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It was the night Bono and U2 went to the ringside in Las Vegas “feeling like U2, Dublin, Ireland, and left feeling like the number one group on the planet”.

The SuperFight between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard – the subject of a new book by Irish author Brian Doogan – was a $100 million showdown at Caesars Palace in April 1987 which coincided with U2’s shoot for the iconic video to I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For; the second track on The Joshua Tree album.

The SuperFight: Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Sugar Ray Leonard by Brian Doogan

“It was the perfect location for the video,” said The Edge. “To see all the gambling, all the strangeness of the American people coming with their savings for the year to Las Vegas to lose it all – we found that fascinating and that’s why we went there.”

The hottest ticket in town was for ring legends Hagler and Leonard and their contest for the middleweight championship of the world.

Big boxing fans, Bono and the band and a couple of lucky members of the film crew secured their prized seats in the temporary arena on the tennis courts at Caesars in the heart of Vegas’s world-famous Strip.

Frank Sinatra led the glittering array of Hollywood stars at ringside, including Gene Hackman, Tom Selleck, Joan Collins, Whoopi Goldberg, Bo Derek, Chevy Chase, Jack Klugman, Billy Crystal and ‘Kojak’ Telly Savalas.

But it was Sinatra whom Bono was desperate to meet and he made that happen during the build-up to the main event.

“I don’t usually hang with men who wear earrings,” Ol’ Blue Eyes told him with a smile.

Sinatra would then invite Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam to see him perform at The Golden Nugget directly after the fight.

“Even for U2, being introduced at ringside shortly before the opening bell to Sinatra and the experience of the fight and melodrama that surrounds any great boxing occasion in Vegas was unforgettable,” Doogan related.

“The SuperFight has become part of boxing lore, with Sugar Ray accomplishing one of the greatest feats in the history of the sport to come back from a virtual five-year lay-off to defeat the master of the middleweights, Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

“Being ringside for a fight of such magnitude is an incredible thrill for anyone. Norman Mailer, the great American writer, said it becomes almost physically unendurable to wait for that bell to ring for the first round. Yet for U2, even at the end of 12 astonishing rounds, the night was only just beginning.”

Right across the street from Caesars, the man who had done so much to secure Vegas its reputation as the entertainment capital of the world – along with his Rat Pack buddies, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop – arrived from his ringside seat to perform in front of a sold-out crowd inside the Golden Nugget.

Sinatra was 71-years-old but he was still indisputably the Chairman of the Board, the King of Swing, and he made a fuss of his new friends from Dublin whom he introduced from the stage to his star-studded audience, which included fellow Hollywood legend Gregory Peck.

“I want to introduce you to my friends, U2,” Sinatra announced. “These guys are the biggest rock group in the world. They’ve got millions of dollars. But they sure don’t spend their money on their wardrobe.”

After the show Sinatra met with U2 in his dressing room and a special bond was forged.

“Can you imagine coming into Las Vegas, ‘Never Never Land’, and actually going to a Frank Sinatra show in the Golden Nugget at one in the morning after going to the Hagler-Leonard fight?” said The Edge. “It was hysterical, I mean Gregory Peck was there and all manner of folks. It was amazing and Sinatra was fantastic. What a vibe.”

Bono summed up the experience: “We went to Vegas feeling like U2, Dublin, Ireland, and left feeling like the number one group on the planet.”

Sinatra had long been one of his idols and Bono ended up collaborating with him on an album of duets, recording their version of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’.

He was even a guest at Sinatra’s home in Palm Springs.

“We spent some time in his house in Palm Springs, which was a thrill looking out onto the desert and hills,” Bono said.

“He showed me a painting, one from his own hand. A mad yellow canvas of violent, concentric circles gyrating across a desert plain.

“In my house in Dublin, right by the hole-in-the-wall cellar, I can still look up to see it. ‘The painting is called Jazz and you can have it,’ he said. Very special.”

Bono might have enjoyed another very special night of boxing in Las Vegas several years later even more than he did when he attended the world heavyweight title fight between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe.

