By Ray O’Hanlon
Irish rockers U2 might not be kids anymore, but they can still pack a lot into seven days.
The Grammys, the Irish Music Awards, lunch at the White House. And that’s only the half of it.
The seven days between Feb. 25 and March 4 will long be remembered as the week that U2, Bono at the head of them, pretty well sealed their reputation as the heavyweight champions of popular music. The highlight, of course, was the band’s pulling in four Grammys: Record of the Year for “Walk On,” Best Rock Album for “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” Best Song by a Pop Duo or Group for “Stuck in a Moment That You Can’t Get Out Of” and Best Rock Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal for “Elevation.”
U2 also reminded the world that singers and musicians can pull a few strings on behalf of the less fortunate among us.
Monday, Feb. 25, had Bono staring at the world from the cover of Time magazine. The headline was suitably big for a big publication and an even bigger subject: “Can Bono Save The World?”
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Make that two big subjects.
Doubtless with a copy or two of Time in their carry on bags, U2 were making for Los Angeles and the Grammy awards, an annual extravaganza where prizes are presented to both the mediocre and the meritorious.
U2 gets the nod for the latter of course and the band duly walked off stage with their four Grammys, a haul that brought their grand total over the years to 14.
And that amounted to a world record for the world’s biggest recorders.
“Being Irish,” said Bono, “if you get eight nominations and get no awards, they wouldn’t let you back into the country. So this is a public safety issue.”
Somewhat lost in the Grammy fog were the Orville H. Gibson guitar awards in Hollywood on Tuesday, the day that fell between Time and the Grammys.
U2’s The Edge won best guitarist award, Adam Clayton came away with the best bass player prize for the second year in a row, and U2 collectively won the best guitar band accolade.
Fast forwarding to week’s end, Bono arrived at the White House for lunch with the Bush administration’s National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice.
Bono emerged from the meeting telling reporters that Rice saw the linkage between fighting poverty and the war on terrorism.
Bono, Edge, Adam and drummer Larry Mullen, headed back to Ireland over the weekend.
On Monday, seven days after Time, it was time for more awards. In this case it was the Meteor Irish Music Awards. U2 hauled away seven and their manager Paul McGuinness took another.
All in all, it was a pretty good week for the lads. But you know there’s bound to be an encore.