Every once in a while, you hear a story about different celebrities/pseudo-celebrities crossing paths in the strangest of ways. That’s exactly what happened when Edmonton Oilers forward Gilbert Brule picked up a hitchhiking man who looked like U2 megastar Bono … because he was U2 megastar Bono.
(Out of respect to your eye-rolling instincts, all conscious references to “Joshua Tree” and wearing sunglasses while indoors will be curbed despite natural urges to indulge.)
Ben Gelinas of The Edmonton Journal passes along the story, which seems so random and specific that it’s hard to imagine the situation being fabricated. Gelinas reports that Brule and his girlfriend Kelsey Nichols were getting ready to walk their dog while they were driving around West Vancouver when they saw a few hitchhikers. Brule’s girlfriend refused to believe Brule’s claims that one of those hitchhikers was Bono. After all, why would a millionaire rock star need to hitchhike, right?*
Brule reportedly yelled “Bono” and the singer acknowledged his call. It didn’t take long before Bono and his assistant were in the back seat of Brule’s car, discussing their hockey and music careers. Gelinas reports that Bono offered them backstage passes to an Edmonton show as a gesture of gratitude for the ride, prompting Brule to sell his tickets to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.
On Nichols’s pass, he wrote: “Thanks for the ride.”
On Brule’s pass, he wrote: “My hero Gilbert.”
It was the strangest thing.
“We go to walk our dog and Bono ends up in our car,” Brule said.
Bono paid tribute to the favour onstage during Wednesday’s concert.
“I like ice hockey because people who play ice hockey are the kind of people who pick up hitchhikers,” Bono told the crowd.
“I’m ever so grateful. I’ve decided that I want to be Gilbert Brule.”
On face value, the hockey player and musician might seem like very different people. Then again, they have plenty in common. Each of them are paid handsomely for their talents and must perform for thousands of fans in arenas all across North America. Judging from Brule’s inspiring charitable efforts, they have that much in common too.
It’s an odd story indeed, but then again, these kind of moments just seem to follow Bono around … and maybe Brule too. You can watch the video of Bono singing Brule’s praises in this clip from TSN.
* – A less scrupulous writer would make a joke about the effects of pirated music on Bono’s bank account, but thankfully you’re in better hands. Maybe.