Killing Bono: I Was Bono's Doppelganger
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Longtime friend and reporter, Neil McCormick, reveals childhood and present day stories about Bono and his band, U2.
Some are born great.
Some achieve greatness.
Some have greatness thrust upon them.
And some have the misfortune
to go to school with Bono.
Everyone wants to be famous. But as a young punk in Dublin in the 1970s, Neil McCormick's ambitions went way beyond mere pop stardom. It was his destiny to be a veritable Rock God. He had it all worked out: the albums, the concerts, the quest for world peace. There was only one thing he hadn't counted on. The boy sitting on the other side of the classroom had plans of his own.
Killing Bono is a story of divergent lives. As Bono and his band U2 ascended to global superstardom, his school friend Neil scorched a burning path in quite the opposite direction. Bad drugs, weird sex, bizarre haircuts: Neil experienced it all in his elusive quest for fame. But sometimes it is life's losers who have the most interesting tales to tell.
Featuring guest appearances by the Pope, Bob Dylan, and a galaxy of stars, Killing Bono offers an extremely funny, startlingly candid, and strangely moving account of a life lived in the shadows of superstardom.
“The problem with knowing you is that you've done everything I ever wanted to,” Neil once complained to his famous friend. “I'm your doppelganger,” Bono replied. “If you want your life back, you'll have to kill me.”
Now there was a thought...
among themselves. Afterward, Martin and Gloria were mingling when a senior record executive approached them. “This is the most impressive showcase I have ever attended,” he informed them. But he wasn’t interested in signing Shook Up! He wanted Martin and Gloria to manage one of his acts. Still, the prognosis was good. Well, it was OK. The head of Chrysalis Publishing wanted to see us the next day. Arista indicated positive interest. Various others nodded in approval. After all that effort, it
long-suffering Sarah Crompton would sigh. “I need a book,” I’d say. “I can squeeze in twelve hundred words,” Sarah would generously reply. “But there’s so much to say!” I’d wail. And as the musical representative of Britain’s biggest-selling broadsheet, I got to meet, well, pretty much everybody I ever wanted to meet (and a few others besides), from Aaliyah to Warren Zevon (and all points on the alphabet in between). I never met Kurt Cobain or Tupac Shakur (both dead by the time I was
services. We carelessly neglected to inform him of this, however, preferring the cowardly option of making lots of excuses about missing rehearsals and suggesting, what with it being such a busy summer and all, we let things lie for a couple of months. And so Frank became the first of many musicians to part ways with the McCormick brothers. Which was probably a stroke of luck for him. Like almost everybody else we ever played with, he would go on to have a more successful musical career than us
ascend the stairway to the stars, where my own psychedelically colored painting of Lennon held pride of place, cast in the guise of mystic seer, Buddha, Christ and Zeus all rolled into one idealized figure, floating through the universe like Marvel comic’s Silver Surfer, peering omnisciently through little round spectacles that contained the whole world. Surely the godhead of my psyche could not have fallen too? I tried not to leave much space for doubt in my life. After all those years of
contemporary sound,” said Lucien. “He’d be perfect for you. Might be a bit hard to get, could be expensive, but I think we could work something out.” Ivan and I were nervous about working with someone we did not know, scared our lack of studio nous might be exposed. “What’s wrong with the production on our demos?” we asked. “Nothing wrong with them at all,” said Lucien. “But who is this guy, Peter Eades? No one’s ever heard of him.” “They’ve heard of him in Ireland,” said Ivan. “He’s a bit of