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The good news from our point of view is that [Bono] prefers working on music more than anything else. And also he's unelectable. -- Edge

Dear BaE Volume 2: The Smoke Machine Is Yours, Not Mine

Dear BaE

Welcome to our little advice column! You really can ask us (almost) anything, but please note: Dear BaE is written by members of the AtU2 staff, for entertainment purposes only. Neither Bono nor Edge are involved in any way, except as they exist in our tiny little brains. No Bonos or Edges were harmed during the creation of this column. Enjoy!


Dear BaE,

I laughed once or twice at your first column but it seems like kind of a weird thing for persons of your stature to take on. Can you explain why you’re doing it?

Daniel D., 

Fort Lee, New Jersey


Fake Bono: Hi Daniel, and thanks for writing. I’ll just assume your reference to our stature has to do with our position in society, and not our height.


Fake Edge: Bono...


Fake Bono: Okay, okay. It’s simple, really. We both quite enjoyed the work of this website’s very own Answer Guy, and we wanted to provide the same kind of service for U2’s fans that he did—answering questions about U2 in a funny, irreverent, but loving and respectful way. Because we understand that some of you might miss us when we’re not around.


Fake Edge: Also, we have been led to believe that this website hosts some kind of cartoon feature?


Fake Bono: Unfamiliar with it.


Fake Edge: No one will ever know for sure, but in one way or another, a precedent for humor has been set.



Dear BaE,

While watching your excellent eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE LIVE IN BERLIN” concert film, I couldn’t help but wonder: do you miss the smoke?


Fort Lee, NJ


Fake Edge: Mia is referring to our final concerts on the European leg of the tour. Bono famously lost his voice during our initial Berlin show—


Fake Bono: Do you really need to say “famously”?


Fake Edge: Well, you are an icon.


Fake Bono: Legend.


Fake Edge: Of course. You are a legend—


Fake Bono: Thanks, Edge. So are you.


Fake Edge: And as a legend, everything you do is inherently famous. So when you famously lost your voice that night, you thought smoke may have been the culprit. And this wasn’t the fun kind of smoke that sometimes emanates from our audience. It was the smoke that gets pumped onto the stage by our crew.


Fake Bono: I walked right into a wall of it. And the next thing I knew, my voice was gone.


Fake Edge: You poor thing.


Fake Bono: It took you forever to notice, The Edge. Not that I’m holding any kind of grudge.


Fake Edge: I have apologized to you every day for the past two-and-a-half years. I’m sorry.


Fake Bono: Do try to pay attention to me in the future.


Fake Edge: Back to the question. We got rid of the smoke because of you. So do you miss the smoke?


Fake Bono: Well, if you study our excellent video—and thank you for watching it, Mia—you’ll see that an all-black background creates an elegant simplicity that I think befits our status as, yes, legends. We clearly don’t need the smoke. On the other hand, a hazy, billowing cloud can be beautiful under coloured lights.


Fake Edge: It makes me wonder who started this smoke tradition in the first place.


Fake Bono: It doesn’t seem like something The Beatles would do.


Fake Edge: It’s not particularly punk, either. Come to think of it, onstage smoke smacks of King Crimson. Jethro Tull. E.L.O. Right? And we just followed blithely along without even questioning it.


Fake Bono: But come on, Edge. You’ve got to admit that nine times out of ten, smoke makes us look like plundering rock and roll Visigoths and/or romantic heroes riding horses along windswept moors. I mean, you? In that jacket with the fringe? Emerging from a cloud of magenta fog? Sublime.


Fake Edge: So you miss the smoke.


Fake Bono: I really do.



Dear BaE,

What’s the deal with Fort Lee, New Jersey? I don’t live there.

Betty C.,

Fort Lee, New Jersey


Fake Edge: Hi Betty. First and foremost, we value your privacy, so we will never reveal your real name or location. Fort Lee, New Jersey is simply an homage to the late, great Gilda Radner.


Fake Bono: That’s all for now, U2 fans—you mad pack of beautiful scallywags! As yer man said in Sam* 31:24, be strong and let your heart take courage, even in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and everywhere else. We love you.


*Bongolese for “Psalm”


Do you have a burning question for Fake Bono and Fake Edge? Follow them on Twitter (@DearBAEatu2) and ask! They are capable of answering questions about U2, questions related to U2, and questions that have nothing to do with U2 at all.

Note: Fake Bono and Fake Edge are not real. They are two people pretending to be them. They cannot put you in touch with U2. They cannot help you with your music career, and they have no plans to come to Brazil anytime soon.


© Dednoting, Renegado / @U2 2020