Bono dines with Jesse Helms
Rocker, senator discuss fighting AIDS in Africa
Bono and former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms share a greeting at a pre-concert meal at the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C., before U2 played to a crowd of 17,000 Monday night. Since they were introduced several years ago, the archconservative Republican known as "Senator No" and Bono have become close allies in the fight against the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Helms, who is 84 and suffers from a number of serious health problems, arrived backstage before the show and was joined by Bono for a casual meal. On the menu: grilled chicken, roast beef and salmon.
“It was nothing fancy,” Dodd said. “They ate in the cafeteria with the roadies and the rest of the crew.”
The two men talked for a few minutes about their work and what they have been able to accomplish and what still needs to be done, Dodd said.
Bono briefed the senator on DATA — or Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa — a nonprofit organization he helped found in 2002 with other activists to increase awareness of the crises in Africa.
Helms did not stay for the concert.