bono Quotes

Bono Quotes

Birth Date: 1670-07-18 (Friday, July 18th, 1670)
Date of Death: 1747-07-09 (Sunday, July 9th, 1747)

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bono life timeline

Italy invades Ethiopia under General de Bono.Thursday, October 3rd, 1935

Quotes

    • Rock n roll stops the traffic
    • It is fair to say that we overreacted a bit. ... Its not really worth defending my action, I did it in the spirit of the concert, and I thought I did it in the spirit of the artist's work, and he agreed - but, in fact he didn't own his work anymore, as most artists are prone to , he'd sold it, and the City of San Francisco owned it, and they didn't like what I did at all. ... Its a really wild thing, you know, you're in Rock n Roll band - you know, I happen to sell millions of records - people therefore think that makes you a responsible citizen - this is not true. ... I think this is one of the more mild actions of tour-madness. ... It's the music that is magical with U2. ... I don't mind being arrested for putting on a free concert, but I don't want to be arrested for being a vandal. I am a vandal and I do regret what I did. I really do regret it. It was dumb.
    • What a city, what a night, what a crowd, what a bomb, what a mistake, what a wanker you have for a President.
    • It's an amazing thing to think that ours is the first generation in history that really can end extreme poverty, the kind that means a child dies for lack of food in its belly. That should be seen as the most incredible, historic opportunity but instead it's become a millstone around our necks. We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's 'difficult' justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept.
    • We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies. But will we be that generation?
    • Can you imagine your second album - the difficult second album - it's about God? Everyone is tearing their hair out and Chris Blackwell says, 'It's okay. There's Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, it's a tradition. We can get through it.
    • All That You Can't Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb are both really mad long titles. As I've just said them, I've just realised how ridiculous the titles are.
    • Well, here we are, the Irish in America. The Irish have been coming to America for years, going back to the great famine when the Irish were on the run from starvation and a British Government that couldn't care less. Right up to today, you know, there are more Irish immigrants here in America today than ever - some illegal, some legal. A lot of them are just running from high unemployment, some run from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from the hatred of the H Blocks, torture. Others from wild acts of terrorism like we had today in a town called Enniskillen, where eleven people lie dead, and many more injured, on a Sunday Bloody Sunday.
    • Let me tell you something. I've had enough of Irish Americans who haven't been back to their country in twenty or thirty years come up to me and talk about the resistance, the revolution back home; and the glory of the revolution, and the glory of dying for the revolution. Fuck the revolution! They don't talk about the glory of killing for the revolution. What's the glory of taking a man from his bed and gunning him down in front of his wife and his children? Where's the glory in that? Where's the glory of bombing a Remembrance Day parade of old-age-pensioners, their medals taken out and polished up for the day? Where's the glory in that? To leave them dying, or crippled for life, or dead, under the rubble of the revolution that the majority of the people in my country don't want. No more! Sing No more!
    • My name is Bono and I am a rock star.
    • Don't get me too excited because I use four letter words when I get excited. I'd just like to say to the parents, your children are safe, your country is safe, the FCC has taught me a lesson and the only four letter word I'm going to use today is P-E-N-N. Come to think of it 'Bono' is a four-letter word. The whole business of obscenity - I don't think there's anything certainly more unseemly than the sight of a rock star in academic robes. It's a bit like when people put their King Charles spaniels in little tartan sweats and hats. It's not natural, and it doesn't make the dog any smarter.
    • I have to come clean; I've broken a lot of laws, and the ones I haven't I've certainly thought about. I have sinned in thought, word, and deed. God forgive me. Actually God forgave me, but why would you? I'm here getting a doctorate, getting respectable, getting in the good graces of the powers that be, I hope it sends you students a powerful message: Crime does pay.
    • So I humbly accept the honor, keeping in mind the words of a British playwright, John Mortimer it was, 'No brilliance is needed in the law. Nothing but common sense and relatively clean fingernails.' Well at best I've got one of the two of those.
    • I didn't expect change to come so slow, so agonizingly slow. I didn't realize that the biggest obstacle to political and social progress wasn't the Free Masons, or the Establishment, or the boot heel of whatever you consider 'the Man' to be, it was something much more subtle. As the Provost just referred to, a combination of our own indifference and the Kafkaesque labyrinth of 'no's you encounter as people vanish down the corridors of bureaucracy.
