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  • Writer's pictureCollin Souter

Interview with Gavin Friday, Part 2

You can read Part 1 of my interview with Gavin Friday about "Peter and the Wolf" here on

Since what follows doesn't quite pertain to the "Peter and the Wolf" film itself, I felt it should not be part of the already-long piece on Ebert's site. So, here is the rest of my conversation with Mr. Friday. Keep in mind that I was supposed to stay on topic of the film, but I had time left in my time allowed, so I seized the moment. I had no questions ready. I just decided to enjoy talking to him.

The song at the end, “There’s Nothing To Be Afraid of,” will that get its own release eventually?

Yeah, that’s an original song, just recorded a couple months ago, actually and it’s going to be released next week on all music platforms as far as I know.

Someone told me you recorded a version with Laurie Anderson, is that true?

I have been recording with Laurie Anderson, but for another project of hers called “Ark,” which is a project of hers and there was talk of her singing and doing vocals with this and it didn’t happen on that recording session, but I’m not saying it might or might not. We’ll, see, we’ll see.

On Bono’s original drawing, what does “Baked Bean Boy” mean?

It means when he was very young, people used to say ‘you have a head like a baked bean.’ It was a slag name he had when he was a little kid. We all have those heads before you hit puberty where your head is all spotty and baked bean, you know what I mean?

In Bono’s original drawing for Peter, he’s wearing what are clearly Fly Shades. In this new version, you get the Fly shades. You have a Jiminy Cricket thing going in this film, except you’re a fly.

(Gavin laughs) Peter does put them on once in the bedroom and I think they felt that, you know, anyone who looks at movies, the eyes tell everything. For the lead cartoon actor to have his eyes covered, we felt, could cut off communication. So, the fly shades were put on the mantelpiece.

I gotta tell you, I just came back from Vegas. I saw the Sphere show twice. I was blown away.

You were there Sunday, eh?

Yeah, I was there Sunday, which was my birthday as well.

I was there myself, I just flew home. Oh, so we share birthdays.


Oh, happy birthday.

Yeah, happy birthday to you. I still can’t believe what I saw. The fans are happy.

Quite a task, because we were dealing with technology none of us had ever used before, both sonically and visually. So, it was a hard four or five weeks. We were very happy when we got the show up and running. It’s a very emotional show, actually.

It is. I think during ‘With Or With You,” I think that’s a moment, that’s the biggest emotional moment. We’ve heard that song a thousand times, it felt like hearing it for the first time.

It’s quite otherworldly when it happens.

And I would just like to suggest taking a look at the song “A Sort of Homecoming.” I was looking at the lyrics to that song the other day and there's a lot there that fits in with the environmental message and the theme of the show. I just mean in the acoustic set of the show. I’m just going to put that out there because I have your attention.

(Gavin laughs) And I will share that thought. To me, the show is a poem, a poem to the fragility of earth. Mother Earth is our biggest issue. I know there’s horrible things going on all over the world, but if we have no world, we’re in bigger trouble. And I think it’s a poem to the vulnerability of Mother Earth. We can stop this from happening.

And I think “With Or Without You” is a brilliant song to use in that moment, because it’s now “with or without all of us.”

And all that fossilized stuff, it goes color for “Beautiful Day.” It doesn’t have to be fossils of animals and creatures who are going to die. They can still live. It’s up to us. That’s why it’s so poetic in my mind. The drama of “Until the End of the World.” When you actually go. ‘Jesus, we’re living these fires and floods every year now. We really gotta wake up, you know what I mean?”

Yeah, and to put that at the center of this show, this spectacle that a lot of people are coming to see, was unexpected. I’m used to U2 shows being big and conceptual and having artistic throughline for them, but I wasn’t expecting this throughline for an ‘Achtung Baby’ tribute show.

We talked deeply about that, because “Achtung Baby”, Zoo TV and Zooropa, they really predicted the world we’re living in. The social media zoo that’s every fucking day of our life. The fake news and the secrets you hear. And we said, we’ve done that. We’re in it. Nobody wants to hear about it. We want to escape from it. It’s the truth. And it just came really spontaneously. The earth is burning, the earth is flooding. Mother Earth needs our help. I have a true belief: The truth doesn’t lie.

Except when you’re trying to fool townsfolk with a fake wolf.

(Gavin laughs) Exactly.

Everything you know is wrong.

Everything you know is wrong.

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