10 November 2004
'Who's This Weirdo?'
Bono, writes for the 2004 NME Year Book, about his year in politics. Extract
'I suppose I could tell you about some of the people I've met in the last year. There's the powerful ones - politicians, business men, bankers - with that look in their eye, a kind of wary recognition: 'Don't I know you from the news stand?' crossed with, 'Who's this weirdo?'
Then there's the powerless ones, dying, sick, starving in vast numbers, silent, compliant. I can't begin to describe the look in their eyes. But it's a habit I have, looking people in the eye, and it gets me into a lot of trouble...
So, who have I met and where have I been?
George W Bush. I was surprised that he agreed to see me at all. He didn't have to, especially as I used to crank-call his dad at the White House from the stage during U2's 'Zoo TV' Tour. Dressed as the devil with 70,000 of my closest friends singing along, I would call at about 10 o' clock at night. We usually got Operator 2, and we would sing at the top of our voices, "I just called to say I love you". Still, since I posed for a photo with W in 2003, he agreed to pledge $15bn for five years to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa.'
To read more about Bono's year in politics get the NME Yearbook on sale now.