Rock group does Letterman, gets street name
NEW YORK (AP) — This street does have a name – U2 Way.
To celebrate U2’s weeklong gig on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman,” a block-long stretch of West 53rd Street was temporarily renamed after the veteran Irish rockers on Tuesday.
“Somewhere south of Duke Ellington Way and north of Joey Ramone Place we find ourselves,” said lead singer Bono. “And we’re the band where the streets have no name.”
The four band members joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in unveiling the “U2 Way” street sign on Broadway across West 53rd Street from the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman’s show is taped.
Scores of fans cheered from behind police barricades as Bloomberg presented each U2 member with his own copy of the sign.
“Edge just said this is the first time he’s been seen with a street sign and not been arrested,” quipped Bono, referring to guitarist The Edge.
U2 is on “Letterman” all week to promote their new album, “No Line on the Horizon.”
“The boys are in town for a weeklong stint with the king of late night, David Letterman,” Bloomberg said. “And it’s a historic event for late-night television right here in the capital of late-night television.”
U2 has sold tens of millions of records, and Bono has become a leading crusader against poverty and disease in the developing world. Tuesday’s event at least temporarily adds the band to a musical map that includes Duke Ellington Boulevard in Morningside Heights and Joey Ramone Place in the East Village.
Bloomberg thanked all the band members for their humanitarian work and added, “No wonder everyone in the city including me considers these four Dubliners honorary New Yorkers.”
Bono, wearing his trademark wraparound glasses, was equal parts raffish rock star and policy wonk. He praised Bloomberg’s substantial philanthropic efforts to improve public health.
“The Anopheles mosquito kills about 3,000 children every day, of malaria, and his work in Johns Hopkins down there is really important work in ridding the world of the Anopheles mosquito,” the singer said.
Bloomberg has given tens of millions of dollars for medical research at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, his alma mater.
Band members posed for photos in the frigid sunshine and said they considered New York their second home.
“I was hoping for Larry Mullen Circle,” said drummer Larry Mullen Jr. “But I’ll do with U2 Way.”