NEW YORK – When The Edge saw the Rolling Stones perform recently, his mask allowed him to go unnoticed as he watched guitarist Ron Wood in the front row.
“I have to say that one of the perks of wearing the mask is that it’s like a cover-up device if you’re a famous face,” the U2 guitarist recently told The Associated Press while promoting his Music Rising Charity and his December 11 auction of famous guitars and other rock memorabilia to support New Orleans musicians hit hard by the pandemic.
“Ronnie donated a beautiful guitar to our auction. So, I was so happy, ”he said.
Founded by Edge and producer Bob Ezrin, the association was formed in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina to replace instruments lost in flooding. Once the pandemic took hold, she found a new mission.
“We want to try to reestablish the live music scene where it suffered some kind of major setback. So in the post-Katrina era, we replaced the instruments. Now we are not that specific. We’re actually prepared to finance just the livelihoods of the people, ”Edge said.
Two of Edge’s guitars that he has played extensively on tour with U2 will be among those sold, including the instrument he calls the “One”.
“It’s a beautiful Les Paul and it’s actually music that goes up Les Paul, being part of a limited edition of 300.”
The other is a custom designed Fender Stratocaster, used on tour to perform “Bad” and “Still Haven’t Found I’m Looking For”.
“These are real serious guitars that I spent a lot of time playing on and I will miss them.”
Other guitar gifts include Slash, Lou Reed, Steve Miller, and a Paul McCartney bass. During the interview, Edge held up a vintage photo of McCartney playing the guitar given in a studio while Stevie Wonder played the drums.
“These are two of my big heroes in the one shot and this bass guitar is going to be in the auction.”
Erzin, who has produced a litany of classic rock artists from Alice Cooper and Aerosmith to Pink Floyd and Kiss. Everyone donated memorabilia at the auction. But Erzin says guitarist Paul Stanley must have personally looked for his gift.
“Paul Stanley went down to the warehouse to find the guitar because his guitar technician had died of COVID, in fact, and he had to go and get the guitar he wanted to give us himself,” Erzin said.
Some of the offerings are currently on display in the Van Eaton Galleries in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“We think it’s a good time as the venues are just starting to reopen to give these musicians the chance to put their equipment back on and start playing again,” he said, noting that many musicians had to sell their instruments to survive.
As for U2, Edge says the group has no plans to hit the road again. It’s been fine with him since being in a “songwriting and songwriting” phase that coincided with the lockdown and the pandemic.
“I suffer a bit from the survivor’s guilt because, you know, we didn’t have to cancel the tours,” he said. “We didn’t have anything public that we planned for this period. And it just forced me to be home to work on new songs, which is exactly what I had to do.
When U2 hits the road, he said he wanted to make sure it was safe for the fans. He differs from other musicians like Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Travis Tritt, who have resisted efforts from venues demanding proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test.
“I find it hard to understand why you would be against it,” he said. While there is no plan for U2’s next tour, Edge said that “there is no doubt in my mind that this is how, how we should handle this. And I just don’t see any logic not to support the very idea of vaccinations. “
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