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Bono

Bono at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Background information
Birth name Paul David Hewson
Also known as Bono
Born 10 May 1960 (1960-05-10) (age 49)
Origin Glasnevin, County Dublin, Ireland
Genres Rock, post-punk, alternative rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, activist, philanthropist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts U2
Website www.u2.com
Notable instruments
Gretsch Irish Falcon

Paul David Hewson, KBE (born 10 May 1960), most commonly known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer and musician, best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Ali Hewson, and the future members of U2.[1][2][3] Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, often using political, social, and religious themes.[4][5] During their early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to U2's rebellious and spiritual tone.[4] As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with members of U2.[2][4]

Outside the band, he has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists,[6][7][8] sits on the board of Elevation Partners, and has refurbished and owns The Clarence Hotel in Dublin with The Edge.[9][10] Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red.[2][11] He has organized and played in several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians.[11][12][13] Bono has been praised and criticized for his activism and involvement with U2.[14][15][16] He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and was named as a Person of the Year by Time,[14][17][18] among other awards and nominations.

Contents

Early life

Bono was born in the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin on 10 May 1960.[19] He was raised in Glasnevin with his brother, Norman Hewson, by their mother Iris (née Rankin), a Church of Ireland Anglican, and their father Brendan Robert "Bob" Hewson, a Roman Catholic.[1][2] His parents initially agreed that the first child would be raised Anglican and the second Catholic.[20] Although Bono was the second child, he also attended Church of Ireland services with his mother and brother.[20]

Bono grew up in the Northside suburb of Glasnevin. His home was a typical three-room house, with the smallest room his bedroom. He went to the local primary Glasnevin National School.[21] Bono was 14 when his mother died on 10 September 1974 after suffering a cerebral aneurysm at her father's funeral.[2] Many U2 songs, including "I Will Follow", "Mofo", "Out of Control", "Lemon", and "Tomorrow", focus on the loss of his mother.[2][22][23][24] Many other songs focus on the theme of childhood vs. maturity, such as "Into the Heart," "Twilight", and "Stories for Boys."

The hearing aid shop that provided Hewson the nickname "Bono Vox"

Bono attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School, a multi denominational school in Clontarf. During his childhood and adolescence, Bono and his friends were part of a surrealist street gang called "Lypton Village". Bono met one of his closest friends, Guggi, in Lypton Village. The gang had a ritual of nickname-giving. Bono had several names: first, he was "Steinvic von Huyseman", then just "Huyseman", followed by "Houseman", "Bon Murray", "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street", and finally just "Bono".[2]

"Bono Vox" is an alteration of Bonavox, a Latin phrase which translates to "good voice." It is said he was nicknamed "Bono Vox" by his friend Gavin Friday. Initially, Bono disliked the name. However, when he learned it loosely translated to "good voice", he accepted it. Hewson has been known as "Bono" since the late seventies. Although he uses Bono as his stage name, close family and friends also refer to him as Bono, including his wife and fellow band members.[2]

Personal life

Bono is married to Alison Hewson (née Stewart). Their relationship began in 1975 and the couple were married on 21 August 1982 in a Church of Ireland (Anglican) ceremony at All Saints Church, Raheny (built by the Guinness family), with Adam Clayton acting as Bono's best man.[3] The couple have four children, daughters Jordan (b. 10 May 1989) and Memphis Eve (b. 7 July 1991), and sons Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (b. 18 August 1999) and John Abraham (b. 21 May 2001);[25] Memphis Eve portrayed the character Stella in the 2008 film The 27 Club.[26][27] Bono lives in Killiney in south County Dublin, with his family and shares a villa in Èze in the Alpes-Maritimes in the south of France with The Edge.[28]

Bono is almost never seen in public without sunglasses. During a Rolling Stone interview he stated:

[I have] very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.[29]

His use of sunglasses on stage has progressed through his career with U2. During the 1980s, he was rarely seen wearing sunglasses. During the 1992–93 Zoo TV Tour, he wore sunglasses for parts of the show, though usually in character as The Fly with large, dark wraparound blaxploitation-style shades or Mirror Ball Man with more typical, round sunglasses. In the 1997–98 Popmart Tour, he wore larger, tinted wraparound shades with thick frames. By the early 2000s, his sunglasses were commonly blue and more goggle shaped. He would, however, remove them for most of the actual shows on the Elevation Tour. Starting around the time of U2's 2004 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Bono began wearing his signature Armani sunglasses. These were usually red or green tinted, and had no frames around the lenses. He wore these for most of every show on the Vertigo Tour, with the rare exceptions being songs like "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own", "Running to Stand Still", and "Miss Sarajevo". He has been wearing sunglasses in most interviews and public appearances since the late 90s. They have also become something of an enduring piece of pop culture; in one instance, when he was photographed giving a pair of his sunglasses to Pope John Paul II to wear at the Pope's request.[30]

In 2002, he was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Britons in a poll conducted among the general public,[31] despite the fact that he is Irish.

Musical career

U2

A black and white image of a light-skinned man singing into a microphone. He is visible from the chest up and wears a sleeveless black shirt with an opened sleeveless white vest overtop. A small cross is worn around his neck. His black hair is styled into a mullet. The man looks past the camera to the left. A mixture of trees and sky are visible in the background.
Bono on stage in 1983

On 25 September 1976, Bono, David Evans ("The Edge"), his brother Dik, and Adam Clayton responded to an advertisement on a bulletin board at Mount Temple posted by fellow student Larry Mullen Jr. to form a rock band. The band had occasional jam sessions in which they did covers of other bands. Tired of long guitar solos and hard rock, Bono wanted to play Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys songs. Unfortunately the band could not play covers very well, so they started writing their own songs.

The band went by the name "Feedback" for a few months, before changing to "The Hype" later on. After Dik Evans left the group to join another local band, the Virgin Prunes, the remaining four officially changed the name from "The Hype" to "U2". Initially Bono sang, played guitar, and wrote the band's songs. He said of his early guitar playing in a 1982 interview, "When we started out I was the guitar player, along with the Edge—except I couldn't play guitar. I still can't. I was such a lousy guitar player that one day they broke it to me that maybe I should sing instead. I had tried before, but I had no voice at all. I remember the day I found I could sing. I said, 'Oh, that's how you do it.'"[32] When The Edge's guitar playing improved, Bono was relegated mostly to the microphone, although he occasionally still plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. As of 2006, Bono has taken piano lessons from his children's piano teacher as a means to improve his songwriting.[33]

Bono writes the lyrics for almost all U2 songs, which are often rich in social and political themes.[4] His lyrics frequently allude to a religious connection or meaning, evident in songs such as "Gloria" from the band's album October, and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from The Joshua Tree.[5] During the band's early years, Bono was known for his rebellious tone which turned to political anger and rage during the band's War, The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum eras.[4] Following the Enniskillen bombing that left 11 dead and 63 injured on 8 November 1987, the Provisional IRA paramilitaries threatened to kidnap Bono.[2] IRA supporters also attacked a vehicle carrying the band members.[2] These acts were in response to his speech condemning the Remembrance Day Bombing during a live performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday".[2] The singer had been advised to cut his on-stage outburst from the Rattle and Hum film, but it was left in.[34] Also featured in the film is footage of Bono spray-painting a monument during an outdoor performance; Bono was forced to pay a fine.

