tv Charlie Rose PBS December 28, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. as 2016 comes to a claus we bring you some of our favorite programs of the year. tonight for the hour my conversation with bono. >> to me i see all the stuff i to as the same thing, you know. they may see it as multipersonallity disorder but i see melodies and ideas as being the same thing or even little businesses, you know. start ups. they are like melody lines to me. a great melody and a great idea have a lot in common. >> rose: an hour with bono when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: bono is here. this year marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary rock band u2. the group has sold more than 157 million records, it has won 22 grammies. bono is also no for his rock star status and for his philanthropic work around the globe. celebrating its tenth anniversary. over the weekend red a hundred million dollar commitment to fight aids, ter burkeless and malaria. in april he visited with refugees in kenya, jordan and
turkey. he's in new york for the united nations general assembly and i'm very belizeed to have him back at this table. welcome. you are a traveling man. >> i travel rat, that's it. i joined up with that when i joined a rock and roll band at 18. >> rose: with a couple friends. tell me about nice and how close that was. >> when you talk about these things, it's easy to forget that your drama is just such a tiny charred of the dramas that were going on around you. yes, we were there, it was bastilled night and we were working at the fireworks, we left the fireworks and came back to the table. and realized something was wrong when the car reversed down a one
way street it was taken away and a stampede of tables and chairs thrown over where. this woman and her son huddled back to a window under tables. and we brought this woman and her son. everything about it was, he was calming her down. he was like a ten year old saying mama, mama it's okay, she was having a panic attack. we weren't because growing up in ireland it's probably just a fireworks to spook people. but of course we were thinking, and you know you have these awful thoughts. you look at a blunt knife and you think is there a gunman coming through, that kind of thing. the french did it right.
face down, made sure everyone was safe and i'm very grateful for that. i've tried to paid respect to the families. that's about really all that matters. >> rose: you were right about that. people were concerned about you because of what happened to so many innocent souls. >> yes. it's the second time in transfor us. we were in paris at the night, we were rehearsing a mile away. when all that went off. it's like this keeps happening. >> rose: that was to be the final venue for the tower. >> yes, yes. we went back, though, two weeks later and the band that had been through the ordeal, we brought them on at the end of the show. ♪
♪ >> the thing about these groups, these terrorist groups is they live in a gray zone where people get on, they are in the gray zone where people mingle. they want to divide us. i thought when we went back, it wasn't about the melody, it was about harmony, that's what i felt. i felt it was like, it wasn't about our song, it was about the crowd's singing sort of thing. you know, it's powerful rock and roll, you know, as an act of defiance. >> rose: indeed it is. that's the first thing i think about when i think of rock and roll in part is defiance. >> there's nothing more romantic in the world than defienls. it's kind of the essence of romance and joy is the ultimate
act of defiance. you think of music, the beatles whether it's motes art or bethoven. we can cry into the beer. i'm attracted to what u2 has formed on that idea of pure joy as an act of defiance. >> rose: but the music continues. >> yes. the music gives me the currency. the music given me the life given us the life. music is wrapped around social justice which is where you and i met in the fight against extreme poverty. that's how i got in the door. people were expecting that i wouldn't leave. when i would be up in capitol hill here or any capital, people would take the meeting to have a look at this exotic creature or whatever it is, rock and roll person. but then you know i didn't leave. >> rose: all the passion you
have for social activism, is in they way does it diminish the music. >> well you know, it has been some pride for the band what we've done but it's also, i know i've embarrassed them a lot. there's people i meet they wouldn't want me to meet. i remember bringing jesse helms to the show. edge was very upset about that. as regards time, it's odd because for me, i see all the stuff i do as the same thing, you know. they might see it as multipersonallity dis order, but i see melodies and ideas as being the same thing. even little businesses, you know, start ups, they're like melody lines to me. a great melody and a great idea have a lot in common. there's something unique, present.
