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Rare Notable Exceptions


My opposition to anarchism is well known. But there are rare notable exceptions.

The U2 frontman, who has long campaigned on political issues and global problems, was in Heiligendamm in 2007 for the 33rd G8 summit meeting of world leaders when he was cornered by a number of protesters opposed to his presence at the event.

The group was supporting the ‘Make Bono History’ campaign, which aims to “remove Bono from the public-eye and restore a sense of dignity to mankind”, and the singer was terrified when the placard-waving demonstrators started chasing him.

He tells Britain’s Guardian newspaper, “I was chased down the street in Germany by a bunch of anarchists at the G8 summit, wielding placards and shouting ‘Make Bono history!’ – which even as I was running for my life I thought was a pretty good line.”

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  • When I was in Pamplona I saw cops in riot gear being pelted by a group of about 20 anarchists. It was kind of scary looking until I realized the anarchists were throwing baguettes.

    • Lee Rudolph

      Give us bread, but give us roses. … No, wait; roses are really hard to throw effectively.

      • As a child of the 60s, I can tell you: you stick them in the gun barrels.

        • Bartleby

          The baguettes?

          • Hogan

            If the guns they’re pointing at you will hold a baguette, drop the bread and run away very, very fast.

            • T McJ

              No, as Eddie Izzard told us, run towards them. Very hard to hit someone with a bazooka (his word) up close without also blowing yourself up.

    • Ann Outhouse

      I don’t know about Pamplona, but I wouldn’t want to be beaned by one of the baguettes they sell at our local Publix supermarkets.

      • If you’re wearing body armor like those cops were I’m sure you’d be fine.

        • Warren Terra

          What about celiacs, though?

  • mantooth

    If Bono really wanted to make a difference in the world he’d start blogging.

    • Or commenting on blogs.

      • Timb

        Score! Hey oh!!

        Sometimes, having a thin skin makes for the very funny; other times, it’s like Jim Treacher and that’s not funny at all

        • In fairness, Treach’s skin got thicker when he calloused it on the street after getting wiped out by that SUV

        • Q

          Which time was this?

  • Jonas

    At least it’s an ethos.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not enough to eradicate Bono – you need to eliminate his spawn as well: Coldplay, Arcade Fire…

    • TribalistMeathead

      I will defend pre-Viva La Vida Coldplay until the day I die.

      • So you defend Creed’s castoffs?

        OK, man, I’m sorry. That was a cheapshot…

      • Philip

        +a large number

        I love Parachutes, and even though I know objectively it isn’t great I love The Blue Room. A Rush of Blood to the Head gets a bad rap because Clocks was so overplayed, but there’s really good music on there. And almost everything on X&Y is great.

      • Timb

        Hell, apparently, we need to defend U2

        • I read that as “defund”. Ted Cruz will now filibuster.

    • BobS

      Regarding Arcade Fire, you couldn’t be more wrong.

      • Bartleby


      • brad

        You mean because they’re folk and sound nothing like U….

        sorry, I dozed off. As I was saying Arcade Fire sounds little like U2, whatever their strengths and flaws, and are in no way safe pablum for an overmedicated generation who….

        Dammit, fell asleep again.

      • (the other) Davis

        +A lot. I’m not sure how you could listen to Funeral and even include U2 on your list of top ten likely influences.

        • Well, there was the fact that on their tour around the time Funeral came out it was the last song played before U2 took the stage, then AF ended up touring with U2. Doesn’t establish a pre-existing influence, but I can certainly see why U2 would like Funeral (more than, I’ll admit, The Suburbs).

      • BikeCrasher

        If you think Miracle Whip on Wonder bread is almost dangerously edgy, then Arcade Fire is the band for you.

        Why yes, I am good at making friends. Why do you ask?

        • fill in the fucking blank

          Miracle Whip on Wonder bread is ironic much like….

        • (the other) Davis

          I really don’t understand this line of music “criticism”. Who besides the most intolerable artsy asshole bases their listening preferences on “edginess”?

  • I was once a rabid U2 fan but this made me laugh very hard. Nice that he had a good sense of humor about it.

    • Yeah, and to be clear I actually don’t dislike U2 and I think War and Achtung Baby are brilliant albums. Bono is incredibly tiresome as a personality though.

      • There is a scatological (more so than usual) South Park episode that seeks to explain Bono’s personality. I would not have found it funny before whatever came out after Joshua Tree.

      • Warren Terra

        Bono is more than merely tiresome once you juxtapose his laudable (if entirely too self-satisfied) calls for governmental action against poverty and inequality with his various extraordinary maneuvers that seek to minimize his personal tax liability.

        • wengler

          Yep. Practice what you preach.

