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"Johnny Cash doesn't sing to the damned, he sings with the damned, and sometimes you feel he might prefer their company." — Bono

Gaybo: Bono knows people laugh at him

Irish Mirror

Gay Byrne has revealed Bono knows people laugh at him for his campaigning work but doesn't care.

The veteran broadcaster got up close and personal with the U2 frontman for his Meaning Of Life show which will be broadcast next week.

He told the RTE Guide: "People laugh at Bono and he's well aware of it and couldn't give a tuppenny curse – as far as he is concerned, what he's doing is more important than being laughed at. He knows in order to do anything you have to stick your head above the parapet and when you do that, especially in a small country like Ireland, you'll get attacked. He's a very smart guy and knows his stuff when he gets in to talk to Obama or Bush or whoever."

And Gaybo said Bono had hesitated before deciding to open his heart to him.

He revealed: "I'd asked Bono to do the show before and he wasn't available. Also he said he didn't want to do it but he did. Eventually it happened. This is about his innermost beliefs, his religion and he wanted to keep it separate from the bigger U2 story, the new album in the autumn and so on.

"What might surprise people is that, as a rock'n'roll star, Bono is a fervent believer. He's deeply rooted in his faith. He's absorbed by it. That's the motivation, to use that dreadful American expression, 'leveraging' his position as a star into a campaigning visionary on behalf of the poor and downtrodden of the world."
Gay added Bono believes he has become a star through the work of God.

He explained: "Bono believes the intention of God for all of us is to realise our potential and he's done that in my opinion to an extraordinary extent. Not only has he fulfilled his potential as a performer and singer but he has also used that as a springboard to do something he sees as much more important. For this he must be admired. He believes in the Christian God, the God of the Bible -- the New Testament and indeed the Old. He's readily able to quote scripture and indeed has worked the psalms into his songs, in order to get the message across."

And Gay said he greatly admires Bono for sticking to his guns.

He added: "U2 were a Christian rock'n'roll band starting out and people didn't get that but they persisted in what they wanted to do and people started listening. I think Bono is transported and transformed while he's performing. I've always been an admirer and liked him – we've always got on well together although we're not bosom buddies or anything like that. I respect him greatly and I think he respects me."

Gaybo also revealed a book based on the interviews of his programme was planned for the autumn.

The full version of this interview can be seen in this week's RTE Guide, out now.

(c) Irish Mirror, 2013.