there's this sort of an arc, sort of the beautiful arc and a certain inevitability. you feel you know where it's going though you've never seen one before. i feel like that about a song. i feel like that about the one campaign, you know, all red or anything i to. >> rose: but do you feel because of the accident in the park, because the guitar's not there. >> some would say it was never there. >> rose: you wouldn't say that and your band wouldn't say that. >> they would,8 person.
i know part of that. >> rose: you went back in the last album songs innocence and it was about your mother. it was back about dublin. it was about the musical influences. there is a sense that you both go forward and then you come back. >> maybe to go back. maybe that's what that was about. u2, i never listen to our music, the band doesn't, we're always thinking about where we're going. but the last time i decided i need to know why am i like this. where does this come from. what is this rage that i still can't seem to shake, you know. >> rose: why am i know band.
>> why am i, all those kind of questions. i got to the very ordinary situation that lots of people probably have had where they go oh my god, mother died at 14 but it's like the way i got over it was of course, you know, i went for music, i lost high -- mysef in music and i became part of the crowd and that was the love i was missing in my life, living in a handsome north side of dublin with two men that i was fighting with and that's where the music came. the al chemy. that's it. >> rose: you once said if i'm close to music and you're close to music then we're close to each other. >> yeah. music is the language of the
spirit, as a jazz man, you're pretty musical the way you move around the table with words. but actually it's when we shut up that is another kind of talking goes on. our spiritual life or whatever you want to call it. so music i think connects us with our spirit, our spiritual life. and i think all music is worship actually. and it's not god, if you don't believe in god, it could be anything, it could be woman. it can be a lot of bad things but it's always worship. >> rose: you just had a hugely successful tour. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>> rose: beyond the money, beyond promoting t album as it does, does it speak to you in terms of how the audience sees the songs? do you get feedback from them about the lyrics. >> yes, it's very passionate. >> rose: something going on there. >> we fight with our audience. it's like aggressive, a lover's quarrel. i would not just stumble, i would leap into the audience. there was a concert in the 80's, i remember, i was in my early 20's and i went into the audience with a whete flag. >> rose: i remember that, yes. >> it was in the los angeles time big review, the most stupid thing, most irspend thing ever seen. i went into the crowd with a white flag. it was making this whole non-violent protest and they were i'm in all of that.
but that relationship with an audience is everything to this. it works on our albums, the recordings are good. we've done some good stuff but it's great, because it's live. it's present, it's different. it changes. even if you're not improvising sometimes we are and sometimes we aren't always different. they do change, you were right. see audiences changes every night because you pick up their feelings. a song can mean something different in paris than in new york. it just means something different. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> rose: you like rehearsals. >> no. we're not good at rehearsals. they don't know i'm here. i can't connect. getting into these songs for me is commitment. in the morning i feel a little ill, a little bit nauseous, i know what's coming. i have to step inside the songs. it's going great, the songs are singing you and it's just a
what's the point. >> rose: writing. is it hard for you to write a song? >> no. i've been writing melodies since i was a kid. since the piano keys were taller than my head. so i remember and i didn't know how to play but i remember putting my foot on the pedal and finding out where the reverb was and making a sound, a note and finding another note that felt good with it as a child. so i have that. >> rose: it's just talent. >> i guess it is and one shouldn't be arrogant. it's like inherited wealth. being talented. i say this to beautiful girls too. i say be humble. you didn't work for this. this is like gifts.
