Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bono named “Worst investor in America”

Fookin’ brilliant, that one is.  Just ’cause he’s a rock star, he thinks he’s a financial wiz.  Well, not exactly, boyo. Money quote: “Bono, the Irish rock star, has put significant money into Elevation Partners, arguably the worst run institutional fund of any size in the United States.” Get the word here

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

AC/DC singer says Bono should tone it down

AC/DC screamer cat-strangler singer Brian Johnson says Bono should do his charity work in private, or at least not on worldwide TV. In the Huffington Post, Johnson says “When I was a working man I didn’t want to go to a concert for some (whoops!) to talk down to me that I should be thinking of some kid in Africa.” More here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fifteen gadgets that changed the decade

Great article here– the iPod is at the top of the list, imagine that.  And didja know, as we hit the year 2000, there were 1 billion cell phone subscriptions  out there.  Ten years later, we’re at 4.5 billion. f

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bono admits he’s overpaid

Bono says, “I’ve been blessed and I’ve been over-rewarded for what I do and I’m trying to give my time and my resources but you know, I’m a rich rock star, so shoot me.”  (Bono also has a property portfolio that includes a villa in the South of France, a lavish Italian-style palace overlooking the sea near Dublin and a £15 million penthouse in New York City.)grammy14_bonoTime

Who are we to fookin’ argue?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bono is now even more dead to me

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bono is dead to me

For this. I sent him an email about it, and he sent something back blaming it on his manager, Paul McGuinness. Whatevs. We’ve been through ever since he made that big investment in Palm. FWIW, that new album? No Line on the Horizon? Should’ve been called No Gas Left in the Tank. Really awful stuff.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ta very much, now hand over more money, please

Regarding this U2 smash-and-grab attempt, please consider the following:

“How to Dismantle an Atom Bomb” was released in 2004. In 2002 they did a greatest hits album and before that, in 2000, was “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.” Before that was a greatest hits album in 1998 and before that was “Pop” which was recorded in 1996 and released in 1997. So in the past 12 years they’ve done two albums. And nothing since 2004.

Sure there’s the 3-D movie, some reissues and remasters. And, oh right, they’re “working on new material.” Sure they are. If you count pints of Guinness as “new material,” because that’s the only thing they’re working on, believe me. That and groupies.

So let’s face it. They’re coasting. They’ve got piles of money, houses all over the world, private jets, everything they could ever need and a lot that they don’t, and now they want more. More, more, more. Now that’s a song I’d like to hear them sing. Maybe it could be the title of their next album. Or gimme gimme gimme.

Bono’s manager says Bono does all the work and I get all the money. Frankly I don’t have a problem with that arrangement.

Basically Paul McGuinness (above, right) is calling me a thief. It’s been all over the news. He gave a big speech at some conference in Cannes. See one story about it here. Money quote: “McGuinness challenged Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, to ‘apply his ingenuity’ to solving the music industry crisis. … `These are very clever people and a lot of fun to work with,’ McGuinness said about the technology and Internet community in Silicon Valley. `But they’ve been extremely socially irresponsible.'”

You can see the full text of his speech here.

Now look. I know Paul McGuinness. I’ve done business with him. He loves to tell everyone the story of how we sat down and made a deal on the back of a napkin. In one version of it he says that when he followed up a few weeks later I tried to change the terms and give myself a bigger slice but he whipped out his napkin and I was busted.

Whatever. I have no recollection of any such meeting. I will tell you that Paul was out in the Valley recently sniffing around and taking meetings and trying to figure out how this whole Interwebs thing works and where the money goes. I will also tell you that the Irish have a term called “a cute hoor” and Paul is definitely a prime example. Note, for example, that he says it’s not that U2 wants more money — it’s that I am being socially irresponsible. My goodness. Really?

The fact is that by the age of twelve your average Northsider from Dublin has forgotten more ways to skin you on a deal than any of us regular folks will ever know. And this speech by Paul McGuinness is a classic Northsider ploy. They play the victim. They dance around crying poor and moaning about the dole and the famine and meanwhile they’re cleaning out your pockets. Luckily for us the whole thing is blowing up in their faces and they’re getting savaged in the blogosphere.

What Paul needs to understand is that bands, like companies, have a normal lifespan and that U2 has gone well past its sell-by date. That’s just the reality here. Because let’s be honest. The truth is that Bono isn’t much of a singer, and Edge isn’t much of a guitarist, and Larry and Adam stopped getting better on their instruments back in about 1983. So these are four guys with a little bit of talent who got extremely lucky and were extremely shrewd and have milked their modest abilities for well more than they were ever worth.

Fine. Good for them. I’m happy for them. But to say that Apple is taking advantage of them is just ridiculous. Do you have any idea how hard it is to set up a store like iTunes? Or to design and build iPods? Does Paul McGuinness know that? Does he realize how many hundreds or even thousands of people are involved in making that whole system work correctly, from end to end? All the progammers and designers and engineers? All the user interface people? Not to mention the business people who cut the deals and interface with the talent and keep all the contracts up to date?

All of those people have to eat. None of them is getting rich. Well, except me. And maybe a few top guys right underneath me. But basically you’ve got thousands of hardworking people just making an honest living keeping this whole Internet distribution model alive and running.

Then you’ve got four retards from Dublin and their manager. Because ask yourself this. How much work do you think really went into writing any of those songs? Take it from me, I’ve hung out with Bono and the other guys and I’ve seen them when they’re drunk and I’ve heard them tell the stories. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was written in ninety minutes when they were fucking around in their little rehearsal space. Started out with a drum beat, then some bass, then Edge threw some bullshit plink-plink guitar on it and Bono started shouting whatever came into his head. “Boy” and “October” were all just old stuff they’d written when they were in high school.

The entire “Atom Bomb” album took about a month from start to finish. I know because I was there when they were slapping it together. But now they think they aren’t getting paid enough. Well, I’ve got an idea. Maybe U2 could just make their own Internet, with their own routers and operating system, and they could code up their own store, and build their own iPods, and keep all the money for themselves. I think I’ll call Paul McGuinness right now and suggest that.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bono still coasting on my genius

See here. He had a big meeting with the Emperor of Japan, and he gave the guy a red iPod. Gates was there too, along with Tony Blair. I try to imagine those three buffoons zipping around the globe together, like some kind of band of lame-ass superheroes. Gives me the willies.

Negroponte blasts Bono’s Red campaign

Money quote from this story about the Beastmaster’s “creative capitalism” idea and his involvement with Bono’s Red campaign: “To date, Red has provided $50 million to a global fund for treating AIDS and malaria, and nearly 2 million people in Africa are receiving `life-saving’ drugs today, Gates said.”

Negroponte’s response? He’s furious because that $50 million could have been used to buy OLPC’s XO laptops, and he’s really pissed that Gates is getting involved with Bono instead of focusing all his attention on OLPC. Says the Double-N: “Fighting AIDS and malaria is all well and good, but what is the point of curing diseases if children can’t learn about the world and explore the Internet? A lot of people just have their priorities backwards. If the children had laptops they could do the research and cure AIDS and malaria by themselves. People are just stuck in the same old way of thinking. Which is a pity, honestly.”