exclusive. From Barack Obama to Steve Jobs, Bono speaks for himself in his memoirs

11:00 PM, October 29, 2022

” Give up It is the story of a pilgrim who struggles to move forward… but has fun along the way. Bono, 62, chose to tell his story in a biography of the event to be released in France on Wednesday. If Irish rock life has been extensively documented (see Bono by Bono, Conversations with Michka Assayas, Grasset), Paul David Hewson (his real name) never used the pen to indulge in an honest and disrespectful text, especially with himself. His childhood in Dublin, the tragic loss of his mother when he was 14, the birth and explosion of U2, his commitments (against AIDS and malnutrition), his exploits at guns and his mistakes, his operation in 2016 to heal him A fickle heart.Bono avoids nothing in the 696 pages of his memoirs, illustrated with his own drawings and sketches. Exclusively, JDD publishes the good papers of an autobiography in which Bono gives himself up to reveal the man behind the icon.

Allergy to salicylic acid, a component of red wine

One evening, towards the end of their eight years in the White House, eight of us were at the table at the President and First Lady’s private residence. Since their two daughters were a little taller, Michelle and Barack [Obama] Friends invited for dinner often. If I had stuck to cocktails it would have been fine, but I allowed myself a glass of wine during the meal. Or maybe two…

Did I ever tell you that I love wine? There’s a catch, though: I’m officially a wine allergy. I’m allergic to salicylic acid, which is in everything from aspirin to tomato sauce to some fruits. And also in red wine, which explains why, after a great evening of pizza and red wine, in addition to aspirin, I risk swelling of the head and eyes that disappear into their cavities. Ali says I have to stab him; Instead, I take an antihistamine. Otherwise, when I drink without preventive treatment, I can suddenly fall. in a deep sleep. Anywhere.

If only you had stuck to cocktails…

I’ve slept on car hoods or in store entrances. One day I slept on the light fixture at a Sonic Youth party. It doesn’t matter where I am. It might also happen to me in the White House […]

The 44th president does not drink like the Irish. He especially loves cocktails. If only you had stuck to cocktails…

I felt like I was diving in, I apologized, and what happened next was a bit hazy, but, according to Ali, it took about ten minutes before the leader of the free world asked him: Bono was gone a while ago, is he ok?

“Oh yeah, he might have gone on a nap.

– What do you mean, little nap? where ?

Well he usually tries to find a car, but I can’t tell you that. Don’t worry, it rarely lasts more than ten minutes. He’ll be back.

“Wait a minute… do you think he took a nap somewhere?

‘Yes,’ Ali asserts, before adding to reassure him: ‘He could not sleep on the next flight from Dublin.’ I’ll go and get him. do not worry. »

She gets up to go look for me, but the chief follows her.

“I must see this! Where could it be?”

Ali replied, “No idea.”

“Earlier, he asked me about Lincoln’s speech, the speech he gave at the Gettysburg Battlefield.”

Bingo! They entered Abraham Lincoln’s historic bedroom and found me lying on the great man’s bed, napping. “Drowsy in the comfort of our liberties,” as I shall say later.

The boss woke me up, and I went back to myself, trying to laugh as hard as Ali and him. He can’t believe this allergy story for a second. He thinks Ali made it up to cover it up. Since then, I tell everyone he can roll me under the table whenever he wants. Any thing ! But it’s true that he makes a full-bodied dry martini.

Steve Jobs and U2: Meet the bottom line

In October 2004, a month before Vertigo was released, Edge, Paul McGuinness, and Jimmy Iovine visited Steve Jobs. […]

Steve lives with his wife, Lauren, and their three children on a wealthy street in Palo Alto, in a low-key Tudor-style brick house with a slate roof, the front door of which is never locked. […] Apple has a long history of sophisticated ad campaigns, and their latest iPod is true works of flashy pop art. We think this new song, Vertigo, will fit perfectly on the soundtrack for one of these commercials. […] A slight complication is that our band never does commercials. Never done that before. Initial position inevitably raises prices. About quiche and green tea, Steve explains that he’s flattered, but doesn’t have the budget for a group like ours.