we're all given these gifts. to have such beauty and talent. >> rose: but take songs of experience. how many have you written. >> 16 songs on the cooker. we have to boil it down to 10 or 12. i rather it be 10 but it will probably beer 12. >> rose: what's it about. what's the question you're asking this time? >> well, i'm not sure i should say this but there's a great poet, we were discussing shamous heany. the last poem called tight for adine which is i think about a premonition. another poet advised me once, he said to write as if you're dead. he said that. to do that is to be free of ego, to be free. go. >> rose: please nobody but
yourself. >> so i've taken that position and it's, i've written some very very personal songs to people, to my kids or our kids, to friends, to ali, to our audience. then i caught myself writing to myself. i didn't know it was me. i said what's this one about. one called the little things that give you away. oh god who thought about that one. me. >> rose: there's one called the morning after innocence. >> yes. that's kind of the theme of it. that's odd. i told you about that and i shouldn't have. and that song, the morning after which i shouldn't give it away but i just told you. >> rose: it against i was living a lie and calling it
compromise. isn't that right. >> right. >> rose: that's personal. what was the compromise? >> i sometimes think that the younger me, it was very black and white. a bit judgmental. to be honest. but write a lot. >> rose: as in correct. >> well yeah. but you know, might look at me now and be disappointed. i've written a couple of songs from that point of view. although i feel like i've had the freedom as a person as well as a writer that i didn't have as a younger man. >> rose: we talked about terrorism earlier and how it's all around us. it's in paris and it's in the united states and it's in
brussels and it's everywhere. there's also politics today that some people are worried about forms of populism. they worry about it in france. they worry bit here. when you look at donald trump and his tenancy and you have said wonderful things about america you said america is more than a nation, it's an idea. does trump come to you as somebody whose a change agent because people are so unhappy about status quo or does he come to you as something else? >> look, america is like the best idea the world ever came up with. but donald trump is potentially the worst idea that ever happened to america. potentially. it could destroy us.
because what we're saying, because america's not just a country. ireland and all the rest. america is an idea and that idea is about justice and equality for all. equality and justice for all, you know. and this, you know, i think of lazarus, those lines, give me your tired, your poor, your hddled masses yearning to breathe free. this is america. this is not from donald trump's play book. look, i have spent 20 years, nearly 20 years now fiercely bipartisan and i'm going to stay that way. i have enormous respect for the party of abraham lincoln to move the greatest workers and the one
campaign come from conservative tradition. republicans are very close friends of mine. i don't think he's a republican. i think he hijacked and the party and i think he's trying to hijack the idea of america. and i think it's bigger than all of this. i think it's, this is really dangerous. and i think you know cannot, wise people of conscious should not let this man turn this country into a casino. >> rose: why do you think this race is about evil running against a woman who has been secretary of state as united states senator first lady of the united states. and a race is about evil. >> i would not diminish trump supporters or under estimate their angst. because i feel that in a way,
person in the oval office. this is a sacred office. this is an in credible country. by the way, the people will wake up out of this dream. they shouldn't make a protest with him. >> rose: some will argue and i know her well and respect her greatly, that part of the issue of his rise has to do in part with her, that she is not a popular candidate and so people want to see change and they don't think they'll get change with her. so they're prepared to take a chance with him. it's a huge risk. >> because he's not a pop starer show man or show woman because he's not simplistic. >> rose: i don't think it's the heart of she's not something. i've talked to them about this last week and they recognize it.
there's this issue of trust. i'm just saying that is part of -- >> that's so mad. of all the mad things, think about it. just on a pure psychological profile, the woman is almost pernickity. we walk into the state department, she is like all over us. she is, it's tough love with her and she's very proper. it's so mad that people would think that there's something. but i don't want to be on your show talking and you know, don't tell people how to vote. >> rose: but you are alarm by donald trump. >> i am ready and to speak in a way i haven't spoken for 20
years. and i'm not -- >> rose: this is not comfortable for you but you're doing it because what. >> because i feel like this country is in real danger. this is really a dangerous. there's climate change. there's nuclear weapon proliferation, you know, there's terrorism. there's all kinds of stuff. actually the biggest danger is right here, might be right here. and it's fear of the other. i'm irish. he talks about illegal aliens. it's the spotted pig. half the irish people in there probably stayed too long or whatever it is. it's not the level of mexican, mexican people are some of the extraordinary people you'll ever meet in your life. they are working doing incredible jobs some very sophisticated, some of jobs that americans don't want them to do.
