- 27 Nov 15
Ahead of the next U2 gigs this weekend, read about Olaf Tyaransen's slightly awkward backstage encounter with Bono and the boys at Paris's exclusive Man Ray Club.
“Having interviewed U2 for Hot Press in October 2000, a few nights later I was invited to a small show they were doing in Paris. So it was that I found myself in the exclusive Man Ray restaurant on Rue Marbeuf, near the Champs Elysees. The place was then co-owned by Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, John Malkovich and Mick Hucknall, and the room was literally heaving with actors, musicians, supermodels and other A-list celebrities.
The band were nowhere to be seen, but I spotted their then- manager Paul McGuinness across the room and wandered over to thank him for the invite. However,he seemed slightly distracted. As I turned away from him, who did I spot walking towards me but Bono. I stood in his path and extended a hand. ‘Hey, man! How’s it going?'
To my dismay, Bono totally blanked me, rudely brushed me aside and walked on. Edge, Adam and Larry were walking directly behind him. They looked like men on a mission. To my utter mortification, I suddenly realised that they were making their big entrance to the stage. The whole room was watching... and there I was, the gobshite Irish journalist, blocking the band’s way and looking to chat.
Thankfully, Larry Mullen stopped for the briefest of seconds to give me a smile and a friendly clap on the shoulder. Phew! I felt like shouting to the room, ‘It’s OK – I do actually know these guys!’ U2 played just five songs, including a memorable ‘Beautiful Day’, but it was a terrific show and a beautiful night. Afterwards, the party really got going. I got to meet my teenage crush, Betty Blue star Beatrice Dalle, and kissed her on both cheeks (just those on her face, sadly).
“Much later that night, Edge introduced me to Mick Hucknall. In retrospect, he may have dumped him on me. The Simply Red singer shook my hand enthusiastically and asked, ‘So Olaf, what do you do?’ ‘I’m a journalist,’ I replied. And in a flash, Hucknall disappeared...”
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