Bono gives sixth-year pupils a Beautiful Day in surprise visit

It was a trip down memory lane for U2 frontman Bono as he went back to his old school of Mount Temple comprehensive in Dublin’s Clontarf today.

Gobsmacked sixth-year students were treated to a private audience with the world-famous popstar as he gave them all a lesson to remember.

According to a student at the northside school, which spawned the chart-topping Irish band 46 years ago, a rumour went around this morning that Bono (62) was going to be in the building.

Sixth-year students were then told that they were going to have an assembly in the library around 2.30pm and many of them had an inkling that they were going to have a VIP visitor in their midst.

“He was really nice and seemed quite down-to-earth. He didn’t have a big entourage with him or anything, just a few people who seemed to be working with him. He spoke for a bit and then read for a while out of his new memoir,” she told Independent.ie.

Students were asked not to photograph or video the famous singer and he was filmed during his time there by a professional crew, sparking speculation it may be for a documentary project to tie in with his new memoir release.

The Grammy-winner and campaigner spent some time going around the campus, visiting the music room and meeting some of the students and teachers.

Around 140 sixth-year students were then given an audience with the charismatic star, who shook hands with a few of them as he left, having spoken to them in the library this afternoon.

“Most of the sixth-year pupils would have known who he was but a few of the younger ones definitely didn’t know and didn’t understand what the big fuss was about,” the student said.

“He came across as quite humble and wasn’t really showy, given who he is. It definitely gave everyone a bit of a buzz. A few teachers came in to stand at the back and listen to him speaking so there was a good group there listening to him speaking for about an hour.”

Bono’s memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story will be released on November 1 and he has been spending a lot of time in Dublin ahead of its release. Last month saw him going back to his childhood home of Cedarwood Road in Ballymun and he was also filmed during his time there.

Each chapter in the book is named after a U2 song as he takes readers on a journey from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the loss of his mother Iris when he was just 14.

U2’s origins famously started in Mount Temple in September 1976 after Bono saw a notice on the school bulletin board with the words: “Drummer seeks musicians for band.”

In an exclusive extract from his new book, Bono wrote of that time: “Funny how casually our destiny arrives. How do we fit all the drums, amps and apprentice rock stars into such a small room?”

Larry Mullen was already a competent drummer and Dave Evans (Edge) was a highly-skilled guitarist while Adam Clayton and Bono, aka Paul Hewson, were a little rougher around the edges.

“Adam was the spirit of rock and roll,” Bono writes, “A sort of posh Sid Vicious. If Larry gave life to the band, it was Adam who believed this band could give us a life.”

Bono is promoting his new book with a theatre tour of Europe and America, kicking off in New York City on November 2 and finishing in Spain’s Madrid on November 28. He will take to the stage in Dublin on Monday, November 21.

When it comes to U2 taking to the road again and touring, there have been reports that the foursome will perform next year at the €1.8bn MSG Sphere at the Venetian resort in Las Vegas.

Melanie Finn, Independent.ie