Listeners of the 'Kevin Klein Live' radio show on San Francisco's KITS Live 105 enjoyed a 15-minute call-in segment this morning (Sept. 18) with U2's Bono. Topics ranged from typical morning radio nonsense ("Ever give the Edge a wedgie? An Edgie?") to the real business at hand -- the band's new album, 'Songs of Innocence,' and its controversial roll out.

With his characteristic humor still intact, the singer noted that of the half billion iTunes subscribers to whom the album was pushed, 38 million "have actually listened to it and one or two haven’t liked it."

Bono went on to defend the iTunes roll out as "a punk rock thing to do" before launching into a story of the band's early days in London, when the Edge's mother drove the boys around in an orange VW Beetle while they plastered their handbills over other bands' posters. "Sometimes you have to smash and grab," he said, referring to getting one's name out there.

He's right. Love it or hate it, the iTunes roll out got people talking about the band again, and that's what marketing is all about. Bono addressed the negative publicity in his diplomatic way: “They can be cranky, our fans ... U2 attracts a lot of haters, but we have a lot of lovers.”

Host Kevin Klein closed by asking Bono if he felt addicted to saving the world. “You just try to do the best that you can with the spotlight," the singer said. "I know I can be a pain in the ass.”

But the real last word belonged to Bono; one couldn't help but wonder if perhaps the negative publicity surrounding the iTunes promotion hurt a bit more than the Fly was letting on. "Just remember this: a lot of Irish blood, sweat and tears went into your junk mail," he said.

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