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Home > Music

Bono stole this song from Charles Manson...

Alan Connor would like your thoughts on Bono.

19 September 2003

You can forget, in all the rehabilitation and the new pallsy-with-the-ruling-class schtick, all the terrible things Bono has said and done over the years. Until a horrible reminder this week, for example, it had been years since I'd heard him bidding Edge to 'put El Salvador through the amp' when they were recording 'Bullet the blue sky'. (Edge didn't, just like he didn't 'play the Blues' as Bono decreed for 'Silver and gold': both times, he just did that diggy-diggy-diggy thing that sounded so great in gazillion-seater arenas.) Or that he likened himself to Elvis and Marvin Gaye because he had a 'problematic' relationship with God (but who doesn't, for fucking Christ's sake?) as exemplified in his 'Introduction' to a '90s edition of The Book Of Psalms:

Anyway, I stopped going to churches and got myself into a different kind of religion. Don't laugh, that's what being in a rock 'n' roll band is, not pseudo-religion either. Show-business is Shamanism: Music is Worship; whether it's worship of women or their designer, the world or its destroyer, whether it comes from that ancient place we call soul or simply the spinal cortex, whether the prayers are on fire with a dumb rage or dove-like desire...

...and so on. Which of his awful pontifications you find the most objectionable (or hilarious) depends what you take seriously and what you don't want Bono trampling over. When, as a lad, I was getting my head round Dylan's '80s, I found Bono's poem '50 reasons why I love Bob Dylan' especially risible, including as it did 'Hoods look great on him' (they don't) and 'He wrote 'Brownsville Girl' together with Sam Shepard' (this is the wrong 'wrong' Dylan song to show off that you know more than 'Mr. Tambourine Man'). But then the El Salvadoran victims of Generals Casanova and Garcia may have found his comment to Edge more inappropriate. Like I say, it depends on who you are.

So a public poll would be instructive. His brave stand against Charles Manson? The 'I don't like doing intimate concerts: I have very sensitive nasal glands' bizarreness? That business about having three chords and the truth? Please, send them all in, and we can complete the dossier.

Send 'em to paul.hewson@themusicthing.co.uk. Terrible cover versions are also of interest. I especially dislike "Gloria" and "Cold turkey". But you will have others. Same address.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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