Bono, step away from the Sharpie…

From Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News, comes this account of what happens when a rock star gets hold of indelible ink. Williams posted this on an MSNBC blog last week:

“Tonight’s ‘Making a Difference’ segment is about Bono. Having met with President Bush on board Air Force One in Chicago last night, he today launched the new “Red” campaign, aimed at raising money (by just making everyday purchases) to eradicate AIDS in Africa. I spent time with him earlier in the week, and today he visited 30 Rock so we could sit with him for an interview. The Bono that I feel so fortunate to have come to know is a lot of things: enormously talented, extremely energetic, sentimental, oddly introverted, charmingly self-deprecating… and very mischievous. So it was that we found ourselves near the elevators, just outside the NBC Nightly newsroom.

At my request, Bono had just appeared before an impromptu gathering of staffers to thank them for their coverage of his efforts. We posed for a still picture in front of what’s called a “light box,” an embarassingly large promotional picture of yours truly designed to get the attention of the tour groups that walk by all day long. Bono asked if anyone had a Sharpie. The result is now on display for all to see. I’ve been defaced. I’m now wearing something of a Zorro/raccoon mask. Passing tour groups this afternoon in the hallway shake their heads in disgust, picturing a common prankster with a permanent pen. This was no common prankster. What they don’t know is the small initial “B”at the bottom of the graffiti stands for the frontman of U2. I shared with Bono a common American adage about “paybacks” — which ends with a word that is not family reading material — and told him that while it might take me a while, I’ll get him back. It was a fun afternoon, and a good interview. It will all make for a great ‘Making a Difference’.”


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