(Please note this is an anthology of interviews plus the Back Story of each interview, it is not a biography of Bono). Bono once told Irish music journalist, Joe Jackson, in response to a critical profile Jackson wrote in 2000 for a newspaper, "Yours is a critical voice and, please, (Laughs) stick the boot in, [or] praise. We have that kind of relationship. It is one of respect." Now, Jackson has put together what he calls "an occasionally critical book, say 1%, whereas the rest is praise and , as the title says, simply and purely Bono soul searching and uncensored."
The book contains for the first time in print the full, 15,000 words plus version of Jackson’s 1993 world exclusive, and highly regarded, by U2 fans, and Bono himself, “improvised” Zooropa interview, which was published all over the world, in varying lengths, usually "highly edited and sometimes blended with the work of others writers in a way that ruined the original interview, as in, a version published in Britain's Vox magazine. "
This book also contains another world exclusive which has never been published - a nearly 7,000 word Q & A interview Bono gave the author in 1994 about, says Jackson, “his love of Elvis, which goes back to Bono being 'heterosexually turned on" by Presley at the age of nine, while watching the 1968 TV Special - which was screened in Ireland on December 26TH 1969 - and analyses in detail the influence Elvis had on him and on U2, overall.”
For example, when Jackson suggested to Bono, that U2 might be "selling their souls" as a result of their "business ventures" and that this might "pollute their art, and music" Bono rejects that attitude as "madness," says, "business shouldn't be left our of the creative process" and admits that U2 took their inspiration in this sense, in part, from Presley's catchphrase, 'TCB," - Taking Care of Business.
Jackson also asked Bono “Does the fact that Elvis’s life apparently ended as a result of drug abuse make you keep a check on your own indulgences? Does any of this resonate for you?" U2's singer replied, tellingly, "No. What I want from my life is a wholeness that I don't believe Elvis had." Then he explained, in detail why this was his belief.
Bono: Soul Searching and Uncensored is filled with such revelations and a must, as they say, for fans of Bono, who may have thought they know all there is to know about the man.
This book also contains in newly written sections titled 'Back Story' a behind the scenes look at every encounter Jackson had with U2 and their manager, Paul McGuinness, including a threat of legal action that was made against the book's author by The Edge.
"Some fans may have rad the Zooropa interviews" says Jackson, "But they won't fully undertand them until they read the background story of my, sometimes rocky relationship with U2. But 'rocky' seems right, in every sense!"
Joe Jackson also tells the background story of why Johnny Cash thanked him for "helping me hook up with U2" for the recording The Wanderer, the title of which, incidentally, Bono choose at the author's suggestion.