TIME FIRST MENTIONED BONO IN A REVIEW
of the 1985 Live Aid concert
, calling his rendition of Bad one of the "great moments in the music." Some excerpts from our coverage over the years of Bono as a musician, philanthropist and social activist:
When Bono tears loose on U2's Bullet the Blue Sky, you can still hear the ache of fear in his voice.... The song is immediate and passionate, a cry of conscience on an album full of oblique social speculation and spiritual voyaging. The Joshua Tree is not, it would seem at first, a record for these times. Bono and the rest of the Irish band called U2 seem to be citizens of some alternative time frame spliced from the idealism of the '60s and the musical free-for-all of the late '70s. Their songs have the phantom soul of the Band, the Celtic wonderment of their compatriot Van Morrison and some of the assertiveness of punk, refined into lyrical morality plays.
From Band on the Run
By Jay Cocks
Apr. 27, 1987
Now, this week, U2 releases its electro-tinged CD Pop, which features drum-and-bass-driven songs like Mofo and dance-rock numbers like Discotheque. Pop is passionate, futuristic and completely engaging. Lead singer Bono, on the phone from Dublin, talked about his band's bold new direction.
From Rappin' With Bono
By Christopher John Farley
Mar. 10, 1997
When we first formed the band, Adam and I were 16, Edge was 15, and Larry was 14, and we were fans of the Ramones. They kind of stopped the world long enough for bands like U2 and others to get on. It was suddenly the end of Progressive Rock and virtuosity over melody and the end of interminable guitar solos and the rock-band-as-music-school. These were all the things that prevented you from getting on the train when you were a kid if you hadn't been to music college.
From Eulogy: Bono Remembers Joey Ramone
Apr. 22, 2001
In 1999, the singer got involved with Jubilee 2000, now known as Drop the Debt, a London-based coalition of academics and activists who equated Third World debt with slavery. In the course of his work with the campaign Bono has met with Presidents, Prime Ministers and the Pope to get attention for the issue. He relishes the incongruity of a rock star talking about world policy, but he backs it up by knowing his stuff. He reads economics tomes and did some unofficial studying at Harvard. 'I think that politicians are attracted at first by the celebrity,' says Harvard economics guru Jeffrey Sachs, who has huddled with Bono and the Pope on the debt issue. 'But once they meet him, they find that he is an outstandingly capable interlocutor.'
From Can Rock 'N' Roll Save The World?
By Lisa McLaughlin
Sep. 15, 2001
Jubilee 2000 was renamed Drop the Debt, and Bono stayed on as the group's most persuasive and high-profile spokesman. He founded DATA, which he hopes to officially launch in mid-March, as a vehicle to expand his African agenda to include short-term economic aid, lowered trade embargoes and money to fight AIDS, in return for democracy, accountability and transparency in governments across that continent.
By Josh Tyrangiel
Mar. 4, 2002
Photos and Graphics
That's why Bono is a hero. Not because he's a rock star, but because he's a rock star who is willing to spend time on things that are tedious and boring--like long sessions with Senators and Administration officials and meetings at the World Bank and the IMF on torpid Washington Saturday mornings.
From Time 100: Bono
By Bobby Shriver
Apr. 26, 2004
In another band, Bono's absences to lobby world leaders for African debt relief and AIDS assistance might have been corrosive, but while Mullen Jr. still refers to the singer as the "little fella" in moments of annoyance, those moments are increasingly rare. "Part of it is all of us being past 40," says Mullen Jr. "But the truth is, it's better for Bono not to be here. He gets frustrated and feels like he can be doing more important things, which I think he's proven is true." When he returns, the band is actually eager to talk politics.
From Mysterious Ways
By Josh Tyrangiel
Nov. 22, 2004
I first met Jeff in 1999 at Harvard University when I was taking a crash course on the subject of debt cancellation. He had a reputation for being brilliant, controversial, passionate. I was struck by his uncanny ability to communicate arcane, complex economic policy and by his punk-rock instinct to question the status quo. He set out to turn upside down the conventional economic wisdom that nothing could be done about poor countries sinking under the burden of old debts. He was proved right.
From Time 100: Jeffrey Sachs
Apr. 18, 2005
In 1985 Bob Geldof gave birth to Live Aid, the groundbreaking rock-concert series that raised $200 million for African famine relief. Bono of U2 and Richard Curtis (screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill) were there. That day inspired them to learn more about Africa and ultimately form their own antipoverty campaigns. Now the three friends are organizing Live 8, a series of free international concerts to be held on July 2 with unprecedented star power ..., all to pressure G-8 leaders to make debt forgiveness, fair trade and increased aid part of their Africa policies.
From Pooh-bahs of Poverty
By Josh Tyrangiel
Jun. 27, 2005
Africa hasn't seen a celebrity road show like this one since Stanley met Livingstone. The world's most powerful finance minister and one of the world's biggest rock stars are on a grueling, 10-day race through Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia that will bring them face to face with grinding poverty in a region home to 70% of the world's cases of AIDS as well as controversial development projects designed to alleviate the suffering.
From On the Road With Bono and O'Neill
By Adam Zagorin
May. 28, 2002
And to save a life? .... If you're a rock star like Bono, you give money. But you also give the hot white lights that follow you everywhere, so that they shine on problems that grow in shadows.
From Saving One Life At a Time
By Nancy Gibbs
Nov. 7, 2005
What will define Europe in this new era? What will provide the bulwark against the extremism of our age? Part of the answer lies eight miles away.
A Time for Miracles
Mar. 22, 2007