Discover more from Leaves in the Wind
My Moment of Rock 'n Roll Fame
U2's 2018 Tour and The Experience of God
There was some surprise among readers, apparently, at the link I provided to my conversation with Michael Robbins on the Commonweal online site, as well as at some of the chatter in the comments section that followed, because of what it revealed about my fondness for certain kinds of popular music. I have to be honest, I have never thought a love of the classical tradition of Western music somehow precludes an appreciation for any other grand musical tradition or genre—Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Malian, Indonesian, Melanesian, Brazilian, Ragtime, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, or what have you. So long as the music is intrinsically good, it is just music to me. (Mind you, there is a disagreement between Michael and me on just this point, as he is willing to tolerate very bad pop musicians if they are doing something that he finds…I don’t know exactly what. Authentic, perhaps, or raw, or… Well, I can ask him later.)
Anyway, one of the readers of Leaves, Manil, provided a link to an interview I had done about four years ago and then oddly forgotten (the COVID shutdown probably has a good deal to do with that). The occasion was the 2018 “Innocence and Experience” tour by U2, which at intermission featured a short animated feature whose “payoff” was a line from The Experience of God (unattributed)—a line I think Bono had picked up from a review of the band’s “Experience” album that had happened to quote it. I was unaware of this until my interviewer—Scott Calhoun—told me about it. On discovering the borrowing, I made only the smallest of demands: I wanted Bono to send me a pair of cool sunglasses like the ones he regularly wears. Sadly, they never came. I really need my people to get in touch with his people to see whether we can fix this. First, though, I have to get some people. (Applicants solicited.)
Whatever the case, having re-read the interview for the first time since it originally appeared, I find it strikes me as rather good (if I do say so myself). Calhoun seems to have known how to ask the interesting questions.