Thursday, February 17, 1994

The Frank Sinatra Lifetime Achievement Award Introduction Speech-2/17/1994

Bono was asked to introduce Frank Sinatra when the vocal legend was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1994 Grammy Awards. This is the speech Bono delivered in honour of Sinatra, a speech Sinatra called "... probably the best introduction I've ever had.""....
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 actorThis singer who makes other men poets, boxing clever with every wordTalking like America, Tough, straight-up, in headlinesComin' through with the big stick, the aside, the quiet complimentGood cop, bad cop, all in the same breathYou know his story 'cause it's your storyFrank walks like America -- cock-sureIt'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 worldPaving the way for Duke Ellington, the big band, Tommy DorseyAnd right out in front -- Frank SinatraHis voice as tight as a fist, opening at the end of a barNot 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 songWhich is where he lives, where he lets go, where he reveals himselfHis 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 songsTelling and articulate in the choice of those songsPrivate thoughts on a public address system, GenerousThis is the conundrum of Frank Sinatra, Left and right brain hardly talkingBoxer and painter, actor and singer, lover and father, bandman and lonerTrouble-shooter and troublemakerThe champ who would rather show you his scars than his medalsHe 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!...."


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