I love him.
Goddamn, people. this is a good book. It's nothing but a really long conversation with Bono, over a period of several months, with a French journalist, Michka Assayas, who knew a good thing when he first saw it in 1981, and is the dead opposite of Charlie Rose, in that he mostly shuts up and lets Bono have the floor. In it, Bono talks about his youth, his family, and his work, as a rock star and as an advocate for the poor, and it is fantastic.
People give Bono crap about the ego, but all I can say is THANK GOD for his ego. Thank God for his sense of what is possible, and what people are capable of. Thank God for his faith, and the fact that he never lets go of what he believes is right. When I first saw Bono, sometime in the early 80's, I was 13 years old. He was talking big, and dreaming big. He made a lot of promises about what kind of a man he was, and here's what's good about Bono: he has kept them all. He is that man so much more than I ever imagined back then. Lately, when I hear he's been short-listed for the Nobel Peace Prize, or some business, I swear I am proud of him as if he were my brother, or something.
I grew up watching Bono grow up for well over half my life, and seriously: we're going to have to step oustide if you want to talk shit. I mean, no doubt, he falters, but at the end of the day, he is a force for good, and his example is magnificent.
There will be more on this topic when I've finished reading, but for now, since I know you are all well-aware of my current fixations, I want to show you the most heartwarming picture in the entire world of rock:
It's the little smiles that really kill me. In some ways, Trent Reznor is the anti-Bono. Bono is always looking for the light, and trying to make pictures of heaven, while Trent is really, really unflinching about the darkness and complications. Aesthetically speaking, however, neither one of them fears the broad stroke, and they both have exactly the same topics at heart; which is to say THE IMPORTANT ONES -- truth, faith, love -- and they both do their work with that wholly unironic, savage seriousness that I love so damned much. That is a picture of my two favorite artists, right there.
Finally, here are two of the millions of good things Bono says in this excellent book that everyone should read:
"Fuck, I don't mind. I'll be the clown. Throw the pie."
"People talk to me... They walk straight up to me because they know from the records that even if my face isn't as open as it was 10 years ago, I am... People who know the music, know who you are. They've been in the dark room, and they know you better than your best friend, because you don't sing like that to your best friend. You don't sing in their ear."
More later, no doubt.