Originally, I planned to use my own speech at this year’s Q Awards to open this issue. It would’ve allowed me to get my apology to Simon Neil for mercilessly kicking Biffy Clyro’s debut single into print. But then, at the end of the ceremony, Bono came onstage to deliver an award to Noel Gallagher and I knew we’d have to run his soliloquy instead. It’s a brilliant, lyrical piece of writing. I’ve no idea how he read it without stumbling once.
Ted Kessler, Editor
“A student of John and Paul, a professor to everyone else, town crier, maven of mod, scooter hooter with a helmet of hair, owner of one single eyebrow, now divided by high-brow albums of high-flying tunes, alchemist, prince of punk, creator of pop chaos and Neil Younglike hairy notes. This man has taken the shite that he has had to wade through and turned it into gold and platinum. We hope he is not the last of the alchemists but no one will make the ordinary extraordinary with such ease. His is the non-sweaty variety of Irish soul yet this sage of Burnage, this visionary of Longview, this avatar of Little Venice is most unusual among romantics, especially Irish romantics, for he is not disappointed. He has given the universe and all of us in it a gigantic lesson in how not to fuck up your life. This is the truth and if we ask ourselves probably why we love him so much, he has taught a lot of us a lot of things, but none more important than his missus is more important. He has, of course, all the rage of great rock’n’roll yet he’s not looking back in anger. Because of this, a young girl in Manchester will hold onto his song like it’s her life, cos it is. We all hold onto his songs for dear life because there’s so much dear life in them and this is the key to him, this is his key, because, strangely, for a canal bank curmudgeon, this man and cunian has not turned the world to the shape of his pain but rather his pleasure, which is ours. So let’s tonight salute the maestro of Man City, we are City, super City, super City from Maine Road to the main man, I felt I knew him before I met him and I did and you can, and he knew me, and everyone else here. How? Cos after all, he’s the owner of a fucking Wonderwall, that’s how, brown cow. Never acquiesce, he got the know-how, all around the world on a trash-talking, pub-crawling, even if the plane stalled, he didn’t, son of Peggy, brother of Liam, and Paul, a sit-down, standup comic in the service of the Supersonic, we will find you gin and tonic, he will make you laugh, give you his autograph, son of Mayo, progeny of Peggy, father of Anais, Donovan and Sonny, cod of the North but never coddled, betrothed to the beauty that is Sara MacDonald, don’t be clever, put your hands together, for one who will live forever, Noel Gallagher.” Bono, Roundhouse, London, 17 October, 2018.