Elvis Costello kicks off his new series of intimate interviews and performances with some of the biggest names in music by welcoming Bono and The Edge.
In front of Costello’s live studio audience, the U2 vocalist and guitarist discuss the forming of their band. “We had no history of musicianship,” Bono says. “Remember, we formed a band before we could play.... It’s kind of comedic. We’re looking at all these [more experienced] people, going, ‘OK, we’ll have that and we’ll have that and we’ll have that,’ like you’re walking around with a shopping bag. But somebody else said, ‘You also need the talent bit.’ And it never dawned on us that we mightn’t have any.”
Bono and The Edge also discuss the influence and wisdom of their producer Brian Eno, as well as a time when the former Roxy Music man became so exasperated with their recording of Where The Streets Have No Name, that he tried to erase the song from the album. “A junior engineer had to physically drag him out of the recording studio,” the pair remember. Bono also recalls a time when Paul McCartney came to the studio to give them a pep talk. He slid down the bannisters on the way in and explained how he, Ringo, John and George would begin recording backing tracks at 9am, go for an egg sandwich, pint and cigarette at 12, and then return and finish the songs by five. Inspired by their system, U2 tried a similar strategy that week, Bono explains, yet wound up still in the recording studio at 4am.
In between amusing anecdotes about their albums, charity work and song-writing, Bono and The Edge perform tracks including Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, rounding things off by performing Pump It Up/Get On Your Boots with Costello.
Over the course of the series, Costello will also welcome artists including Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Nick Lowe and Bruce Springsteen.