- 02 May 01
So this is Christmas and what have we done... As U2 prepare to enter the final year of the decade, Bono devotes a long night at his home in Dublin to reflecting on his life, his music and U2's extraordinary career to date. Interview: Liam Mackey
"An awkward sonuvabitch", is how he, not unhappily, describes Rattle And Hum at one point, and so, at least in its preservation of that spirit, you might get away with describing the fruits of last night's labours as The Interview Of The Album (of the film of the book of the band of the controversy... of which more later). Then again you might not.
The world of journalism loves the concept of 'the definitive interview' - along with The Great Scoop, it's a kind of Holy Grail of the profession. But you can forget about even getting close to the glittering prize as far as encounters with Bono are concerned, not least because here is a man who readily admits that he can scarcely define himself to any satisfactory degree. Which, of course, only serves to render even more glaring the supreme irony of his being perceived as rock's Man With The Answers.
Nope, what we have here is not a man whose personality can be so very easily gift-wrapped, tied and placed quietly under the tree – Joshua or otherwise – more a jack forever popping out of whatever box people reckon they have him in. So no Definitive Statement, but between the public role and the private man, between the urge to get a lot off his chest and a guardedness that comes from knowing how print makes permanent and headlines distort, there's a lot of talk and thought and copious amounts of coffee, as 1988 unwinds and the first decade of U2 slips away.