May 27, 2007

Pet Shop Boys Blast Bono

I read this over at U2 News:

Neil Tennant told the Daily Mirror: "I've always been against the ideas of rock stars lecturing people as if they know something the rest of us don't - it looks arrogant.

"It's not as if they have a private source of information. To state the obvious as if you are the only person that knows it is intellectually weak. Like Bono - he uses his celebrity, but in doing so he increases his celebrity. I'm never totally convinced that the rest of U2 feel comfortable with that."
Well, I do believe Neil has a point about making political statements, it bothers me when celebrities use their fame to sway voters that are not intelligent enough to think beyond "well Bruce Springsteen says I should vote for so and so, so I will" (you know I love Bruce, this is just the first example I thought of).

BUT.... What Bono does is TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Bono is not a political figure. He will sit down with any world leader in any country and have the same conversation with each of them - its about brining awareness to poverty and AIDS in Africa (mostly) and that is not a political issue.

Sure, he uses his celebrity to get attention for this but what's wrong with that? I think it's a great use of fame. Rather than partying at all the famous nightclubs, getting your face splashed across People for your latest arrest, addiction or affair, why not bring attention to suffering? He's made a HUGE difference by bringing awareness and raising funds to save lives. I can't see anything wrong with that!

So, note to Neil Tennant - I disagree with you.

(Who are The Pet Shop Boys anyhow? Aren't they a disco band from the 80's?)


Erin Word said...

Their greatest claim to fame was "West End Girls" in like 1985 or so.

Ok so here goes...

I tend to agree with Neil, but not exactly for the same reasons. What really irritates me is the First Church of Bono which has evolved...we worship Bono because he is so cool and doing so much good in the world...just like Jesus...and we're going to use his music at church...and put his little "One" banner on all our websites...

And I don't see how his willingness to sit down with any leader in any country makes him NOT a political figure.

And why the heck doesn't he start using his real name?

I love his music. Just not in church.

admin said...

Layla (aka Barbara) said...

Erin, Ok, I remember that song.

Well, I certainly don't worship Bono but I understand what you're getting at. I have an article on this you'd probably like, I'll try to dig it up.

I don't think of him as political, I think of him as humanitarian. His agenda isn't to promote himself or get recognition, I really think he's sincere.

As far as not using his real name, he's been called Bono for so long, its a nickname his bandmates gave him before U2 even started. It's a lot more interesting than "Paul" (no offense to any Pauls out there!).

Amber said...

When you're in the public eye there will always be some who will bless you and some who will curse you regarless of what you do. I'm glad neither seem to influence Bono. I have a feeling he knows what he's doing and why he's doing it and the opinion of a few doesn't sway him.

David Amulet said...

Maybe Neil would draw a distinction between Bono meeting with world leaders to gain attention to an issue he cares about ... and Bono lecturing his audience from a holier-than-thou perspective. The latter has turned me away from several performers.

-- david

bob_vinyl said...

A lot of artists can get preachy and talk as though they are privy to info that the rest of us aren't or that their opinion should carry more weight based on their celebrity. THat drives me crazy. However, Bono has done his homework and gotten involved. He does know more than most of us about things like the third world debt, because he's done his homework. It's not the same as Sheryl Crow with an anti-war war slogan on a button.

Interesting connection between U2 and the Pet Shop Boys is that the latter does a cover of the former's "Where the Streets Have No Name" and it's completely over the top. In a sense, it's brilliant and in another sense it's horrifying.

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