U2’s Bono cited as graffiti artist

by Johnny Miller


U2 singer Bono spray-paints the Vaillancourt Fountain, gets cited. Photo: Fred Larson, The Chronicle / SF

1987

Nov. 17: Irish rock star Bono Hewson could wind up scrubbing Muni buses or paying a $500 fine for spray painting graffiti on a public sculpture. Hewson, the lead singer of U2, is the 346th person cited so far this year in a citywide crackdown on scofflaw scrawlers, officials said yesterday. The pop singer has apologized for spraying “Stop the Traffic, Rock and Roll” on the Vaillancourt Fountain in Justin Herman Plaza before 20,000 cheering fans last week. He also promised to cover the costs of the cleanup. Hewson’s graffiti stunt and the follow-up citation have quickly become a hot topic around town. Graffiti fighters, including Dianne Feinstein, have condemned the act. Others, including Armand Vaillancourt, who designed the fountain, have supported Hewson’s handiwork as an expression of art. Mike Cleland, producer of the Ronn Owens show on KGO radio, said listeners flooded the station with calls on the topic “It was about 50-50 split,” he said. “The younger group was standing up for Hewson and older people were saying it was illegal and he should be arrested.”

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