    • There's a truly great Irish poet. His name is Brendan Kennelly, and he has this epic poem called the Book of Judas, and there's a line in that poem that never leaves my mind, it says: 'If you want to serve the age, betray it.' What does that mean, to betray the age? Well to me betraying the age means exposing its conceits, it's foibles; it's phony moral certitudes. It means telling the secrets of the age and facing harsher truths.
    • Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will. Slavery was one of them and the people who best served that age were the ones who called it as it was - which was ungodly and inhuman. Ben Franklin called it what it was when he became president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.
    • Segregation. There was another one. America sees this now but it took a civil rights movement to betray their age. And 50 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court betrayed the age May 17, 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education came down and put the lie to the idea that separate can ever really be equal. Amen to that.
    • What are the ideas right now worth betraying? What are the lies we tell ourselves now?
    • Africa makes a mockery of what we say, at least what I say, about equality and questions our pieties and our commitments because there's no way to look at what's happening over there and it's effect on all of us and conclude that we actually consider Africans as our equals before God. There is no chance.
    • We used to wake up in the morning and the mist would be lifting we'd see thousands and thousands of people who'd been walking all night to our food station were we were working. One man - I was standing outside talking to the translator - had this beautiful boy and he was saying to me in Amharic, I think it was, I said I can't understand what he's saying, and this nurse who spoke English and Amharic said to me, he's saying will you take his son. He's saying please take his son, he would be a great son for you. I was looking puzzled and he said, 'You must take my son because if you don't take my son, my son will surely die. If you take him he will go back to Ireland and get an education.' Probably like the ones we're talking about today. I had to say no, that was the rules there and I walked away from that man, I've never really walked away from it. But I think about that boy and that man and that's when I started this journey that's brought me here into this stadium. Because at that moment I became the worst scourge on God's green earth, a rock star with a cause. Christ! Except it isn't the cause. Seven thousand Africans dying every day of preventable, treatable disease like AIDS? That's not a cause, that's an emergency.
    • 20 years on I'm not that interested in charity. I'm interested in justice. There's a difference. Africa needs justice as much as it needs charity. Equality for Africa is a big idea. It's a big expensive idea.
    • The scale of the suffering and the scope of the commitment they often numb us into a kind of indifference. Wishing for the end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa is like wishing that gravity didn't make things so damn heavy. We can wish it, but what the hell can we do about it? Well, more than we think. We can't fix every problem - corruption, natural calamities are part of the picture here - but the ones we can we must. The debt burden, as I say, unfair trade, as I say, sharing our knowledge, the intellectual copyright for lifesaving drugs in a crisis, we can do that. And because we can, we must. Because we can, we must. Amen.
    • This is the straight truth, the righteous truth. It's not a theory, it's a fact. The fact is that this generation - yours, my generation - that can look at the poverty, we're the first generation that can look at poverty and disease, look across the ocean to Africa and say with a straight face, we can be the first to end this sort of stupid extreme poverty, where in the world of plenty, a child can die for lack of food in it's belly. We can be the first generation. It might take a while, but we can be that generation that says no to stupid poverty. It's a fact, the economists confirm it. It's an expensive fact but, cheaper than say the Marshall Plan that saved Europe from communism and fascism. And cheaper I would argue than fighting wave after wave of terrorism's new recruits.
    • It's a fact. So why aren't we pumping our fists in the air and cheering about it? Well probably because when we admit we can do something about it, we've got to do something about it. For the first time in history we have the know how, we have the cash, we have the lifesaving drugs, but do we have the will?
    • Yesterday, here in Philadelphia, at the Liberty Bell, I met a lot of Americans who do have the will. From arch-religious conservatives to young secular radicals, I just felt an incredible overpowering sense that this was possible. We're calling it the ONE campaign, to put an end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa. They believe we can do it, so do I.
    • I really, really do believe it. I just want you to know, I think this is obvious, but I'm not really going in for the warm fuzzy feeling thing, I'm not a hippy, I do not have flowers in my hair, I come from punk rock, The Clash wore army boots not Birkenstocks. I believe America can do this! I believe that this generation can do this. In fact I want to hear an argument about why we shouldn't.
