They call it "The Bono Talk." From Kurt Cobain to Stereophonics to The Strokes, successive
generations of rock greenhorns have all been offered the benefit of the U2 singer's elder
statesman-like advice. Pull up a pew then, for The Ten Commandments Of Bono.
1. Thou Shalt Not Let Fame Go To Thy Head
"Fame is an obscenity. It's been my experience that the people who give out the most about
fame are the people who think the most about it--the people who believe in it. It's absurd, and
I know when I look in the mirror how mad that is. It's like being rich. It's like being beautiful.
Have some fun with it, but don't take it seriously."
2. Thou Shalt Respect Thy Limitations
"I always have crises with songs, where I'm saying to myself, If only you were a different person,
you could write this song better, you could make this work. But it's the things you can't do that
make you great. In order to put your shoulder to one door, other doors have to be locked to you.
So anyway...I've got this concept album about a whale."
3. Thou Shalt Beware Of Television
"Television demystifies what you do. People can turn the volume up or down, they can turn down
the contrast. They have you, whereas in concert you have them � and it's hard to give up that kind
of control. Bruce Springsteen said he never really liked TV, and I know what he means. U2 were
the group who, when we first appeared on Top Of The Pops our song went down the charts the
4. Thou Shalt Only Move House On The Live Album
"You wonder what happened to these great prolific imaginations that lifted you out of your everyday
life when you were a kid. They made three great albums and then what the fuck happened? And
you discover that they moved house. The suddenly have these walls and they want to hang art on
the walls. So they become art experts, and they suddenly become quite discerning when it comes
to the Chinese rug. How distracting is all that? I told The Black Crowes that and they thought I was
taking the piss. So no Chinese rugs or brass taps when we're making a U2 album."
5. Thou Shalt Not Stop Touring
"If you stop touring, you stop meeting your audience, you start mistrusting them and they you. You
could still put out a great record and people might buy it--but it's not the thing, the wave that carries
you like we're used to. We always add a week to the end of the tour where we stay in a hotel. It was
my wife Ali's idea. � Take a week, love, because I don't want the children to see you like this. And I
know the aftermath is where people come apart. I know Keith Richards started doing drugs not on
tour but when he came off tour, 'cos there was such a big hole in his life."
6. Thou Shalt Not Have An Entourage
"Death to whinging rock stars, their miserable entourages and their ten bodyguards. I never needed
a security guy. I had one on the road once because there was some death threats at the time and he
was taking his job seriously, but I used to sneak away from him, get offside. I'm a grown man. Besides,
you go out onto the streets of Chicago with two giants and people are gonna start paying attention.
I avoid that stuff, and as a result I have much more fun than your regular rock star."
7. Thou Shalt Realise When You're Becoming A Prick
"If you're going out for dinner four times a week and you look round the table and everybody's on
your payroll, then you've probably become a prick."
8. Thou Shalt Fear Money
"Bands splitting up over the track sequencing on your record is fine, but over royalties � no. Over the
sequencing is fine, because that's your passion for the thing that you're making and the fact is that
a band will never break up over passion. But a band will break up over greed."
9. Thou Shalt Not Get Cocky
"The way that the rot sneaks under your door is by telling you that the reason that you've had all this
good fortune is because you are somehow special, rather than to make you aware you have a gift.
There's a huge difference in knowing that you've been born lucky, like being born into an aristocracy
or born with the DNA that gives you long legs and a beautiful mouth. If you're able to sing, or able to
describe things through your voice, yes, you work at it and yes, the worker is worthy of his wages, but
not this much."
10. Thou Shalt Not Approach Me For Advice
"Don't look to me--look to Michael Stipe or Bob Geldof."