As you may imagine, the life of a band can be absolutely exhausting. And when humans are exhausted they can often make mistakes. One fan, who apparently has a great memory, recalls an event which took place approaching almost 40 years ago.
According to the article https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/craic/bono-san-francisco-sinn-feinIt in November 11, 1987, U2 were playing a free concert in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza that had been organized at a moment’s notice.
One song into the performance, Bono singled out Robert Quinn, who was waving an “SF+U2” sign, for his apparent support of Sinn Féin, the then-political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) – not people you wanted to mess with, especially if you were a Brit during the 1980’s.
My dad was the one w the sign getting yelled at by Bono lmao https://t.co/ZkABDO7P9N
— Sonia Quinn (@soniafquinn) November 3, 2022
Video of the incident shows when the “SF + U2” caught Bono’s attention.
“What’s this I see over here?” Bono says during the gig.
“I see two letters – SF and U2.
“Is that a girl’s name or does that stand for Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican Army …
“Because if it does, I don’t know how you can stand or stomach to wave that sign this week.
“Because you bastards left those people – 11 dead and 50 wounded – in the name of freedom.
Incensed by the IRA’s recent Remembrance Day Bombing, which left 11 dead and more than 50 wounded in Enniskillen, Bono berated the fan for a full 90 seconds, questioning how they had the stomach to wave a sign that they had brought to the impromptu concert.
Bono, it appears, had forgotten where he was, mistaking the fan’s “SF + U2” sign for Sinn Féin, rather than making the more obvious connection to the city he was performing in.
As stated in the opening paragraph of this article – when you’re on the road traveling, not sleeping, not eating correctly, not exercising, and not getting enough sunshine, you can forget a lot of things and make a lot of mistakes. Perhaps for Bono’s mind, becoming a rock n rock performer is one of them.