Irish Times : Part 2 - In search of ELVISvendredi 15 avril 1994
Source : Irish Times
Jackson : Do you think Elvis sought that sense of wholeness through drugs, or tried to escape from the fact that she couldn’t reconcile such opposing forces in his own life ?
Bono:I really think he was trying mostly to escape from the pain of the guilt, the pain of believing that he was tapping into voodooand the spirit of the devil. All that must have affected him because of his Pentecostal upbringing. And yet he also must have known,instinctively, that when he sang he was touched by the spirit of God. And he apparently did read countless books trying to figure out such questions, but I don’t think he ever got a satisfactory answer. It’s the thing that Bob Marley lived, and not just in terms ofthe sex and the spirit but in terms of the politics. He had that three chorded strand. That’s the wholeness I’m looking for. It says in the Bible "the three-chord strand cannot be broken". That’s a reference to the Trinity, obviously. And the Trinity is God the Father, God the Son which is the flesh, Jesus wanting to understand what it’s like to have a body and the Holy Spirit. That’s what we must aspire towards. But Elvis didn’t reach that state of being, he was crushed under the weight of not figuring out how to draw together those three strands. And crushed under not being able to accept that God loves him, loves his creation as they are, and where they are. That’s the tragedy. Though the problem also is learning how to live with the tensions between those forces and the thought that you may never pull them together. Maybe even feeding off that, which I think is what I do in terms of all the music I create and my life. Elvis was left with those two great energies, sexual and spiritual, and even though he never resolved how to draw them together, with the third strand, his music did help so many of us to pull together at least two of those strands.
That was his greatest contribution to rock’n’roll and to our cultural life in general. That’s his greatest legacy.
Jackson:Elvis’s motto also was Taking Care of Business", obviously another part of his legacy for U2.
Bono:Definitely. I’ve always wanted U2 to take on this middle-class, bourgeois preconception that art must stand apart from commerce. And U2 do call it "TCB". We quote Elxis. We are a gang of four, but a corporation of five, we sit down and go throughthe numbers say Taking Care of Business".
Jackson:Nonetheless, critics suggest that your business involvements "pollute’ the art, the music that you could end up "sellingyour soul" for wealth, as maybe Elvis did in Hollywood.
Bono. This is madness. Look at Picasso. And the real point is that business shouldn’t be left out of the creative process. The keyis to serve your vision and not just serve the making of money. If you serve the concept of money making you do sell out your vision, and soul. And U2 have learned from Elvis in that area. That’s why we’ve no problems serving art and business, seeing bothas two sides of the same equation That’s not a bad legacy from "the man’, is it ?