I’ve written fan letters to celebrities when I was a kid, but never as colorful as the letter U2’s Bono wrote to the Stones. Bono celebrated his 60th birthday on May 10th and shared the 60 songs that ‘saved his life’ in a wide-ranging playlist that included the music of David Bowie, The Beatles, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Kanye West, The Ramones , Nirvana, and, of course, The Rolling Stones. Check out his letter to The Rolling Stones below:
“Dear Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys,” Bono’s letter to The Rolling Stones begins. “The great biographer and critic, Robert Hilburn, used to say that The Rolling Stones made you feel good about who you were on a particular night, and that U2 made you feel good about who was standing next to you. Both of these are such great compliments. To be in the same sentence as you is a great compliment to our band.
RUBY TUESDAY / LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER was a double A-side in the 60s… I love RUBY TUESDAY because it felt like a goodbye song and I’m always attracted to songs that find victory in defeat. Keith, I also like it when I hear your voice behind the words sometimes… your gentility is always a surprise to people who don’t know you. And you, Mick, have so many sides… and I for one am interested in all of them… On the other A-side, LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER… as well as being a great song about the moment, it reveals a character that will have more influence on U2’s life than almost anyone.”
“The Rolling Stones took stage performance in these mega shows to the next level. Mick Jagger has more front than Harrod’s. The best frontman there ever was. Mark Fisher sure helped, but it was your vision that made everyone else in the field/stadium have a better one. We used to go to concerts to listen, and just catch a glimpse of a lightshow if we were lucky. Spending the night together got a lot better when The Rolling Stones blew up their blowup dolls, expanded their lip logo and stuck their tongue out at the world… you invented that kind of show and you have never been bettered.
Bono adds: “Charlie, you bring such class to the act with your very English presentation… At a Stones show in MSG in the early 80s, I remember thinking that you and Bill Wymann, in his trouser suit, looked like the parents of three naughty kids. We’ll never know what would have happened if Brian Jones was still here.
That The Rolling Stones exist at all is one of the great encouragements for any teenager who wants to believe they don’t have to grow up ALL THE WAY.
The letter concludes: “Your fan, Bono.”
To see letters to other artists go to U2’s website: https://www.u2.com/news/title/your-fan-bono