Your Fan, Bono

13 May 202014

Your Fan, Bono

To mark his birthday at the weekend, Bono has curated a playlist of '60 Songs That Saved My Life' and through this week is writing letters to thank their creators.

Six more 'fan letters' are being shared today - to The Beatles, Patti Smith, Kanye West, Ramones, REM and Jay Z & Alicia. 

Here's some highlights.

Writing to The Beatles about I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Bono recalls, 'It was the spring of 1964… the song on the radio felt like life force… like I was for the first time conscious that I was alive and that being alive was a really, really great idea!'

Remembering being in the Saturday Night Live studio in 2013, when Kanye West debuted Black Skinhead, he writes, 'It felt like hip hop wanted the black leather jacket back from rock 'n' roll… and the rock 'n' roll silhouette too….'

Swallow My Pride, he writes to Ramones, was 'the sound of liberation through humiliation… these songs are so simple I'm thinking maybe I can not only play them, maybe I can write them… so they became my liberation too.'

Writing to Patti Smith ('Your fan from forever, for forever') he recalls how People Have The Power has been played at so many U2 shows. 'It reminds us that the real action of the show lies in the hearts and minds of the people who attend it and it's not the apparatus, however thoughtfully contrived and constructed. The lights, camera, action is the way we draw nearer, but the intimacy is always about meeting people where they are…'

Listening to Nightswimming reminds Bono of how much he misses REM: 'After y'all broke up, I was kind of happy that you'd made peace with the world of expectation and ended on such a high tremulous note. Recently, I'm not so happy. I ache for the ache at the heart of your band. I long with the longing that is the mind of R.E.M. The wanderlust. The returning. And that baritone…. God help us all. That baritone might just fix the brokenness we all feel right now….'

As for Empire State of Mind, Bono's tells  JAY-Z and Alicia Keys that only they 'would take on Sinatra, to write a better theme song for this great city…. Forget the Empire State Building, the braggadocio, the front, the attitude, the persona required to pull this off is as tall and defiant as the Freedom Tower.'

Read the latest letters in full in our gallery above - and find all the letters published to date here.

Read '60 Songs That Saved My Life'.

You must be a logged-in member to add comments.
I'm still angry that R.E.M. broke up...
60 Songs That Saved My Life
I hope a wonderful subscribers gift hardbound copy of this is in the works!! Hint, Hint!
great. they could figure in annex...
to the autobiography... the "what"??? I hope that the confinement has boosted the writing as for 'only' 10% of the population here in France who have a book waiting somewhere in a drawer. :-) I have a letter too, or a telegram... Lost my father at 14 in 1983, and my friend Corinne played the song "Tomorrow" in her small room, and said to me: "Listen to this". A long story and a long journey began then.
These letters,,, I'm not crying, you're crying. I'm sorry your happiness has taken a hit, but you struck back in fabulous form taking on one more persona: vulnerable, grateful fan. "Just a slob like one of us." These letters gave my own pain a name that I plan calling out with all the breath left me. Thank you. Happy way belated birthday.
Thank you, ""U-2"",
At a time in my life when it seemed all was lost, helpless and selfish of me , wanted too end it . Wanted too find my best friend and grandad that left me. But wait their was a certain song from an amazing band that kept me here, So so eternaly grateful too that band of brothers , and their beautiful song that saved my life. Thank you
i'm brazilian but i love your music i feel at peace your music brings me joy i love you send me a self photographed photo my dream and dawn you feel the power of your music but close
I can't Breathe
Hello U2, you should write or re-write a song called "I can't breathe". In this tragic moments, this would be more than welcome. Emmanuel
Você transformou a minha vida!
Feliz aniversário, Bono! A minha vida foi transformada desde o dia em que ouvi os primeiros acordes do U2 e sua poesia frenética. Assim, seu aniversário, representa pra mim, uma espécie de renascimento. Sei que nem sabe de minha existência, mas isso não importa, o mais importante é que desde o primeiro single que recebi no Brasil, October, você entrou em minha vida, um gênio, se divertindo ao cantar como um garoto, esculpido no tempo e a quilômetros de distância de mim. Mas de repente, o que era distante ficou perto, quando fui ao primeiro show da banda no Brasil, o que seria inimaginável tornou-se possível, e depois de tantos encontros, criou-se uma amizade virtual... intensa, verdadeira, inexoravelmente, real! Encontramo-nos e já construímos momentos únicos, que ficarão na eternidade, fazendo-nos irmãos. A Deus, devo agradecer por tê-lo como ídolo e alegria maior não poderia existir. Já aprendi tanto, por ser um fã seu e de sua banda. Vocês me levaram a conhecer sua terra natal, a Irlanda, aprendi novos idiomas só pra acompanhá-los... e você continuará a brilhar sempre. Sorria muito, para que continue a iluminar todos à sua volta. Feliz aniversário, meu grande amigo!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BONO ! Have a Beautiful Year !!...and MORE !!! Wow, what a good idea this "60 songs that save my life"... many of them i could say the same about : like David Bowie "Heroes", New Radicals "You Get What You Give"... and mostly i have a special crush on Frank Sinatra and You Bono in "Under My Skin" (Your voice here !!!....) and also on Sinéad O'connor "You Made Me Thief Of Your Heart" ...All of them made of Pure Emotion and Generosity... You see, it is not a surprise to me if U2 as well has been giving us, your fans, so much EMOTION along the way, your way, our way : YOU SAVED OUR LIFE 2 !!!! with YOUR SONGS and YOUR SOUL !!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BONO ! TAKE CARE ALWAYS !!!!
Letters of gratitude and inspiration
These letters are true poetry and Bono´s words express so much thankfulness and joy. Speaking about essential things like early experiences, liberation and longing he fills his intimate reflections with sincere admiration for those songs and their creators. I love the eloquence and humility in Bono´s writing. Looking forward to reading more letters!
Evidence that stories connect us
Such a great letter to Kanye. An example of how experiences, fear, terror can be shared through music and that it can help us heal and try to process it. These are such beautiful letters Bono! It's such a thrill as a fan to able to hear the stories about the songs that meant so much to you. It feels like you can feel the moment you heard The Beatles and the energy that seemed to come out of the sky and connected with you and made you feel alive. The longing for the voice of Mike Stipe and REM (which we could so use right now! I miss them too.) I can imagine the recipients of these letters and what it will mean to them when they read them. Thanks for sharing these. xx Jen
Evidence that stories connect us
Such a great letter to Kanye. An example of how experiences, fear, terror can be shared through music and that it can help us heal and try to process it.
Happy birthday B man
What a fantastic present for as! An intimistic journey trought your music. Thank you poet. ❤ Francesca
An absolute beautiful letter to REM
These letters are beautiful.
Newer comments    1 - 14 of 14    Older comments


14 Jun, 2022

 Subscribers Special. 'This time we're gonna take a supermarket.' Propaganda 26, latest addition to our digital collection.

12 Jun, 2022

U2 and Amnesty Celebrate 15th Anniversary of 'Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur'.

30 May, 2022

Seen Bono's playlist of fifteen 45's from when he turned 18? Tell us yours.

10 May, 2022

On Bono’s birthday the news is out: he’s written a memoir to be published on 1 November 2022.

Related Topic