Thursday, January 24, 2008

Scoble and Bono: BFF in Davos

Here’s video from Davos showing my dear ex-friend Bono gasbagging as usual while Robert Scoble gazes on in awe and points some kind of cell phone at him. One question: How the hell did Scoble get to Davos? Who sent him there? Second question: Is it not amazing that these two modest, humble, self-effacing fellows have finally found each other? Had to happen, didn’t it.

Meanwhile, check out this nauseating photo and story about Bono teaming up with Microsoft and Dell on this (RED) initiative. Lots of folks have been writing in to me about this. See, here’s the thing. Bono doesn’t like me anymore. Started during the options backdating thing, when I threw our former CFO, Fred Anderson, under a bus. Fred and Bono are pals; they’re also business partners. So Bono got all huffy and said I was a dick for screwing over Fred. I was like, Dude, it’s not personal, it’s business. Fred’s a big kid. He knows the drill. It’s his turn to take one for the team. Well, Bono is kind of a n00b when it comes to business. He thinks running a company is like being in a band or something. He starts going on about how the record label bugged U2 for years to get rid of their drummer, Larry, because, truth be told, he’s not that good a drummer, plus he’s kind of unattractive. But Bono said no, we’re keeping Larry. And he thinks this makes him some kind of hero. I was like Dude, you’re talking about some drummer in a rock band. I’m talking about billions of dollars in market cap. Bit of a difference here.

Oh well. Bono doesn’t get it. So now he’s pals with the Beastmaster. Fine. Let them be friends. See if I care. Sniff.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Caption contest

What could the boyos be thinking? Any ideas?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Now Bono is under fire from the greentards too

See here. The bastards are going after Mr. Vox just because he wants to build some huge tower in Dublin. Classic greentard behavior. Guy tries to spruce up an old crumbling town and what do they do? Get in the way of progress. Bono, my heart goes out to you. Namaste. I honor the place where your garish tower and my poisonous iPhones become one. Much love to Ross for the alert.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Africans now blame Bono for Africa’s problems

His Holiness Saint Paul of Clontarf just emailed me this article where some bigshot African AIDS dude says that not only have Bono and Bob Geldof not helped Africa, in fact they’ve made things worse there. Next thing I know I’ve got Mr. Hewson himself on the phone screaming obscenities. I’m like, Dude, it’s an article from the NME. That’s a music magazine right? Who cares what they say? It’s like getting a bad review from CNET. I mean it’s not exactly the New York Times is it.

Bono says, “You don’t understand, Steve. In some circles, including the world of overhyped celebrity charity concerts for causes like hunger and debt relief and global warming, NME is the bible, man. The fookin bible. Way bigger than Rolling Stone even. These guys can make you or destroy you. Do you realize how much of U2’s success depends on these concerts? Think about it. How else are a bunch of middle-aged Irish guys going to keep selling out venues? The entire nostalgia rock circuit depends on these causes. And thanks to you and your iTunes the price of music itself is being driven down to zero, so the only way we can make money is by touring. Jaysus, Steve, think, would ya? The NME is huge. You know what happens if you show up at one of these fookin mega-gigs, with the TV networks from all over the world, and the NME says your set was `uninspired’ or `lacking emotion’? Do you have any fookin idea? Jaysus. Happened to Richard Ashcroft after he fucked up a song at Live 8.”

I’m like, Richard who?

He’s like, “Exactly. He’s never been heard from again. Oh, trust me. This is bad, man. Hugely fookin bad. I’ve got to call Geldof and see what he thinks. I’m thinking we’ve got to get out ahead of this. We need a new cause. A new concert. Something fookin huge and scary. Like, I dunno, maybe war. Right? War. Nobody likes it, yet we keep on having it. Why? We’ve got to stop all the wars right now, man. We’ll bring everyone together. We’ll do the concerts in Baghdad, and Tehran, and North Korea, and Washington and London. Oh man. I gotta go.”

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An apology

Dear readers:

Several days ago this blog was hacked and taken over by someone posing as Bono from U2. Of course this was not really Bono from U2, and I’m sure you’re aware of that, but for legal reasons I’ve been advised to state this fact plainly here on the blog. To reiterate: The person posting on this blog over the past several days was not Bono of U2.

I’ve spent the past few days working with Google (which owns Blogger) to try to gain access to my account and put a stop to this prank. For various reasons (the holiday, and my own travel schedule, and the fact that Google is reluctant to meddle with people’s blogs) it has taken more time than I would have liked to get things straightened out.

