Hitchhiking U2 frontman catches ride with NHL star
Published Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:57PM PDT
U2 frontman Bono has a newfound affection for Canadian hockey after being picked up by Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule and his girlfriend while hitchhiking through West Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday.
Bono recounted the story Wednesday night to a cheering crowd at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium.
"I like ice hockey because people who play ice hockey are the kind of people who pick up hitchhikers," he said. "I know this from personal experience."
"[Brule] said, ‘Where do you want to go?' I said, ‘Just take me to where The Edge is.'"
Brule and his girlfriend, Kelsey Nichols, told CTV News they weren't sure at first they'd seen the megastar at the side of the road.
"I actually didn't realize it until he actually got in the car and I got to look at him close up," Nichols said. "He was wearing a hat so he didn't have the sunglasses, which I would've recognized."
The grateful Irish rocker said he was compelled to offer the Oilers forward, whom he described as a "very modest man," Nichols and Brule's mother passes to his nearly sold-out Wednesday night show.
Brule, who had to sell tickets to Wednesday's Canucks game in Vancouver to attend the show, described the chance encounter and following concert as an "unbelievable experience."
"No one believed us at first," Brule said. "This guy's one of the biggest rock stars in the world, maybe ever."
Bono let concertgoers know he was happy to return the favour.
"They picked up this Irish hitchhiker and I'm ever so grateful," Bono told fans. "I've decided that now I want to be Gilbert Brule."
He went on to nickname U2 guitarist The Edge "Wayne Gretzky," bassist Adam Clayton "Grant Fuhr" and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. "the Mark Messier" of the band.
The band closed the show with a song dedicated to victims of the disastrous Slave Lake fire.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Bhinder Sajan