but i'm irish, i'm very offended. they were refugees. economic refugees. we got off thet here smelling and we were rough and you know no blacks and irish. we know this story. we've made a contribution to america. i think most americans will agree the irish are part of your story. >> rose: the country's been built on immigrants. >> the country is built on this principle, for those who need it most surely. >> rose: are you campaign, will you get involved. >> no, i can't do that. i really can't do that but i just feel like stand up and be counted in some kind of luminous way and i'll figure out a way. >> rose: let me talk about 10th anniversary and a couple philanthropy things but also a
new push to electrify africa which i think as good idea. it's really interesting. i was thinking about you and i and i remember you coming to sit at this table talking about debt forgiveness. >> that's at this table. >> rose: that's true. came here selling the idea of debt forgiveness. when was that. >> this was a long time ago. that could be 16 years ago. >> rose: we've got countries in africa that can't get on with their development because they have an overwhelming debt and the only way to telewith -- del with it is to find a way to deal with it so they can use those resources. >> laser by the way and 46 million africans going to school because that's where that money that was saved was spent. isn't that incredible. >> rose: it's unbelievable. what is electrify. >> going on, i think now the whole narrative about development has changed. it's changed because the world's
getting excited because the continent. by 2050, it will be twice the population of china. it will be a third, i think a third of the world youth. it will be african. can you imagine. >> rose: every country -- >> culture to music. so i think people are saying well how can we be part of this rising africa narrative. and so president obama has been really keen on partnering with, you know, bringing power to africa. mark zuckerberg is trying to bring the -- >> rose: internet. >> -- to africa. there's a lot of people. and i think actually there's about to emerge a new security and development narrative. started in africa but partnered in europe and in america that's going to change the game with
regards to africa, certainly north africa into the middle east. with the refugee crises people are looking can we go to source here. what can we do here. because there's a phenomena, the three extremes you could call them. right along there, you have extreme poverty, extreme climate and extreme ideology. and this unholy trinity is where all the problems are. if you go to from northern mali northern nigeria across sudan all wait to somalia, you could argue goes all wait to afghanistan, people screening to make a living, hard hard life. we need to understand this. we need to be there.
and african leaders are, the president of nigeria, entrepreneurs of africa saying we have to deal with this. in north nigeria i've just been to borneo in northern nigeria, there are two million people displaced there. boko haram is there. they can't return to the home group. two million people displaced in northern nigeria. the stated objective of boko haram is the destabilization of nigeria which is a gray zone. one thought in your head. that's ten times the population of syria. if nigeria -- >> rose: the risk is ten times the population of syria. >> if you see what syria did to europe, the refugee crises
probably resulted in brexit. nigeria is two million people. in nigeria fails, africa fails. if africa fails, europe fails and if europe fails america's in day. >> rose: why africa always? i mean, it was aids, it was debt relief, it's development. >> the thing why we all pick the fight with aids is because it sort of focused you on this inequality. you could get these two pills and any gain read if you had hiv/aids here in new york or in deb lun -- it should not decide where you live. so justice, you're asking what
motivates, it's justice not charity. as it happens, that whole mode is shifting now to a more, to a self interest narrative. and europeans are realizing that continent of africa is eight mile west and if people are running from burning homes, burning villages they will strap themselves to bits of wood, teachers, nurses, educated people put their children in little dingies and risk everything to find liberty. they would swim to europe and we can't stop them nor should we. these are refugees. and we've all been refugees, you know. so now europe is realizing we have to understand what's going on in the continent. that is our neighbor. and particularly normal africa
and nigeria is the whole west africa. so that is an example. an intelligent honest leader there. should praise the lord. let's make sure he can succeed that he has what he needs. >> rose: you got everybody involved in red. more than $360 million. tell me how you see this in terms of this great rock star with skills he has, what talents he has, what motivates him and what he uses to rally these points of power to make a difference. >> better ask him. i want to say back to you, because it's the same thing that has this table become the stuff of legends.