    • I know idealism is not playing on the radio right now, you don't see it on TV, irony is on heavy rotation, the knowingness, the smirk, the tired joke. I've tried them all out but I'll tell you this, outside this campus - and even inside it - idealism is under siege beset by materialism, narcissism and all the other isms of indifference. Baggism, Shaggism. Raggism. Notism, graduationism, chismism, I don't know. Where's John Lennon when you need him.
    • It's not everywhere in fashion these days, Americanism. Not very big in Europe, truth be told. No less on Ivy League college campuses. But it all depends on your definition of Americanism. Me, I'm in love with this country called America. I'm a huge fan of America, I'm one of those annoying fans, you know the ones that read the CD notes and follow you into bathrooms and ask you all kinds of annoying questions about why you didn't live up to that... I'm that kind of fan. I read the Declaration of Independence and I've read the Constitution of the United States, and they are some liner notes, dude. As I said yesterday I made my pilgrimage to Independence Hall, and I love America because America is not just a country, it's an idea.
    • America is an idea, but it's an idea that brings with it some baggage, like power brings responsibility. It's an idea that brings with it equality, but equality even though it's the highest calling, is the hardest to reach. The idea that anything is possible, that's one of the reasons why I'm a fan of America. It's like hey, look there's the moon up there, lets take a walk on it, bring back a piece of it. That's the kind of America that I'm a fan of.
    • When the potatoes ran out, millions of Irish men, women and children packed their bags got on a boat and showed up right here. And we're still doing it. We're not even starving anymore, loads of potatoes. In fact if there's any Irish out there, I've breaking news from Dublin, the potato famine is over you can come home now. But why are we still showing up? Because we love the idea of America. We love the crackle and the hustle, we love the spirit that gives the finger to fate, the spirit that says there's no hurdle we can't clear and no problem we can't fix.
    • Every era has its defining struggle and the fate of Africa is one of ours. It's not the only one, but in the history books it's easily going to make the top five, what we did or what we did not do. It's a proving ground, as I said earlier, for the idea of equality. But whether it's this or something else, I hope you'll pick a fight and get in it. Get your boots dirty, get rough, steel your courage with a final drink there at Smoky Joe's, one last primal scream and go.
    • Sing the melody line you hear in your own head. Remember, you don't owe anybody any explanations, you don't owe your parents any explanations, you don't owe your professors any explanations.
    • You know I used to think the future was solid or fixed, something you inherited like an old building that you move into when the previous generation moves out or gets chased out. But it's not. The future is not fixed, it's fluid.
    • The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.
    • Remember what John Adams said about Ben Franklin, 'He does not hesitate at our boldest Measures but rather seems to think us too irresolute.' Well, this is the time for bold measures.
    • I'm the Imelda Marcos of sunglasses.... Very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.
    • We had a street gang that was very vivid - very surreal. We were fans of Monty Python. We'd put on performances in the city center of Dublin. I'd get on the bus with a stepladder and an electric drill. Mad shit. Humor became our weapon. Just stand there, quiet - with the drill in my hand. Stupid teenage shit.
    • We could defend ourselves. But even though some of us became pretty good at violence ourselves, others didn't. They got the shit kicked out of 'em. I thought that was kind of normal. I can remember incredible street battles. I remember one madster with an iron bar, just trying to bring it down on my skull as hard as he possibly could, and holding up a dustbin lid, which saved my life. Teenage kids have no sense of mortality - yours or theirs.
    • You know that Johnny Cash song 'A Boy Named Sue' where he gives the kid a girl's name, and the kid is beaten up at every stage in his life by macho guys, but in the end he becomes the toughest man. ... By not encouraging me to be a musician, even though that's all he ever wanted to be, he's made me one. By telling me never to have big dreams or else, that to dream is to be disappointed, he made me have big dreams. By telling me that the band would only last five minutes or ten minutes - we're still here.
    • I really remember John Lennon's Imagine. I guess I'm twelve; that's one of my first albums. That really set fire to me. It was like he was whispering in your ear - his ideas of what's possible. Different ways of seeing the world.
