Tuesday 12 December 2017

When Bono met Tony - fans react to Tony Fenton's final 'emotional' interview, with U2 frontman

Bono and Tony Fenton
Bono and Tony Fenton

Fans and friends of the late Tony Fenton tuned in this afternoon to the Today FM radio presenter's final interview - with U2 frontman Bono.

Tony had been invited to interview Bono at his Killiney home in January this year after Bono heard about Tony's illness.

The Today FM presenter passed away in March after a battle with cancer.  He had wanted to interview Bono for years and when he bumped into him on a night out Bono said he would do an interview around the release of the band's new album Songs of Innocence.

Tony, however, was in hospital at that time, prompting Bono to invite him to his home for a later interview.

During their chat, Bono and Tony compared their experiences of growing up on Dublin’s Northside with Tony joking, "I used to walk from [Willow Park Grove] to get a 19a into town and I used to see you the other side of the street with the mullet, the long black coat, long black jeans, the boots and I used to go, I don't know who he is but he's cool and he looks good."

Bono laughed, "Those Willow park Grove people are not to be trusted. They are dangerous!  Ali, we've let the Grove in here!"

Bono went on to speak of some of his more difficult memories of growing up in Glasnevin and having a "war zone in my head".

"There was violence and a lot of it and it wasn't necessarily gangs coming out of Ballymun or Finglas or indeed our own gang," he added.

"It would be behind closed doors, domestic violence, that horrible stuff, friends of ours being beaten with shovels by their dad and starved.  Mad shit. And it's the nicest street in the world and then you realise this is normal.  You know what's weird?  Normal, normal is weird."

Bono also spoke about previous tours and of performing on stage and decompressing afterwards he said has "rage issues".

"I'm like anger management.  I get so wound up. I’m a danger to myself and others. Sometimes I just have to go in a corner and calm down, take oxygen" he said before revealing he was hit on the head with a hairdryer by a girl from wardrobe one night because he was like a "wild animal".

Bono thanked Tony for his unwavering support of the band over the years.

“I’m sure we embarrassed you and I’m sure we put you in some awkward situations but you always stood by our band and it has meant a great deal to us that you’ve been on the radio playing our tunes for a long time now," he said.

"You’re more consistent than U2 as far as Irish people are concerned. We absolutely appreciate it."

As the interview closed Bono added, "I sing to save my life.  I think I'm more volatile than is good for you and I think I write to sort of douse the flames in a way."

Although Dublin concerts for the Innocence and Experience tour have not yet been officially confirmed, at the time of the interview Bono spoke about doing a more "intimate" Irish show than their show at Madison Square Garden.

"We can't fit this tour in at the 3Arena, the one that we are doing in Madison Square Gardens, and we're really bummed out about that," he said.

"So we decided let's do something that we're not going to do anywhere else in the world.  Let's create the most intimate show we've ever done.  Let's try something else out."

Fans and friends of Tony Fenton took to Twitter to comment on the interview, which they described as "emotional".

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