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Bono: The hearing aid shop was called BONAVOX. It was spelled out in big red letters. Close to the Gresham Hotel in O'Connell Street. Young Dubliner Paul David Hewson (born May 10 1960) often passed it with his teenage friends.
They were intrigued and amused by the shop. Paul was nicknamed "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street" by his friend Gavin Friday. Paul sang loudly, as if for the deaf. Soon he was called Bono.
The shop's now at 9 Earl Street, around the corner, and has a different frontage, more tasteful than the tatty 1960s plastic. Its gold letters are highly suitable for tourist cameras.
At first Bono hated it: most of his friends used nicknames to make fun of the others. But he went along with it when he heard "Bono Vox" meant something like "good voice", which is fine for a singer, and "Bono" meant just "good" (which is apt for a man seen by some as saint, if by others a pretentious do-gooder).
Bono named from Bonavox. The hearing-aid shop and superstar have both moved on since 1976.
Later, he told the fledging band to call him Bono. At first, and to their credit he says, they said "Sure, Paul" and carried on. Gradually, after 1976, he became Bono and like The Edge, everyone now calls him that including his wife, family and close friends. The name was in place before U2 was chosen as the group’s moniker.
Notes: Pronounce "Bah-/no/Bon-oh/Bonno" as opposed to "Bown-oh/Boh-no". For the 1995 Passengers project Bono became Pi Hoo Sunn, misspelling his birth-name. Other nicknames and alter egos include Alton Dalton, The Mother Teresa of Abandoned Songs, The Sonic Leprechaun, The Fly, Mirrorball Man, and Mister MacPhisto. The Edge, Feedback, The Hype.
He was given an honorary British knighthood in 2006 (which technically makes him Mr Paul Hewson KBE rather than Sir Paul or Sir Bono).
Unflattering derivatives: Bozo, Bonio (after the bone-shape dog biscuit).
Compare Bono ("Good") to Simon Le Bon ("Simon The Good") of Duran Duran, Bono Vox with Ultravox.
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