It’s Sunday morning. You touch down in a new country to promote an album you made back in ’09. Your shiny Learjet comes to a halt on Lanseria’s tarmac. You stick your hand out the window and sense it’s going to be a scorcher. You fling open the cupboard and pick out the thinnest black leather jacket you have. You put on black leather pants, heavy worker-class boots and top off the ensemble with R20 000 blue tinted Gucci sunglasses. Yes, blue. It’s just so much easier to form an independent opinion when everyone else looks like Smurfs. You step off the plane and wonder where the red carpet is? The firing brigade? The military escort? You notice the bald poepol to your left is carrying a guitar and remember you’re a singer. One day, you think to yourself. You and the bald poepol get into an air-conditioned limo where he remarks how dry the air in Africa is. You sit up and look out the window, wragtag, it’s Africa. You’re overcome by memories of the fun times you had here — golf with Bob Geldof on a supposed mine field in Angola, climbing halfway up Kilimanjaro with Angelina Jolie, buying one of the Mafia islands on that stupid spending spree in ’94. Ah yes, those were the days you think. A beggar comes up to the window and asks for change. Your sensitive poet’s soul is touched. This continent has some real problems you think. The bald poepol hands you a news article about a struggle song and the controversy surrounding it. Your pupils dilate and the hair on the back of your neck stands up: politics and music rolled into one. Hell, that’s you in a nutshell. Your political instincts kick into gear as an opinion starts to crystallise in your head. You call your press officer (every politically active rock star has one) and tell her you’re ready to hold a press conference on the issue. She says a press conference will be a stretch. You say OK, well, call the papers. Your press officer calls a journalist and tells him Bono would like to comment on the “shoot the boer” song. The journalist asks, “what business does a rock star have commenting on the issue?” Your press officer says he wears blue glasses. The journalist says well in that case, go ahead. Your press officer clears her throat and shoots with a carefully thought out statement highlighting how you also had a struggle on your Ireland and loved to sing songs about it. Your press officer stops short of mentioning how you think you’re the messiah trapped in a rock star’s body and how one day you will man-alone fix the world with your political acumen. Your press officer realises you’re only a singer who likes to wear black leather jackets and blue sunglasses.
A day in the life of Bono
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