As best we can tell, someone managed to obtain the password to my Blogger account. It’s still not clear how they did this. They also obtained access to my Gmail account and sent messages to some people pretending to be me. If you received one of these mail messages, I apologize.

After signing in to my Blogger account, the hackers authorized a new user (“Bono”) and changed the blog’s password so that I could not sign in to stop them. The worst part for me (other than having to read the items) was that I had no way to tell my readers what was going on.

I deeply apologize to Bono of U2; everyone at Elevation Partners; Marissa Mayer and Eric Schmidt of Google; and anyone else who was mentioned over the past few days.

Thanks to Google and Blogger, this evening I’ve finally been able to gain access to my account again, and I’ve eliminated the “Bono” poster and changed all of my passwords. I believe the hack should be over now. I hope we can all move forward again.

An investigation is ongoing. I will keep you informed as soon as I know anything. And again, I apologize. Peace out.

Instant karma, or, two hearts bleed as one

Last post, I’m afraid. Edge says there’s a huge denial-of-service attack coming from Cupertino. It’s taken down all his Macs. My red iPhone is bricked, too, just like the time Edge switched it to Verizon. Steve Jobs is coming, and boy is he pissed.

Before Steve shuts me down entirely I want to show you what we’ve been working on. You know about next week’s Beatles event, right? It was on the blogs and everything. Steve and Sir Paul McCartney are going to introduce the White iPhone. It comes pre-loaded with every Beatles album ever. Including Ringo’s solo stuff, in case you’re into that kind of thing. It’s got 16 gigabytes and costs $600. Click the picture to see it up close and you can make out the extra Beatles button on the screen.

Edge and I hate to be left behind, so we’ve come up with an even bigger idea we’re going to pitch right here where Steve has to read it. Why just buy the Beatles? What you really want is to buy rock and roll. All of it. Presenting the U2 Rock and Roll iPhone. 64 gigabytes of Product (RED) iPhone packed with all of rock and roll. Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Sabbath, U2 of course, plus Nirvana and Pearl Jam all the way up to the complete Arcade Fire and Mike Doughty. If it rocks, it’s in here.

Steve showed me the next-generation iPhone over Thanksgiving. He’s figured out how to solve the problem of having so many things you want on one phone. They’ve added a little iPod click-wheel to the iPhone that lets you thumb through your music and videos without all that screen-tapping. Fucking brilliant. All it needs to be perfect is every rock and roll song. Ever. Coco from Elevation crunched some Excel for us. At $999, Apple can send $400 to Africa and still turn a profit. Whattaya say, Steve? This’ll be the big breakthrough Apple’s been striving toward for years: Finally, white people can stop feeling bad about themselves.

Sunday bloody Sunday

Goodbye Silicon Valley. We’re 30,000 feet over Fremont, headed to Uganda to catch up with the Pope. You can see we’re on Marissa Mayer’s pink Learjet, which the folks at Victoria’s Secret did up for her. Fuck’s sake, I’m exhausted. I haven’t shaved since — Christ, I haven’t slept since Wednesday. That’s Coco from Elevation Partners sitting across from me, working the spreadsheets. She gave up her Thanksgiving weekend — and her boyfriend, too, because I guess this wasn’t the first time she’s pulled this on him during a holiday. It’s a wonder Ali hasn’t dumped me likewise. God bless you, Coco, you’re doing His work.

Steve is really mad at me for taking over his blog. Edge says Steve’s people have called everyone in the band and threatened to yank our Complete U2 collection from the iTunes Music Store. It’s a bluff. We led the way for rock and roll’s biggest names to agree to do iTunes. And the Complete U2 — every single U2 track ever with one click? You’re forgiven for assuming it was Steve’s idea. Brother Bono pitched it to El Jobso back when he and Beck were telling everyone the future of music was selling one track at a time and having the fans remix everything. Fuck me if I can remember the half-baked batch of tracks Beck was pushing, but no number of mashups could save them. Hello, hello, we kicked his ass with “Vertigo.” U2 proved the decline of the album isn’t the death of talent, or the abolition of craft. So Beck is cool with the bloggers, but Crazy Bono just guest-edited Vanity Fair. Have you heard of it?

Steve, I know you’re reading. Marissa says the (RED) Ads by Google we launched yesterday are … wait, I need her to say it again slowly … they’re “outperforming the mean weighted aggregate CTR in key test verticals.” That means more money for retrovirus innoculation in Africa. And greater global awareness about our brothers and sisters. No thanks to you, Mister It’s-Too-Risky-To-Do-A-Red-iPhone.