    • I was in my room listening on headphones on a tape recorder. It's very intimate. It's like talking to somebody on the phone, like talking to John Lennon on the phone. I'm not exaggerating to say that. This music changed the shape of the room. It changed the shape of the world outside the room; the way you looked out the window and what you were looking at. I remember John singing 'Oh My Love.' It's like a little hymn. It's certainly a prayer of some kind - even if he was an atheist. 'Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes can see/I see the wind/Oh, I see the trees/Everything is clear in our world.' For me it was like he was talking about the veil lifting off, the scales falling from the eyes. Seeing out the window with a new clarity that love brings you. I remember that feeling. Yoko came up to me when I was in my twenties, and she put her hand on me and she said, 'You are John's son.' What an amazing compliment!
    • What's interesting is, in the months leading up to this, I was probably at the lowest ebb in my life. I was feeling just teenage angst. I didn't know if I wanted to continue living - that kind of despair. I was praying to a God I didn't know was listening.
    • We actually aren't able to play other people's songs. The one Stones song we tried to play was 'Jumpin' Jack Flash.' It was really bad. So we started writing our own - it was easier.
    • Bowie was much more responsible for the aesthetic of punk rock than he's been given credit for, like, in fact, most interesting things in the Seventies and Eighties.
    • When John Lennon sings, 'Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes are wide open' - these songs have an intimacy for me that's not just between people, I realize now, not just sexual intimacy. A spiritual intimacy.
    • The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt.
    • So now - cut to 1980. Irish rock group, who've been through the fire of a certain kind of revival, a Christian-type revival, go to America. Turn on the TV the night you arrive, and there's all these people talking from the Scriptures. But they're quite obviously raving lunatics. Suddenly you go, what's this? And you change the channel. There's another one. You change the channel, and there's another secondhand-car salesman. You think, oh, my God. But their words sound so similar . . . to the words out of our mouths. So what happens? You learn to shut up. You say, whoa, what's this going on? You go oddly still and quiet. If you talk like this around here, people will think you're one of those. And you realize that these are the traders - as in t-r-a-d-e-r-s - in the temple.
    • If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there's a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in 'straw poverty'; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me. ... As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It's so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian. Although I don't use the label, because it is so very hard to live up to. I feel like I'm the worst example of it, so I just kinda keep my mouth shut. ... I try to take time out of every day, in prayer and meditation. I feel as at home in a Catholic cathedral as in a revival tent. I also have enormous respect for my friends who are atheists, most of whom are, and the courage it takes not to believe.
    • These are hard subjects to talk about because you can sound like such a dickhead. I'm the sort of character who's got to have an anchor. I want to be around immovable objects. I want to build my house on a rock, because even if the waters are not high around the house, I'm going to bring back a storm. I have that in me. So it's sort of underpinning for me.
    • I'm wary of faith outside of actions. I'm wary of religiosity that ignores the wider world. In 2001, only seven percent of evangelicals polled felt it incumbent upon themselves to respond to the AIDS emergency. This appalled me. I asked for meetings with as many church leaders as would have them with me. I used my background in the Scriptures to speak to them about the so-called leprosy of our age and how I felt Christ would respond to it. And they had better get to it quickly, or they would be very much on the other side of what God was doing in the world. Amazingly, they did respond. I couldn't believe it. It almost ruined it for me - 'cause I love giving out about the church and Christianity. But they actually came through: Jesse Helms, you know, publicly repents for the way he thinks about AIDS. I've started to see this community as a real resource in America. I have described them as 'narrow-minded idealists.' If you can widen the aperture of that idealism, these people want to change the world. They want their lives to have meaning.
    • If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex. Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.
    • I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural... something unseemly... about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the South of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert... but this is really weird, isn't it?
    • I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned - I'm Irish.
    • I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here - Muslims, Jews, Christians - all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God. I know I am. Searching, I mean. And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too. Yes, it's odd, having a rock star here - but maybe it's odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was... well, a little blurry, and hard to see.
    • One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God. For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land... and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash... in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment... I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV. Even though I was a believer. Perhaps because I was a believer.
    • It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he's met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he's a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn't done much... yet. He hasn't spoken in public before... When he does, his first words are from Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,' he says, 'because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.' And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favour, the year of Jubilee. [Luke 4:18] What he was really talking about was an era of grace - and we're still in it.
    • Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives. Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone. I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill... I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff... maybe, maybe not... But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house... God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives... God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war... God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.
    • I close this morning on ... very... thin... ice. This is a dangerous idea I've put on the table: my God vs. your God, their God vs. our God... vs. no God. It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity. And this is a town - Washington - that knows something of division. But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the Scriptures call the least of these. This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith. 'Do to others as you would have them do to you.' [Luke 6:30] Jesus says that. 'Righteousness is this: that one should... give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.' The Koran says that. [2.177] Thus sayeth the Lord: 'Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.' The jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.
    • A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it... I have a family, please look after them... I have this crazy idea... And this wise man said: stop. He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed.
    • These goals - clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty - these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a Globalised World.
    • There is a continent - Africa - being consumed by flames. I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did - or did not to - to put the fire out in Africa. History, like God, is watching what we do.
    • I watched the way it was The way it was when he was with us And I really don't mind Sleeping on the floor But I couldn't sleep after what I saw I wrote this letter to tell you The way I feel.
    • I wish you were here I wish you were here To see what I could see To hear And I wish you were here
    • I wait for you Sleight of hand and twist of fate On a bed of nails she makes me wait And I wait, without you With or without you, with or without you.
    • It's alright, it's alright, it's alright She moves in mysterious ways.
    • Johnny, take a dive with your sister in the rain Let her talk about the things you can't explain To touch is to heal, to hurt is to steal If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel. On your knees, boy.
    • We're one but we're not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other
    • One love, one blood One life, you got to do what you should One life, with each other Sisters, brothers One life, but we're not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other
    • It's the blind leading the blond It's the stuff, it's the stuff of country songs. Hey if God will send his angels And if God will send a sign And if God will send his angels Would everything be alright?
    • Jesus never let me down You know Jesus used to show me the score Then they put Jesus in show business Now it's hard to get in the door, angel.
    • If God will send his angels I sure could use them here right now Well if God would send his angels And I don't have to know how
    • And I don't need to know why And I don't want to promise Where do we go Where did you go And I don't want to lie I just know that I need to... Love.
    • There was a badness that had its way. But love wasn't lost. Love will have its day.
    • It's a beautiful day... Don't let it get away
    • What you don't have you don't need it What you don't know you can feel it somehow
    • Love is not the easy thing... The only baggage you can bring Is all that you can't leave behind.
    • Walk on, walk on What you got they can't steal it No they can't even feel it Walk on, walk on... Stay safe tonight.
    • Walk on, walk on What you've got they can't deny it Can't sell it, can't buy it Walk on, walk on Stay safe tonight.
    • And I know it aches And your heart it breaks And you can only take so much
    • Sometimes you can't make it. The best you can do is to fake it. Sometimes you can't make it on your own.
    • You don't have to put up a fight, you don't have to always be right. Let me take some of the punches for you tonight. Listen to me now, I need to let you know You don't have to go it alone. And it's you when I look in the mirror. It's you when I pick up the phone. Sometimes you can't make it on your own.
    • Can you hear me when I sing? You're the reason I sing. You're the reason the opera is in me Well, hey now Still got to let you know A house just don't make a home Don't leave me here alone
    • And though your soul it can't be bought, your mind can wander. I can feel your love teaching me how, how to kneel.
    • I could never take a chance of losing love to find romance.
    • The songs are in your eyes. I see them when you smile.
    • There is no failure here sweetheart, just when you quit.
    • Of science and the human heart, there is no limit.
    • Beneath the noise, below the din, I hear a voice, it's whispering, 'In science and in medicine, 'I was a stranger, you took me in.'
    • You heard me in my tune when I just heard confusion.
    • An intellecutal tortoise racing with your bullet train.
    • Some people got high rises on their backs. I'm not broke but you can see the cracks. You can make me perfect again. All because of you I am.
    • Would you deny for others what you demand for yourself? Cool down mama, cool off You speak of signs and wonders, I need something other. I would believe if I was able, but I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table.
    • Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.
    • Well, the heart that hurts is a heart that beats.
    • A rock star is someone with a hole in his heart almost the size of his ego.