U2's sound and focus dramatically changed with their 1991 album, Achtung Baby. Bono's lyrics became more personal, inspired by experiences related to the private lives of the members of the band.[2][4] During the band's Zoo TV Tour several of his stage personas were showcased; these included "The Fly", a stereotypical rock star, the "Mirror Ball Man", a parody of American televangelists, and "Mr. MacPhisto", a combination of a corrupted rock star and the Devil.[2][4]

Bono playing guitar on the U2 360° Tour.

During performances he attempts to interact with the crowd as often as possible and is known for pulling audience members onto the stage or moving himself down to the physical level of the audience.[2] This has happened on several occasions including at the Live Aid concert in 1985 where he leapt off the stage and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her as the band played "Bad", and in 2005 during U2's Vertigo Tour stop in Chicago, where he pulled a boy onto the stage during the song "An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart".[2][35] Bono has often allowed fans to come on stage and perform songs with the band.

Bono has won numerous awards with U2, including 22 Grammy awards and the 2003 Golden Globe award for best original song, "The Hands That Built America", for the film Gangs of New York.[15][36] During the live broadcast of the ceremony, Bono called the award "really, really fucking brilliant!"[37] In response, the Parents Television Council condemned Bono for his profanity and started a campaign for its members to file complaints with the FCC.[38] Although Bono's use of "fuck" violated FCC indecency standards, the FCC refused to fine NBC because the network did not receive advance notice of the consequences of broadcasting such profanity and the profanity in question was not used in its literal sexual meaning.[39]

U2 performing at Madison Square Garden in November 2005.

In 2005, the U2 band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in their first year of eligibility.[40] In November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Bono the 32nd greatest singer of all time.[41]

Bono and his bandmates were criticized in 2007 for moving part of their multi-million euro song catalogue from Ireland to Amsterdam six months before Ireland ended a tax exemption on musicians' royalties.[16][42] Under Dutch tax law, bands are subject to low to non-existent tax rates.[16] U2's manager, Paul McGuinness, stated that the arrangement is legal and customary and businesses often seek to minimize their tax burdens.[16] The move prompted criticisms in the Irish parliament.[43][44] The band later responded by stating that approximately 95% of their business took place outside Ireland, and that they were taxed globally because of this.[45] Bono was one of several super-rich figures whose tax arrangements were singled out for criticism in a report by the charity Christian Aid in 2008.[46]

Collaborations

In addition to his work with U2, he has collaborated with Zucchero, Frank Sinatra,[6] Johnny Cash,[7] Willie Nelson,[47] Luciano Pavarotti,[48] Sinéad O'Connor,[49] Green Day, Roy Orbison,[50] Bob Dylan,[8] Tina Turner,[51] and BB King.[52] He has recorded with Ray Charles,[53] Quincy Jones, Kirk Franklin,[54] Bruce Springsteen,[55] Tony Bennett,[56] Clannad,[57] The Corrs,[58] Wyclef Jean,[59] Kylie Minogue,[60] Jay-Z and Rihanna, as well as reportedly completing an unreleased duet with Jennifer Lopez.[61] On Robbie Robertson's 1987 eponymous album, he plays bass guitar and vocals.[62] On Michael Hutchence's 1999 posthumous eponymous album Bono completed a recording of Slide Away as a duet with Hutchence.[63]

Other endeavours

In 1992 Bono bought and hired people to refurbish Dublin's two-star 70-bedroom Clarence Hotel with The Edge, and converted it into a five-star 49-bedroom hotel.[10] The Edge and Bono have recorded several songs together, exclusive of the band. They have also been working on penning the score for the upcoming Spider-Man Musical.[64] Bono is a known Celtic F.C. fan,[25] and in 1998 it was rumoured that Bono intended to buy shares in the Scottish club.[65] However, it was reported on 28 April 1998 that this was not the case with Bono saying "it's rubbish. I've been to a couple of games and I'm a fan, but I've got no financial connections."[66]

In May 2007, MTV reported that Bono was writing the foreword for a collection of poetry entitled "Third Rail".[67] The book's foreword gives detail of the meanings of the poetry, saying "The poets who fill the pews here have come to testify, to bear witness to the mysterious power of rock and roll...Rock and roll is truly a broad church, but each lights a candle to their vision of what it is."[67] The collection, which is edited by poet Jonathan Wells, contains titles such as "Punk rock You're My Big Crybaby," "Variation on a Theme by Whitesnake" and "Vince Neil Meets Josh in a Chinese Restaurant in Malibu (After Ezra Pound)."[67]

Bono is on the board of the Elevation Partners private-equity firm, which attempted to purchase Eidos Interactive in 2005 and has since gone on to invest in other entertainment businesses.[9][68] Bono has invested in the Forbes Media group in the US through Elevation Partners. Elevation Partners became the first outsider to invest in the company, taking a minority stake in Forbes Media LLC, a new company encompassing the 89-year-old business which includes Forbes magazine, the Forbes.com website and other assets. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports said the stake was worth about €194 million ($250m).[69]

In film, Bono has played the character of "Dr. Robert", an anti-war shaman, in the musical, Across the Universe.[70] Also in this movie, he sang the Beatles songs "I am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Bono's other acting credits include cameos in 1999's Entropy and 2000's Million Dollar Hotel, the latter of which was based on a story conceived by Bono.[70] In 2000 he acted as himself in the short film Sightings of Bono, adapted from a short story by Irish writer Gerard Beirne.[70]

Humanitarian work

Bono with President Lula da Silva of Brazil in 2006

Bono has become one of the world's best-known philanthropic performers.[71][72] He has been dubbed, "the face of fusion philanthropy",[73] both for his success enlisting powerful allies from a diverse spectrum of leaders in government, religious institutions, philanthropic organizations, popular media, and the business world, as well as for spearheading new organizational networks that bind global humanitarian relief with geopolitical activism and corporate commercial enterprise.[74]

In a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono explained that he was motivated to become involved in social and political causes by seeing one of the Secret Policeman's Ball benefit shows, staged by John Cleese and producer Martin Lewis for the human-rights organization Amnesty International in 1979.[75] "I saw 'The Secret Policeman’s Ball' and it became a part of me. It sowed a seed..." In 2001, Bono arranged for U2 to videotape a special live performance for that year's Amnesty benefit show.

Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty's Conspiracy Of Hope tour of the United States in 1986 alongside Sting.[12] U2 also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, organized by Bob Geldof.[76] In 1984, Bono sang on the Band Aid single "Do They Know it's Christmas?/Feed the World" (a role that was reprised on the 2004 Band Aid 20 single of the same name).[77] Geldof and Bono later collaborated to organize the 2005 Live 8 project, where U2 also performed.[13]

Bono and U.S. President George W. Bush in 2006

Since 1999, Bono has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the AIDS pandemic. In the past decade Bono has met with several influential politicians, including former United States President George W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.[78] During a March 2002 visit to the White House, after President Bush unveiled a $5 billion aid package, he accompanied the President for a speech on the White House lawn where he stated, "This is an important first step, and a serious and impressive new level of commitment. ... This must happen urgently, because this is a crisis."[78] In May of that year, Bono took US Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill on a four-country tour of Africa. In contrast, in 2005, Bono spoke on CBC Radio, alleging then Prime Minister Martin was being slow about increasing Canada's foreign aid.[79] He was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, 2005, and 2006 for his philanthropy.[14][80][81]

In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour from the Government of Chile.[82] Time Magazine named Bono one of the "100 Most Influential People" in its May 2004 special issue,[83] and again in the 2006 Time 100 special issue.[84] In 2005, Time named Bono a Person of the Year along with Bill and Melinda Gates.[18] Also in 2005, he received the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work.[85] That year Bono was also among the first three recipients of the TED Prize, which grants each winner "A wish to change the world".[86] Bono made three wishes,[87] the first two related to the ONE campaign and the third that every hospital, health clinic and school in Ethiopia should be connected to the Internet. TED rejected the third wish as being a sub-optimal way for TED to help Africa[87] and instead organized a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007, and attracted headlines[88] with his foul-mouthed heckling of a speech by Andrew Mwenda.

Bono at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, 2008.

In 2007, Bono was named in the UK's New Years Honours List as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[17][89] He was formally granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Ireland.[90]

Bono also received the NAACP Image Award's Chairman's Award in 2007.[91] On 24 May 2007, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia announced that Bono would receive the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on 27 September 2007 for his work to end world poverty and hunger.[92] On 28 September 2007, in accepting the Liberty Medal, Bono said, "When you are trapped by poverty, you are not free. When trade laws prevent you from selling the food you grew, you are not free, ... When you are a monk in Burma this very week, barred from entering a temple because of your gospel of peace ... well, then none of us are truly free." Bono donated the $100,000 prize to the organization. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala accepted the award for the Washington-based Debt AIDS Trade Africa.[93]

In 2005 he recorded a version of Don't Give Up with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Keep a Child Alive.[94]

On 15 December 2005, Paul Theroux published an op-ed in the New York Times called The Rock Star's Burden (cf. Kipling's The White Man's Burden) that criticized stars such as Bono, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, labelling them as "mythomaniacs, people who wish to convince the world of their worth." Theroux, who lived in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, added that "the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help—not to mention celebrities and charity concerts—is a destructive and misleading conceit."[95] Elsewhere, Bono has been criticised, along with other celebrities, for "[ignoring] the legitimate voices of Africa and [turning] a global movement for justice into a grand orgy of narcissistic philanthropy.[96]

On 3 April 2005, Bono paid a personal tribute to John Paul II and called him "a street fighter and a wily campaigner on behalf of the world's poor. We would never have gotten the debts of 23 countries completely canceled without him."[97] Bono spoke in advance of President Bush at the 54th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, held at the Hilton Washington Hotel on 2 February 2006. In a speech containing biblical references, Bono encouraged the care of the socially and economically depressed. His comments included a call for an extra one percent tithe of the United States' national budget. He brought his Christian views into harmony with other faiths by noting that Christian, Jewish, and Muslim writings all call for the care of the widow, orphan, and stranger. President Bush received praise from the singer-activist for the United States' increase in aid for the African continent. Bono continued by saying much work is left to be done to be a part of God's ongoing purposes.[11]

The organization DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) was established in 2002 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, along with activists from the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt Campaign.[98] DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa.[98] DATA encourages Americans to contact senators and other legislators and elected officials to voice their opinions.[98]

In early 2005, Bono, his wife Ali Hewson, and New York-based Irish fashion designer Rogan Gregory launched the socially conscious line EDUN in an attempt to shift the focus in Africa from aid to trade.[99] EDUN's goal is to use factories in Africa, South America, and India that provide fair wages to workers and practice good business ethics to create a business model that will encourage investment in developing nations.[100]

Bono after accepting the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on 27 September 2007

Bono was a special guest editor of the July 2007 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. The issue was named "The Africa Issue: Politics & Power" and featured an assortment of 20 different covers, with photographs by Annie Leibovitz of a number of prominent celebrities, political leaders, and philanthropists. Each one showcased in the issue for their contributions to the humanitarian relief in Africa.[101]

In an article in Bloomberg Markets in March 2007, journalists Richard Tomlinson and Fergal O’Brien noted that Bono used his band's 2006 Vertigo world tour to promote his ONE Campaign while at the same time "U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time, according to Billboard magazine. . . . Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funneled through companies that are mostly registered in Ireland and structured to minimize taxes."[102]

Further criticism came in November 2007, when Bono's various charity campaigns were targeted by Jobs Selasie, head of African Aid Action. Selasie claimed that these charities had increased corruption and dependency in Africa because they failed to work with African entrepreneurs and grassroots organizations, and as a result, Africa has become more dependent on international handouts.[103] Bono responded to his critics in Times Online on 19 February 2006, calling them "cranks carping from the sidelines. A lot of them wouldn’t know what to do if they were on the field. They’re the party who will always be in opposition so they’ll never have to take responsibility for decisions because they know they’ll never be able to implement them."[104]

