring it out. You know what I mean? That's not really gonna help me. What I need is silence in order to find my own voice again."

On Flow:
"But what I will say is when it's really going off, you have the sense that you're really in the song, and the song is really in the room: all of you, crowd and performers, disappear into it. It's an extraordinary thing. I mean it really is." (p. 120)

On radical humility:
"...What's the difference between a very good song and a great song? Answer: I think, very good songs, you can take the credit for. But great songs, you can't. They feel like you stumble upon them..."

On his favorite U2 song:
"We haven't written it yet."

(how cool is that?)

Comments to younger self:
"I would tell myself: "You're right. Don't second guess yourself. I felt it so strongly. I wish I knew then how right I was. I wasn't wrong. You're supposed to go: "Oh, I was foolish then. I've grown up, and I laugh." I do laugh at some of the music, some of the statements I made. Some of the image problems do leave me a little embarrassed, a little red-faced. But there's a strength to that naivete. I wasn't wrong about the world. The world is more malleable than you think. We can bend it into better shape. Ask big questions, demand big answers."

"We can be a big success without having to sell out. And we don't have to be embarrassed by our ambition..."

"But if you had said to this twenty-one-year old one, that one day he's gonna be on the cover of Time magazine, he [pauses for dramatic effect] probably would have believed you. [laughs]"

On growth through argument:
"The friction of different points makes you better. And the thing that'll make you less and less able to realize your potential is a room that's empty of argument."

"The real problem in a relationship is when the arguing stops."

On fundamentalists:
"We thought they were trampling all over the most precious thing of all: the concept that God is love."

...and America
"That's the great thing about America. It is the land of reinvention. It was never about where you come from, it's always about where you're going...And this is at the heart of redemption: to begin again. ..I wish to begin again on a daily basis. To be born again every day is something that I try to do. And I'm deadly serious about that."

On God:
"God is love."

...and Religious People:
"Religious people, generally, they freak me out. Honestly, I start twitching when I'm around them. But sometimes, maybe weirdos are the only people who really know they need God."

On Leadership:
"A good leader needs big scissors to get things moving. Actually, I think a great leader has to have a great ear for melody. By this, I mean clarity of ideas."

On Never Really Living:
"Some people die at seventeen and put their funeral off until they're seventy-seven."

On what makes Nelson Mandela Mandela:
"...His imagination. His ability to see, taste, and almost touch a future that wasn't yet there. Most people in his situation would have focused on what they had lost--the past. He's only thinking about the future."

"He's a lesson in humility..."

On humility:
"And the people who work the hardest, and who have overcome the most obstacles in their life, who have a reason to be arrogant, who have a reason to beat their breasts are the most humble, sometimes. I can't get over that."

On challenges:
"I don't like losing. I don't like wasting opportunities. There are so many! I get excited. I don't even mind the obstacle course. It's fun to run it, jumping, leaping as fast as I can."

On being an Artist:
"All art is an attempt to identify yourself. You try out many characters on the way to finding the one that most fits you, and therefore is you...So, I'm just exploring and trying to find out what I'm capable of. What's useful for me to contribute to my family, my friends and...the world."

On God and Being:
"When I wake up in the morning, I sort of put my had out--spiritually--and I reach for what you might call God. Sometimes I don't feel God, and I feel lonely. I feel on my own, and I wonder where God is. And then [pause]--again, Io don't want to be melodramatic about this--I ask God: "Where have You gone?" God usually replies in a way that is hard to describe: "I haven't gone anywhere. [laughs] Where have YOU gone? I haven't moved." Then I have to check, and I realize that I have somewhere sold myself out. It usually happens incrementally, in tiny steps. You never betray yourself--at least I never betray myself--in big dramatic bold moves, like: OK, this morning, I'm going to rob the bank, and find out where my enemy lives and tie him to his bed. You slowly move away from that person that is most like you..."

""Be silent, and know that I am God." That's a favorite line from the Scriptures. "Shut Up and Let me Love You" would be the pop song. [laughs] It's really what it means. If I ever neede to hear a comment, it might be that."

...and, my favorite:
"I'm a fucking rock star. Get over it." [laughs]


Again, here's a link to the book , to the Live 8 site and to more info on his One campaign.


At 11:25 AM, Blogger flex22 said...

I loved those quotes.


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