On May 10, 1960, he was born Paul David Hewson at Dublin Rotunda Hospital. At only 16 years old – along with The Edge (David Evans) Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. – formed U2one of the best bands in the world. Bond You can celebrate your 62 years with the certainty of having had a fascinating life in which you have not only accumulated awards or accolades. Her status as a rock superstar, as well as her work as a political activist, humanitarian and philanthropist, has garnered her an impressive group of friends and acquaintances. Perhaps there is no artist in the world with so many and such varied links in all spheres. We have seen Bono with the world political elite (Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin… and recently with Zelensky), ecclesiastical (John Paul II, Pope Francis) or cinematographic (Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Matt Damon).
Bono has (or had) very close connections with the biggest music stars on the planet.
But, mainly, Bono has (or had) very close connections with the biggest music stars from all over the planet. Rolling Stones, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi… the list is endless. Among all of them, there are some that he especially admires, because they have not gone through his life on tiptoe and because they have marked him. teachers like David Bowie, Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney. With others, like Freddie Mercury, shared funny anecdotes. And his friend Noel Gallagher is clear: “Bono is really a fucking brilliant company.”
Bono maintained a strong connection with David Bowie. Their mutual respect and admiration for him went back decades. In the autobiography ‘U2 by U2’, Bono wrote: “I was a Bowie fan from my teenage years and I still am a Bowie fan.” Over the years, the Londoner opened countless doors for him in the music industry, and their relationship transformed from fan to friend. There are many photographs documenting that close relationship. One of them was taken at David’s wedding with Imam.
David Bowie and Bono. / L. Busacca/WireImage
In Paul David Hewson’s eulogy for Rolling Stone after the ‘white duke’s passing, he speaks of the effect it had on his life since he first saw a Ziggy Stardust performance on Top of the Pops in 1972: ” We had one of the first color TVs on our street and David Bowie was the reason you had to have a color TV.” And he added: “I’ve played like he’s a rock star, but I’m really not. David Bowie is my idea of what a rock star should be.” He also details their friendship and the time Bowie visited the studio when the band was mixing Achtung Baby. He ends by saying, “I’d like to consider myself David’s friend, but I’m more of a fan.”
Paul McCartney and John Lennon
The first rock song Bono heard, at age 3, was I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles. And the first song he learned to play on his guitar was Dear Prudence (included on The White Album of 1968). Who was going to tell him then that two decades later he would share the stage with Paul McCartney himself? It was at Live Aid in 1985, at Wembley Stadium, before millions of people. That was not the only time that both have been together, far from it. Paul himself, when speaking to GQ magazine about his visits to Liverpool, confessed: “Normally I go with someone, with one of my friends… Once I was with Bono. We drove together, since we were both going to the same event in the Liverpool Arena. There is something else that unites them. The name of the two appears in the top positions of the greatest rock fortunes. As of 2020, Bono’s wealth was estimated at $700 million, and he was the second-highest-earning rock star in the world. In first place was occupied by Paul McCartney with 1,200 million.
Who was going to tell him then that two decades later he would share the stage with Paul McCartney himself?
Likewise, he has openly confessed to being an admirer of John Lennon. When he listened to the Imagine album “with headphones, on a cassette tape”, he felt as if John was talking to him on the phone. And he described the experience: “This music changed the shape of the room. It changed the shape of the world outside the room.” The Dublin-based vocalist recounted that “Yoko Ono once came up to me when I was in my 20s, she put her hand on mine and said ‘you are John’s son’. What an amazing compliment!” Bono and Julian Lennon know each other well. “Bono looks like a recent version of potato,” he commented in The Guardian. “The emotion on his faces is almost identical.”
On his relationship with the leader of Queen, Bono shared a curious anecdote that took place at the Live Aid benefit concert. Freddie tried to flirt with Bono backstage when they met. Prior to that meeting, Hewson was unaware that Mercury was gay, although a friend later explained to him that it was an open secret. Bono told Express: “I was walking with my wife, and Freddie pulled me aside and said, ‘Oh, Bo-No, is it Bo-No or Bon-O?’ I said, ‘It’s Bon-O.’ : ‘Come here with me. We are all talking, Roger (Daltrey) and Pete (Townshen) and David (Bowie) and we all agree that there are no singers anymore, now everyone screams, but you are a singer. “
Bono, Paul McCartney and Freddie Mercury, on stage during the Live Aid concert held at Wembley (London in 1985). / Steve Rapport/Getty Images
“I was leaning against a wall and he put his hand on the wall and he was talking to me like he was chatting with a girl. He made me laugh, but I started to get nervous at the same time that he exchanged glances with Ali (his wife of his).”
In 1984, Bono met one of his heroes, Bob Dyan. He was 24 years old and interviewed him for the Hot Press music newspaper before the maestro came out on stage at Dublin’s Slane Castle and invited him to sing with him. Naturally, Bono accepted. The problem was that he didn’t know the words to Blowin’ in the wind and had only a vague notion of the melody. When the Irishman walked out on stage with Dylan, he grabbed a microphone and started singing the first thing that came into his head. Bob seemed rather surprised as Bono kept improvising things about the Irish conflict.
The U2 frontman has admired Dylan for as long as he can remember and has studied his compositions meticulously. “Bob Dylan is there for you at every stage of your life. There are songs that made no sense at the age of 20 and then suddenly took on their full meaning. It’s extraordinary,” he revealed in Q magazine.
The controversial Noel Gallagher maintains a close friendship with Bono. The duo have been seen frequently and are not just good friends sharing a dinner or a night of karaoke. As Noel revealed in Vice: “Bono is really fucking brilliant company. I’ve been drinking with him and I’ve left the bar at 6 in the morning and he’s still in the bar singing opera. And the next night he had a concert for 70,000 people.”