In November 2007, Bono was honoured by NBC Nightly News as someone "making a difference" in the world.[105] He and anchor Brian Williams had traveled to Africa in May 2007 to showcase the humanitarian crisis on the continent.[106] On 11 December 2008, Bono was given the annual Man of Peace prize, awarded by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France.[107]

Product Red is another initiative begun by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.[108] Bobby Shriver has been announced as the CEO of Product Red, whilst Bono is currently an active public spokesperson for the brand. Product Red is a brand that is licensed to partner companies, such as American Express, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Gap, and Giorgio Armani.[109] Each company creates a product with the Product Red logo and a percentage of the profits from the sale of these labelled products will go to the Global Fund.[110]

However, in 2009, Bono and his U2 bandmates came under fire for moving a substantial portion of their wealth to a tax haven in order to avoid paying Irish taxes on royalties.[111]

See also

Notes

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  4. ^ a b c d e f g Byrne, K. (Unknown last update). U2 biography: Bono (from @U2). Retrieved 12 February 2007, from http://www.atu2.com/band/bono/index.html
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  37. ^ Boliek, Brooks (5 June 2007). "Appeals court throws out FCC indecency ruling". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i9177e066be8bee44d835017eb6e0cda7. Retrieved 1 August 2007. 
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References

  • Assayas, Michka; Bono (2005). Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas. New York City: Riverhead Books. ISBN 1-57322-309-3. 
  • Matthews, Sheelagh (2008). Bono. Remarkable People. New York City: Weigl Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59036-638-7. 
  • Stockman, Steve (2001). Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2. Lake Mary: Relevant Books. ISBN 978-0-88419-793-5. 
  • Vagacs, Robert (2005). Religious Nuts, Political Fanatics: U2 in Theological Perspective. Cascade Books. ISBN 1-59752-336-4. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.
Rock 'n' roll stops the traffic

Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960) is an Irish musician and social activist, who after being nicknamed Bono Vox, became famous as the lead singer of the Irish rock band, U2 using the stage name Bono.

Contents

Sourced

We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's "difficult" justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept...
We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies. But will we be that generation?
  • Rock n roll stops the traffic
    • Message spray-painted onto the Vaillancourt fountain during a free concert in San Francisco (11 November 1987)
  • It is fair to say that we overreacted a bit. ... Its not really worth defending my action, I did it in the spirit of the concert, and I thought I did it in the spirit of the artist's work, and he agreed — but, in fact he didn't own his work anymore, as most artists are prone to , he'd sold it, and the City of San Francisco owned it, and they didn't like what I did at all. ... Its a really wild thing, you know, you're in Rock n Roll band — you know, I happen to sell millions of records — people therefore think that makes you a responsible citizen — this is not true. ... I think this is one of the more mild actions of tour-madness. ... It's the music that is magical with U2. ... I don't mind being arrested for putting on a free concert, but I don't want to be arrested for being a vandal. I am a vandal and I do regret what I did. I really do regret it. It was dumb.
  • What a city, what a night, what a crowd, what a bomb, what a mistake, what a wanker you have for a President.
    • Acceptance speech at the MTV Europe Music Awards, referring to French nuclear testing in Pacific (1996)
  • It's an amazing thing to think that ours is the first generation in history that really can end extreme poverty, the kind that means a child dies for lack of food in its belly. That should be seen as the most incredible, historic opportunity but instead it's become a millstone around our necks. We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's "difficult" justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept.
  • We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies. But will we be that generation?
  • The thing about The Dubliners is - line'em up, the hardest rock'n'roll bands in the world, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Oasis, Nirvana, U2 - we're all a bunch of girls next to The Dubliners
    • quoted on Ronnie Drew (2008), talking about Irish folk band The Dubliners
  • All That You Can't Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb are both really mad long titles. As I've just said them, I've just realised how ridiculous the titles are.

Rattle and Hum (1987)

Fuck the revolution! ... Where's the glory of bombing a Remembrance Day parade of old-age-pensioners, their medals taken out and polished up for the day? Where's the glory in that?
Quotes from the rockumentary film.
  • Well, here we are, the Irish in America. The Irish have been coming to America for years, going back to the great famine when the Irish were on the run from starvation and a British Government that couldn't care less. Right up to today, you know, there are more Irish immigrants here in America today than ever — some illegal, some legal. A lot of them are just running from high unemployment, some run from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from the hatred of the H Blocks, torture. Others from wild acts of terrorism like we had today in a town called Enniskillen, where eleven people lie dead, and many more injured, on a Sunday Bloody Sunday.
  • Let me tell you something. I've had enough of Irish Americans who haven't been back to their country in twenty or thirty years come up to me and talk about the resistance, the revolution back home; and the glory of the revolution, and the glory of dying for the revolution. Fuck the revolution! They don't talk about the glory of killing for the revolution. What's the glory of taking a man from his bed and gunning him down in front of his wife and his children? Where's the glory in that? Where's the glory of bombing a Remembrance Day parade of old-age-pensioners, their medals taken out and polished up for the day? Where's the glory in that? To leave them dying, or crippled for life, or dead, under the rubble of the revolution that the majority of the people in my country don't want. No more! Sing No more!

PENN Address (2004)

Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania (17 May 2004) RealPlayer video (Bono introduced at 1:50:30, speaks from 1:56:00 - 2:22:00)
To me betraying the age means exposing its conceits, it's foibles; it's phony moral certitudes. It means telling the secrets of the age and facing harsher truths.
What are the ideas right now worth betraying? What are the lies we tell ourselves now?
20 years on I'm not that interested in charity. I'm interested in justice.
We can't fix every problem — corruption, natural calamities are part of the picture here — but the ones we can we must.
From arch-religious conservatives to young secular radicals, I just felt an incredible overpowering sense that this was possible. We're calling it the ONE campaign, to put an end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa. They believe we can do it, so do I.
Idealism is under siege beset by materialism, narcissism and all the other isms of indifference.
America is an idea, but it's an idea that brings with it some baggage, like power brings responsibility.
The idea that anything is possible, that's one of the reasons why I'm a fan of America...
Sing the melody line you hear in your own head. Remember, you don't owe anybody any explanations...
  • My name is Bono and I am a rock star.
    • An allusion to Apple Computer's "switch" commercials, which ended with such statements.
  • Don't get me too excited because I use four letter words when I get excited.
    I'd just like to say to the parents, your children are safe, your country is safe, the FCC has taught me a lesson and the only four letter word I'm going to use today is P-E-N-N. Come to think of it 'Bono' is a four-letter word. The whole business of obscenity — I don't think there's anything certainly more unseemly than the sight of a rock star in academic robes. It's a bit like when people put their King Charles spaniels in little tartan sweats and hats. It's not natural, and it doesn't make the dog any smarter.
  • I have to come clean; I've broken a lot of laws, and the ones I haven't I've certainly thought about. I have sinned in thought, word, and deed. God forgive me. Actually God forgave me, but why would you? I'm here getting a doctorate, getting respectable, getting in the good graces of the powers that be, I hope it sends you students a powerful message: Crime does pay.
  • So I humbly accept the honor, keeping in mind the words of a British playwright, John Mortimer it was, "No brilliance is needed in the law. Nothing but common sense and relatively clean fingernails." Well at best I've got one of the two of those.
  • I didn't expect change to come so slow, so agonizingly slow. I didn't realize that the biggest obstacle to political and social progress wasn't the Free Masons, or the Establishment, or the boot heel of whatever you consider 'the Man' to be, it was something much more subtle. As the Provost just referred to, a combination of our own indifference and the Kafkaesque labyrinth of 'no's you encounter as people vanish down the corridors of bureaucracy.
  • There's a truly great Irish poet. His name is Brendan Kennelly, and he has this epic poem called the Book of Judas, and there's a line in that poem that never leaves my mind, it says: "If you want to serve the age, betray it." What does that mean, to betray the age?
    Well to me betraying the age means exposing its conceits, it's foibles; it's phony moral certitudes. It means telling the secrets of the age and facing harsher truths.
  • Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will. Slavery was one of them and the people who best served that age were the ones who called it as it was — which was ungodly and inhuman. Ben Franklin called it what it was when he became president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.
  • Segregation. There was another one. America sees this now but it took a civil rights movement to betray their age. And 50 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court betrayed the age May 17, 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education came down and put the lie to the idea that separate can ever really be equal. Amen to that.
  • What are the ideas right now worth betraying? What are the lies we tell ourselves now?
  • Africa makes a mockery of what we say, at least what I say, about equality and questions our pieties and our commitments because there's no way to look at what's happening over there and it's effect on all of us and conclude that we actually consider Africans as our equals before God. There is no chance.
  • We used to wake up in the morning and the mist would be lifting we'd see thousands and thousands of people who'd been walking all night to our food station were we were working. One man — I was standing outside talking to the translator — had this beautiful boy and he was saying to me in Amharic, I think it was, I said I can't understand what he's saying, and this nurse who spoke English and Amharic said to me, he's saying will you take his son. He's saying please take his son, he would be a great son for you. I was looking puzzled and he said, "You must take my son because if you don't take my son, my son will surely die. If you take him he will go back to Ireland and get an education." Probably like the ones we're talking about today. I had to say no, that was the rules there and I walked away from that man, I've never really walked away from it. But I think about that boy and that man and that's when I started this journey that's brought me here into this stadium.
    Because at that moment I became the worst scourge on God's green earth, a rock star with a cause. Christ! Except it isn't the cause. Seven thousand Africans dying every day of preventable, treatable disease like AIDS? That's not a cause, that's an emergency.
  • 20 years on I'm not that interested in charity. I'm interested in justice. There's a difference. Africa needs justice as much as it needs charity.
    Equality for Africa is a big idea. It's a big expensive idea.
  • The scale of the suffering and the scope of the commitment they often numb us into a kind of indifference. Wishing for the end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa is like wishing that gravity didn't make things so damn heavy. We can wish it, but what the hell can we do about it?
    Well, more than we think. We can't fix every problem — corruption, natural calamities are part of the picture here — but the ones we can we must.
    The debt burden, as I say, unfair trade, as I say, sharing our knowledge, the intellectual copyright for lifesaving drugs in a crisis, we can do that. And because we can, we must. Because we can, we must. Amen.
  • This is the straight truth, the righteous truth. It's not a theory, it's a fact. The fact is that this generation — yours, my generation — that can look at the poverty, we're the first generation that can look at poverty and disease, look across the ocean to Africa and say with a straight face, we can be the first to end this sort of stupid extreme poverty, where in the world of plenty, a child can die for lack of food in it's belly. We can be the first generation. It might take a while, but we can be that generation that says no to stupid poverty. It's a fact, the economists confirm it. It's an expensive fact but, cheaper than say the Marshall Plan that saved Europe from communism and fascism. And cheaper I would argue than fighting wave after wave of terrorism's new recruits.
  • It's a fact. So why aren't we pumping our fists in the air and cheering about it? Well probably because when we admit we can do something about it, we've got to do something about it. For the first time in history we have the know how, we have the cash, we have the lifesaving drugs, but do we have the will?
  • Yesterday, here in Philadelphia, at the Liberty Bell, I met a lot of Americans who do have the will. From arch-religious conservatives to young secular radicals, I just felt an incredible overpowering sense that this was possible. We're calling it the ONE campaign, to put an end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa. They believe we can do it, so do I.
  • I really, really do believe it. I just want you to know, I think this is obvious, but I'm not really going in for the warm fuzzy feeling thing, I'm not a hippy, I do not have flowers in my hair, I come from punk rock, The Clash wore army boots not Birkenstocks. I believe America can do this! I believe that this generation can do this. In fact I want to hear an argument about why we shouldn't.
  • I know idealism is not playing on the radio right now, you don't see it on TV, irony is on heavy rotation, the knowingness, the smirk, the tired joke. I've tried them all out but I'll tell you this, outside this campus — and even inside it — idealism is under siege beset by materialism, narcissism and all the other isms of indifference. Baggism, Shaggism. Raggism. Notism, graduationism, chismism, I don't know. Where's John Lennon when you need him.
  • It's not everywhere in fashion these days, Americanism. Not very big in Europe, truth be told. No less on Ivy League college campuses. But it all depends on your definition of Americanism.
    Me, I'm in love with this country called America. I'm a huge fan of America, I'm one of those annoying fans, you know the ones that read the CD notes and follow you into bathrooms and ask you all kinds of annoying questions about why you didn't live up to that...
    I'm that kind of fan. I read the Declaration of Independence and I've read the Constitution of the United States, and they are some liner notes, dude.
    As I said yesterday I made my pilgrimage to Independence Hall, and I love America because America is not just a country, it's an idea.
  • America is an idea, but it's an idea that brings with it some baggage, like power brings responsibility. It's an idea that brings with it equality, but equality even though it's the highest calling, is the hardest to reach. The idea that anything is possible, that's one of the reasons why I'm a fan of America. It's like hey, look there's the moon up there, lets take a walk on it, bring back a piece of it. That's the kind of America that I'm a fan of.
  • When the potatoes ran out, millions of Irish men, women and children packed their bags got on a boat and showed up right here. And we're still doing it. We're not even starving anymore, loads of potatoes. In fact if there's any Irish out there, I've breaking news from Dublin, the potato famine is over you can come home now. But why are we still showing up? Because we love the idea of America.
    We love the crackle and the hustle, we love the spirit that gives the finger to fate, the spirit that says there's no hurdle we can't clear and no problem we can't fix.
  • Every era has its defining struggle and the fate of Africa is one of ours. It's not the only one, but in the history books it's easily going to make the top five, what we did or what we did not do. It's a proving ground, as I said earlier, for the idea of equality. But whether it's this or something else, I hope you'll pick a fight and get in it. Get your boots dirty, get rough, steel your courage with a final drink there at Smoky Joe's, one last primal scream and go.
  • Sing the melody line you hear in your own head. Remember, you don't owe anybody any explanations, you don't owe your parents any explanations, you don't owe your professors any explanations.
  • You know I used to think the future was solid or fixed, something you inherited like an old building that you move into when the previous generation moves out or gets chased out. But it's not. The future is not fixed, it's fluid.
  • The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.
  • Remember what John Adams said about Ben Franklin, "He does not hesitate at our boldest Measures but rather seems to think us too irresolute."
    Well, this is the time for bold measures.

