Surrender | Bono

Summary of: Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story
By: Bono


Welcome to the captivating world of ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’, an insightful exploration into the life and music of Bono, the iconic lead singer of the legendary band U2. As you journey through this summary, you’ll discover Bono’s humble beginnings in Ireland, the formation of U2, and the heartaches and triumphs that defined him as a person and an artist. Additionally, you’ll learn about his unwavering dedication to championing humanitarian causes and his remarkable four-decade-long marriage to Alison ‘Ali’ Stewart. Immerse yourself in a tale of creativity, spirituality, friendship, love, and growth that has shaped Bono’s life and music.

Bono: A Life Touched by Tragedy and Creativity

Follow the life of Bono, lead singer of U2, from his childhood on Cedarwood Road to the tragic death of his mother at 14, which left a mark on him for life, and ultimately to the writing of his first song, “Out of Control.”

May 10, 1978, was a significant day in the life of Paul David Hewson, who would later become the famous rockstar Bono. On that day, he turned 18, finished reading Crime and Punishment, and listened to the Ramones’ “Leave Home” for the first time, all of which fueled his creativity, leading him to write his first song, “Out of Control.”

DJ Dave Fanning released that song the following year, and since then, he has played the first release of every new single ever written by Bono. But Bono’s life wasn’t always glamorous. His childhood on Cedarwood Road was happy at first, filled with playing chess with his father and riding bikes, but all that changed when his mother died of a stroke when he was just 14.

The death of his mother had a profound effect on Bono, his father, and brother. Their inability to communicate with each other led to rage and grief, and Bono turned to the gang of kids and families on Cedarwood Road for companionship. His best friend Guggi gave him the nickname Bono, which would stick with him for the rest of his life. But despite the tragedy, Bono continued to pursue his creativity and eventually formed the band U2, which would become one of the most successful, prolific, and long-lasting bands in history.

In conclusion, Bono’s life is one touched by tragedy and creativity. From the loss of his mother to the birth of his first song, his experiences shaped him into the artist he is today. Despite his success, the memory of his mother’s death still haunts him, leading him to associate food with the difficult times he faced. Nevertheless, he turned to music and friendship to overcome the challenges of his past and become the icon he is today.

Bono’s True North: A Love Story

In his second year of school, Bono met the love of his life, Alison Stewart, who he calls Ali. They exchanged a few innocent kisses as teenagers, but it wasn’t until Bono turned 16 that he found the courage to ask her out formally. They started their relationship right before U2 took off as a band, and Bono’s father almost stumbled upon them while they were getting intimate. Despite a less than graceful start, Bono and Ali were married in 1982, and they’ve remained best friends, idealistic, spiritual, and madly in love for the past four decades. They’ve raised four children together, supported each other through numerous careers and philanthropic pursuits, and journeyed through their faith and spirituality. Ali has become Bono’s North Star, guiding him through life’s ups and downs.

The Origins of U2

How U2 First Banded Together and Worked Hard to Achieve Success

Reggie played a vital role in bringing together a group of teens, including Bono and himself, when they responded to a notice posted by Larry Mullens seeking bandmates. The boys came together loosely, and they started practicing music in the school’s music room on Saturdays. They picked their band name from a list of six suggestions and would write some of their own music in the same room. They had their first audition for a television show with their own song, “Street Mission,” in the television studio.

U2 started playing in real clubs and venues, inviting their friends and girlfriends to throng the mosh pit, shouting enthusiastically to create a vibe. Larry and the Edge’s mother often drove and helped them pack, becoming their first road crew. Traveling to London, Bono and Ali tried to convince record label officials to listen to one of the cassette tapes they had made of their music. After signing on for an England tour, the first music industry representative they hired double-crossed them at the last minute by cutting the bandmate’s share in half after their venues were already booked. So they went to their families and begged for the money they needed to get to London.

Despite having a rocky start, U2 had a good time performing on their tour. The night before they left, the Edge went flying through the windshield of their van, and the ferry over made them all seasick. However, their shows were inconsistent, and not a single label signed them in the early 1980s. But then, Dave Kavanaugh, the entertainment officer of University College, suggested the band put on a huge concert in Dublin to celebrate their “triumph,” even if it was a wild exaggeration. This did the trick. Finally, U2 was signed to Island Records.

David Evans, also known as the Edge, was already a minimalist musical genius even though he was unschooled in theory. He felt his way through chords like an alchemist seeking magic. Adam Clayton was the group entrepreneur who believed in the band, suggesting their name, printing up cards, and organizing some of their first gigs. Adam, then 15, melded boarding school poshness with an exhilarating wild-child persona. While he wasn’t as musical as the others, his charm won the hearts of everyone he met, except perhaps the school administrators who expelled him for running naked through the school.

In conclusion, U2’s journey to success was anything but easy. They endured a rocky road before finally signing with Island Records following a triumphant concert in Dublin. Nevertheless, it was their passion for music, talent, and hard work that brought them success.

U2’s Journey Towards Political Awareness

U2’s journey as a band was more than just music – it was a journey towards political awareness and activism. They toured Europe and the United States, collaborating with musicians like R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. They grew up together, but their innocent intellectualism led to pacifism, which was misinterpreted as lack of patriotism by some militant groups in Ireland. Their spirituality propelled them to write music that critiqued US foreign policy, like “Bullet the Blue Sky,” and to address societal issues like the famine in Ethiopia through “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Their journey also saw them collaborate with important people and friends like Brian Eno, Danny Boy Lanois, and Bob Dylan. Despite their disdain for pop music, “With or Without You” became a hit, thanks to the arrangement of their childhood friend, Gavin Friday.

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