'It takes courage to dream…'

11 Nov 20226

Adam was at the Horology Grand Prix in Geneva which honours watchmaking excellence - and is sometimes called 'the Oscars of the watch world' - where he presented the prize for 'Mechanical Exception' to Ferdinand Berthoud. 

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Edge was at the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony to induct Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.

Here's Edge speech.

'The sweeter the dream the sweeter the reality… and the more bitter the disappointment..
It takes courage to dream 
And it takes even more courage to continue dreaming when the inevitable disasters of life and art seem to conspire against you.

Oscar Wilde said that the duty of the artist is to make beautiful things.
Not a gift.
Not a pleasure. 
But a duty. 
That's what is so inspiring about the story of Eurythmics to us Dreamers.
Their sweet dreams were forged in the furnace of failure and faith.

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart met in 1975 when they were struggling musicians. They became lovers and co-founders of the Tourists, a band that enjoyed some success but ended dramatically in early 1980. 

Remarkably this break up, mirrored by the end of their romantic relationship, did not end their creative partnership, but kick-started it. 

They formed Eurythmics later that year. Up to this point they had never written a song together. 

I so love the songs Annie and Dave write because they take a hard look at difficult and uncomfortable subjects: emotional suffering and loss, isolation and betrayal – all drawn from personal experience – to create truly beautiful pop music.

To explore this kind of pain in songs so bright and uplifting ought to be impossible, but therein lies the great genius of Eurythmics.

For me the best pop songs are deadly serious. I need complexity to keep me engaged. Contrast, tension, dichotomy, between lyrics and music. 
This kind of tension is what Eurythmics majored in. 

However when Eurythmic's debut album 'In The Garden' was released in 1981, let's just say that keeping it in stock was not a big challenge for RCA. The duo valiantly toured the UK, towing a horse box of equipment up and down the M1. Setting it up and taking it down themselves. Dave recalls one gig where only four people showed up. 

(By the way, if you don't count the barman that is one more than came to see U2 in the Hope and Anchor two years earlier.)

By the end of this grueling tour Annie was close to a nervous breakdown, Dave was in hospital with a collapsed lung. 
RCA announced that they would not be picking up the option on a second Eurythmics album. 

So what did Annie and Dave do?
They did what all the great Dreamers do. 
They doubled down on their vision. They borrowed £5000 from the bank to set up a one room recording studio in north London. To make a purely electronic album. 

Then during one session they hit a monumental crisis of belief and confidence culminating in a huge row.

Right at the moment when Annie and Dave were finally overwhelmed by despondency. Just when the weight of so much rejection was at its most unbearable, Dave started work on a new song. 

A synthesizer bass part played over an electronic drum pulse, using machines they had just learned how to program. Annie, instantly recognized that something special was happening, joined in on keyboards. 

Adding her vocal, in a cold and broken hallelujah, she sang.

'Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused...'

And as if in a conversation. Dave's reply.

'Hold your head up, 
keep your head up, movin' on'

In spite of the fact that Sweet Dreams was passed over as a single - because RCA didn't think it had a chorus! - the track got so much radio play that eventually it was released, along with one of the most iconic videos of the MTV era. 

It was a smash hit all over the world. The album too became a global sensation. 

Their Sweet Dream finally became real. And that was just the beginning. It is my absolute honor and pleasure to induct Eurythmics , a group I love into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Needed this inspiration
Life happens and this reminder to hold onto the dream and keep pushing forward is well received today. Thank you! Well deserved congratulations to the Eurythmics.
Wow what a impressive speech
I dansed a lot on the song Sweet dreams in my favorite discotheque at that time. And the year 1981 is the year I became a U2 fan!! November 25th to Paris for Bono's adventure and hope you guys will tour next year!! See ya
The Edge
What a inspiring speech. Thank you Edge for recognizing the importance of the work of these unbelievable sings. Looking forward for another tour from y’all Best wishes Lucy Wells
Watches and Wonders
Adam, (and also U2) Geneve is waiting for you next year at Watches and Wonders Geneva edition will be held from March 27 to April 2, 2023. Alexandre I.
Sweat DREAMS are made of This
Thank you MR EDGE What A speech
No thorn in the side from The Edge
Great speech Edge. The Eurythmics had some era-defying songs.
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