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"U2's records take a long time to make not because the band members are stuck for ideas but because they never stop talking about them." — Brian Eno

50 Things About U2

New York Post
Now a quarter-century old and with its members well into their 40s, the Irish supergroup U2 is that true rock rarity: a still-intact band that has sold more than 125 million records worldwide and remains consistently relevant.

In the past week alone, U2 rocked the opening of the Clinton library, did a three-song set on Saturday Night Live, and, yesterday, performed a free show for fans in DUMBO to promote their 14th album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (out today).

And while it seems like there wouldn't be much left to discover about the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr. and especially Bono -- who has taken up Third World debt relief as his personal cause and has met with everyone from George Bush to Nelson Mandela to Oprah Winfrey to the pope -- we discovered 50 things even diehard fans may not know about the most famous band on the planet.

BONO, 44

1. Dropped out of school at 16

2. Sleeps four hours a night

3. Is a fan of George Bush (and finds him very funny); also likes Condoleezza Rice and is pro-Tony Blair

4. Wears a replica of a rosary given to him by the pope, who he calls "the funky pontiff"

5. Regrets having a mullet in the '80s

6. Gets in shape by boxing

7. Drives a beat-up Volvo

8. Keeps his beloved trademark bug-eyed "Fly" sunglasses he wore on the 1993 Zoo TV tour in safe storage in Dublin

9. Years before he was born, a psychic told his mother she would have a son who would be famous in whatever profession he chose

10. Got into so much trouble in high school that he was called "the Antichrist"

11. Gets late-night "firing squad" phone calls from the band after jumping into the audience or climbing scaffolding onstage

12. Is working with Brooklyn-based designer Rogan on a new line of blue jeans

13. Says he needs to be told he's loved 12 times a day

14. Has been married to his high school sweetheart Alison Stewart for 22 years, though she once threw him out of the house during a rocky stretch in their marriage

15. Was a character witness for R.E.M.'s Peter Buck when Buck was on trial for an air rage incident

16. Keeps an apartment on Central Park West

17. Has four children, ranging in age from 2 to 13

18. Gave Christy Turlington away at her wedding to Ed Burns

19. Is allergic to red wine

20. Quit dying his hair jet black because he was "starting to look like Roy Orbison"


21. Doesn't drive at night since he had Lasik surgery

22. Though he's not married, he was once engaged to Naomi Campbell

23. Served as best man at Bono's wedding

24. As a teenager, was kicked out of two schools for smoking, drinking and streaking

25. Kept the band together in the early '80s, when the three other members wanted to quit and devote their lives to God

26. Was charged with drunk driving in 1984 and marijuana possession in 1993

27. Says he is now completely sober

28. Admits that he hates responsibility

29. Was so wasted on the Zoo TV tour that the band's bass technician was forced to take his place for a whole show


30. Was the first member of the band to get married, to high school sweetheart Aislinn O'Sullivan, in 1985 (they're now divorced)

31. Now lives in Europe and in L.A., because his current wife, a belly dancer, is an American

32. Doesn't think Bono should allow himself to be photographed with the pope and George Bush, "and he knows it"

33. Wanted to be a doctor or an engineer growing up

34. U2 lore has it that he actually left the band in the early '80s for religious reasons

35. For years was teased about his record collection, which included nothing recorded before 1976

36. Is so proper that he calls Larry Mullen "Lawrence"


37. He hates cats (he had a bad experience with one as a child)

38. Is called Dorian Gray by Bono because he has yet to age

39. Loves Echo & the Bunnymen

40. Like the Edge, has a son named Aaron

41. Considers Bono his best friend

42. Is teased for being cheap; U2's manager says Mullen "still has his First Communion money"

43. Worships Elvis Presley

44. Loves to hang out in secondhand record shops

45. Like Bono, he's been with his high school sweetheart since they were 13, although they're not married

46. Is a huge Irish football fan

47. Was painfully shy and still is the quietest member of the band

48. Suffers chronic back pain because he was never taught how to sit correctly at the drums

49. He "cannot tell a lie," according to Bono

50. Has been known to shun the tour bus in favor of traveling alone, on his motorcycle

© NYP Holdings, Inc., 2004.