After gigging around the world with U2 for over 35 years years, frontman Bono has become an elder statesman of rock. And instead of bristling at that reputation, Bono has embraced the role by mentoring rising stars, according to Jake Shears of The Scissor Sisters, who says he got 'the talk' from Bono when glam band began to break into the mainstream.
The meet up happened after a Scissor Sisters show over a decade ago, when Bono pulled Shears aside to offer a few words of wisdom.
"'Jake, you have a road in front of you, you do realize that, yes?'" Shears recalled later in his new book Boys Keep Swinging. "His voice was serious. 'You have decisions to make. Hey.' He splayed his hands. 'This can be just a moment in time. And that's fine. But it can be more than that, you see. This — music — can be your life. There's two paths you can choose. One, you can go and get caught up in all the parties and attention, become interested in art. Or you can remain focused and just keep making music. Building something that lasts more than just now.' I've since heard that he gives this talk to a lot of younger artists, but his words stuck with me."
Unfortunately, so did those of his biggest idol — David Bowie. The glam icon once showed up to a Scissor Sisters show but didn't stick around to say hi afterward. Instead, he sent a cryptic note that haunted Shears for weeks.
"Hi. I came to your show a few weeks ago. It sounded very good from where I was sitting. db," was all the email said, but that was enough to send Shears into a tailspin of insecurity.
"What was this?" he wondered. "From where he was sitting? As opposed to where everyone else was sitting? This just exacerbated my pain. Why did he even bother to write me an email at all? The black type on white just read to me as: 'Dear Jake, though you may think yourself a rock star, you will never be me. David Bowie.'"
But at least that wasn't as bad as the time Bowie brutally turned down a collaboration with Dave Grohl.