Playing with Paul a thrill for U2's The Edge
By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun
Opening Live 8 with Paul McCartney was a thrill, says U2 guitarist The Edge.
The Irish rockers, who launched the second leg of their North American tour last month at the Air Canada Centre, opened the global Live 8 concert on July 2, performing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with McCartney in front of hundreds of thousands of fans in London's Hyde Park.
"Obviously performing for the first time with Paul McCartney was a huge thing," The Edge told the Sun in a Canadian exclusive interview during U2's rehearsals at the ACC.
"You grow up, you're in a band, there are few other bands that really have the stature of The Beatles. In fact, there's no other band that has the sature of The Beatles, in my opinion. So it was just a great honour to be there with Paul."
The Edge said the mood at Live 8 was more of a celebration than at Live Aid twenty years ago, which U2 also played.
"There was an air of desperation there, this was a crisis that we were trying to do something to try and alleviate," he said. "In this case, there's a crisis but it was like the solution was right there and all we needed was for the politicians to show a bit of courage and thankfully they did."
The Edge says the really interesting thing is how far the relationship between rock stars and politicians has come in the last two decades.
"The result of Live 8 will be far in excess of the actual impact of Live Aid," he said. "Not in terms of culture, not in terms of history, but in terms of just dollars out there in the developing world. The sums of money that have been released as a result of the debt cancellation and other commitments dwarfs anything that Live Aid was able to achieve. For me it shows how that axis of rock 'n' roll and politics has kind of changed quite a bit since Live Aid. The politicians were quite loath to talk to the pop stars back then. This time 'round, Bono and Bob (Geldof) met everybody and everybody was prepared to listen."
Live 8 included a show at Molson Park in Barrie headlined by Neil Young, and the DVD of the global concert hits stores on Nov. 8.