    • Actually '78 was a really exciting time for U2. We had just discovered F sharp minor. So we had the fourth chord and we'd only had three up to then.
    • Adam pretended he could play and used words like 'gig' and talked about things like 'action' on the bass and we thought 'this is a guy who can play!' He was a liar. He actually couldn't play a note. Dave was just playing away on the acoustic and people just kept on coming up and saying 'there's something wrong' and we couldn't figure out what it was until suddenly we thought - It's Adam! Adam can't play. He had his own distinctive style from the start - at first it was called BLUFF, but then it began to work.
    • All the best songs are co-written by God, y'know!
    • All you need is love... and some comprehensive technology!
    • America is not just a country; it's an idea. You have to defend the idea as well as the country, and that idea is being attacked.
    • As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both.
    • At a certain point, I just felt, you know, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action.
    • Books! I dunno if I ever told you this, but books are the greatest gift one person can give another.
    • But you know what's amazing? Everywhere I go, I see very much the same thing. I see the same compassion for people who live half a world away. I see the same concern about events beyond these borders. And, increasingly, I see the same conviction that we can and we must join together to stop the scourge of AIDS and poverty.
    • Distance does not decide who is your brother and who is not. The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it's to have any meaning in this world - and stop being its apologist.
    • Dream out loud... at high volume. That's what we do for a living. Lucky bastards.
    • Eight million people die every year for the price of going out with your friends to the movies and buying an ice cream. Literally for about $30 a head per year, you could save 8 million lives. Isn't that extraordinary? Preventable disease - not calamity, not famine, nothing like that. Preventable disease - just for the lack of medicines. That is cheap, that is a bargain.
    • Fear is the opposite of faith.
    • Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head.
    • I am a singer and a songwriter but I am also a father, four times over. I am a friend to dogs. I am a sworn enemy of the saccharine; and a believer in grace over karma. I talk too much when I'm drunk and sometimes even when I'm not.
    • I could never be a politician because I think I'm too selfish, and I think I like to have fun: the right to be irresponsible is a right I hold dear.
    • I do see myself as a modern prophet, it's true. Some people can't handle that.
    • I don't doubt God. I have firm faith absolutely in God. It's religion I'm doubting.
    • I don't know why, but we always had this belief that there was something sacred about our music, that it was almost holy, as absurd as that sounds.
    • I don't think I could live with the pay cut or moving to a smaller house. ** Comment about becoming a politician; Variant: I wouldn't want to move to a smaller house.
    • I don't think people should ever look like their hair has been ironed.
    • I find myself in a very unusual position, which is having to praise politicians.
    • I have never tried to write this thing called a song that's played on radios all around the world, that window-cleaners hum, that people listen to in traffic jams. I was never interested in song: U2 came about through a sound.
    • I hope that my work - the activism - will be forgotten. Because I hope those problems will have gone away.
    • I don't talk about my faith very much, because the people you might want to talk with, you don't want to hang out with.
    • I have to tell you, I don't like doing intimate concerts. I have very sensitive nasal glands and being that close to so many armpits is absolutely terrifying. I'd rather play a stadium any day.
    • I love the bit when Christ's asked for his greatest hits and he says, 'OK, love God, and love your neighbours as yourself.' Christianity is not complicated, that's what it is.
    • I may be married... but it's still okay to flirt a little, isn't it?
    • I think most people who I'm dealing with accept that the way I look, dress or act, doesn't take away from the rigours of the arguments I'm making.
    • I want to play the guitar very badly, and I do play the guitar very badly.
    • I was jumping up and down. The president deserves a lot of credit for that. He really stuck his neck out. He was right, it's important the people know at this time what America is for as well as what America's against.
    • I will admit that we are attracted to issues that unify people rather than divide them.
    • I'll be honest with you: nobody promotes peace as well as me. If I don't win that Nobel Peace Prize, I'm gonna grab a big ass crowbar, and I'm gonna womp me some Norwegian skull.
    • I'm confident that President Bush has a real feeling for the AIDS pandemic. Essentially, what we're asking for is a kind of Marshall Plan for Africa.
    • I'm not in a position to be seen as a spokesman for a generation. I mean, how can you be a spokesman of a generation if you've nothing to say, other than 'Help!'
