Bono (1960) Irish pop artist, U2 front man
Rock music to me is rebel music. But rebelling against what? In the Fifties it was sexual mores and double standards, in the Sixties it was the Vietnam War and racial and social inequality. What are we rebelling against now? I'm rebelling against my own indifference. I'm rebelling against an idea that the world is the way the world is, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. So I'm trying to do a damn thing. But fighting my indifference is my own problem, what's your problem?
Bono in Rolling Stone
Paul David Hewson, born May 10, 1960 in Dublin, was originally nicknamed Bono Vox by a high school friend who reportedly took it from a hearing aid store on O'Connell Street in the Irish Republic capital. Fittingly enough, the original name meant good voice in half-baked Latin. Paul later shortened it to Bono, which remains his name to this day. The Hewson family lived in Ballymun (North Dublin). With a Protestant mother and Catholic father, Bono grew up with a strong religious faith but avoided becoming emotionally involved with one particular denomination. Mother Iris died in 1974 (allegedly at her father's funeral) when Bono was just 14 years old, an event that would have a major influence on his later song writing.
During this high-school time, Paul found himself drawn to music and playing the guitar, inspired by artists like Patti Smith, Thin Lizzy and The Ramones. By answering a bulletin board ad of Larry Mullen junior (whose mother also passed away in his youth – he and Bono were very close) in 1976, the beginnings of the band U2 were formed. Bono didn't know how to play the guitar and had problems carrying a tune (there was even a time when the others considered removing him from the band altogether, as they felt that his voice wasn't up to scratch), but his charm and poetic gifts earned him the position of front man and songwriter.
Bono is now known as a socially-conscious songwriter who tries to inspire his fans with his lyrics. But he also needs physical contact. The best example of this is described on atu2.com: "... the Live Aid concert in 1985, when (mid-way through an epic rendition of Bad) he leapt off the stage, over a security barricade to the floor of the arena, and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her." During concerts, he continuously refers to good causes like Amnesty International and reducing the Third World Debt. Shortly after Live Aid, Bono and his band played on a six-date American tour titled A Conspiracy of Hope to benefit Amnesty, also featuring Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Bryan Adams, the Neville Brothers, Joan Baez and the Police.
Bono was presented the MTV Free Your Mind award for his charitable work in 1999, particularly with the Jubilee 2000 campaign. He has recently also been heavily involved with NetAid and Warchild. U2 have always been serious about their politics, Bono especially. There have been arguments at times within the band about Bono's use of the podium to preach politics to the audience at a live show. The Edge in particular is uncomfortable with the idea of lecturing fans.
Bono married Alison Stewart in 1982. They have 4 children, daughters Jordan and Memphis and sons Elijah and John Abraham. The latter was prominently described by Bono as "looking like a thug" after his birth. The family lives in Dublin.
At school, I was always with the Indians. I think the cowboys always had it too easy - always the good guys, always the winners.