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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Godspeed Bono!


High risk activities. Riding a bike? You don't think of it as one of them. I ride a bike nearly everyday. As I get on it, I should probably think about falling off of it. And how far I will fall. And where I will land. And what I will break. But I don't.

When I get back from a trip, I should probably get on my hands and knees and kiss the ground and thank my lucky stars that I have arrived safely. But I don't.

If you have read Bill Flanagan's great book about U2's Zooropa tour in 1991 - "U2 at the End of the World,"  (and you should, it's really a great read) you know that Bono (Paul Hewson), is not only a very charismatic showman, an international, globe-trotting rockstar, a gifted evangelical salesman, and an accomplished Irishman full of smarts, vim, vigor and blarney, but he is also a long-time risk taker.

He's a balcony-jumper, a stage-diver, a scaffolding-climber. He likes to hang with Supermodels. He likes to hijack boats, and he will stay up for days after a stadium show (flying on the adrenaline-kick of playing r&r to hundreds of thousands of deliriously fired-up U2 fans), often prowling foreign cities like Tokyo and Sydney late into the wee hours, lurking in dark and dangerous places looking to "put my arms around the world."

I am sure Bono didn't think that riding a bike in Central Park was a high-risk activity. But, of course, it is. Seems he was involved in a terrible, horrific crash on his bike - he was trying to avoid another bike and ended up in the hospital with some very serious injuries - lots of broken bones and trauma.

When we think rock star and high-risk activities we usually think heroin, snorting drugs off the backsides of groupies, choking on vomit, (their own, or another's) etc. Riding a bike in Central Park? That is one of the coolest things you could ever do. For some reason this has really hit me. I can see myself in Bono's place. "There but for the grace of God, go I."  I love riding my bike. I love Central Park. I can see how one false move can land you in the hospital.

I am also feeling slightly guilty. Lately, I've been railing against U2's latest "spam iCloud record," but you know what? Despite that tempest in a teapot, I love U2, they are one of my all-time favorite bands, and Bono is one of the great wonders of the r&r universe.

So Godspeed Bono. Heal quickly! The world needs you!

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