- 19 Jun 17
Bono talked to Bill Graham as WAR hit number one in the UK...
So told Bono to Bill Graham after the release of their third album in 1983. “We wanted an album that would separate us from our contemporaries.”
Separate them it did - War put U2 right at the top of the pile, knocking none other than Michael Jackson’s Thriller off the summit of the UK album charts.
It wasn’t an easy album to make, as initially the band tried new producers that didn’t work out - “we were walking all over him,” Bono says of one - before returning to work with Steve Lillywhite.
Bono’s most abiding memory is Steve “making me sing ‘til I bled,” while he credits new wife Ali for getting him through writer’s block. “She was kicking me out of bed in the morning. She literally put the pen in my hand.”
Their British tour, which sold out 3,000 seats before it began, got “silly,” Bono told Bill.
“People were trekking overnight across Britain and sleeping in the back of buses, coming from Bristol, Liverpool, even Holland!”
There’s a sign that all the new found recognition was getting to Bono, as he tells Bill of fans booking the same hotels as the band. He might “refuse the pressure - I don’t acknowledge it,” but he also says “Sometimes I’m actually getting tired of being Bono… it’s a group that’s made good. I can see people going down to buy a newspaper and saying, “it’s not that guy on the cover, yet again.”
He'd only make the Hot Press cover another 34 times!
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!