    • I'm tired of dreaming. I'm into doing at the moment. It's, like, let's only have goals that we can go after.
    • I'm very secure with the fact that I'm not black. I'm white, pink and rosy. But I've got soul.
    • I've had the best life that a man's ever had: I don't just mean with U2, I mean with my family and even my father, whose loss I feel every day.
    • I've never been to a U2 concert, so I don't know how good we play.
    • If I am close to the music, and you are close to the music, we are close to each other.
    • If you think this has gone to our heads, it's too late.
    • If you're writing songs, there are two things that you just don't write about: politics and religion. We write about both.
    • Imagine if a third of the kids at your local primary school were AIDS orphans. That's a reality in Africa where the parents of 13 million children have been killed by AIDS.
    • In some ways, success is a lot easier to achieve than relevance. Being 40, we have to come up with extra reasons for people to put us on the radio.
    • Isn't equality a son of a bitch to follow through on. Isn't Love thy neighbour in the global village so inconvenient?
    • It's not enough to rage against the lie...you've got to replace it with the truth.
    • It's patently clear to anyone living in New York or London that whole corners of their cities were about to be taken out, whether with chemicals or dirty nuclear devices. So I'm not full of criticism for the way the Americans have behaved. I'm with them.
    • It's so sweet, I feel like my teeth are rotting when I listen to the radio.
    • It's such an extraordinary thing, music. It is how we speak to God, finally - or how we don't. Even if we're ignoring God. It's the language of the spirit. If you believe that we contain within our skin and bones a spirit that might last longer than your time breathing in and out - if there is a spirit, music is the thing that wakes it up. And it certainly woke mine up. And it seems to be how we communicate on another level.
    • It's stasis that kills you off in the end, not ambition.
    • Jesus, Jew, Mohammad - it's true. All sons of Abraham. Father Abraham, what have you done? Father - speak to your sons. Tell them no more. No more. NO MORE! Written on my head, written on my heart; coexist, to make a new start.
    • Joy is a subject I go on and on about. It's one of the only emotions you can't contrive. It's impossible. Despair and anger are easier to convey. Great rock 'n' roll, the raw stuff, is pure joy. It's that sense of being alive, of being grateful for your pulse.
    • Music and activists working together can overcome the forces of economics and corporations.
    • Music can change the world because it can change people.
    • My heroes are all alive. I never have worshipped at that altar of burnt-out youth.
    • My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them.
    • One of the greatest contradictions of rock 'n' roll is that it's very personal, private music made on a huge public address system.
    • Our music is rooted in the feeling that much more is possible than you think.
    • Our music never had a roof on it.
    • Overcoming my dad telling me I would never amount to anything is what has made me the megalomaniac that you see today.
    • People say we take ourselves too seriously and I might have to plead guilty to that. But I don't take myself seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously - but we do take the music seriously. (August 1983)
    • Politicians don't turn me on, politics doesn't turn me on, the way music does. I have a lot more respect for them than I used to. They work a lot harder than I thought...but I don't want to be one.
    • Rock 'n' roll is ridiculous. It's absurd. In the past U2 was trying to duck that. Now we're wrapping our arms around it and giving it a great big kiss. It's like onstage, Some of this bullshit is pretty cool.
    • The attention of the world might sometimes be elsewhere, but history is watching. It's taking notes. And it's going to hold us to account, each of us.
    • The final mark of greatness, I think, is emptiness. That is true of music, painting, of anything. The less you can do it with, the more powerful you are.
    • The less you know, the more you believe.
    • The music seemed too big for McGonagle's. We wanted to blow the roof off. I always felt like that. We needed to find a bigger place to play even if there weren't any people there - just to fit the music in.
    • The strangest thing has happened. I really missed my dog. That's never happened to me before. You know, on a long tour you do hear people saying they miss their pets. I never have. But last night I started really missing my dog. It's very odd, cause I don't have a dog.
    • The vanity of the artist is in believing that what they are discovering might be valuable to other people.
    • The truth is when that singer is saying something that comes from right down within him, and it affects you right down within you. That's when you start talking about great music, as distinct from nice music.
    • There are many side roads and back streets to rock 'n' roll, and most of us get lost down them at times.
