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Bono

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I am recalling this from the depths of my youthful memory. I was about 24 years old, and still working at the radio station. I was a Broadcast Engineer for Standard Radio Inc, which owned CFRB 1010 AM, Mix 99.9 FM and EZ Rock 97.3 in Toronto at the time. My duties were wide ranging. My tasks included maintaining the transmitters, both in the CN tower and at the CFRB's site in Clarksville, Ontario. I also maintained the studio equipment, took care of all the locks and security devices for the radio station, cleaned the studios, and took care of equipment inventory. I repaired broken equipment, which most often was headphones. I ordered balanced broadcast lines for remotes, or ISDN lines for live music events. I also often set up equipment and mixed bands which came in to preform live.

One such day I had heard Bono from U2 was going to be attending the studio. Now, indeed Bono was a big name, but I was never one to fawn over 'stars'. I often treated them just like normal people. Bono was not in doing any sort of music however, so my only involvement was in dialing up the ISDN interface to connect to a studio in New York City, where he would be doing a live interview with, utilizing our studio in Toronto. With how we had our system set up, we had a SAS audio matrix switcher which had something like 64 outputs and 256 inputs. So I had to select the P1 feed from CR12 (Control Room 12), and set that to feed the output which fed into the ISDN device we were using. The exact model of which I forget, as we had a few such devices. Setting up the number for the ISDN unit to call was like dialing a phone number, as they operate on the same backbone as POTS.

CR12 was right across the hall from my office, and was a compromise of a studio. It was meant to be a post production studio that anyone could use, and it was a little larger than a broom closet. In fact at one time it was a broom closet, kind of. But this is where Bono was doing his interview, and of course, it became packed with about half a dozen to maybe 9 radio station employees who were fawing over Bono, not to mention his handler who was also in there with him. I had poked my head in to make sure they were connected, but the room was so packed it was annoying.

In any case, I went back to my desk to carry on with my day. Moments later, Bono came out of the studio and came to my desk. He, in all honesty, polietly introduced himself and asked to borrow a sharpie. Now this was a sensitive subject for me. Being that I was often working with bands, and being that I often had to use sharpies to mark up masking tape and gaffer tape with whatever channel they were on the mixer and such, the sharpies were a tool I always seemed to need on hand. But I was very used to bands borrowing the sharpies, and never returning them.

I growled at Bono and handed him a sharpie. But I looked him dead in the eye and said 'here... but make sure you return it!' in a very surly voice. His eyes went wide and he said thank you. Moments later he did return it, after signing about a dozen autographs I am sure.


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