Bono says he hates U2's name, is "embarrassed" by most of their songs and can't stand his voice

18 January 2022, 16:49 | Updated: 19 January 2022, 17:13

U2 Perform In Moscow
U2 Perform In Moscow. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Bono has opened up about not being a fan of U2‘s name, most of their songs and his own singing voice.

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Speaking on the Awards Chatter podcast, Bono explained that he immediately turns off the radio when U2's songs are played because he can’t stand his vocals.

He also stated that he had only learnt how to sing “recently”.

Bono – full name Paul Hewson – admitted that he’s “still” doesn’t like U2’s band name.

“I really don’t. But I was late into some kind of dyslexia,” he said. “I didn’t realise that The Beatles was a bad pun either.

“In our head it was like the spy plane, U-boat, it was futuristic – as it turned out to imply this kind of acquiescence, no I don’t like that name. I still don’t really like the name.”

He continued: “Paul McGuinness, our first manager, did say, ‘Look, it’s a great name, it’s going to look good on a T-shirt, a letter and a number’.”

Watch Bono and Pharrell Williams perform Stayin’ Alive cover

Bono said that most of his vocal performances “make me cringe a little bit”, and that U2’s 2004 single ‘Vertigo’ is “probably is the one I’m proudest of”.

“I’ve been in the car when one of our songs has come on the radio and I’ve been the colour of, as we say in Dublin, scarlet. I’m just so embarrassed.”

Although he thinks “the band sound incredible”, the 61-year-old musician added that his voice is now “strained”.

When thinking back to the 1980s, Bono remembered how late singer Robert Palmer told U2 bassist Adam Clayton: “‘God, would you ever tell your singer to just take down the keys a little bit, he’d do himself a favour and he’d do us all a favour who have to listen to him.’

U2. Picture: Getty

“But I was thinking out of my body. I wasn’t thinking about singing. I didn’t really think about changing keys. Did we ever change a key?”.

He added: “I do think U2 pushes out the boat on embarrassment quite a lot and maybe that’s the place to be as an artist, you know right at the edge of your level of embarrassment.”