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I'm not sure the Vatican people have as much of a sense of humor as the pontiff. -- Bono, on the Vatican not releasing photos of his visit with the Pope

I should shut up and stick to singing

At no time have I ever 'smoked a joint' with Bono or Peter Garrett
Sydney Morning Herald
The office of Peter Garrett has moved quickly to hose down a joke by Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns on Sydney radio this morning, suggesting Johns, his wife, Garrett and U2 singer Bono smoked dope together at a house in Sydney recently.

Johns, on Triple J to discuss the band's fifth album, Young Modern, released earlier this year, joked with presenters that when he played a demo of the album to Garrett and Bono they had been all lying on a bed in a Sydney house Bono was occupying, and smoking marijuana.

"[Bono] invited me over the house he was staying at in Sydney and asked if I'd play the demos and it was really one of the most surreal moments of my life," Johns said after 8am.

"It was me and [John's wife] Natalie [Imbruglia] and Peter Garrett and Bono laying on Bono's bed smoking joints listening to the Young Modern demo."

News website Crikey said the alleged incident would have occurred in November last year, when U2 were playing in Sydney.

However, Garrett's office began receiving calls from journalists who had taken the comments literally, and the office quickly contacted John's management to establish what had occurred.

His management confirmed Johns had made the comments, and Garrett's office asked Johns to issue a retraction, which he did later in the morning.

"I made a stupid joke," the singer stated.

"It's just been brought to my attention that some people in the media have taken my dumb joke seriously so I want to set the record straight. At no time have I ever 'smoked a joint' with Bono or Peter Garrett.

"They are both well known to be very anti-drugs so that's why I assumed everybody would know I was joking when I made that comment. Clearly that wasn't the case and I feel sick that I might have caused embarrassment to two people who I admire so much.

"I was fortunate enough to once get to play them some of my demo's but I swear that no joints were involved. I guess I felt a bit like a namedropper mentioning them on the radio so that's why I added a silly throwaway joke.

"I accept that drug use is no laughing matter and I apologise sincerely for any confusion or harm I've caused."

When contacted by smh.com.au Mr. Garrett's spokeswoman Kate Pasterfield confirmed the alleged incident had not taken place.

Mr. Garrett also clarified whether he had ever smoked marijuana in his life via Ms. Pasterfield.

"I tried a bit of dope in my 20s but I haven't since," Mr. Garret said through Ms. Pasterfield.

Johns also said his statement that issues like this were one of the reasons he was disinclined to participate in interviews.

"I really should just shut up and stick to singing," he wrote.



© Sydney Morning Herald, 2007.