it's an old fashion, it's an ancient idea, pretentious to mention but it's that greek idea of the whole society is it not. it should not be unusual to have scientists, artists, mathematicians, poets, comedians, that's how ireland was formed, everyone was welcome. the world of ideas. you're interested in it, i'm interested in it and that's what motivates me. how could you for instance, the development agenda needs to be a thing of the left. the creature of the left. yes, they are hammering about poverty. that was under estimating people on the right. but we tried on the one campaign let's actually unite people twice the support for people and who are dying unnecessarily preventible treating disease or whatever. commerce is always left
out this. the engines of commerce, the creative engines, the creative departments of coca-cola. that's the great advertisers. can we use the advertisements. >> rose: they've got trucks in africa to deliver medicine. >> that's right. bobby shriver, worked with coca-cola to get those trucks for drugs in rural africa. refrigeration is the key to it. i'll tell you something else. i was in a meeting in coke and i put a can of coke on the table. in atlanta. that can, we can put it on the cover of "time" magazine. it's going to change the world but you're going to get into some trouble to do what we're going to ask you but it will be the most incredible riot of interest in your, you haven't
seen for 20 years. what is it, just a can, a regular can. pick it up. he picked it up and said i'm sorry i'm not following you. he said look underneath. underneath in the concave base we had a comment. i said not asking you to put this in supermarkets but could we do it. yes, there will be trouble, your conservative company. >> rose: the battle against aids. >> yes. anyway take a boring story and throw it in the bin but the idea, it was too hard to handle that particular thing but they went on with mutar who took charge. >> rose: as ceo. >> they became a red partner. and they've been great.
and like apple, like starbucks, like belvedere, we've got so many extraordinary companies now. we're trying to use, to answer your question finally, trying to use everything. everyone. don't leave anyone out of this. this is the most important project ever. which is what, the project of human dignity, the project bringing people to despair when they don't have to live there. >> rose: not giving them the essentials of life. >> yes. it's the most important project. >> rose: shelter, food. >> i'm not even giving them. by partnering. >> rose: providing the opportunity so they can provide for their own. >> it's not nitro. poverty and despair is not a natural condition, it's man made and it can be unmade by man said
a famous african, nelson mandela. >> rose: some would ask why you. >> i'm not sure. i would say the irishness is part of this. we never forget. even across generations. it's probably that, you know, wherever you go in africa, there's people. irish nuns and priests jumping from behind bushes. irish people are very fronted by injustice. everybody is but i think maybe we're just very vocal about it. >> rose: in the end you're saying it's your irishness you think and your life experience. >> part of that and it is because my faith is something i don't feel comfortable talking about, i try to serve it.
i try to serve by service, i suppose is important. it's an old fashion boring world but i'm not somebody who can wear that badge and you'll easily catch me. i'm not a very pious person but i believe in those values of service, and i think in the scriptures, there are 2000, over 2000 versus to poverty. >> rose: i think that's what christ's mission was about. >> aside from redempt sun the entire thing about the scripture is poverty. the only time christ speaks about judgment is how we treat the poor in matthew 25 and he says how you treat the least of these is how you treat me. people always think, you know,
they've been factually immoral behavior or they've stolen something from work or whatever. christ hasn't spoken about anything like that. he just spoke about that. spoke about how we treat the poor. in terms of judgmentallism, i think it's important to get our priorities right, you know. >> rose: at some point people will start asking you this question. they already ask bill gates this question and they already know the answer although bill vest proud what he did at microsoft. most people will say bill gates will be remembered far more for what he has done around the world in terms of poverty and malaria. he will be remembered for that more than the fact that he founded microsoft. there's going to be a time when we think of good deeds rather than good music. >> i hope not. i tell you what i'm hoping.
