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Bono Talks 'Spider-Man' Musical's Delays, Expense

I think even though it looks like there's a lot of ill will against us, I think it'll turn around,' U2 frontman says

November 23, 2010 4:01 PM ET

"Dreaming up the show, the scale of it, the flying sequence, the pop-art opera that it is — that was all pure joy," Bono tells Billboard of the long-delayed Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical, which will finally open to the public on Sunday. "What we didn't realize was how difficult it is to stage this stuff, both technically and financially."

That's an understatement, considering the troubles that the years-in-the-making musical, which features music by Bono and U2 bandmate the Edge, has undergone. Delays, staffing issues, cashflow problems, the size of the cast and production, the complexity of the stuntwork and other problems have brought the cost of the show to a reported $60 million — the most expensive musical in Broadway history.

Video: U2's Rolling Stone Cover Shoot

"It has never been achieved before — the kind of scale of what we're looking for," Bono says of the Julie Taymor-directed musical. "There may be very good reasons [for the delays]. We're going to find out. The expense of it? A lot of it was the delays."

Photos: U2: Three Decades Of The World's Biggest Band, Onstage And Backstage

But it's finally ready, Sunday's preview is sold out, and Bono is optimistic about what will happen next.

"I think even though it looks like there's a lot of ill will against us, I think it'll turn around," Bono says. "If it's just spectacle, we will have failed. But if you can be moved, and if you believe these characters, and ... you really buy into the myth, it's a great American story."

U2's Bono, The Edge Talk About Making 'Spider-Man' [Billboard]

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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