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My day behind the scenes with Bono at Amanda Brunker's New York wedding

Sometimes it's hard to get a handle on your own celebrity status.

Moving in the exalted circles that I do, being on first names terms with TG4 weather presenters, winners of Miss Club Diva and the guy who used to play Mondo on Fair City, it's easy to get big-headed.

But if you want to be brought down to earth with a bang, do what I did last week, and spend a day with Bono.

Okay, I didn't actually 'spend a day with Bono', but bear with me ...

I was in New York for a VIP photoshoot of Amanda Brunker marrying her partner Philip in a ceremony at which Bono, a long-standing friend of her family, was to be the guest of honour.

And so we photographed this surreal scene, with just a bride and groom, two bridesmaids and two groomsmen, standing on the beautiful seventh floor roof garden of the Rockefeller Centre, being joined by one of the most famous men in the world.

He turned up on time, despite having only had three hours sleep after the previous night's concert, watched the proceedings quietly while his security entourage (one man) stood inside, cheered as Amanda and Philip were named man and wife, kissed the bride and then posed happily for pictures.



TIDBIT

And after half an hour, he made his excuses and left -- something about being late for a meeting with Bill Clinton.

The groom, Philip, later explained to me how they'd a problem with the venue, as they had to change dates at the last minute.

He had phoned Bono to let him know, and Bono said fine, I'll still be there.

Philip then explained that he wasn't sure exactly what time, as the Rockefeller Centre were very busy, and couldn't confirm what time the venue would be free.

Bono offered to help, saying: "I'll phone David if you like."

Philip had been dealing with a regular booking agent, and wasn't sure if the manager was called David, so he asked Bono "David who"?

"David Rockefeller," Bono replied, matter-of-factly.

It's hard not to be impressed not just by how a guy from Dublin could have such influence, but also how he was willing to use it so off-handedly for some family friends.

Fast forward eight hours, and U2 come on stage in Giants Stadium, New Jersey.

To be honest, I was apprehensive about seeing the band in the US.

If Bono can bang on about world poverty and political injustices in front of a cynical Dublin audience, what was he going to be like with Americans who lap up that kind of rabble-rousing?

But two hours later, I was a convert. The new stuff was much better than I'd expected; the old stuff sounded as good as ever, and he dedicated One to the newlywed Amanda and Philip.

No polemic, no preaching -- with 80,000 baying fanatics in the palm of their hands, U2 decided to just play some songs, say thank you, and bugger off the stage. I won't bang on about the after-show party, but will tease you with just this tidbit.

Towards the end of the night, I was sitting in a small room off the main party venue, with only about a dozen other people. And in that room were Bono, his wife Ali, the Edge, supermodels Christy Turlington and Helena Christensen, actors Clive Owen and Gerard Butler, and Jon Bon Jovi (who's tiny, by the way).

Bono gets more than his fair share of grief.

Okay, he can preach a bit too much for a lot of people's liking. And fine, U2's cunning tax affairs are galling for people who earn a thousandth of the money and pay tax at 50pc for the privilege.

But I'm almost embarrassed to say it -- after seeing him three times that day, I was a tiny bit star-struck.


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