12 July 2004
'I Was Bono's Doppelganger'
Perhaps the strangest book yet, in the burgeoning genre of U2 literature.
'Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some have greatness thrust upon them... and some have the misfortune to go to school with Bono'.
So writes Neil McCormick in 'I Was Bono's Doppelganger', a kind of memoir of growing up in the gigantic shadow cast by a classmate called Bono.
McCormick, now a successful rock journalist and columnist on the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper, originally wanted to be a Rock God himself, growing up in Dublin in the 1970's. But 'the boy sitting on the other side of the classroom had plans of his own.'
Funnily enough, the boy on the other side of the classroom, thought that McCormick was more likely to achieve musical divinity. 'He was much cooler than me, ' recalls Bono. 'A much better writer and I thought he'd make a great rock star.'
But as U2 went up, so McCormick went down... for a time at least. 'The problem with knowing you is that you've done everything I ever wanted to,' as the writer puts it to the singer, in this wry and and rueful book published at the end of next month.
'The phone rings: 'Neil, it's Bono, I've just recorded a duet with Frank Sinatra!' 'Aaarrrgghh! Leave me alone. You're living the life I wanted.'
A memoir (it says here) 'for anyone who's ever gurned in front of the mirror as they hit the high notes on their air guitar...'
Published in the US with a rather more sensationalist title (see link), more of McCormick's therapy here.