- 27 Jun 17
Bill Graham travelled to Donegal where Bono was filming with Clannad for their collaboration 'In a Lifetime'
13 February 86
In late 1985 and Bill Graham’s role as chronicler of all things U2 brought him to the hills of Donegal where Bono was co-directing the video for his latest collaboration - ‘In A Lifetime’ with Clannad.
The video was shot in Clannad’s homeland of Gweedore, and Bill was not slow to write about the remarkable surroundings. “Gweedore has its own law, lore and very special logic… its people have a self-reliance, an individuality, both a sense of community and an outgoing curiosity and a lack of cant that makes them among the most fascinating in the island.”
In the Brennan’s family pub, Bill observed a development in Bono’s drinking habits. “In the last year, he’s allowed his conviviality overcome any remaining puritanical streak, albeit he paces himself, preferring to slowly slip glasses rather than pints of Guinness.”
The collaboration with Clannad was part of Bono’s desire to educate himself further musically, Bono told Bill.
After discussing the possibility of combining Irish and electronic music with Kraftwerk producer Conny Plank, when Bono told bill that when he heard Clannad’s ‘Harry’s Game’ “I nearly crashed my car”.
“With Clannad I was beginning to see the future of something that could avoid the trappings of rock ‘n’ roll, places like the Marquee or the Ritz in New York and go straight to Carnegie Hall,” he said.
Bono and The Edge came up with the basic scenario for the video. “We don’t believe in videos with storylines,” he told Bill. “We’re imagistic. We don’t think you should explain a song. You should add other images that you didn’t know were there in the song.”
Bono’s grá for Gweedore and the extended Clannad family was mentioned. “You can see the love they have for each other. They’re very physical in their affections. And there’s their father, a tee-totaller, running the noisiest pub in Ulster.”
You can also see all of U2's Hot Press covers in the flesh as part of our 40th Birthday Exhibition in the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin. Open seven days a week, admission free!