    • There are potentially another 10 'Afghanistans' in Africa, and it is cheaper by a factor of 100 to prevent the fires from happening than to put them out.
    • There's a great freedom when you have your feet in two so called mutually exclusive worlds: The world of irony, and the world of soul, The world of flesh, and the world of spirit, The world of surface and the world of depth.
    • These days, everyone wants John Lennon's sunglasses, accent and swagger, but no one is prepared to take their clothes off and stand naked like he did in his songs. Putting your head over the parapet means something completely different these days, but it's still a big part of what rock is all about for me. You have to use your celebrity, negotiate your position and be aware that celebrity can diminish a cause as much as illuminate it.
    • This is the song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We're stealin' it back.
    • Those songs we sang on tour really helped me through the death of my dad. The problem with grief is bottling it up and that's when it can really floor you. You have to express it and face it and I was doing that every night.
    • To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.
    • To some, music is an excuse to make money. To others, money is an excuse to make music.
    • U2 is about the impossible. Politics is the art of the possible. They're very different, and I'm resigned to that now.
    • U2 is an original species... there are colours and feelings and emotional terrain that we occupy that is ours and ours alone.
    • We cannot save every life. But the ones we can, we must. It is - or ought to be - unacceptable that an accident of longitude and latitude determines whether a child lives or dies.
    • We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.
    • We used to look at bands who could play better and look better, and we used to say, 'They have everything but it.' We had nothing but it.
    • We want to turn our song into a prayer and our prayer is that we, they, we do not become a monster in order to defeat a monster. That's our prayer.
    • We're in this position - I think it's our duty to abuse it. (1993)
    • We've been trying to work out how to get all the Achtung Baby sounds live. Basically we can do it if Edge plays something different with every one of his appendages. (January 1992)
    • We've found different ways of expressing it, and recognized the power of the media to manipulate such signs. Maybe we just have to sort of draw our fish in the sand. It's there for people who are interested. It shouldn't be there for people who aren't.
    • We've no sponsor on this tour, and it's not like we've taken some huge high and mighty position on this. I mean if we could get someone to give us a load of money, and not have to kiss ass, we probably would take it. But unfortunately we haven't been able to figure that out.
    • When I was a kid in Dublin, I watched in awe as America put a man on the moon. We thought, you know, this is mad. Nothing is impossible in America. In America, they can do anything over there.
    • When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined.
    • When you sing, you make people vulnerable to change in their lives. You make yourself vulnerable to change in your life. But in the end, you've got to become the change you want to see in the world.
    • With bands, if they make an album you don't like, it's all over. Whereas if your favourite director makes a movie you don't like, you wait for the next one. It's a strange thing.
    • Yes, I sometimes fail, but at least I'm willing to experiment.
    • Yes, it's definitely about sex, that one.
    • Yes, true, we made it hard for people to love, you couldn't put out a more mixed up record. I mean we really worked hard at that. We worked hard at messing it up for the masses and they still went out and bought it. It is an amazing feeling that the audience is kind of as hip as you are.
    • You have made people listen. You have made people care, and you have taught us that whether we are poor or prosperous, we have only one world to share. You have taught young people that they do have the power to change the world.
    • He's a poet. He's a philosopher. And last night, I think I saw him walking on water.
    • I never believed that U2 wanted to save the whales. I don't believe that The Beastie Boys are ready to lay it down for Tibet.
    • I think that politicians are attracted at first by the celebrity but once they meet him, they find that he is outstandingly capable.
    • He's a strange sort of entity, this euphoric rock star with the chin stubble and the tinted glasses - a new and heretofore undescribed planet in an emerging galaxy filled with transnational, multinational and subnational bodies. He's a kind of one-man state who fills his treasury with the global currency of fame. He is also, of course, an emanation of the celebrity culture. But it is Bono's willingness to invest his fame, and to do so with a steady sense of purpose and a tolerance for detail, that has made him the most politically effective figure in the recent history of popular culture.
    • Bono gives us a vision of how tomorrow can be better than today. He appeals to something greater than ourselves. He tells the story of his life and struggles in terms everyone can understand. He speaks about faith in a way that even a nonbeliever can embrace.
    • For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bono is Time's Person of the Year.
    • bono

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