In fact, we were lucky to be able to surf the Apple wave at the time.

“Actually, Steve, we don’t want any money, let me add. We just want to show up right away.”

Steve was surprised. Clips for this campaign feature Chinese silhouettes dancing with the iconic white headphones in their ears, watered by white arteries carrying music from tiny MP3 players now called iPods.

“Maybe it’s time to focus on the artists, not just the fans,” Edge said. I’m sure we’d be great at shadow puppets, right? »

Steve replies, intrigued, that if that’s our suggestion, he’s ready to sign right away, but he still has to talk about it with his creative team.

“One last thing, adds Paul McGuinness. Although no cash compensation was sought, a few Apple shares, even a token amount, would be a welcome gesture.

Steve said, “I’m sorry, but that’s no.”


“Well.. how about our iPod, then?” suggest. iPod U2 custom black and red? »

Steve is puzzled. White, he says, is the signature of Apple products. Nobody wants a black iPod.

He thinks for a moment.

“I can show you what it would look like, but you wouldn’t like it.”

When he presents us with the prototype later, we immediately like it.

So much so that he decided to ask Apple’s illustrious designer Jony Ive to reformulate it, perhaps even giving it a try with a red wheel; To remember the cover of the Atomic Bomb album. Johnny is Steve’s secret weapon. […] Two months later, this man who could teach any noble manners arrived in Dublin with a limited edition iPod U2 in his bags as if it was the Ark of the Covenant. From our point of view, that is exactly it. The iPod is the thing that will make Apple go from being a small and medium-sized IT company with an international reach to a planetary beast.

As Paul often reminds us, even if we got half of what the band could have claimed for such a publicity stunt, those few token shares we discussed during that lunch would be worth thirty-five times. Within a decade or two. Paul always regretted losing these negotiations – even if Steve never gave up – but in fact we were lucky to be able to ride the Apple wave at the time. This amazing movie venue would introduce the band to a younger audience, and thousands of people bought a U2 iPod just because it wasn’t white. Apple was in a race to infinity and beyond; We could consider ourselves lucky that we got quite a bit of a ride, as the ticket was not accessible.

“Bloody Sunday”: This is not a song of rebellion

The song was released after the death of Bobby Sands on May 5, 1981.[…] His death at the age of 27 after refusing food for sixty-six days sparked a whirlwind of conflicting feelings among ordinary nationalists like myself.[…]

Certainly, after each new atrocity, in the most radical republican societies, we have lamented the “unfortunate loss of human life” … for a week or two. […] This duality provoked people on both sides of the border. It pissed me off, too, which partly explains my strong introduction to Bloody Sunday during a concert in Red Rocks, Colorado, one evening when we had a much larger audience than usual, because the show was being filmed. for British television. As Edge was playing his sad sequels in the rain and Larry banging on the drums, I exclaimed, “This isn’t a rebel song!” With all the arrogance I was capable of. At least brevity makes up for the lack of rhetoric […]

Things will never be the same for us back home.

This Sunday Bloody Sunday release propelled us to the top of the charts with the live album Under a Blood Red Sky… and to the top of the blacklist of Republican sympathizers. Things will never be the same for us back home. […]

For me, being Irish has nothing to do with Catholicism or Protestantism. […] My father was a Catholic, but he also could not stand the discourse of these so-called freedom fighters. He told me, “I am a Catholic.” And I can tell you, the partition of our little island was not so much to protect the Protestants as it was to keep the Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast in the bosom of the Union. » […] Not to mention that my father himself married a woman “from another community”. Half was only joking that all countries were lies – “these are stories we tell each other” – and was suspicious of those who controlled the official narrative.

However, I was a little shocked to see me on stage in the Rockies doing a kind of performing arts where I was tearing up the Irish flag. I often threw one at me during concerts, and sometimes I broke up the orange and green bands to turn the central band back into a white flag of nonviolence. […]

“Give Up, Forty Songs, The Bono Story”translated from English (Ireland) by Julie Siboney, Éditions Fayard, 696 pages, €28.

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