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Taking Names: Bono salutes U.S. for electing ‘extraordinary man’
Bono hailed Americans for re-electing President Obama but reminded them of the dire consequences that lie ahead because of the economy.
The U2 frontman touched on the relationship between politics and extreme poverty Monday night in his keynote speech during the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University, after acknowledging Mr. Obama’s victory over challenger Mitt Romney last week.
“Congratulations are in order not just for turning out in record numbers — and forgetting politics for a minute — but for electing an extraordinary man as president,” Bono said of Mr. Obama. “I think you have to say that whatever your political tradition.”
Bono went on to joke about attack ads, imitate former President Bill Clinton, compare punk rock to world history, forecast a potentially dark future and warn Georgetown students that a recession might rob them of their chance to make their mark on the world.
The 52-year-old Irish singer, a self-styled “evidence-based activist,” warned that economic decisions being debated in America could have devastating consequences for the extremely poor. He referred to the impending “fiscal cliff,” the year-end expiration of tax cuts Americans have had for a decade and other budget realities some fear may restart the recession and cost millions more their jobs.
Bono said fiscal decisions should not cost lives lost through lack of medical treatment or other aid.
Add one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most admired and most uncompromising stars to the list of memoir writers: John Fogerty.
The former frontman for Creedence Clearwater Revival has a deal with Little, Brown and Co., the publisher announced Monday. The book is scheduled for publication in 2014 and is untitled, The Associated Press reports. Mr. Fogerty, 67, is known for writing and singing such classics as “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising” and for his clashes with band members and record executives.
“I want to tell the story of how I fought — hard — to maintain my artistic integrity in the face of opposing forces,” Mr. Fogerty said in a statement issued through Little, Brown and Co., which in 2010 published Keith Richards‘ million-selling “Life.”
Creedence Clearwater is widely regarded as one of the great American rock bands, defying the trend of long jams in the late 1960s and early ‘70s and turning out an amazing run of tight top-10 singles. But the righteous edge to Mr. Fogerty’s vocals and lyrics was matched by his determination to have his own way, including with his brother and fellow Creedence performer, Tom Fogerty. By the mid-‘70s, the band had broken up and Mr. Fogerty would spend years battling his former music label, Fantasy Records.
His solo career has been sporadic, but he has had hits with “Centerfield” and “The Old Man Down the Road.” Mr. Fogerty has an album scheduled for next year and plans collaborations with the Foo Fighters and Keith Urban, among others.
Australian rockers INXS confirm retirement
Members of the Australian rock band INXS, one of the world’s biggest acts throughout the late 1980s and early ‘90s, confirmed Tuesday their retirement after 35 years.
In a statement, the band, whose original frontman, Michael Hutchence, committed suicide 15 years ago, said media reports of their demise were true.
“We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end,” said band members Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers, according to Agence France-Presse.
“We have been performing as a band for 35 years; it’s time to step away from the touring arena. Our music will, of course, live on, and we will always be a part of that.”
The band, which formed in 1977 and has sold more than 30 million records, played to stadiums across the globe at its peak, but the death of the charismatic Hutchence hit band members hard.
He was found dead in a Sydney hotel room in 1997, leaving behind a daughter, Tiger Lily, from a relationship with British TV presenter Paula Yates, who died of a heroin overdose in 2000.
Tiger Lily lives with her legal guardian, Yates’ former husband, Bob Geldof.
Since then, INXS has hired several other singers and performed with the likes of Terence Trent D’Arby and Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes, but the band was never able to revisit its early success.
3-D One Direction film planned for 2013
One Direction is headed to a movie theater near you.
Sony Pictures said it’s making a 3-D film about the boy band, due out next year on Labor Day weekend, The Associated Press reports.
“Super Size Me” filmmaker Morgan Spurlock will direct the movie.
The film will give fans an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the group and its five members: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.
The London-based band was discovered by Simon Cowell on the United Kingdom’s “The X Factor” in 2010. One Direction has sold more than 13 million records worldwide and is known for hits including “What Makes You Beautiful,” “One Thing” and “Live While We’re Young.”
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
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