Bono on Tuesday said he once fell asleep in the Lincoln Bedroom after having drinks with President Obama at the White House.
The “U2” rocker explained to BBC Radio 2 host Zoe Ball that after cocktails and wine with his wife and Obama he left the room because he needed a nap.
He said he wasn’t drunk, he’s allergenic to the salicylates found in wine.
“My head will swell up like a balloon and pop or I fall asleep,” the singer explained, saying that pizza and aspirin often give him the same reaction.
Bono and then-Sen. Barack Obama talk at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington ,D.C., on Feb. 2, 2006. (Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
He said he’s fallen asleep in many “awkward” places before due to the allergy, including the lighting desk of the band Sonic Youth, on the street and on a car hood.
“And indeed, I did fall asleep in the White House and they were very, very good about it, actually,” Bono said.
He said Obama “mixes cocktails — he doesn’t have too many, he’s very measured.” But after having “them and the wine and the allergy I ended up slipping out for a little” nap.
After about 10 minutes, Bono said that Obama asked the rocker’s wife Ali Hewson, “’Where’s Bono gone?’ She said, ‘He’s just gone for a sleep.’ And he says, ‘I’m sorry?’”
He said Hewson further explained to Obama that Bono “has to” go to sleep if he has an allergic reaction, telling him, “He’ll be back in 10 minutes, I’ve been with him for 30 years. Don’t you worry a thing about it, Mr. President, I’ll go find him.”
Obama insisted on accompanying Hewson while she went to find her husband, the “With or Without You” singer said.
4/1952- Washington, DC: The White House, interiors- President Lincoln’s Bedroom. UPI color slide. (Getty )
“And he said, ‘Where could he be?’” Obama asked Hewson, according to Bono. His wife said, “’I don’t know, I just really don’t know. Normally, he goes to the car but we couldn’t park the car outside the White House.’”
The 44th president then remembered that the musician had been asking him about the Gettysburg Address so they went to the Lincoln Bedroom.
U2 rock band frontman Bono sings during a performance for Ukrainian people inside a subway station, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 8, 2022. (REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)
“There I was in Lincoln’s Bedroom asleep,” he said. “And they just woke me up and laughed. The president laughed his head off.”
He added that Obama likes to tell people he can drink Bono under the table because “he doesn’t believe the allergy thing. He does makes strong cocktails.”
The singer also detailed the story in his new memoir “Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story” that was released on Tuesday.