To the Google kids I hung out with over Thanksgiving weekend: You brought me reason to give thanks. I believe it’s true what they say, that Web 2.0 is made of people. Don’t listen to the cynics carping from the sidelines. If you can look any man or woman in the eye and see God and yourself looking back, if you can keep the Valley’s “if it ain’t broke, break it” spirit of innovation, if you can put as much energy into loving friends and enemies alike as you put into hating Wal-mart, there’s hope for this world. But go easy on the orgies. They catch up with you.

I need to stay awake a few more hours and finish my pre-briefing for the Pope. Benny the Red may look like an old German fart, but he’s brutal if you show up without a solid deck of slides on your laptop.

Fuck. My laptop.

I left the red MacBook with my Africa presentation at Steve’s house. I’ll need to get Edge to set me up a new laptop and make up some slides for His Eminence based on …. wait, never mind. Marissa’s going to lend me her pink Dell and help me do a Google Docs preso about debt relief. She’s brought cupcakes, too.

One more, in the name of love

There’s no one but me here in St Brigid’s church, 6:45 am on Sunday morning.  I still haven’t gotten to sleep.  Steve’s lackeys have been hounding me all weekend.  Telling people I’m not really Bono, while threatening to sue me Bono at the same time.  Even the Googlers are wary of me, now that their own blog search turns up posts saying I’m an impostor.

It all comes down to faith and belief. Steve, when you’re done being furious at me for taking over your blog, remember that. Your buddy Woz built computers, but you built belief. And then, years later, from the ashes of a crashed and burned Apple you built another set of beautiful things to believe in. U2 did the same, sifting through the rubble of our Pop tour — overblown, overpriced, under-attended — and coming up with All That You Can’t Leave Behind.  How?  We went back to believing in ourselves.

That’s what’s happening to the Valley.  They’ve started believing in themselves again.  They’ve built a phone you can blog on — I’m doing it right now.  And  i ,,, wait ,.   the phone is r.,.. th.  fuck    I cn’t blog while the       phone is ringing.




Ok.  That was Marissa.  Marissa Mayer, from Google.  She’s going to fly me to Uganda to catch the Pope, whom I forgot I was supposed to meet this weekend. She’s just in time to save my ass from getting broken by Bill Gates.  He’s got billions riding on the Africa project.  He’s got the biggest brain in the world and the biggest pile of money to back it up.  He’s got the Pope to bless him, and President Bush to kick down doors.   But he still needs a rock star to win over the stooges who don’t get it.  That’s where I come in.

Lord, forgive me, what am I doing in church when the world needs your will to be done?  Is Beck gonna do it?  Didn’t think so.  Gotta jump.  

I need to update my preso for the Pope.  This frigtarded iPhone won’t let me cut and paste my contacts at Elevation into an email to Edge, so I need to find an old-fashioned pen in Silicon Valley at 7am on a Sunday.  Now I know why I’m in St Brigid’s: I need a miracle.

Wide awake in All Star Donuts

I’m still up.  I had to get the Google kids in their downtown loft to launch our (RED) Ads by Google  before management changed their minds.  In Silicon Valley, they don’t wait for Monday morning to fire you.

Once the first red-text ads went live, automatically transferring 40 percent of the take directly to Global Fund financed grants in Ghana, Rwanda and Swaziland, those crazy, oversexed Googlers began cheering and turned out the lights and cranked up the stereo.  Before I could get a report on how the ads were doing, they were dancing on desktops and stripping and spraying each other with Silly String.  Why spoil the fun?  I found a big spot lamp in the corner of the darkened loft, turned it on and walked around shining it on them, just like I did to Edge in Rattle and Hum.  Who knew the geeks could be so sexy?  There’s some video you can see if you know the right login on YouTube. I don’t have it.  

I slipped out before the inevitable blogger backlash to the ads began.  I walked to Polk Street, where Adam our bassist had taken me twenty years ago to see the runaway kids and tranny hookers.  They’ve cleaned it up a bit.  When I got to the nicer, yuppier part — Polk Valley, they tell me it’s called now — I stopped cold.  From outside one of the clubs, I could hear a live band playing inside.  You’re not going to believe me.  Gene Loves Jezebel.  For real.  On Polk Street.  In 2007.  