on has now seven million members, seven million. the one campaign. three million are in africa. i think in the next few years, member ship south of the equator is going to dwarf the member shi'ite north of the equator and their voices are going to drown out ours and mine and i look forward to it. and i wanted to make music. >> rose: who are they? >> see they are the young the next the new of comes. they are civil society people. they are university students who know that their potential is not being used. and they are changing their world and we're just hopefully partnering with them. but i'll be soon out of a job as an activist who has to come on
filling the table with tiger. >> rose: you talked with tiger wood. >> i did. i want to know was this. >> rose: to your mates, they wholeheartedly with you on this and say go to it brother, we're with you? or do they say in some cases did you have to go get involved. >> they are wholeheartedly behind us with caveats. >> rose: what are the caveats. >> don't make it by yourself. and you know, they don't say that but i know the look. >> rose: don't embarras us. >> finally in red, they are enormous contributors, i think there's $15 million thread. red is going to half a billion dollars by the end of this replenishing cycle. we just had the largest replenishment cycle in history, in canada because primary
minister trudeau worked his a off. >> rose: what do you think of the pope. >> i haven't met francis. >> rose: you haven't met. >> i have not met. >> rose: have you asked? >> i'm due to meet him. we have correspondence. he has the tiniest writing. but he is a remarkable man. and when what i think in debt cancellation all those years ago the catholic church made debt cancellation a priority. they put it up in every church. my argument is why didn't you tell people what was accomplished until you succeeded s $120 billion of debts were canceled ask that money was spent in largely in education. an extra 46 million children. >> rose: this is what's interesting you sitting at the table from my perspective. you are so alive talking about
this. it is a moving part energizing part of who you are, your being today. and yet at the same time the music is there and it's central to who you are and central to what defines you. those songs are answers to questions that you ask yourself about who you are and what you're about and memory. >> you clearly, you love music so you get it. and you know, i've become more indulge nt.
>> rose: so you like all of it. >> you mentioned bill gates and microsoft. will people forget i'm in u2? you know, i think it's all the same thing. the part with bill talking about him about microsoft. this is a guy who i think will change the world twice. who gets the change the world once. he's going to change the world twice with microsoft software. >> rose: that's right. >> and you know, wherever you find people like myself shaking the tree, you'll find that bill gates and melinda gates are in their camp. we couldn't move without the bill and melinda gates
foundation. honestly, it's incredible. it's funny, i remember having my first conversation with bill gates about advocacy and he doesn't think about it because he's a rich man in the world. even the richest man in the world discovered as deep as his pockets were he had to work in partnership with government to really shift the needle. >> rose: he couldn't do it unless you get government involved. government is the only institution that has the resources necessary and the power to do it. it has to lead the way. but what you have done and what bill has done in his own way and others, they have tried to ignite the resources of the private sector too because there's so much talent there but it's talent and it about technology. it's about mobilizing. someone once said about winston churchill you mobilize the english language to defeat
hitler. >> that's great. >> rose: it's about mobilizing all of these tools to change the world. >> that's great. >> rose: the young. >> but using profit. >> rose: profit gives you the freedom to do it. >> i suppose, yes, entrepreneurial capitalism is part of the program now. by the way i started out an activist who had no understanding or even regard for commerce. and now i understand that commerce is essential and the most essential component taking people out of extreme poverty. and i learned from africans to take commerce seriously. the great telecom guy, he's probably the strongest voice in the continent of africa. he was saying invest in africa why don't you, if you believe in it. if you take it seriously, if
it's an equal conversation then trade with us. so now i find myself in a plane, i'm over in a small plane. i'm telling this story, right in finnegan's the pub where we live in dublin. i'm seeing these quarries and railway yards and seeing the industry and i know what it means, it's jobs and this tanzania is going to be great. oh, brother. okay. and i realized whoa, i can go a little too far. this is the arc, this is where i'm at. what can i say. it's all the same by me. >> rose: a couple points of business for me though. when is the albummal coming out songs of experience. >> only god and edge knows.
>> rose: there will be a tour in 2017. >> yes, charlie. there will be. i can do that if i want. >> rose: thank you. for more about this program visit us on-line at pbs.org and charlierose.com. ♪ captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera funded in part by hss. our value principles are patient first, and we want to deliver the highest quality care. >> the goal of creating and sustaining value is all about putting the patient at the center of the equation. >> the purpose of this organization is to help people get back to what they need and love to do. >> meet with bush. the trip towards dow 20,000 stalled, and the question now, will the santa claus rally