Thursday, July 21, 2005


We might have been a little more keen on the idea of the Telegraph's microquiffed Neil McCormick releasing a single - even one called People I Don't Know Are Trying To Kill Me, even one rush-released after the London bombings, were it not for appearance of Bono in the story:

Not unusually, there was a song going around my head. It was something I had started writing months before, after reading headlines about the terrorist threat to London. I bashed it out in rough form on an acoustic guitar to my friend Bono one night and he became very animated.

"This is a song that needs to be heard now," he insisted. He even suggested that U2 might record it as a B-side. So finally, when I got back to London on Thursday night, I finished it.

Apparently, the idea he originally had was to do a Ferry Aid style group singalong - in aid of charity, of course - but although David Gray offered a studio and Jon Moss turned up to drum, the celebrities were busy elsewhere. But, of course, that didn't matter - Bono said the song must be recorded, and so recorded it must be:

Gary Farrow, a music industry heavyweight who runs his own PR company, The Corporation, told me: "It's going to take a month to get a bunch of celebrities together to sing this and by then the moment will have passed. You should do it yourself." This was advice I was receiving from all corners. It was the song that was important, not the singer.

We're not sure quite what the idea behind the single is - Neil says that it's supposed to show that the optimstic spirit of Live8 hasn't been blown away by terrorists, and in that sense it can't be a bad thing; it's just a pity that the piece reads less about the redemptive and comforting power of music and more like a litany of famous mates being hugely impressed by his song. Remember: it's what Bono wanted.