Sightings of U2 singer Bono in downtown LaGrange Tuesday excited a lot of fans who thought the sunglasses-wearing singer was the real deal, but the man actually is a well-known Bono impersonator.
The man’s appearance lead people to ask, “What is Bono doing in LaGrange?”
Since then, the Yugoslav-born Sfera has worked for Bono as a double in a Vogue magazine shoot, sang with U2 tribute bands nationally and internationally, performed at weddings, bar mitzvahs, private and corporate events. His clients have included Intel, Bill Gates and he even got a call from Steve Job’s office to do a spoof when the iPad was introduced. At most appearances, he impersonates Bono playing acoustic guitar and singing U2 songs. Sometimes he just shows up.
“I don’t say ‘yes,’ ever, that I’m Bono,” Sfera said. “I used to say ‘no’ and explain the whole story, and I’ve found that a great majority of the time it didn’t matter, and it started getting irritating, but I do have a lot of fun with this.”
He also has a band based in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Life as a Bono impersonator is not always easy. Sfera said he has stopped traffic and has been moved to cockpits in airplanes because people will not leave him alone. It even affects his love life.
“It’s hard because people are always coming up to me and I’m always on the road,” said Sfera, who said he has been single for years.
People come up to him and ask him take off his glasses and to sing U2 songs.
He said he loves to embrace his fans.
“I value friendships and good moments and this Bono thing can be so fun and uplifting,” Sfera said. “I’ve had convos with people that are struggling because they think I’m Bono. I don’t use an Irish accent when talking to people, sometimes people just need a hug or a conversation”
He has given away his glasses, earrings, rosaries and other gifts to fans he has met.
Sfera met the real Bono at the last U2 show he attended. Bono approached him and said, “You look good!” Sfera gave him a rosary and Bono tried to coax him onto the stage. Sfera said he declined the invitation because it would’ve meant climbing over a lady in wheel chair.
Sfera also does charity work and works with orphanages in Mexico.
Though he may seem to be the real Bono, he said he never signs his or Bono’s name.
“I like to sign ‘bring out the love in someone else’ sometimes,” Sfera said.