Bono & Eugene Peterson | THE PSALMS



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This short film documents the friendship between Bono (of the band U2) and Eugene Peterson (author of contemporary-language Bible translation The Message) revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. Based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor at Peterson’s Montana home.

The film is featured exclusively through FULLER studio, a site offering resources—videos, podcasts, reflections, stories—for all who seek deeply formed spiritual lives. Explore these resources, on the Psalms and a myriad of other topics, at

© Fuller Theological Seminary / Fuller Studio

a Fourth Line Films production, in association with Fuller’s Brehm Center Texas and W. David O. Taylor

Bono:
[Video message, 2002] Mr. Peterson, Eugene, my name is Bono. I’m the singer with the group U2 and wanted to video message you my thanks and our thanks from the band for this remarkable work you’ve done. There’s been some great translations, very literary translations, but no translation that I’ve read that speaks to me in my own language, so I want to thank you for that. Take a rest now, won’t you? Bye.

Eugene Peterson:
I’d never heard of Bono before. Then one of my students showed up in class with a copy of the Rolling Stones—Rolling Stones?—and in it there was an interview with Bono in which he talked about me and The Message. He used some slangy language about who I was, and I said, “Who’s Bono?” They were dumbfounded I’d never heard of Bono, but that’s not the circle I really travel in very much. That’s how I first heard about him.

Then people started bringing me his music, and I listened to his music, and I thought, “I like this guy.” After a while I started feeling quite pleased that he knew me.

[Interview at Point Loma Nazarene University, 2007:]
Dean Nelson:
Yes, but the rest of the story is that he invited you to come and hang with them for a while. You turned him down.

Eugene Peterson:
I was pushing a deadline on The Message. I was finishing up the Old Testament at the time, and I really couldn’t do it.

Dean Nelson:
You may be the only person alive who would turn down the opportunity just to make a deadline. I mean, come on. It’s Bono, for crying out loud!

Eugene Peterson:
Dean, he was Isaiah.

Dean Nelson:
Yeah.

Jan Peterson:
The Old Testament is a long, long book, much longer than the New Testament, and it did take a long time and a lot of devotion on both of our parts to have that happen.

Bono:
I have to say, in the last years, Eugene’s writing has kept me as sane as this is, if you call it sane, which you probably won’t. Run With the Horses, that’s a powerful manual for me, and it includes a lot of incendiary ideas. I hadn’t really thought of Jeremiah as a performance artist. Why do we need art? Why do we need the lyric poetry of the Psalms? Why do we need them? Because the only way we can approach God is if we’re honest through metaphor, through symbol. Art becomes essential, not decorative. I learned about art, I learned about the Prophets, I learned about Jeremiah with that book, and that really changed me.

Eugene Peterson:
Then several years later…This was about 4 years ago, 4 or 5 years ago…Bono would like Jan and me to come to Dallas for a concert. We went to the concert. He was very sensitive to us. We were really well cared for, had really good seats. I’d never seen a mash pit before. That was my introduction to the mash pit. Is it a pit?

(Voice off camera):
It’s a mosh pit.

Eugene Peterson:
Mosh pit. Okay. You can see how uneducated I am in this world.

We had a 3-hour lunch. We just had a lovely conversation. It was very personal, relational. He didn’t put me on any kind of a pedestal, and I didn’t him, so we were very natural with each other. Through that 3-hour conversation, I was just really taken by the simplicity of his life, of who he was, who he is. There was no pretension to him. At that point I just felt like he was a companion in the faith.

[About U2’s song “40,” based on Psalm 40:]
I think it’s one of his best ones. He sings it a lot. I mean, he does this a lot. It’s one of the songs that reaches into the hurt and disappointment and difficulty of being a human being. It acknowledges that in language that is immediately recognizable. There’s something that reaches into the heart of a person and the stuff we all feel but many of us don’t talk about.

Bono:
[Quoting from The Message’s translation of Psalm 40:]
I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked. Finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch. He pulled me from deep mud, stood me up on a solid rock to make sure that I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song…

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MSNBC’s coverage of the Funeral and burial of Sonny Bono (January 9, 1998)



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Following a ski accident just four days ago when rock and roll legend Sonny Bono smashed into a tree at the Heavenly Ski Resort on South Lake Tahoe, MSNBC brings to you the sorrowful coverage of his last rites. This features the full funeral mass at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Palm Springs, including eulogies by Cher, California Governor Pete Wilson, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and political mentor Bruce Herschensohn. Plus, the burial at Desert Memorial Park, additional statements, public opinion and reactions.

