Sunday 23 September 2018

This Man's Life: The ghosts of Bono and Gavin on a Friday night in San Francisco


San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Martin Amis used to joke that he had a terrible dose of tennis elbow from opening bottles of wine at home in Manhattan. I have a similar tennis elbow-ish soreness. Not from uncorking fine vino, but from changing nappies. The new baby is an absolute angel. His 'big' sister, who turns three today, loves him like he is the greatest thing ever. And he is.

I was holding my and my beautiful wife's beautiful bundle of joy the other night when a song by U2 came on the radio - don't ask me which as I have pronounced baby-brain - and with it, a memory flashed across that baby-brain. A memory from long, long ago...

October 1992, in a restaurant called Tosca in North Beach, San Francisco, at 7pm: northside poet laureate Bono holds a friend's sleeping baby girl in his arms and admits, like all proud fathers do eventually, that he's had some practice at it. "Don't let me breathe on her," Bono chortles - in between mouthfuls of cheese omelette and red wine - in the direction of the waitress in this famous San Fran diner, "or it might kill her!"

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