Brendan O'Connor: A botched hatchet job on Bono
THERE are many shock revelations about the rock star and global activist Bono in Harry Browne's new book The Frontman – Bono (In the name of power). Among other things, Browne sensationally alleges that Bono is a capitalist, that he has a large ego, playing, for example, to the cameras at Live Aid.
Browne also slams Bono for his opposition to illegal file sharing and his support of the iTunes method of selling music, implying that Bono actually wants to be paid for his music. Browne claims further that U2 were, in fact, a mediocre band when they started out and one of the main reasons they did well was all down to the charm and stagecraft of the singer. Apart from charm and stage presence, all Bono contributed to early U2 was banal lyrics and what was "then still a fairly ordinary voice".
Browne also makes the outrageous suggestion that U2 were a few months late in coming to punk. "In fact", he says, "U2 played covers of songs by middle-of-the-road chart acts such as Peter Frampton, The Eagles and The Moody Blues well into 1977, many months after The Sex Pistols had released Anarchy in the UK." Other accusations include the fact that "Bono and the band had successfully used their Irishness as a calling card in the US" – and we know how that guarantees megstardom; just ask all the other Irish bands who have conquered America trading off being Irish.