10 May 2009

Bono turns 49

Paul David Hewson
born May 10, 1960

While he may get a little too preachy at times I love Bono. Whether he's being named Time's man of the year, getting nominated for a nobel peace prize, being knighted, rubbing elbows with presidents and popes, or barely legal coeds, Bono embodies the term "rock star".

It was not long after his mother's death, at age 14, that Paul also got his nickname. Originally "Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang," it evolved to "Bona Vox of O'Connell Street" after a hearing aid store in the centre of Dublin, before eventually being shortened to "Bono Vox" – latin for "good voice" – and finally "Bono".

top 5 U2 Songs

#5 - Pride The Unforgettable Fire, 1984
A song about the assassination of Martin Luther King. Probably wouldn't make my top 5 if it weren't for the story Bono told during their induction into the rock and roll hall of fame in 2005: 1987. Somewhere in the south. We'd been campaigning for Dr. King, for his birthday to become a national holiday. In Arizona , they are saying no. We're campaigning very hard for Dr. King. Some people don't like it. Some people get very annoyed. Some people want to kill us. Some people are taken very seriously by the FBI. They tell the singer that he shouldn't play the gig because tonight his life is at risk, and he must not go on stage. And the singer laughs. Of course we're playing the gig. Of course we go onstage, and I'm singing "Pride (In the Name of Love)" -- the third verse -- and I close my eyes. And you know, I'm excited about meeting my maker, but maybe not tonight. I don't really want to meet my maker tonight. I close my eyes and when I look up I see Adam Clayton standing in front of me, holding his bass as only Adam Clayton can hold his bass. There are people in this room who'd tell you they'd take a bullet for you, but Adam Clayton would have taken a bullet for me. I guess that's what its like to be in a truly great rock and roll band.

#4 - I will Follow Boy, 1980
The first track and second single off of U2's first album, a tribute to his mother who had passed away 6 years earlier. U2 was just becoming successful, in a 1982 interview Bono said, "We may well be the future of rock 'n' roll, but so what? When I go back to Dublin, to my girlfriend, it's more of a distraction that I'm in a band than any big deal - and my old man still shouts at me for not doing the dishes before I go to bed." With the exception of '92-'93 Zoo Tour, U2 has performed I will follow on every tour date, over 800 times.

#3 - Elevation All That You Can't Leave Behind, 2001
The third sing off of the All That You Can’t Leave Behind Album. It earned U2 the 2002 Grammy for Best Rock Performance. Also the name for Bono’s private Equity Firm/Tax Relief Fund “Elevation Partners” worth an estimated $2 billion. The Elevation tour grossed over $143 million for their 113 performances. If it’s good enough for Sir Alan Shearer it’s definitely good enough for my top 5.

#2 - All I Want Is You Rattle And Hum, 1988
Recorded in 1987 at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis Tennessee where B.B. King, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and even Roy Orbison got their starts, All I Want is You is the fourth single off of their 1988 release. Rattle and Hum is far from U2's best album, and All I Want is You is a departure from Bono's usual love song offering. Bono's vocals on this one are amazing and compliment the Edge's guitar perfectly.

#1 - Bad The Unforgettable Fire, 1984
As far as songs about Heroin go, this is in that top 5 too. Bono has said the song is about a friend who in Bono's words: "was given on his 21st birthday enough heroin into his bloodstream to kill him", and Bono's regret over the incident. The other four songs that would round out my top 5 songs about heroin - Guns N Roses -Mr. Brownstone, Neil Young - The Needle and the Damage Done, Everclear - Heroin Girl, Alice in Chains - umm...take your pick.


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