The tragedy was there was no line at the door.  My bigger problem was I don’t carry cash.  Jesus didn’t.  Plus it gets me out of picking up the check all the time.  But I couldn’t get in, because the way fame works is that when I walk up to the Red Devil Lounge on Polk, people look right at me and my clothes and my sunglasses at night and the last thing their brains will conclude is hey, it’s Bono.  Their reaction is a more pragmatic get lost, junkie.   And that’s before they find out my pockets are empty.

But as the Googlers say, I’m feeling lucky.  Who comes around the corner but my big-headed buddy Nick Denton from New York.  He was just as shocked to see me as I was to hear Gene Loves Jez, who at this point had just launched into “Twenty Killer Hurts” and I really, really wanted to be inside.  Denton carries plenty of cash, so no problem.

I went straight to the front of the crowd. If you could call it a crowd — I counted 79 people in the room.  Jay Aston looked down at me between songs and said, “Hey bud, Bono called.  He wants his shades back.”  Huge laughs all around.  See what I mean?  Sometimes that’s for the best. I danced to “Over the Rooftops” with a gorgeous, vivacious redhead who runs a dot-com now but had a huge crush on Jay when she was twelve.  Denton hid at the back but still got mobbed by dorky bloggers who want to be the next … uh … the next whoever his big star blogger is right now.

After the show, I talked Top of the Mark — where they do recognize me — into staying open for Jay and Nick and me.  We sat looking out over the city and the bay at 1:30 a.m. I ate at least twenty petit fours and downed six double shots of espresso to stay awake.  I should have gone for seven.

Denton says Silicon Valley is like New York. Both build elaborate worlds around what people are willing to believe. Their true product is imagination. At least until the ground shakes, or the towers fall. And then people pick themselves up, shake off the dust, and start all over again.  No, he didn’t really say that.  Truth is he’s in town because he’s got some dirt on the brat who runs Facebook that’s just — I know this is turning into a theme — too good to believe.  Hoo boy, and I thought the Googlers were freaks.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I can’t believe the news today

Steve’s gone nuclear on me. Apple PR used their pull with the media to plant a fake story that I’m not here, but in London. They claim I played a surprise show with Edge to benefit Mencap. “U2 Pair in Tiny Gig,” says the paper. “Just 250 people saw the superstar pair perform.”

This is how they nail you.  How cruel and dirty-handed of them, to force me to deny that I spent my weekend raising money for the UK’s leading charity for learning disabilities.  But these newspaper drones don’t dare piss off Steve and get left out of the Beatles event next week.

You people are smart, though. Look at all the online articles about this “surprise gig.” No one you trust claims they were there, and what else do you notice?  None of the photos they run are from the event.  They’re all stock shots of me and Edge from last year.  Edge is wearing the cap he threw out last Boxing Day after my daughter knit him a new one.  We played a Mencap benefit just this past August.  It’s in Wikipedia.  Whoops, it was there. Steve’s gotten to them, too.

I’m too exhausted and punchy to go on about it. I’ve been up all weekend with the Google kids launching our (RED) Ads by Google campaign, which marks up Google text ads in bright red for an extra 40% CPM that goes to the Global Fund.  The Googlers got on their special phones (I sent Edge a photo of one from my red iPhone.  He says they’re called Andromeda and they run a Linux operating system and can route calls through GPS satellites, which opens up tremendous possibilities for Africa) and lined up some advertisers for a test run.  We’re cranking right through the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I get the feeling they don’t much like holidays anyway, these kids, because they’re expected to log out and try to talk to their families, who can’t possibly imagine what their lives are like.  Same as me.  Jesus had this problem, too.

Life gets crazy when you reach the point where the media shows you in places you’re not. Check out this loonie walking around the Demo trade show last year. They didn’t ask him for ID or give him a badge. CNET, desperate for some buzz from a stupefyingly dull tech industry marketing event, ran the story even though you can tell they knew it wasn’t me.

The guy wreaked havoc on my investment work with Elevation Partners over on Sand Hill. Coco at Elevation is still scouring the Internet for photos he took with reporters and fans. She has to email or call people like poor Natali Del Conte above, and hit them with three chords and the truth: That wasn’t Bono. It’s tough. Invariably, people want to believe they’ve met the real me. 

This is why U2 still does hundreds of shows a year. To remind people what’s real. Unless I’m onstage with my mouth open, or giving the slide show presentation about Africa I created with Al Gore, or in bed with my wife (which I haven’t been enough of lately but that’s another post,) any idiot could walk around in sunglasses and a rosary and take my place on Earth. Outside of our shows and World Bank meetings, well-meaning people fall for fakers all the time. Jesus, as far as I know, didn’t have this problem. Until later on.