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"I think one of the things I found difficult in the '80s was this din of voices telling me, 'You can't fly, arsehole.' But that's the kind of thinking that results in restrained, reasonable music." — Bono



by Christopher Schneider

All,

Let me first say that I was the guy with the phone who got called out by Bono at MSG on 10/8/05.

I am here to give the facts and clear up any confusion regarding the 'phone' incident/comments Bono made at the MSG #2 show on October 8th. (This was originally posted on interference.. however I just wanted to post it here so Bono/the band knows I do respect them and was not talking on a phone, but taking pics with my phone.)

The Story
-------------
The night started off great. We got into the circle and were standing one person behind the front of the stage. Everyone else around me was taking pictures, so I took out my phone (Motorola V3) and started to click away. The concert started and I saw Bono reach for my phone while I was trying to take a picture of him. I gave it to him b/c I thought he was going to take a pic of himself. He just put it in his pocket and then a few seconds later took it out and threw it back at me. It dropped, and the 11 year old girl in front of me grabbed it off the floor. Bono then said "you dropped it." I didn't think much the incident at the time besides being a bit confused. Someone else said he made some other not so nice, comments while he had the phone, but I did not hear them.

Then later during the concert I was trying to take another picture of him (like everyone else around me) and as everyone heard he yelled out something like "Put the f-ing phone away, we are at a rock concert." At that time, I realized that he did not understand that it was a camera and a phone, and that I was only taking pictures. In an effort to avoid further conflict, I just put the dang thing in my pocket.

To be honest, it was a horrible feeling to have this man that I have followed, idolized, and respected for over 20 years to scold me in front of the audience. He came across very harsh in his body language and his tone. At the time, I felt like a little child getting yelled at by an authority figure. I couldn't believe what was happening to me! I never meant for this to happen and I apologize to everyone for the incident.

In all honesty, there were others around me who were also using their phones as cameras; but I think mine was a less obvious camera b/c it is one of those new, thin, low profile Motorola Razor V3s.

Because of others around me using their phones to take pictures, I didnt think I did anything wrong. I think it comes down to he did not realize I was taking pictures, but rather thought I was making phone calls. I think it was an honest mistake, I just wish he wasnt so harsh to me. I cant imagine how he would react if he was really angry at you for something much more serious. Now I know why all those countries are coming through with their pledges that they made Bono to help out Africa ; )

Just for the record: I DID NOT MAKE A PHONE CALL AT ANY POINT DURING THE SHOW. I only took pictures. If anyone has any access to the band or Bono, I would appreciate it if they could just let them/him know, b/c the last thing I want to do is upset those guys.

Anyways, moving on.. Later in the show he did give me an apology (which I appreciated very much,) but I still think he never realized I was taking pictures. When he was looking at me during the apology, I did point to my phone and made a camera sign with my hand (used my index finger to make a camera clicking motion) to try to communicate to him that it was a camera. Not sure if it ever got across.

That's about it. Besides that incident, it was a great show as usual, and we had a good time. I don't hold any ill feelings towards him or the band (how can you, with all the good he has done in the world??) Also, it was partly my fault, b/c they did have no camera signs up even though they don't enforce it... I may have some nightmares regarding the incident, but I'll be ok. Despite everything, U2 is still my favorite all time band and I still hold Bono in high respect.

I hope this answers everyone's questions. Thanks for taking the time to listen and feel free to email/post any further questions/comments. I will do my best to respond. I am at astralzzzz@yahoo.com (astralzzzz at yahoo - in case this forum edits out email addresses.)

Respectfully,
-Christopher

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