Me in a minute: Adam Clayton: U2 bassist

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The Times,

I don't think rock is necessarily a young man's game. I think Neil Young is just as rock 'n roll now as he was in his 20s. I'd like to think we can still be edgy and challenging.

I was not an obvious contender. I was actually pretty shy in school. My defence mechanism was to be the class clown. I remember getting into a lot of trouble for being disruptive, and I was brought in front of the headteacher, who said: "What's going to happen to you? What are you going to do when you grow up?" And I said: "Well, I'm obviously going to be a comedian."

The longevity of U2 is primarily based on the friendship of four men who have grown up together. Four men who respect and support and love each other. We won't let each other fail.

It's very confusing when fame comes early on in your career. You get a little bit bent out of shape in terms of what's important. Fame is like the dessert that comes with your achievements -- it's not an achievement in itself, but sometimes it can overpower the work.

I really enjoy the privileges of fame now. It opens doors and allows you to meet people, and you're in control. When fame first happened I didn't feel in control, and it closed doors to me.

I've never necessarily chosen to be a bachelor. I've had girlfriends throughout the past 20 or 30 years. It's just that there were times when I met people who fascinated me and times I didn't.

I stopped drinking 12 years ago, and it was time. I'd had enough of drinking, drugging and nightclubs. It was a difficult decision to change my life, and it took a while to reprogramme, but I've no regrets at all. I've enjoyed every bit of my life. I've had the best of it both ways.

My greatest achievement is managing to cope with four fingers and four strings.
I feel there is a lot more to achieve. In the first 20 years I was functioning on instinct and attitude and rawness, and now I know what I'm doing and can apply those skills in a different way. It's no longer about attitude and rawness, but it's about sophistication and understanding.

If I could only take one thing on tour it would be Irish tea bags. Barry's decaffeinated tea bags. I know it sounds crazy, but if you don't travel with your own tea, it never tastes the same.

In a loving relationship, as an expression of freedom and fantasy, I think sex is very important.

I don't think I would ever try and repeat U2. I'd be very happy when U2 came to whatever end, and there is no end, really. But I would be happy to move on. It's a very fast world, and a quieter world would be welcome.

I can look at myself in the mirror. I didn't use to be able to do it. I see someone who is incredibly lucky, who still has so much ahead of him rather than behind him, and I'm very grateful. -- Luke Bainbridge

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This page contains a single entry by Rita published on August 31, 2009 4:45 AM.

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