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A Mayoral Rebuke for U2 Star

UPI wire service, November 13, 1987

 

(San Francisco) -- Lead singer Bono Hewson of the U2 rock band raised the hackles of the mayor of San Francisco by leaping onto a huge modern sculpture and spraying the graffito, "Stop the traffic, rock and roll."

The apparent act of exuberance by the rock star during an impromptu outdoor concert by the Irish band that drew about 20,000 people in the city's financial district Wednesday unwittingly hit a nerve with the mayor.

Mayor Dianne Feinstein has been waging a lengthy war against youthful graffitti sprayers who assault city buses, buildings and random targets around the city, apparently inspired by New York City's subway-train sprayers.

"I am disappointed that a rock star who is supposed to be a role model for young people chose to vandalize the work of another artist," Feinstein said of the incident in the city's Justin Herman Plaza on San Francisco Bay.

Bono climbed into the girder-like interior of the huge Vaillancourt Fountain and whipped out a can of red paint to spray the graffito.

Promoter Bill Graham, handling the group's appearance in the San Francisco area, tried to soothe the mayor and others.

Graham, who said he was paying to have the paint removed, said, "We got carried away by what was a great day and a great gig."

"U2 would like to apologize for any upset they caused," he said. "I honestly don't believe there was any malicious intent or negative message" in the spray painting.

© United Press International, 1987. All rights reserved.

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