June 12th, 2007


Drinking Guinness with Bono

One night, Bono, the singer from U2, was over for dinner with some other friends. Spending time with Bono was like eating dinner on a train--feels like you're moving, going somewhere. Bono's got the soul of an ancient poet and you have to be careful around him. He can roar 'til the earth shakes. He's also a closet philosopher. He brought a case of Guinness with him. We were talking about things that you talk about when you're spending the winter with somebody-- talked about Jack Kerouac. Bono knows Kerouac's stuff pretty good. Kerouac, who celebrated American towns like Truckee, Fargo, Butte and Madora--towns that most Americans never heard of. It seems funny that Bono would know more about Kerouac than most Americans. Bono says things that can sway anybody. He's like that guy in the old movie, the one who beats up a rat with his bare hands and wrings a confession out of him. If Bono had come to America in the early part of the century he would have been a cop. He seems to know a lot about America and what he doesn't, he's curious about.

We talked about fame and both agreed that the funny thing about fame is that nobody believes it's you. Warhol's name got batted around, too. Warhol, the king of pop. One art critic in Warhol's time had said that he'd give you a million dollars if you could find one ounce of hope or love in any of his work, as if that was important. Names appear in conversation and slip away. Names that have a certain feel to them. Idi Amin, Lenny Bruce, Roman Polanski, Herman Melville, Mose Allison, Soutine the painter, the Jimmy Reed of the art world. When Bono or me aren't exactly sure about somebody, we just make it up. We can strengthen any argument by expanding on something either real or not real. Neither of us are nostalgic, and nostalgia doesn't enter into anything and we're gonna make damn sure about that.

-Bob Dylan, Chronicles Vol. 1