Depending on when you consider their breakout moment, Bono and the rest of U2 have been global rock stars for decades now. It seems that over the years, Bono has built up quite the alcohol tolerance, and even as he nears 60 years old, he can still out-drink Noel Gallagher so hard that Gallagher tried to make a run for it and leave his tour with U2.
Gallagher had a string of opening dates on U2’s The Joshua Tree anniversary tour this year, and said on the Absolute Radio Breakfast Show (via NME) that the hangovers were “brutal.” He said that after a show in Dublin and an after party, he woke up the next day, not realizing he was in Bono’s guest house, to a phone call from the singer:
“So he says, ‘Oh you’re alive anyway, come on, everybody’s here waiting for you,’ and I was kind of going, ‘What for?’ He said, ‘For the lunch I’m throwing in your honor, there’s 75 guests have arrived.’ I said, ‘I’ve only just got out of bed,’ He said, ‘Look, the President of Ireland’s just arrived and you’re sitting next to him, so hurry up.’ So I had to get showered, get up there, ‘whey, ey’ and all that. The lunch started at three. Do you know what time it finished? Ten past four in the morning.”
It was after that day that Gallagher called his manager to get him out of touring with U2. When he actually tried to escape, he was caught in the act by Bono himself, who was wearing “his dressing gown, with two beers under this arm, eating scrambled eggs, listening to opera.” Gallagher then got on a plane to Paris with the band, and that’s when he realized how impressive Bono’s drinking abilities really are:
“He was going, ‘Where you going?’ I was like, ‘Well, I was gonna go to Paris for this gig.’ He said, ‘No, stay here, come on a private jet.’ So we get on the jet, more boozing. This is the part of the story that kills me. More boozing, we land in Paris. He says, ‘Look, when the jet lands, I’ve got to go off and do this thing, so I’ll see you at the hotel.’ I’m like ‘Great,’ thinking once he’s out of sight I’m going straight to rehab; this is too much for me.
So he goes off, I get to the hotel, it takes me 20 minutes to find the remote control for the telly, another 10 minutes to order a club sandwich, with some guy who’s clearly neither French nor English on the other end of the phone. And as I was kind of sitting down I put on the telly and I’m flicking through, and there’s Bono doing a live press conference with the Prime Minister of France about Africa. And I know what we’ve been up to the previous three days and I’m going, ‘He’s not real man.’
And the next night we do the gig in Paris. I’m sweating pure lager, and he gets up and sings like a 24-year-old. And I’m like, ‘I’ve had enough.’
Gallagher should have seen this coming, honestly: He and Bono have been drinking buddies before, and he said in 2015, “But Bono, he is really f**king brilliant company. I’ve been drinking with him, and I’ve been leaving a bar at 6 in the morning and he’s on the bar singing opera. And he’s got a f**king gig the following night with 70,000 people. And I’m being escorted out like James Brown — f**king pissed.”
Watch Gallagher tell the wild story above.