rise up eight header

Neil McCormick, Author Of The Bestselling Book and Film, “Killing Bono” On Turning The Perception Of Failure Into Success

In this episode #10 of Rise Up Radio, Michael Nova interviews Neil McCormick, who is a British music journalist. Neil is chief pop and rock music critic for the UK’s Telegraph newspaper and website.


In addition to being an established journalist, Neil is known as a music industry expert and interviews musicians on his own TV program, Needle time on Vintage TV in the UK.


Photo: Telegraph UK

Neil is also a musician himself. But perhaps his greatest claim to fame is as both the author of the book I Was Bono’s Doppelganger (published in the US as Killing Bono) and the subject of the subsequent paramount released film of the same name.


The highly recommended book (and film) is a memoir of Neil’s early life as a musician and close friend of Bono and the members of the internationally famous rock group, U2, and follows Neil’s friendship and rivalry with Bono, and how their two paths evolved.


CLICK PLAY To hear the featured musical soundtrack
to this interview by X: THC.


The success of his book and the film proves that something great can come out of what be perceived as a “failure”, and how that can actually lead to unexpected success.


It also proves that going against “the flow” of your life can not only be frustrating, but lead to unhappiness, but going with the flow can make all the difference.
Some great nuggets from our conversation:
(There are so many, you’ll have to listen to get them all.: )


“There’s a lot of miserable pop stars all over the place, I should know because I’ve interviewed plenty of them. There’s a lot of people who are trapped in an idea of themselves that they formed when they were you know, 17….a lot of people that were destroyed and crushed by fame, probably as many people that have crushed by succeeding at whatever their dream was, as have been crushed by failing to succeed at whatever the dream was. The answer to all of those things ultimately lie inside of you. Your level of happiness with your life and your set of circumstances. It’s something that ultimately has to come from inside of you.”


“I said to Bono, ‘The problem with knowing you is that you lived my life.’ And he said, ‘That’s because I’m your doppelgänger, and if you want your life back, you’ll have to kill me’.  I thought to myself,  ‘There’s an idea for a book in that’, but it was nearly 10 years later that I wrote that book…”


“I thought I had something valuable to say about losing. The losing isn’t a terrible thing – it’s just failing to achieve something. It’s not a bad thing at all. You learn from that and you still had the experience of doing that…. whatever it is. It’s just a step along the way. We act as if losing is a disaster, but it’s not. If two football teams play a game, one of them loses. It doesn’t actually reflect on the inner quality of the person doing the losing. It’s the learning…”


“Life was telling me to go in a different direction, and it was only when I got pushed in a different direction, that it was a direction of ‘flow’. I recognize when I’m writing, I get into a state of flow…getting everything rolling the same direction, and it’s only really when I was bumped off the direction that I wanted to go in, and found myself going in the direction that my talents naturally took me and applying myself to that, that everything flowed!”


“If you are doing the best you can and enjoying it while you’re doing it, and you don’t succeed, you look back and say, ‘well that was fun’.  But if you doing it all to trying to succeed, and it’s all about trying to succeed, you will look back on it and it will look like a failure. So do it for the right reason, and then if success comes it’ll be great, and if it doesn’t come, you’ll still feel good about it.”

Here is the Rise Up Radio interview podcast below.


Do you have any questions or comments for Neil? If so, please comment below.


Like the music on this interview page? We’re doing a special giveaway of this song, “Mr. Happy” by X: THC for FREE for a limited time only.

Just type your name and email address in below and the song download link will be sent to you by email!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.