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Friday 29 August 2014

U2 star Bono to write charity tribute to his late father

Niamh Horan

Published 23/02/2014 | 02:30

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Bob Hewson and his son Bono. Photo: Maxpix

HE penned the hit U2 song Kite about his late father; now Bono is writing about their relationship in a new book that will raise funds for charity.

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The Irish Hospice Foundation charity helped take care of the singer's father, Brendan Robert Hewson, or 'Bob' as he was affectionately known, when he died of cancer in 2001.

Now Bono is contributing one of a series of essays about father-and-son relationships, which will also feature a number of high-profile figures from the world of art, music, literature and film.

Each contributor will speak about their own connection with their father.

A source told the Sunday Independent: "The book will give an insight into what shaped many of the famous contributors. The essays will talk about the lessons learned, the advice received, significant moments shared and memories. "It could be in the form of an open letter to their dad or simply a general insight into the relationship they shared."

It's not the first time Bono has contributed to the Hospice Foundation.

In recent years he took part in a radical reworking of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf by his childhood friend Gavin Friday, in which he also drew on his own, sometimes painful, relationship with his father.

Bono has frequently shared the emotional journey he went through in his father's final days, with his fans.

In his father's dying days, Bono flew home night after night to visit the retired postal worker in the hospice after performing with U2 in stadia across Europe while the band was on tour.

The singer regularly dedicated Kite to his ailing father at shows during the period.

Speaking about their last few moments together, Bono said: "Actually, his last words were an expletive. I was sleeping on a little mattress right beside him in the hospital. I woke up, and he made this big sound, this kind of roar, it woke me up.

"The nurse comes in and says, 'You OK, Bob?' He kind of looks at her and whispers, 'Would you f**k off and get me out of here? This place is like a prison. I want to go home.' "Last words: 'F**k off.'"

Bono also told America's Rolling Stone magazine that they had a very different relationship to the one he has with his children today.

"He was an amazing and very funny man. I don't think I'm like him. I have a very different relationship with my kids than he had with me. He didn't really have one with me. He generally thought that no one was as smart as him in the room."

But the singer also thanked his father's constant put-downs for making him stronger and more determined to succeed.

He added: "You know that Johnny Cash song A Boy Named Sue, where he gives the kid a girl's name, and the kid is beaten up at every stage in his life by macho guys, but in the end he becomes the toughest man."

Meanwhile, the Hospice Gathering book is still for sale and is available from the Irish Hospice Foundation at a special St Patrick's Day reduced price of €10.

For more information log on www. hospicefoundation. ie/ shop/books/the-gathering-book

Sunday Independent

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