Rolling Stone interview (2005)

Interview in Rolling Stone magazine, No. 986 (3 November 2005)
My eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.
I really remember John Lennon's Imagine... That really set fire to me. It was like he was whispering in your ear — his ideas of what's possible. Different ways of seeing the world.
There's all these people talking from the Scriptures. But they're quite obviously raving lunatics. ... You go oddly still and quiet. If you talk like this around here, people will think you're one of those...
When John Lennon sings, "Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes are wide open" — these songs have an intimacy for me that's not just between people...
I'm wary of faith outside of actions. I'm wary of religiosity that ignores the wider world.
  • I'm the Imelda Marcos of sunglasses.... Very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.
    • On his sunglasses; Imelda Marcos famously had a huge collection of shoes.
  • We had a street gang that was very vivid — very surreal. We were fans of Monty Python. We'd put on performances in the city center of Dublin. I'd get on the bus with a stepladder and an electric drill. Mad shit. Humor became our weapon. Just stand there, quiet — with the drill in my hand. Stupid teenage shit.
  • We could defend ourselves. But even though some of us became pretty good at violence ourselves, others didn't. They got the shit kicked out of 'em. I thought that was kind of normal. I can remember incredible street battles. I remember one madster with an iron bar, just trying to bring it down on my skull as hard as he possibly could, and holding up a dustbin lid, which saved my life. Teenage kids have no sense of mortality — yours or theirs.
  • You know that Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue" where he gives the kid a girl's name, and the kid is beaten up at every stage in his life by macho guys, but in the end he becomes the toughest man. ... By not encouraging me to be a musician, even though that's all he ever wanted to be, he's made me one. By telling me never to have big dreams or else, that to dream is to be disappointed, he made me have big dreams. By telling me that the band would only last five minutes or ten minutes — we're still here.
    • On his father.
  • I really remember John Lennon's Imagine. I guess I'm twelve; that's one of my first albums. That really set fire to me. It was like he was whispering in your ear — his ideas of what's possible. Different ways of seeing the world.
  • I was in my room listening on headphones on a tape recorder. It's very intimate. It's like talking to somebody on the phone, like talking to John Lennon on the phone. I'm not exaggerating to say that. This music changed the shape of the room. It changed the shape of the world outside the room; the way you looked out the window and what you were looking at.
    I remember John singing "Oh My Love." It's like a little hymn. It's certainly a prayer of some kind — even if he was an atheist. "Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes can see/I see the wind/Oh, I see the trees/Everything is clear in our world." For me it was like he was talking about the veil lifting off, the scales falling from the eyes. Seeing out the window with a new clarity that love brings you. I remember that feeling.
    Yoko came up to me when I was in my twenties, and she put her hand on me and she said, "You are John's son." What an amazing compliment!
  • What's interesting is, in the months leading up to this, I was probably at the lowest ebb in my life. I was feeling just teenage angst. I didn't know if I wanted to continue living — that kind of despair. I was praying to a God I didn't know was listening.
    • On the forming of the band U2.
  • We actually aren't able to play other people's songs. The one Stones song we tried to play was "Jumpin' Jack Flash." It was really bad. So we started writing our own — it was easier.
  • Bowie was much more responsible for the aesthetic of punk rock than he's been given credit for, like, in fact, most interesting things in the Seventies and Eighties.
  • When John Lennon sings, "Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes are wide open" — these songs have an intimacy for me that's not just between people, I realize now, not just sexual intimacy. A spiritual intimacy.
  • The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt.
  • So now — cut to 1980. Irish rock group, who've been through the fire of a certain kind of revival, a Christian-type revival, go to America. Turn on the TV the night you arrive, and there's all these people talking from the Scriptures. But they're quite obviously raving lunatics.
    Suddenly you go, what's this? And you change the channel. There's another one.
    You change the channel, and there's another secondhand-car salesman. You think, oh, my God. But their words sound so similar . . . to the words out of our mouths.
    So what happens? You learn to shut up. You say, whoa, what's this going on? You go oddly still and quiet. If you talk like this around here, people will think you're one of those. And you realize that these are the traders — as in t-r-a-d-e-r-s — in the temple.
  • If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there's a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in "straw poverty"; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me. ... As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It's so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian. Although I don't use the label, because it is so very hard to live up to. I feel like I'm the worst example of it, so I just kinda keep my mouth shut. ... I try to take time out of every day, in prayer and meditation. I feel as at home in a Catholic cathedral as in a revival tent. I also have enormous respect for my friends who are atheists, most of whom are, and the courage it takes not to believe.
  • These are hard subjects to talk about because you can sound like such a dickhead. I'm the sort of character who's got to have an anchor. I want to be around immovable objects. I want to build my house on a rock, because even if the waters are not high around the house, I'm going to bring back a storm. I have that in me. So it's sort of underpinning for me.
  • I'm wary of faith outside of actions. I'm wary of religiosity that ignores the wider world. In 2001, only seven percent of evangelicals polled felt it incumbent upon themselves to respond to the AIDS emergency. This appalled me. I asked for meetings with as many church leaders as would have them with me. I used my background in the Scriptures to speak to them about the so-called leprosy of our age and how I felt Christ would respond to it. And they had better get to it quickly, or they would be very much on the other side of what God was doing in the world.
    Amazingly, they did respond. I couldn't believe it. It almost ruined it for me — 'cause I love giving out about the church and Christianity. But they actually came through: Jesse Helms, you know, publicly repents for the way he thinks about AIDS.
    I've started to see this community as a real resource in America. I have described them as "narrow-minded idealists." If you can widen the aperture of that idealism, these people want to change the world. They want their lives to have meaning.