          • disgree

            I assume most people who call for action on poverty and inequality also attempt to minimize their tax burdens.
            The existence of loopholes, often only for the very rich, are the injustice.

        • Bono’s preaching on Rattle and Hum is enough reason to kill him, even though I agree with his positions.

      • Herbal Infusion Bagger

        U2 annoyed the fuck out of me before Joshua Tree because all the “hard men” where I went to school were fans.

        Peter Hook has a good story in his bio on about U2 being huge fans of Joy Division and coming to get a track produced by Martin Hannett.

        Apparently after Ian Curtis’ death Bono told Tony Wilson of Factory he’d carry on Curtis’ work. [I guess if Joy Division had made the American tour Joy Division might have become a stadium band like U2, but it’s hard to imagine.]

      • Tristan
  • I used to have a KILL BONO t-shirt, which was my only garment to arouse comment in jaded Manhattan. People on the street would comment on it.

    • Ann Outhouse

      I thought Sonny was already dead.

      • And probably getting royalties from sales of the shirt for the next 99 years.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “I thought Sonny was already dead.”

        Yeah, it was those damn terrorist TREEs that got ‘im.

        Not sure which is worse, the bark or the bite.

        • Origami Isopod

          Gonna have to get rid of those terrorists root and branch.

          • There is unrest, in the forest,
            There is trouble with the trees.

            • Hogan

              This still bugs me:

              And they wonder why the maples
              Can’t be happy in their shade

              It’s called “photosynthesis,” assholes. Look it up.

        • steverino

          It was a conspiracy– investigation showed that those trees were planted.

  • José Arcadio Buendía

    So you hate U2 also?

    • TribalistMeathead

      I think you meant to say “You, too, hate U2?”

      • Or “Uh8 U2 2?”

        • anthrofred

          Do you two hate U2 too?

        • Pee Cee


          • (the other) Davis

            It’s rare that an LGM thread ends up referencing Van Halen.

            • Robbert

              Whicj gives me an excuse to mention the too little known fact that shortly after OU812, Gang Green released an album called I81B4U.

      • Warren Terra

        No “et tu”?

        • ruviana


  • Required linkage:


    U2 frontman Bono defended Ireland’s tax system and the use of Irish companies by multinational companies to reduce their global tax bills, saying that the country was “very pleased to compete on that front”.

    Speaking at the annual meeting of the Bill Clinton’s family philanthropic organisation in New York, the rock singer interrupted the Sudanese telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim who, during a discussion on Africa, referred to Ireland as an example of how the global taxation system was broken.

    Bono’s comment at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting came just days after he defended U2’s use of offshore companies to reduce their taxes in an interview, saying that the band’s tax policy was in line with Ireland’s competitive tax philosophy which had taken the country out of poverty.

    • Also The Letter U and the Numeral 2.


    • wengler

      Ireland’s ‘competitive tax philosophy’. The kind that makes the Cayman Islands a prosperous and industrious member of the Queen’s commonwealth.

      • Cody

        Ireland’s competitive tax philosophy which had taken the country out of poverty

        Also, I really doubt this. Now I strongly suspect it made some people richer. I’m going to wager none of them were in poverty before the new tax laws…

        • PBF

          Ireland’s low tax/low wage policies undoubtedly played a role in attracting foreign investment which lead to the Celtic Tiger. I would argue being a heavily subsidized EU member played a larger role. Either way, “successful” policies for a country of 6M on the periphery of Europe
          are not instructive for a country with 50X the population and 75X the GDP

  • calling all toasters

    ‘Make Bono History’? Sounds like Nike needs to update its ad campaigns…

    • If your Bono last more than four albums…

    • DocAmazing

      Bo knows bonobos.

  • Today, we are all Bono being chased down the streets by anarchists/jaded music critics.¹

    ¹ I haven’t liked a U2 album since Joshua Tree, altho bits of Zoo Station were good. Please don’t hurt me.

    • Denverite

      I’m not a huge U2 fan, but Achtung Baby was a masterwork.

      • I’ll go further: it’s one of the greatest three sided albums ever, with the third side being the good songs, such as Stay (Faraway, So Close), and The Wanderer and the title track, plucked from Zooropa.

        • Denverite

          If that’s how you’re defining three-sided albums, they’re all looking up at Sgt. Peppers plus the good songs from Magical Mystery Tour.

          • Magical Mystery Tour stands on its own. It’s one of the Beatles’ best albums imo. Your Mother Should Know and All You Need is Love are somewhat meh, but there’s no bad song on there, and the meh songs on MMT are better than Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite or I’ll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends. It doesn’t have anything as good as She’s Leaving Home or Within You Without You, but I don’t think there’s that big a dropoff from Sgt Pepper’s (which I think is easily the Beatles’ most overrated album and isn’t as good as Rubber Soul, Revolver or The White Album).