USA: CALIFORNIA: MOURNERS GATHER FOR FUNERAL OF SONNY BONO UPDATE



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English/Nat

Fond farewells were bid to U-S lawmaker, and former entertainer, Sonny Bono at a funeral service in Palm Springs, California, on Friday.

Bono’s current wife and children, along with ex-wife Cher, were joined by representatives from Washington.

The 62-year-old died in a skiing accident on Monday.

Singer and actress, Cher, arrived at Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Palm Springs, California on Friday afternoon accompanied by daughter Chastity.

She joined hundreds of others, from entertainment and political circles, to remember the life of Sonny Bono.

Cher, who was formerly Bono’s wife, cut short a trip to London to attend the funeral.

She was joined by Bono’s current wife Mary, and her two children.

The two-term Republican congressman died on Monday when he hit a tree on an intermediate slope at the Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.

He was on holiday with his family at the time.

The tragedy came just as Sonny Bono was hitting his stride in his second term as a U-S congressman.

Bono went from citizen, to entertainer, to mayor of Palm Springs and then on to Congress as a representative of Southern California.

Mourners came from the entertainment industry, where Bono rose to pop music and television stardom as songwriter and singer alongside former wife Cher.

They also came from Washington D-C, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a 100-member congressional delegation, and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt – representing President Bill Clinton.

They paid tribute to Bono, who as the outsider who came to Congress in 1994 as something of a joke, went on to earn the respect of fellow Republicans, and Democrats as an able politician.

A military honour guard carried Bono’s coffin, draped by the U-S flag.

He was remembered during the service as someone who could be counted on as a loyal friend.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“When he was with you, he was with you and not off with somebody else. His mind was with you, his thoughts were with you and he showed a genuine interest and concern in your presence, in what you had on your mind. That’s how he was single-minded, how he was single-hearted.”
SUPER CAPTION: Reverend David Andel

And it is that sense of friendship that many gathered here believe will be Sonny Bono’s lasting legacy.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“He was somebody who was, in a sense, a friend of everybody. A friend of many, many people and peacemakers are friends of most people. They have very, very few enemies.”
SUPER CAPTION: Reverend David Andel

Bono will be buried later on Friday with military honours.

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USA: CALIFORNIA: MOURNERS GATHER FOR FUNERAL OF SONNY BONO



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Natural Sound

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Palm Springs, California, on Friday to bid farewell to U-S lawmaker and entertainer, Sonny Bono.

Bono’s current family, along with ex-wife Cher, were joined by people from Hollywood, and representatives from Washington.

Bono died in a skiing accident on Monday.

A somber Cher arrived at Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Palm Springs, California, on Friday afternoon accompanied by daughter Chastity.

They joined hundreds of others from the entertainment and political arenas, to remember the life of Sonny Bono.

Cher, ex-wife of entertainer-turned-lawmaker Bono, cut short a trip to London to be at the funeral.

Bono’s life was cut short in a skiing accident last Monday, just as he was hitting his stride in a second-term as a U-S congressman.

A colour portrait of Bono placed near the altar of the church was an image that for many, represented what they will remember most about the man.

The jovial entertainer, rose to pop music and television stardom as songwriter and singer alongside former wife Cher.

After later becoming mayor of Palm Springs, he went on to be elected to Congress, representing the area.

Mourners who filled the funeral pews included U-S speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, former Vice President Dan Quayle.

As colleagues, they paid tribute to Bono as the outsider who came to Congress in 1994 as something of a joke, but came to earn the respect of fellow Republicans, and Democrats, as an able politician.

California Governor Pete Wilson and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt — representing President Clinton — also attended.

As a choir sang “Amazing Grace,” a military honour guard carried Bono’s flag-draped, mahogany casket into the church.

The two-term congressman from Palm Springs died at the Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, where he was on holiday with his wife, Mary, and their children – daughter, Chianna, 6, and son, Chesare, 9.

Bono was killed instantly when he plowed into a pine tree on an intermediate slope.

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