That time Bono passed out in Lincoln's Bedroom thanks to Barack Obama's drinks

Bono got drunk and passed out in the Lincoln Bedroom
Bono got drunk and passed out in the Lincoln Bedroom

Buddies Bono and Barack Obama

Former president Barack Obama sure loves to hang out with rock stars. Bruce Springsteen’s podcast co-host has a lot of celebrity friends, and he obviously enjoyed hosting legends while in residence at the White House. It’s strange to imagine the seat of government with revelers lying about like your buddy’s parents’ house after a night of illicit drunkenness, but the historic building did see at least one knocked-out rocker during Obama’s time in office.

That rocker is Bono, writer of the memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story and sufferer of an allergy to salicylates that causes him to occasionally sneak off to “fall asleep somewhere” after having a glass of wine. Recalling an evening of dinner and drinks at the White House, the U2 frontman tells BBC Radio 2 (via The Independent), “The 44th president of the United States, he mixes cocktails; he doesn’t have too many, he’s very measured.”

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But the drinks were to be his downfall. “I had them and the wine and the allergy and I ended up slipping out for a kip and the president said to Ali [Hewson, his wife] after about 10 minutes, ‘Where’s Bono gone?’ She said, ‘He’s just gone for a sleep.’ [Obama] said, ‘I’m sorry?’” Bono shares. “She said, ‘He has to, he just has to go for these sleeps, he’ll be back in 10 minutes. I’ve been with him for 30 years, don’t you worry a thing about him, Mr. President. I’ll go find him.’”

Ever the gentleman (or perhaps just concerned about letting an inebriated Irish man wander the residence), Obama offered to escort her. “And he comes with her and (saying) ‘Where can he be…? I know, he was asking me about the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln’s.’”

The detective work proved apt: “[There] I was in Lincoln’s bedroom, asleep, fallen asleep in the bosom of Abraham himself. He just woke me up and laughed. President laughed his head off.”

Bono says “they were very, very good about it actually,” though the incident had one unfortunate consequence. “[He] does tell people that he drinks me under the table, he doesn’t believe the allergy thing,” the musician admits. “He does make strong cocktails, though, just saying.”

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