"Bono gave me a baby name suggestion"

Publish Date
Wednesday, 27 October 2021, 11:18AM
Steven McNicholl

Steven McNicholl

Angelina Grey reflects on her encounters with U2 frontman Bono.

Ask anyone I went to school with, and they'll verify what a mega music nerd I was.

When all the other gals were dura-sealing pictures of Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix to their school books, I was way uncool because all my heroes were (then) still alive. Bowie, Axl Rose, Bono. I was given particular grief about Bono because it was the era where he'd discovered leather pants (I don't think he's taken them off since unfortunately).

Going glam was not the way to go in the age of grunge. Despite the jibes, I held my head high (tough when you're 5 ft 2") and told my mates that they'd see...once I got outta school I was off to find Bono and he'd kiss me.

Oddly, once I turned 18, that's exactly what happened.

It was a hotel in Sydney. Turns out we were both staying there. Just me and him (and a friendly security dude) by the lifts. My moment had come to say something witty and clever that might make him love me a little bit. However....nerves, duty-free vodka and pure idiocy overwhelmed me and...what I actually said shall not grace this page. Only those in my closest inner circle know the truth.. and to this day won't let me live it down.

It was a conversation stopper. I uttered the words, the lift door closed with him in it, he was gone.

Luckily for my mortified self, he realised I felt like an absolute tit. The doors opened again, he strode out, asked for my name, told me it was wonderful to meet me and to tell security at the gig that he'd personally said I could come down to the front of the stage at their show that night. And then he kissed me. Politely, on the cheek not quite on the mouth. Turns out loudly proclaiming "But Bono said I could!" later that evening didn't wash with security, strange that. Still, I was on a high for weeks after that and probably didn't wash that cheek for the same amount of time.

Cue twenty years later and U2 were in Auckland for The Joshua Tree anniversary tour. It was surely my duty to meet Bono again to make up for my gross negligence last time, so I could put those twenty shameful years behind me.

Surely years of interviewing big names for radio and music tele had taught me a few lessons. The perks of being in the industry meant I could ride on a few coattails to see their sound check.

This time round, the whole band came down afterwards to say gidday. What a top bunch of geezers. The coolest part was, I was 16 weeks pregnant, and the massive bass from Bullet the Blue Sky at soundcheck spurred baby's first kick.

Oh, the fortuitous timing wee bubba! Turns out that was the best conversation starter of the day. Cue hugs of congrats, a kiss and an apology from Adam Clayton (the guilty party, on bass) and an extended conversation with the band about how loud bass affects children in utero.

Quite a lot apparently. Bono seemed pretty invested in discussing baby names, going so far as to suggest that Bono would be great option for both a boy or girl. Heck of a story to tell my wee one when she's of age. Strangely the husband did not take a shining to this idea…this may or may not be the reason she wasn't named for almost 6 months.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission