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Bob Geldof has admitted that he used to think U2 were absolutely godawful

‘Absolutely dire.’

INTERNATIONALLY, THEY’RE HERALDED as one of the greatest bands in history.


Here at home, however, U2 are a little more divisive.

Is that because we’re nothing more than a nation of begrudgers or is it because Bono really is a pox? Sure look, who knows, says you.

As it happens, Bob Geldof was once firmly of the opinion U2 should scuttle back off to wherever they came from.

In a BBC documentary entitled ‘Smashing Hits! The 80s Pop Map of Britain & Ireland’, the former Boomtown Rats frontman recalled how little he thought of the band in their early days.

BandAid30 Germany Press Conference in Berlin Source: Sebastian Gabsch/Geisler-Fotopress

Speaking to Midge Ure, with whom he wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Bob didn’t hold back in his initial assessment of Bono and the boyos.

U2 at the beginning I thought were absolutely dire.

While acknowledging their youthful exuberance, Bob couldn’t shake the fact he thought they were… well… shite.

They were up for anything, they were kids, but I thought they were frankly dire.

And as for their on-stage persona? Yeah, he wasn’t here for it.

They would pretend they were punk stars. They absolutely were not. Stop it.

Bono and Geldof at Downing Street Source: PA Archive/PA Images

It all changed, however, when New Year’s Day dropped, and Bob realised the four lads were going to go far.

All the way to the top Bob, if you don’t mind.

All is quiet on New Year’s Day. What a great line that it because it is. They got there because they were seriously talented. They just needed time.

new years day

All the same, it sounds like Bob still can’t get his head around Bono’s unique form of showmanship.

Recalling a time when they did a little Karaoke together, the 66-year-old admitted he couldn’t handle Bono’s, ehm, energy.

I went to karaoke with him one night in Tokyo. It’s karaoke, get a grip. He picks Bread or some obscure band, Love or something, and he stands in front of us and starts giving it the whole Bono thing and you’re like, ‘What the f**k? Just sing normally’.

Alright Bob, loud and clear.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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