by Jim Ryan, Contributor, Forbes Magazine
"I used to torture him. I really did," recalled U2 frontman Bono of his treatment of George H.W. Bush, only six days removed from the former President's death at the age of 94 on November 30.
He was referring of course to his antics during U2's early 90s Zoo TV tour, when he'd call the White House switchboard from the stage during each concert and ask to speak to the President, ultimately leaving him a message each night of the tour.
Bono went on to tell the story of a personal encounter he had with Bush in 2007, when the 41st President presented him with the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia, an opportunity he took to further harass the former Director of Central Intelligence. "I probably went a little far for the occasion," said Bono.
But Bush took the moment in stride.
"Grace and humor could get us out of a lot of trouble these days," said the singer in hindsight, looking back at the interaction.
It came at the end of an hour long conversation with Ariel Investments president and Economic Club of Chicago Chair, Mellody Hobson last Thursday at the Hilton Chicago. In conversation at the ECC dinner, Bono was asked what he's learned from a number of people and things including his fans, children, America and the former President.