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Too strange to be fake? Oilers forward Gilbert Brule picked up hitchhiking U2 singer Bono

Jun 2, 2011, 3:46 AM EDT

Bono AP

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.

  1. bittersonicsfan - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Bono is a turd, but that story is awesome!

  2. bigbear42 - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:47 AM

    Why was Bono doing hitchhiking? To me, that the oddest part of the story

    • buzz571 - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      U2 fans know that Bono does things like “hitchhike” on purpose…behind the “ego” is a very down to earth guy who likes to do things out of the ordinary…how else to explain the fact that he has been known on a few occasions to give tourists hanging outside U2’s recording studio in Dublin looking for autographs rides in his car back to their hotels or invites them into the studio to listen to newly recorded music…unless the guy is pressed for time he spends time talking with fans and signing autographs for long stretches of time….tell me when the last time you heard Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger do something like that…the answer is neer…those guys couldn’t be bothered to gie anyone an autograph much less give people thew time of day…Bono does

  3. govtminion - Jun 2, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Just as well that Brule picked him up. If Charles Wang had been driving, he’d have signed Bono to a ten year deal with a no-trade clause, just out of habit..

  4. sknut - Jun 2, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    The hitchhiking part is odd, unless it was some sort of social experiment by Bono. But cool of Brule to pick him up.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Why’s Boner hitchiking in West Van in the rain? Shouldn’t he be curing people down on East Hastings?

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