      • That’s the album I meant, I plucked the first track off it.

    • nixnutz

      I haven’t liked them either, haven’t actually listened to an entire one for that matter but I have to give them credit; their first four albums sound basically identical, changing into something that doesn’t appeal to me at all earns a lot more of my respect than continuing the same formula indefinitely.

  • Todd

    I was promised that if I bought some red-colored electronics shit that he would go away. I was lied to.

    • BigHank53

      Getting rid of all your electronic shit (TV, computer, phone) and buying a banjo, on the other hand, will definitely make your life Bono-free.

      Actually, it’ll be free of most humans, now that I think about it.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Except for Beck. Which could be a mixed blessing.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        Make it bagpipes instead of a banjo to get rid of the last few humans.

        • BigHank53

          Learn to play the bagpipes with your feet* and accompany yourself!

          *What? You think they’d sound worse?

          • Ahuitzotl

            I didnt think anyone was familiar with my masterwork, “Bagpipes with my feet” (arranged for zither and harmonica)

      • Todd

        I’ll just download a SimBanjo app and watch what that life would have looked like.

  • Leeds man

    I expected more pro Bono work on a lawyerish site.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      they are objectively pro-Cher

    • Warren Terra

      Surely you realize that Campos is concerned about the lack of paid legal work compared to the number of lawyers being produced, and that pro bono work only increases this problem? Thus: anti pr bono, and anti U2.

  • penpen

    If only they were trying to splatter him with ketchup, what a great day it could be

  • Strong Thermos

    You know, as someone who used to play guitar, it often took actually playing a song to be able to appreciate it. And I never really got U2 until a friend of mine in high school played Sunday Bloody Sunday on an acoustic guitar. And I was like-“holy shit this is a great song.” If you can strip it down to acoustic and it works I think that’s a mark of a great song.

    Anyway, after that I ran out and bought Under a Blood Red Sky, the live album. Great album. That War and Joshua Tree are my favorite, but all of their 80s stuff is worthwhile. So is Achtung Baby. After that I sort of lost interest. There’s only one musician I’ll follow no matter how many albums they put out, and not get sick of it, and his name is Bob Dylan.

    • Anna in PDX

      You seem like a person who would not dismiss me from this group just on general principles. I grew up listening to the banjo (my father plays it) and also love U2, and think Bono is not all that bad though the tax hypocrisy was something I was not aware of. Also I currently play the Irish harp and love the sound of bagpipes. In my defense I am not a Coldplay fan. As for Dylan he is a great poet in spite of being absolutely insufferable and can do practically no wrong in my book.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        The Irish tax exemption for artists, writers, poets, musicians, painters, etc., is really rather laudable.

        It’s when it gets applies to “intellectual property”, as owned by large corporations, that the trouble starts.

        • pete

          You’d think that could easily be fixed with (a) a cap on tax-free artistic income and (b) a global-income-reporting requirement for all citizens.

          I actually don’t really blame Bono for gaming the system, but I do blame him for trying to justify the system.

    • Herbal Infusion Bagger

      Fucking hate that song. Dubliners have no clue about anything north of the border – it just sounded like irritating apolitical clap to us.

      Stiff Little Fingers, on the other hand, were the business. Alternative Ulster is a far better song than Sunday Bloody Sunday.

      • Herbal Infusion Bagger

        “that song” being Sunday Bloody Sunday.

      • Robbert

        I also love how Johnny Was, despite being a cover, is totally about Belfast when they play it.

    • Tristan

      Really encapsulates the frustration of a sunday.

  • Shwell Thanksh

    I was stunned to learn from a tabloid interview with Bono my college roommate showed me at the time that Shadows and Tall Trees, The Electric Co., hell, all of Boy was not in fact about psychedelics but about Jeebus.

    • rea

      The electric co is about electric shock therapy. Shadows and Tall Trees is a chapter title from Lord of the Flies

  • Jean-Michel

    I went to the “Make Bono History” website to see if there was any political perspective behind this, or if it was just another one of those oh-so-wacky “personality” protests, like the guy who pies famous people in the face because they’re annoying. Apparently their main objection is that Bono is “damaging the excellent work of Make Poverty History and other vital NGOs around the world,” which is a funny way of putting it, since MPH cheerfully trotted Bono out at every chance they got, even putting him above Nelson Mandela. The idea seems to be that MPH was this wonderful organization tainted only by association with Bono, and not one that raised money off the backs of sweatshop workers and dissolved itself after securing some subsequently broken promises from G8 governments.

    But man, Bono sure is annoying, amirite?

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