When I went to Dublin recently to visit my friend Paddy we spent some of our time talking about artist Guggi, who is a childhood friend of Bono. Guggi’s real name is Derek Rowan (his brother, Peter, is the young boy who appears on the covers of the U2 albums ‘Boy’ and ‘War’) and he and Gavin Friday featured heavily in U2’s recent Innocent and Experience tour.
What that tour was about was childhood innocence, the friends that you make, the lovers that you take, the promises you break. It was all about changing from that child into an adult, with all the problems and the troubles that brings, both in your own life and in the world that you inhabit.
U2 are the only band around today whose entire, original line up is still the same after 40 years – without any “time outs” or breaks, or moving apart and reforming. U2 have never split, and they are still going strong. This is a fantastic achievement and displays loyalty, love and special devotion. When U2 befriend you, they befriend you for life, it seems.
This devotion is evident when you go to the Bono and Edge owned Clarence Hotel in Dublin (as I did in June and as I have done many, many times) and see that the whole hotel is decked out with original drawings and paintings by Guggi. It seems that Bono bought out his entire catalogue, and that is fantastic – showing support to your friends like that.
Guggi’s art is not to my taste, but then, that’s art for you. You like what you like and don’t often “get” that which you don’t.
Paddy and I had a laugh at some of the art in the hotel as we chatted over a bottle of wine after a night in Temple Bar. I spotted that the drawing of the kettle on the wall closely resembled the one in the room, and we just found it hilarious! Paddy took a video (which I had forgotten he had until he sent it to me!). Here it is. It’s a bit silly but then, so was the kettle sketch!
A couple of weeks later, Paddy went to a painting class with a friend on her birthday. Everyone painted the same thing, and Paddy came up with his own, unique take on that, complete with Guggi kettle! I don’t think he will mind me posting his painting here! You never know, Bono might be reading and decide to buy it for the hotel.
Patrick Picasso - a whole different kettle of fish!