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Why Bono Subtitled "Spider-Man" Musical "Turn Off the Dark"

July 17, 2009 2:39 PM ET

As previews for Julie Taymor's musical with U2's Bono and the Edge draw nearer, the production is releasing more behind-the-scenes video explaining how the unique collaboration is developing. The Los Angeles Times pointed us to a chat with director Taymor in which she reveals it was Bono who came up with the second part of the show's title. "It was a story that he heard about a child who would say to his daddy, he was sleeping, and instead of saying 'turn on the light,' he would say 'turn off the dark.' "

Taymor goes to talk about how Spider-Man tries to bring light into a world churning with dramatic darkness, or terror, which arguably makes it a story very appropriate for our times. The Edge has previously said he was drawn to the material because the super-hero story resonated with the rock-star experience: "Every rock & roll star probably started out as the geek who got bullied on in school, and eventually their form of revenge was to write songs or learn to play guitar."

In a second interview, Taymor assures doubters she read hundreds of comic books while preparing to work on Spider-Man, and that "He won't be singing in tights." Peter Parker the regular guy sings, but the masked Spider-Man only acts, flies and fights.

As Rolling Stone reported, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark stars Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson and Alan Cumming as Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin. Previews begin on February 25th, and the public ticket onsale starts September 12th.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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