A wise person once said: “Opinions are like bellybuttons, everybody’s got one.” (Actually, they didn’t say “bellybuttons,” but as this is a Sunday I thought it best to keep matters clean). U2 lead singer Bono, however, has more opinions than most, which is presumably one of the reasons he decided to start writing columns for the New York Times opinion page. Another possibly reason? The fact that U2’s new album No Line on the Horizon is out on February 27. Anyway, the singer’s first effort is in today’s paper. Entitled “Notes from the Chairman,” the piece starts with Bono recalling a recent drinking session in a Dublin pub at which he happened to hear Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” come out of the speakers. The U2 frontman once duetted with Ol’ Blue Eyes on a version of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and Bono spends the rest of the article reminiscing about the Chairman of the Board — who, apparently, was given to uttering such pearls as “Miles Davis never wasted a note, kid, or a word on a fool” and “I don’t usually hang with men who wear earrings.” The result is rather flowery (“Malt joy and ginger despair are all in the queue to be served on this, the quarter-of-a-millennium mark since Arthur Guinness first put velvety blackness in a pint glass”). Yet it does make a change from both the singer’s usual well meant, though rather unsubtle, public pronouncements and the rest of today’s op-ed pieces which predictably lean towards the political (Maureen Dowd’s column begins with the sentence, “In the past week, I’ve twice been close enough to Dick Cheney to kick him in the shins.”)
So, Popwatchers, what other music stars would you like to see contributing to the Times? Bruce Springsteen? Courtney Love? That guy who used to dance around next to Howard Jones? Let’s hear your opinion.