National Prayer Breakfast (2006)

Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast (2 February 2006)
I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.
Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.
One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God...
  • If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.
    Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.
  • I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural... something unseemly... about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the South of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert... but this is really weird, isn't it?
  • I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned — I'm Irish.
  • I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here — Muslims, Jews, Christians — all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God.
    I know I am. Searching, I mean.
    And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too.
    Yes, it's odd, having a rock star here — but maybe it's odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was... well, a little blurry, and hard to see.
  • One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.
    For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land... and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash... in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment...
    I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.
    Even though I was a believer.
    Perhaps because I was a believer.
It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this.
  • It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he's met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he's a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn't done much... yet. He hasn't spoken in public before...
    When he does, his first words are from Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," he says, "because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor." And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favour, the year of Jubilee. [Luke 4:18]
    What he was really talking about was an era of grace — and we're still in it.
It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity...
This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith....
  • Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.
    Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone.
    I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill... I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff... maybe, maybe not... But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.
    God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house... God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives... God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war... God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.
This wise man said: stop.
He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.
Get involved in what God is doing — because it's already blessed.
  • I close this morning on ... very... thin... ice.
    This is a dangerous idea I've put on the table: my God vs. your God, their God vs. our God... vs. no God. It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity.

    And this is a town — Washington — that knows something of division.
    But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the Scriptures call the least of these.
    This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.
    "Do to others as you would have them do to you." [Luke 6:30] Jesus says that.
    "Righteousness is this: that one should... give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives." The Koran says that. [2.177]
    Thus sayeth the Lord: "Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard." The jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.
  • A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it... I have a family, please look after them... I have this crazy idea...
    And this wise man said: stop.
    He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.
    Get involved in what God is doing — because it's already blessed.
  • These goals — clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty — these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a Globalised World.
  • There is a continent — Africa — being consumed by flames.
    I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did — or did not to — to put the fire out in Africa.
    History, like God, is watching what we do.

Lyrics

October (1981)

I wish you were here
To see what I could see
To hear
And I wish you were here
  • I watched the way it was
    The way it was when he was with us
    And I really don't mind
    Sleeping on the floor
    But I couldn't sleep after what I saw

    I wrote this letter to tell you
    The way I feel.
    • "Stranger in a Strange Land"
  • I wish you were here
    I wish you were here
    To see what I could see
    To hear
    And I wish you were here
    • "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Hey if God will send his angels
And if God will send a sign
And if God will send his angels
Would everything be alright?
I wait, without you
With or without you...

War (1983)

  • There's many lost but,tell me,who has won?
    • "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • How long, how long must we sing this song?
    • "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • All is quiet on New Year's Day
    • "New Year's Day"

The Joshua Tree (1987)

  • I wait for you
    Sleight of hand and twist of fate
    On a bed of nails she makes me wait
    And I wait, without you
    With or without you, with or without you.
    • "With or Without You"
  • I have climbed highest mountains,I have run through the field,only to be with you.I have run,I have crawled,I have scaled these city walls,only to be with you.But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
    • "I still haven't found what I'm looking for"
  • I want to run,I want to hide,I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside.I want to reach out and touch the plains,Where the streets have no names
    • "Where the streets have no names"
  • I'll show you a place,high on the desert plain.Where the streets have no names
    • "Where the streets have no names"
  • Our Love has slowly slipped away,Our Love has seen its better day
    • "Red Hill Mining Town"
  • I have spoke with the tongue of Angels,I have held the hand of The Devil.It was warm in the night,I was cold as a stone
    • "I still have'nt found what I'm looking for"
  • I believe in the Kingdom come,then all the colours will bleed into one.Bleed into one.But yes I'm still running
    • "I still have'nt found what I'm looking for"
  • See the stone set in your eyes,see the thorn twist in your side.I wait for you
    • "With or Without You"
  • The Glass is cut,The Bottle run dry.Our love runs cold in the caverns of the night
    • "Red Hill Mining Town"
  • We're wounded by fear,injured in doubt.I can lose myself,You I can't live without
    • "Red Hill Mining Town"
  • From the stinging rain comes a Rattle and hum.See the face of fear running scared in the valley below
    • "Bullet The Blue Sky"
  • See them burning crosses,see the flames get higher and higher
    • "Bullet The Blue Sky"

Rattle And Hum(1987)

  • I don't believe in rape.But everytime She passes by,wild Forces escape
    • "God Part II"
  • I don't believe the Devil,I don't believe his book,but the truth is not the same without the lies he made up.
    • "God Part II"
  • I Don't believe in Riches but You should see Where I live"
    • "God Part II"
  • You say you want diamonds on a ring of Gold,You say you want your story to remain untold.But all the promise we made from the Cradle to the Grave,When All I want is You
    • "All I Want Is You"
  • You say You'll give Me eyes in a moment of Blindness,a River in a time of dryness.
    • "All I Want Is You"
  • Don't believe them when they tell me there ain't no cure.The Rich stay healthy,the Sick stay poor
    • "God Part II
  • Don't believe in Goldman,His type like a curse.Instant Karma's going to get him if I don't get him first
    • "God Part II
  • Don't believe in the 60's,the Golden age of Pop.You glorify the past,when the Future dries up
    • "God Part II
  • You say You want Diamonds on a Ring of Gold,Your Story to remain untold.Your Lovee not to go Cold
    • "All I Want Is You"

Achtung Baby (1991)

We're one but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other...
  • It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
    She moves in mysterious ways.
    • "Mysterious Ways"
  • Johnny, take a dive with your sister in the rain
    Let her talk about the things you can't explain
    To touch is to heal, to hurt is to steal
    If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel.

