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By David Fricke
Rolling Stone: The setlist in Turin was interesting in that two of the new songs you played, "Return of the Sting Ray Guitar" and "Glastonbury," were total blinders: profane rock & roll kicks in between the spiritual-ambition parts of the show. Then there was "North Star," an unfinished acoustic ballad.
Bono: Music is a sacrament for us. In that song ["North Star"], I thought, "It's okay to write a love song for the universe." "Glastonbury" was very funny that night-- we did a version of that we knew we nailed, and then something happened at the end, I got lost a little bit [grins]. Edge had been hanging out with Jimmy Page [the two guitarists co-starred in the documentary It Might Get Loud], and you can't help but have that rub off. So now it's Willie Dixon, all those blues guys. Edge had this big riff. But I hear "Glastonbury" like the Chemical Brothers, the Prodigy.
The song is about going to this music festival. [U2 were scheduled to headline at the British festival -- Bono's surgery forced them to cancel.] It's a pilgrimage. It also turns out there's a white flower that twice yearly blooms at Glastonbury. And the mythology of Glastonbury goes back to Joesph of Arimathea -- he's the guy who helped take the body of Jesus down from the cross. He is also said to have gone to Britain, to Glastonbury, where he put his staff in the ground. This big tree at Glastonbury, with this white flower, is supposed to come from that. [Bono recites part of the lyrics to U2's song: "Came to find a flowering rose/The flowering rose of Glastonbury".] And he's supposed to have brought the cup from the Last Supper, the Holy Grail.