U2: Three Chords and the Truth

U2 Quotes by Bono

This page contains an assortment of quotes from Bono of U2. Click here to jump to quotes from Adam, Edge, Larry, or miscellaneous others.

"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."
Bono describing Adam's early musical ability, October 1979.

"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."
Bono on the days when U2 truly were a three chord wonder.

"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.
Bono on his songwriting style (or the lack of it).

"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."
Bono tries to shed his serious image, August 1983.

"Stop the traffic - Rock and Roll"
Graffiti which Bono wrote on a statue in San Francisco during the "Save The Yuppy" concert in 1987.

"It was like Apocalypse Now without so many helicopters."
Bono summing up the feel of the Arizona concert in the Rattle and Hum movie, 1989

"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."
Bono reflects on the nature of Rattle and Hum, November 1988

"The music seemed too big for McGonagles. 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".
Bono on the limitations of early U2 venues, November 1988.

"I don't think I could live with the pay cut or moving to a smaller house."
Bono in 1990 about being a politician

"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."
Bono pushes Edge to the limit, January 1992.

"We're in this position - I think it's our duty to abuse it."
Power goes to Bono's head, 1993.

"Larry just didn't like it coz we hardly let him play the drums."
Bono explains Larry's unease about the controversial 'Passengers' project, 1995

"MoFo...to me, that's a reason to go out and play live, that song."
Bono picks a highlight of the Popmart show, 1997

"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."
Bono on the finances of the Popmart tour 1997

"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."
Bono on the disadvantages of shows like the Astoria gig, 2001.

"A lot of photographers feel their art is to discover who you are. Anton is about who you might be."
Bono on U2's favourite photographer

"I don't think people should ever look like their hair has been ironed. "
Bono comments on the mullet, 2002 "I'm gonna buy a pair of lurex pants, grow my hair long and write a song about "socking it to ma baybeh". Then I think life would be a lot easier for U2."
Bono considers shedding U2's "serious" image, 1987

"Mrs. Edge was always there. She had an orange Volkswagen, she picked up our gear and she never complained,"
Bono on the dedication of U2's first roadie - Edge's mum

Random U2 lyric:

"She is the speedway, she is the slipstream, she is coming round" - Luminous Times (Hold on to Love)

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