"You're very professional"
The words of Bob Hewson after seeing his son Bono on stage in Texas in 1985.
U2 were on the Unforgettable Fire tour and Bono had flown his father in to watch the band, announcing his presence from the stage to deafening applause from the crowd.
Afterward in the dressing room Bob reached out his hand, his son wondering if he was finally going to receive a compliment.
"You’re very professional’ came the considered response.
The story is told in Bono’s forthcoming autobiography, 'Surrender', which will be published in November and the singer read from the book in public for the first time in Finnegan’s pub in Dalkey today as part of the Dalkey Book Festival.
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In conversation with poet Paul Muldoon, the two men discussing writing, their childhoods, their fathers and the aging process.
Bono often met Bob Hewson in Finnegans on Sundays, and it was in the pub that the singer first learned of his father's terminal cancer, describing hearing the news as having "huge boulders" fall on his head.
He himself had just had a biopsy for a throat problem which turned out not be serious but was, nonetheless he said a "sobering experience" and led to him contemplating his own mortality and that of the people he loved.
In an emotional and wide ranging discussion, Bono also spoke about his childhood holidays in Rush in north Co Dublin, chess lessons from his father and his wedding day to Ali, who was also in the audience at the Dalkey reading.
He described flying home from tour to visit Beaumont hospital in Dublin when his father was in the final days of his illness, playing the role of the "night watchman", often sitting in silence just an hour and a half after coming off stage.
Bono’s memoir 'Surrender’ will be published by Penguin Random House in November.