Liverpool, England – Echo and the Bunnymen, whose charismatic lead singer Ian McCullough has made something of an art of Bono-bashing, have made their peace with U2. McCullough for decades called Bono “Nobbo“, and labeled U2 “music for plumbers and bricklayers”
In 2011, McCullough told the Irish Independent “I’ve always thought [Bono] was a c***, A real proper one. Had he been in Liverpool, he would have been laughed out of the place. U2 have never been liked in Liverpool. We know a fake when we see one.” He told Stereogum in 2014: “What a gibbering, leprechaunish twat. He’s up to no good. He’s more out of his mind than I’ve ever seen anybody, and that includes Mel Gibson on Letterman.”
Now, though, he is repentant as Echo releases their latest album and says Bono didn’t deserve that treatment. After seeing Adam Clayton sporting an Echo & the Bunnymen t-shirt, McCullough said: “I thought, ‘That’s a lot cooler than slagging someone off who you don’t know.’ Adam is my favorite bass player . . . And Larry Mullen the drummer is great as well”
McCullough admitted in an interview with the Irish Sun after a sold-out show at the Olympia that his Bono-bashing over the years was partially jealousy: “There was probably a little bit of resentment because they were on the rise very quickly . . . I remember looking at the news on the telly and Bono was there, and I thought ‘God what isn’t he on?’ But it wasn’t his fault.”
“Looking back we were a very similar band. I saw some recent footage of U2 playing One live and Bono was standing still playing the guitar, and he was absolutely incredible, and he reminds me of John Lennon. They have songs that I wish I’d written myself like One – it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, to be honest, and not the version by Johnny Cash the version by U2.
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For is great, I sing that in my head every day more or less. He was in Africa trying to help some situation, and I thought to myself ‘You’ve got to stop this’ because he was there helping, and I wasn’t. So I said ‘stop it now’ to myself. It’s no good for me, and he doesn’t deserve it.”
Echo and the Bunnymen are currently touring their recently released album “The stars, the oceans and the moon,” a record that transforms many of the songs from their 1980’s purple patch.