U2 frontman Bono recently recalled a night in with former President Barack Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Bono opens up on the experience of waking up in White House
The Irish rocker discussed a memorable visit to the White House during Obama’s presidency in his new memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, which was released Tuesday.
According to Bono, his allergy to salicylic acid — which is found in wine, among other foods and over-the-counter prescription medications — caused him to fall asleep after he and his wife, Ali Hewson, shared drinks with the 44th president of the United States.
While Obama had cocktails, Bono said, the U2 frontman had a glass of wine — “Or was it two?” he wrote — with his meal. Because salicylates are found in wine, he explained that the effects of the intolerance quickly hit him.
He wrote: “As I started to fall asleep, I excused myself, and what happened next is a little blurry, but, according to Ali, it took about 10 minutes before the leader of the free world asked her, ‘Bono’s been gone awhile. Is he OK?’ “
Bono further revealed that his wife proceeded to tell Obama that there was no need to worry, but the then-president was determined to find him. After Obama remembered that Bono asked him about the Gettysburg Address, they began searching for him in the Lincoln bedroom.
In Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, Bono wrote: “Good instinct. They walked into the Lincoln Bedroom, and there I was, out cold, head in the bosom of Abraham Lincoln, on his very bed. ‘Falling asleep in the comfort of our freedoms,’ as I spun it afterward.”
The songwriter also joked that Obama “doesn’t for a minute” believe he has an salicylate intolerance. He wrote: “He thinks Ali made this up to cover for me. He tells people he can drink me under the table. Rubbish. But he does make a strong martini.”