When Bono (U2) Met Bob Dylan

When Bono (U2) Met Bob Dylan
When Bono (U2) Met Bob Dylan
On July 8th, 1984, Bob Dylan played a concert at Slane Castle in Dublin that was flimed for broadcast on MTV.  His band that night, and his touring band for the entire ’84 summer tour, included Mick Taylor formerly of the Rolling Stones on guitar and Ian MacLagan formerly of The Faces on keyboards.  Sitting in on the final seven songs that night was Carlos Santana.  During Santana’s extended sit in, Bono traded lyrics with Dylan during “Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat” and a set closing “Blowin’ In The Wind” and Van Morrison appeared on “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” and his own “Tupelo Honey”. 
On the day of the concert, the publication Hot Press arranged for the young 24-year old Bono to interview Dylan backstage.  When Bono arrived, he found Dylan in the company of Van Morrison. 

Bono’s friend Neil McCormick was at Slane Castle that night, and in his book Killing Bono, Neil recalled:

“It seemed Dylan had asked Bono if he would like to join him for an encore. Naturally, Bono said it would be an honor, the problem was that Bono didn’t have the faintest idea what the lyrics to ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ were, and for that matter, had only the vaguest notion of the melody. A roar went up as Bono took the stage with Dylan, grabbed a microphone and began to sing……the first things to enter his head. Dylan looked rather startled as Bono improvised lines about the northern Irish conflict….clearly Bono wasn’t going to let a little thing like not knowing the words stop him from performing the song.

It was all going so well, and then the band launched as one unit into the famous chorus, while Bono, oblivious to the chord change, continued making up lyrics to the verse….Dylan’s head swivelled as he turned to look at his guest with an expression of complete eye-popping, jaw-dropping disbelief. I watched transfixed as Bono hovered, on the verge of a spectacular crash, when, realizing his mistake, he started howling ‘How many times? How many times?’ like a blues mantra while the band brought the chorus home. Wisely, Bono let Dylan sing the final verse.”


Bono has again sung the praises of Bob Dylan as the legendary singer (Dylan, not Bono) turns 70 later this month. The magazine invited artists to write about their favorite Dylan songs; Bono chose “Like A Rolling Stone” and said, in part:

It’s a black eye of a pop song. The verbal pugilism on display here cracks open songwriting for a generation and leaves the listener on the canvas. “Like a Rolling Stone” is the birth of an iconoclast that will give the rock era its greatest voice and vandal. This is Bob Dylan as the Jeremiah of the heart, torching romantic verse and “the girl” with a firestorm of unforgiving words.


Bob Dylan helped Bono write this song. U2 was touring in Los Angles on their Joshua Tree tour when Bono woke up with the song in his head (“Lots of songs arrive in a dream state,” he said). Thinking it was a Dylan song floating around in there, he drove out to Dylan’s place in Malibu and asked if it belonged to him. Dylan told him wasn’t, and he helped Bono finish the song. His contribution gave Dylan two writer credits on Rattle And Hum, since U2 also covered “All Along The Watchtower” on the album.



bob dylan bono
bob dylan bono


Bono recently wrote a tribute to Bob Dylan for a special Bob Dylan magazine published by Q in the UK.

He’s Got You, From Cradle To Grave

I was thinking about Bob Dylan the other day, trying to define what it was about him that I respect so much, and what came to me was a line by the poet Brendan Keneally from the Book of Judas, a line which I used for guidance on the Zoo TV tour but which I realised applies to Bob Dylan throughout his whole career. The line is: The best way to serve the age is to betray it. That is the essence of Bob Dylan: not just as simple as being on whatever the other side is, because that’s just being a crank and cranks at the end of the day aren’t very interesting, because you always know their position.

Read Full Article Here : https://www.u2.com/news/article/161/



sources: https://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=926



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