Friday, May 24, 2024

Bono: Other Musicians Emulate Our “Ecstatic Music”


So: Bono and the Edge attended last night’s Toronto premiere of “From the Sky Down,” the Davis Guggenheim film about the band U2. The film will run on Showtime. After the screening, I asked Bono why so many songs on the radio — like the new Coldplay and recent Linkin Park–sounded so much like U2. He didn’t respond about specific records–no feuds, please–but did say: “I think Edge has created a sound of ‘ecstatic music’ that you do here more. It’s his patented sound. But people respond to it.”

That was so diplomatic! Bono and Edge were joined by their astute manager Paul McGuiness.But conspicuously absent were Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton. The given reason was that they were spending time with their families. But Guggenheim’s actress wife Elisabeth Shue was there to be supportive, and so were the present rockers’ wives.

And what of the film? The group let Guggenheim have unprecedented access into their creative process. The result is that–especially in the second half–we get to see how they wrote two classics, “One,” and “Mysterious Way.” We also learn a lot about how they almost split in 1991 while making the album “Achtung Baby.” U2 has now been in business for a shocking 36 years. “From the Sky Down” gives an unusual glimpse into why they’ve managed to make it so long.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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