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GELDOF And we didn't just pick this moment out of the sky. This G-8 is in the U.K., where the Prime Minister was once a young git with the worst haircut save mine. He attended Live Aid and was informed by it, so he's in tune with where we've come from. Then a lot of these G-8 guys are on their last political legs. Schröder's going to lose in Germany. Chirac won't stand because he will lose. Berlusconi? Might have a year left. [Canadian Prime Minister] Paul Martin is clinging on. George Bush can't stand again, and Tony Blair said he wouldn't. It gives us a chance to appeal to their sense of legacy. Combined with all this, our generation has become the Establishment. Bono is the rock god of the Establishment. Richard is the filmmaker of the Establishment. And I'm just a paddy with a hat on. [Much laughter.]
CURTIS But it's a great hat.
GELDOF I look like one of the guys who'll park your car for you.
TICKETS TO ALL THE LIVE 8 CONCERTS ARE FREE. WHY NOT CHARGE, AND HOW EXACTLY ARE YOU PAYING FOR THIS?
GELDOF It's not enough to do a regular concert. We had to create something grand, and free is pretty grand, I'd say. The funding? It's a massive risk. In the U.K. we raised a lot of it from a text-message ticket lottery. I raised $5 million through an underwriting loan. We did an auction of the DVD rights. You find a way.
WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS DOES EACH OF YOU BRING TO ORGANIZING SOMETHING OF THIS SCOPE?
CURTIS I bring a gray woolly jumper. [Laughter.]
GELDOF It's true. His great strength is his complete Englishness. Look at that jumper. The sobriety, the soft tones. More than anything, he stands back and takes a calm position.
BONO Bob and myself are good at the passionate. But sometimes you might not hear our words for the bluster.
GELDOF Bono's in love with the world. He wants to embrace it. I want to punch its lights out. We're a psychotic Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
BONO The missing piece in a way is in the U.S. What Bob provides with his steel and fund raising and what Richard provides in terms of community in the cinematic arts and as a writer with his ability to deliver a message, I feel like I've been trying to do in the U.S.--but I'm not American. Really, until today, when Russell Simmons called and offered to help, we haven't had the American sense of ownership that we should. It's a real problem. I think it's going to turn around. But we've started very late.
HAVE YOU TAILORED YOUR MESSAGE IN EACH G-8 COUNTRY, AND IF SO, HOW HAVE YOU TAILORED YOUR MESSAGE TO AMERICANS?
BONO Warren Buffett gave me the best advice on this subject. He said, "Don't appeal to the conscience of America. Appeal to the greatness of America, and you'll get the job done."
CURTIS Insert in there "remarkably accurate impression of Warren Buffett."
BONO Onstage I talk about my first impression of Americans, which was watching a man walk on the moon. We thought, Americans are mad! But look what they can do when they get organized.
GELDOF America doesn't have a lack of empathy; they just don't know the issues as well. Actually, today I had to defend the Bush Administration in France again. They refuse to accept, because of their political ideology, that he has actually done more than any American President for Africa. But it's empirically so.