Author of 'Rock Atlas' denies star guide a stalker's handbook
THE author of a book which reveals the precise locations of the homes of U2 and other Irish music stars has denied that it is a stalker's handbook.
Writer David Roberts's 'Rock Atlas' features more than 650 locations throughout Ireland and the UK linked to different recording artists.
However, in a section headed 'Killiney Bono & Enya in Bel Eire' he reveals the exact road and junction where the U2 singer's house is located.
The road on which band mate The Edge lives is also given, as is the name of the home and road name on which singer Enya resides.
But while Roberts concedes that specific locations are given, he denies a breach of privacy.
"All we're doing is publishing stuff that at one point has been available for everyone to know. If you wanted to find out, it might take you half an hour on the internet to find the right front door or gate.
"They are big rock stars with private estates. Annoying stalkers won't be able to penetrate the fortress that is Bono's House. I have driven past Bono's house and the gates are like Fort Knox," he said.
The new book also warns readers: "Where locations are private residences, we particularly ask readers to respect absolutely the privacy of those who live there."
Mr Roberts claims that Bono himself is no stranger to visiting the homes of rock stars, once making an impromptu visit to his former family home in Glasnevin, where he was warmly welcomed by the new owner. A U2 video was later filmed at the house.
"Bono has done it himself, arriving back at his old home to see how it was, and who was living there. I think it's fair enough to stand on the doorstep of a house where Kate Bush grew up and get a photograph. Or being able to drive by and say 'Oh, that's Bono's house'," he said.
But the book doesn't just feature the palatial homes of rock stars. Fatima Mansions is another location given in the 'Rock Atlas'. The flats gave their name to the left-field indie band fronted by Corkman Cathal Coughlan.
Mr Roberts said fan websites had been his chief source of information, but he had travelled to Ireland to research parts of the book which also documents landmark album cover locations, gravestones, plaques, recording locations, statues and sites of famous and infamous gigs by artists as diverse as The Beatles and the Sex Pistols.
Mr Roberts said he got the idea for the 'Rock Atlas' while he was editor of the 'Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles'.
"That was a very factual book that sold well, but there was an emotional attachment people had to the music and the tracks which I couldn't include. I realised fans are drawn to where the idols worked and lived as well," he added.