The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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The Edge Accepts

I am, in the end, the technology guy of U2. All it means is I can fix the printer when it goes out. But I don't tell them that. So above all else, what U2 have tried to avoid over the last 25 years is not being completely crap. But next on the list, down from that, was to avoid being typical, predictable, and ordinary - because it's so very hard to avoid the cliches. Everyone else's, of course - but most of all your own. It's so hard to to keep things fresh, and not to become a parody of yourself. And if you've ever seen that movie Spinal Tap, you will know how easy it is to parody what we all do. The first time I ever saw it, I didn't laugh. I wept. I wept because I recognized so much and so many of those scenes. I don't think I'm alone amongst all of us in that. You know, we're all guilty of taking ourselves and our work way too seriously. We have all gone to hang out in the hotel lobby, like we were doing something really important. But the reason we're all here tonight is that, despite of all the cliches, which do exist, you know, rock and roll, when it is great, it is amazing. It changes your life; it changed our life. Witness, for instance, tonight, the O'Jays, Percy Sledge, Bo Diddely, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, the Pretenders, I mean - amazing, really magic stuff. You can break it down, you can study it all you want, but you cannot just dial it up. It doesn't work like that. And as far as U2 goes, I'm still trying to figure out how - or more importantly, when - our best moments are going to come along, but I think that's why we're still awake, and that's why we're still paying attention. And we know in the end, you see - we know that it is magic. And so we end up waiting around, like we all do sometimes - like actors in some Beckett play - just like they did in that Spinal Tap movie, in the lobby, waiting around, waiting for some magic to happen. And we've done a lot of that over the years, I have to say. I've done a lot of waiting with Bono, with Adam, and Larry, and Paul, for those moments to come along. And we've had some brilliant people with us all that time. Our producers, Steve Lillywhite, Brian Eno, Danny Lanuar, Jimmy Iovene, Nelly Hooper. Our great engineers, Principle Management, Dean, that one of us talked about, Flood, our show collaborators that have been with us from the beginning - Willie Williams and all his team, our road crew, fantastic people, Joey Hurlaheigh, Bucky, Jake, Dallas, Frazier, who isn't here, Stuart - incredible people that we couldn't have hopes of going through the last 25 years without. And tonight it feels like it's just about half the room has been along with us on that journey. So I just want to say thank you to my family for being so patient, my mom and dad for showing me how, the rest of the band particularly, and tonight, for all of you, for this evening - and I guess, most of all, for making space for me as we all wait together for something magic to happen. Thank you.