Know Your Bonoisms, Part 18: Switching it Up for Europe

If you listen to as many shows as possible online – and let’s be honest, we all are – then you pretty much have the script memorized by now. On the U.S. leg, you knew when to pipe in and say, “Don’t shoot; I’m an American. I can’t breathe.” You knew (a little) about Bono’s trip to the lobby of the Belvedere Hotel in Switzerland at age na-na-na-nineteen. You knew he was disgusted with himself for being Irish but talking like an American – or was it someone else who was saying that? I’m still trying to figure it out.

Speaking of that: Ooh! Who saw Eve Hewson on The Tonight Show? Did you hear her say her friends criticized her for sounding too American? I squealed with giddly delight at that fascinating daddy-daughter parallel in the Bonosphere, which prompted my kid to look at me with some disgust of her own. And of course, we know that just one year prior to this odd (hypothetical?) encounter in Switzerland, 18-year-old Bono, looking very much like his 16-year-old son, sat in his bedroom that felt like the whole universe and wrote a song to impress a girl called Alison Stewart. And he’s still working on that one.

Maybe Bono knows we have it all memorized, and that’s why he’s changed a few of his lines during the European leg. “Don’t shoot” is now, “I’m not dangerous; I’m in danger.” (Yes, I know the real reason is for the refugees…calm down). He still reflects on an angry encounter with a stranger (or himself? or a sasquatch?) at age na-na-na-nineteen, but now there’s a barricade involved and the boy (or sasquatch?) says to him, “We don’t want you in our revolution; you’re part of the problem, not the solution.” In fact, he says it a lot. So yes, Bono has switched up a few things on this leg to keep it interesting and update it for Europe in Q4 2015. But he’s still trying to impress Ali; that part will never change.

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U2 community builder, actualist, sometimes full of anger and grieving. Contact: IG @brookwf, X @U2radiobrook.

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