Bono

U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’ iTunes Release Was About Relevance, Not Altruism

By

In 2014, it takes Apple and U2 to pull off a musical monoculture that rivals both Beyoncé’s 2013 sneak attack and Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want In Rainbows launch. The tech giants and the world-dominating rockers continued their decade-long business collaboration in a big way yesterday during the launch of Apple Watch, Apple Pay, and two different versions of the iPhone 6. Unbeknownst to the masses, Apple released U2’s unannounced but highly anticipated new album, Songs of Innocence, straight into the music library of every iTunes user worldwide. “This will be the largest album release in history. Over a half-billion people own it. Right now,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced, before Bono and co. closed out the presentation at Apple’s Cupertino, California campus with the album’s opening track, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).”
…Read More

The Two Salman Rushdies: Writer and Public Figure

By

I remember the exact moment I realized there were two Salman Rushdies. It was when I read his 2001 humblebrag about palling around with U2. “I’ve been crossing frontiers all my life — physical, social, intellectual, artistic borderlines,” Rushdie wrote, “and I spotted, in Bono and the Edge, whom I’ve so far come to know better than the others, an equal hunger for the new, for whatever nourishes.” The truth is that Rushdie’s camaraderie with the members of U2 — particularly Bono — makes total sense, and the fact that he finds them to be kindred spirits even more: both of them did their best work in the 1980s, and both of them (at least in Bono’s case) have spent the bulk of their careers advocating and being the faces of specific causes. Bono’s tend to vary, while Rushdie is the freedom of speech hero who faced religious crazies that threatened his life after Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran, placed a fatwā on Rushdie’s head for his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, which the Ayatollah claimed was “blasphemous against Islam.”
…Read More