So many hate him, so many love him. Now Bono tells his personal story


Fortunately, his self-deprecating wit is never far behind. “It is a bit of humbling that in one of many best moments of your life, you are having a nasty hair day,” he recollects of the prize mullet he wore on the day U2 rattled a billion-odd TV units with Dwell Help in 1985 .

He is aware of sufficient ink has been spilled over that historic nexus of popular culture and activism, a day that demolished the outsider rock-star delusion and browbeat its acolytes into a brand new age of consciousness in a single, leveling blow. However for the person who stole the present and ran with it, Africa was the turning level: first as an idea, then as lived expertise that might turbocharge U2’s goal and, a lot to the opposite members’ escalating horror, lead him into the stinking corridors of actual political energy.

U2 will carry out on the Sydney Cricket Floor in November 2019.Credit score:Mark Metcalfe

There are many rock-star tales right here. Revealing close-ups with Dylan and Bowie and Prince and Michael Hutchence; a dreamlike encounter with Harry Belafonte and the thundering ghost of Martin Luther King. Possibly it is a signal of the devalued forex of rock’n’roll memoirs that closed-door encounters with world leaders — Invoice Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Angela Merkel, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Rupert Murdoch — are a lot extra gripping, because the writer progressively brings the load of the true world to bear.

Because the high-wire stadium spectacle of Zoo TV and the pratfalls of PopMart and that notorious iPod debacle burble away within the background, it is no small feat that Bono retains us riveted by the far much less horny dramas of HIV treatment and third world debt cancellation, huge undertakings that demand he “take up the tedious element that’s the worth to pay for political change. Not sloganeering. Not sound bites. Simply severe homework”.


For this reason so many rock followers resent Bono. He is the man who stops the celebration to make knowledgeable bulletins with a loud hailer. He will get it. “It’s a must to be suspicious of rock stars or supermodels or actors or billionaires lining up in a photograph name with the sick and the dying,” he writes. “I am suspicious.” The sticky artwork of political compromise, “white messiah syndrome” and the distinction between charity and justice are humbling classes to be discovered.

Loads of Bono’s 40 songs will proceed to sing themselves as U2 inevitably recede into the useless zone of nostalgia: priceless balms for more and more troubled occasions. Sarcastically, within the grand scheme of issues that he insists upon, passive return isn’t an choice. “The arc of the ethical universe doesn’t bend in direction of justice,” he writes, daring to contradict Dr. King. “It must be bent… it must be dragged, kicking and screaming all the best way down the road.”

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