Bono has spoken to Q about David Bowie’s music transformed his perspective as a teenager. Joining a host of musical friends and fans in our new issue – on sale now in print and on digital – in discussing their relationship with Bowie’s music, both before and after his passing, the U2 frontman recalls the profound effect Space Oddity had on him.
“David Bowie ‘floating in a tin can, far above the world’ was for me, as a teenage boy in Dublin, not just a story song but a call to otherness,” he recalls.
“David Bowie turned your bedroom into the cosmos. ‘Is there life on Mars?’ read to me, aged 13, as ‘Is there life on Earth?’, i.e. how can we find our other selves, the ones that are not locked behind gloss paint doors in the suburbs and boring jobs and working in supermarkets and missing the bus to school.”
After its other-worldly influence as a teenager, Bono adds the song took on an emotional very real world connotation when he heard it again very recently.
“Listening to Space Oddity after he passed brought us all to tears, especially if you had a sense of his love for Iman,” he explains. “[My wife] Ali and I were at their wedding and ‘tell my wife, I love her very much, she knows’ was the hardest for us to bear on the radio when myself and my family fell to earth after the news.”
Get Q now for Bono’s full thoughts, along with examinations of David Bowie’s music by Alex Turner, Brett Anderson, Mogwai, Years & Years, Manic Street Preachers and more… Plus the time Bowie heckled Bez!