Bono's Calling

In 1985, U2 performed at Wembley Stadium in London at Live Aid to raise money for the poor in Ethiopia. After that, Bono and his wife went to the African country and worked for six weeks giving out essential supplies.
In 1985, U2 performed at Wembley Stadium in London at Live Aid to raise money for the poor in Ethiopia. After that, Bono and his wife went to the African country and worked for six weeks giving out essential supplies. (By Dave Hogan -- Hulton Archive Via Getty Images)

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By Sridhar Pappu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 26, 2007

Bono sweeps into the bathroom that sits outside his downtown lobbying office, which is his base of operation when he comes to Washington every so often to try to save Africa.

He's dressed in black denim, his 5-7 height boosted by a pair of brothel creepers -- the rockabilly footwear in fashion about the time that Elvis recorded "Blue Suede Shoes."

He suddenly starts belting out the opening lines of "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

"Oh yeah, I'll tell you something," he sings before walking to the far stall, "I think you'll understand."

After a few moments, the reporter who's also in the bathroom shouts, "What's up with the Beatles?"

"The Beatles are it," Bono yells before walking to the sink. "There's a really good movie you should see. It's called 'Across the Universe' and it's made by Julie Taymor, who's a card-carrying genius. I'm in it briefly," he says of the musical set to Beatles songs. "It's this fantastic, moving thing."

Bono has spoken!

He's delivered a forceful recommendation, verging on a directive. There's a hint of urgency. We want to rush out and do what he says.

Maybe this is how he does it.

Maybe this is how he gets legislators and heads of state and titans of industry together, and gets them to offer up billions in debt relief to help lift Africa out of poverty.

He dazzles them in telling them what to do, and they do it.

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