On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, and coinciding with the highly anticipated new release from U2, “Songs of Surrender”, Disney+
will premiere a music docu-special that delves into one of the most remarkable friendships and songwriting partnerships in rock ‘n’ roll history.
‘Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman
’ is part concert movie, part travel adventure plus a whole lot of Bono and The Edge, with Dave’s humour throughout.
As well as the concert performance itself, the docu-special will focus on the extraordinary relationship between Bono and The Edge and how it has developed across 45-plus years of close friendship, plus will document Dublin through Dave’s eyes as he experiences Bono and The Edge’s home city for the first time.
“Bono and The Edge are the force behind one of the most prolific and influential acts in the history of rock and roll, and we are honoured to bring this truly intimate look at their beginnings, friendship, and creative process to a global audience on Disney+,” said Disney Branded Television President Ayo Davis.
“Recently, I won a radio contest,” said Letterman. “Winner gets to visit Dublin with Bono and The Edge (radio contest part not true, but I feel like a winner). They showed me around, introduced me to their musician friends, and performed some of their greatest songs in a small theatre. It’s a great tour. Get in touch with them ― I’m told there are still availabilities. I’m the luckiest man on the planet. (There are no availabilities).”
Letterman, who accepted an invitation from the two U2 bandmates to join them in Dublin for his first-ever visit to Ireland, has a 25-year relationship with U2 but had previously only spent time with Bono and The Edge in the U.S. As well as being their honoured guest at an intimate concert performance at a local landmark, the former Ambassador Cinema building at the top of O’Connell Street on Dublin’s Northside, Dave embarks on his own exploration of the city. He visits the legendary Forty Foot swimming spot on a freezing cold morning and rides the DART commuter train north from County Wicklow. Letterman also inspires a brand new U2 song written by The Edge and Bono and narrowly escapes having to perform at a sing-song at the legendary McDaid’s pub off Grafton Street with an equally legendary bunch of artists and musicians, including Bono, The Edge, Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Imelda May, Loah, Saint Sister, Grian Chatten of Fontaines DC, and Dermot Kennedy, whose voice Bono describes as a “sonic boom”.
“I fell in love with U2 and David Letterman at roughly the same time, somewhere around my sophomore year of high school,” said director Morgan Neville. “That somehow decades later we would all come together in Ireland to make this show was an unlikely dream somehow come to life.”
“I had this incredible dream that I was in the magical city of Dublin with Bono, The Edge and David Letterman,” said producer Justin Wilkes. “And if it wasn’t for the fact that Morgan beautifully captured it all on film, I still wouldn’t believe it actually happened.”
The film was shot on location in New York and Los Angeles and, of course, in Dublin, Ireland.
“Dublin is a real part of our story,” says Bono in the docu-special. U2 fans visiting the city can follow the U2 walking trail
which visits the band’s old Dublin haunts. These include Croke Park, the country’s largest stadium, which the band has sold out many times since The Unforgettable Fire
tour back in 1985, and Windmill Lane Recording Studios, where U2 recorded. It also includes the Clarence Hotel on Wellington Quay which is now owned by Bono and the Edge.
March 17 will also see the release of a new album titled “Songs of Surrender” ― a collection of 40 seminal U2 songs from across the band’s catalogue, re-recorded and reimagined for 2023 in sessions spanning the last two years. The first track to be made available from this brand new set of recordings is the anthemic ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)
’. “Songs Of Surrender” is curated and produced by The Edge and sees the band revisit some of the most celebrated songs of their 40-plus year career, including “With Or Without You”, “One”, “Beautiful Day”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Invisible”. It’s a musical reimagining resulting in a completely new recording of each track, to include the arrangements and, in some cases, new lyrics.