Bono's Speech for Frank Sinatra's Lifetime Achievement
Award. He stated he was drunk at the time. A speech Sinatra
called "... probably the best introduction I've ever
Frank never did like Rock and Roll and he's not crazy about guys wearing earrings either. But he doesn't hold it against me, and anyway, the feeling is not mutual.
Rock and Roll people love Frank Sinatra because Frank has got what we want: swagger and attitude. He's big on attitude; serious attitude, bad attitude, Frank's the Chairman of the bad. Rock and Roll plays at being tough but this guy, well, he's the boss, The boss of bosses, The man, The Big Bang of Pop. I'm not gonna mess with him, are you?
Who's this guy that every city in America wants to claim as their own? This painter who lives in the desert, this first-rate, first-take actor. This singer who makes other men poets, boxing clever with every word, Talking like America, Tough, straight-up, in headlines. Comin' through with the big stick, the aside, the quiet compliment. Good cop, bad cop, all in the same breath. You know his story 'cause it's your story. Frank walks like America -- cock-sure.
It's 1945 and the U.S. Cavalry are trying to get their asses out of Europe, but they never really do, They're part of another kind of invasion AFR -- American Forces Radio (sic). Broadcasting a music that'll curl the stiff upper-lip of England and the rest of the world, paving the way for Duke Ellington, the big band, Tommy Dorsey. And right out in front -- Frank Sinatra. His voice as tight as a fist, Opening at the end of a bar, not on the beat - over it, playing with it, splitting it like a jazz man, like Miles Davis. Turning on the right phrase and the right song. Which is where he lives, where he lets go, where he reveals himself. His songs are his home and he lets you in. But you know that to sing like that you've gotta have lost a couple of fights. To know tenderness and romance you've gotta have had your heart broken.
People say that Frank hasn't talked to the press, they wanna know how he is, what's on his mind, But you know Sinatra's out there more nights than most punk bands. Selling his story through the songs. Telling and articulate in the choice of those songs. Private thoughts on a public address system. Generous.
This is the conundrum of Frank Sinatra. Left and right brain hardly talking. Boxer and painter, actor and singer, lover and father, bandman and loner. Troubleshooter and troublemaker. The champ who would rather show you his scars than his medals. He may be putty in Barbara's hands, but I'm not gonna mess with him, are you?
Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to welcome a man heavier than the Empire State, more connected than the Twin Towers, as recognizable as the Statue of Liberty, and living proof that God is a Catholic!
Will you welcome the King of New York City, Francis Albert Sinatra!