    On your knees, boy.
    • "Mysterious Ways"
  • A man will rise,a man will fall.From the shear face of love like a fly from the wall
    • "The Fly"
  • We're one but we're not the same
    We get to carry each other, carry each other
    • "One"
  • One love, one blood
    One life, you got to do what you should
    One life, with each other
    Sisters, brothers
    One life, but we're not the same
    We get to carry each other, carry each other
    • "One"
  • Have you come here for forgiveness? Have you come to raise the dead? Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head
    • "One"
  • Every Artist is a Cannibal,every Poet is a Thief.All kill for inspiration and sing about their grief
    • "The Fly"
  • Its no secret that a Conscience can sometimes be a Pest, Its no Secret that Ambition bites the Nails of Success
    • "The Fly"
  • We're One but We're not the same.Well,We hurt each other and We'll do it again.You say love is a temple,Love a higher law.Love is a temple,Love a higher law.You ask Me to enter,then You make Me crawl.And I can't be holding on to what you got,when all You've got is hurt.
    • "One"

Zooropa (1995)

  • And if You look,You look through Me.And when You talk,You talk at Me.And when I touch You,You don't feel anything
    • "Stay (Faraway,So Close)
  • And if You listen,I can call.And if You jump,You just might fall.And if You shout,I'll only hear You
    • "Stay (Faraway,So Close)

Pop (1997)

  • It's the blind leading the blond
    It's the stuff, it's the stuff of country songs.
    Hey if God will send his angels
    And if God will send a sign
    And if God will send his angels
    Would everything be alright?
    • "If God Will Send His Angels"
I don't want to lie
I just know that I need to...
Love.
  • Jesus never let me down
    You know Jesus used to show me the score
    Then they put Jesus in show business
    Now it's hard to get in the door, angel.
    • "If God Will Send His Angels"
  • If God will send his angels
    I sure could use them here right now
    Well if God would send his angels
    And I don't have to know how
  • And I don't need to know why
    And I don't want to promise
    Where do we go
    Where did you go
    And I don't want to lie
    I just know that I need to...
    Love.
    • "If God Will Send His Angels"

Staring at the Sun (1997 EP)

There was a badness that had its way. But love wasn't lost. Love will have its day.
  • There was a badness that had its way. But love wasn't lost. Love will have its day.
    • "North and South of the River"

All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)

  • It's a beautiful day...
    Don't let it get away
    • "Beautiful Day"
  • What you don't have you don't need it
    What you don't know you can feel it somehow
    • "Beautiful Day"

Walk On

Dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Love is not the easy thing...
    The only baggage you can bring
    Is all that you can't leave behind.
  • Walk on, walk on
    What you got they can't steal it
    No they can't even feel it
    Walk on, walk on...
    Stay safe tonight.
  • Walk on, walk on
    What you've got they can't deny it
    Can't sell it, can't buy it
    Walk on, walk on
    Stay safe tonight.
  • And I know it aches
    And your heart it breaks
    And you can only take so much

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)

  • Sometimes you can't make it.
    The best you can do is to fake it.
    Sometimes you can't make it on your own.
    • "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"
  • You don't have to put up a fight, you don't have to always be right.
    Let me take some of the punches for you tonight.
    Listen to me now, I need to let you know
    You don't have to go it alone.
    And it's you when I look in the mirror.
    It's you when I pick up the phone.
    Sometimes you can't make it on your own.
    • "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"
  • Can you hear me when I sing?
    You're the reason I sing.
    You're the reason the opera is in me
    Well, hey now
    Still got to let you know
    A house just don't make a home
    Don't leave me here alone
    • "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"
  • And though your soul it can't be bought, your mind can wander. I can feel your love teaching me how, how to kneel.
    • "Vertigo"
  • I could never take a chance of losing love to find romance.
    • "A Man and A Woman"
  • The songs are in your eyes.
    I see them when you smile.
  • There is no failure here sweetheart, just when you quit.
  • Of science and the human heart, there is no limit.
  • Beneath the noise, below the din,
    I hear a voice, it's whispering,
    "In science and in medicine,
    "I was a stranger, you took me in."
    • "Miracle Drug"
  • You heard me in my tune when I just heard confusion.
  • An intellecutal tortoise racing with your bullet train.
  • Some people got high rises on their backs.
    I'm not broke but you can see the cracks.
    You can make me perfect again.
    All because of you
    I am.
    • "All Because of You"
  • Would you deny for others what you demand for yourself?
    Cool down mama, cool off
    You speak of signs and wonders, I need something other.
    I would believe if I was able, but I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table.
  • Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.
    • "Crumbs from Your Table"
  • Well, the heart that hurts is a heart that beats.
    • "One Step Closer"

Quotes about Bono

  • You have made people listen. You have made people care, and you have taught us that whether we are poor or prosperous, we have only one world to share. You have taught young people that they do have the power to change the world.
    • Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, to Bono. (November 1999)
  • He's a poet. He's a philosopher. And last night, I think I saw him walking on water.
  • I never believed that U2 wanted to save the whales. I don't believe that The Beastie Boys are ready to lay it down for Tibet.
  • I think that politicians are attracted at first by the celebrity but once they meet him, they find that he is outstandingly capable.
    • Jeffrey Sachs, Head Economist for the UN Millenium Development Goals. (1999)
  • He's a strange sort of entity, this euphoric rock star with the chin stubble and the tinted glasses — a new and heretofore undescribed planet in an emerging galaxy filled with transnational, multinational and subnational bodies. He's a kind of one-man state who fills his treasury with the global currency of fame. He is also, of course, an emanation of the celebrity culture. But it is Bono's willingness to invest his fame, and to do so with a steady sense of purpose and a tolerance for detail, that has made him the most politically effective figure in the recent history of popular culture.
  • Bono gives us a vision of how tomorrow can be better than today. He appeals to something greater than ourselves. He tells the story of his life and struggles in terms everyone can understand. He speaks about faith in a way that even a nonbeliever can embrace.
  • For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bono is Time's Person of the Year.
    • TIME Magazine (2005)

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Bono
Birth name Paul David Hewson
Also known as Bono
Born 10 May 1960 (1960-05-10) (age 50)
Origin Dublin, Ireland
Genres Rock, post-punk, alternative rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, activist, philanthropist
Instruments Voice, guitar, harmonica
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts U2
Website www.u2.com
Notable instruments
Gretsch Irish Falcon

Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono (born 10 May 1960 in Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish musician, best known as the lead singer for the rock band U2.

Career

He became a member of the band U2 in October 1976, when he responded to a message that was placed by Larry Mullen Jr. to form a rock band.

The name Bono was a type of hearing aid and in Latin means good voice. Bono went on to become the main singer for U2.

Bono married Alison Stewart and have four children. Jordan (b. 1989), Eve (b. 1991), Elijah (b. 1999) and John (b. 2001).

Bono is known for doing a lot of charity work. For this, he was named Time Person of the Year in 2005. Bono has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, though he did not win it.

Other websites








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