Generously, he gave up his ringside seat to Peter Buck of R.E.M., who had never been to a boxing match in his life, while Bono took up a seat further back.

“I don’t want to be in front,” Bono said.

The man who sat down beside Buck was especially informative and explained the strategy of the fight as it evolved. It was one of the great heavyweight brawls, made even greater for Buck by the knowledge imparted by his companion for the evening’s entertainment, which he enthusiastically relayed to Bono.

“The seat was incredible, the fight was incredible and the guy sat next to me was incredible – he talked me through the fights the whole night,” said Buck.

“Who was he?” Bono asked.

“Sugar Ray Leonard,” Buck told him.

Bono was crushed. He and Sugar Ray would have had much to discuss.

The SuperFight: Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Sugar Ray Leonard is available via Amazon and all leading bookshops.

By Kevin Palmer

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Glastonbury 2021 Cancelled: The first of many festivals, or just the biggest casualty?

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“With great regret, we must announce that this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not take place,” came the not altogether unexpected announcement from the Glastonbury organisers. For the second year in a row the biggest festival in the UK, and one of the biggest in the world, will now not take place. Michael and Emily Eavis communicated their decision to pull the plug on this years event via a Twitter post on Thursday 21st January.   

Glastonbury Festival. Photo credit, Anthony Devlin, PA Images. 

With Government advice still not at all clear as to how and when venues and festivals may start to open up again the decision of the festival organisers is not entirely a surprise as many are speculating that it will be at least July at the earliest before events start up again. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said “This regrettable but understandable decision is recognition that public health comes first and that right now, getting 200k fans together in just a few months looks very difficult to make safe”.

Glastonbury is a huge event and there is no doubt that this decision will not have been arrived at lightly. Logistically it is a massive operation to coordinate and with only five months to go until Glastonbury 2021 was due to go ahead Michael and Emily obviously saw that it wasn’t going to be possible given the current guildlines on social distancing and outside gatherings. Oliver Dowden added, “We continue to help the arts on recovery, including looking at problems around getting insurance. I’m sure Glastonbury will be back bigger and better next year” but not everyone empathises. 

The question now is, will other festivals follow suit? Will they have a choice and when will they decide. The chances of any of this years festivals going ahead was never odds on. The bigger the event, the bigger the organisation and arguably the bigger the disappointment. After yesterday’s announcement there was almost immediate speculation about Reading And Leeds. They have more time on their hands but that will slip away quickly as the pandemic continues to affect everyone’s daily lives. R&L put out this reply to allay fears. 

There was a glimmer of hope offered by Michael Eavis the day after the cancellation announcement as he told LBC Radio, “I would like to do something in September. I would like to do something smaller somewhere around the anniversary date of when we started, which was the 18th of September 1970. I would like to consider possibly doing something around that time.” We’ll have to wait and see and hope that something can be done, that maybe something can be salvaged and that not too many other festivals are affected. Until then, count the days!

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Hailey Bieber | Hailey Bieber swears by prenatal supplements for healthy and shiny hair

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Hailey Bieber “swears by” prenatal supplements to keep her hair healthy and shiny.

The 28-year-old model has revealed the secret to her luscious locks is taking vitamins intended for pregnant women, while not having her hair dyed all the time amid the COVID-19 pandemic has also worked wonders on her stunning blonde tresses.

She said: “My hair is so much healthier as a result of the pandemic. It’s because I’ve left it to its own devices and not dyed it in almost a year – aside from touching up the front slightly – but I really don’t care for highlights anymore.

Even so, I swear by prenatal supplements. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error with supplements for healthy hair, but prenatal vitamins have been the most helpful. I can’t take biotin – if I do, I get really painful, deep breakouts. Most hair supplements marketed for growth don’t work for me, so I’ve been using prenatal vitamins for a while now as they give you essential nutrients, while keeping your skin and hair in great condition.”

Hailey – who is married to pop star Justin Bieber – also revealed she is often seen with a “slicked back” hairstyle because she uses a bunch of hydrating oils and masks on her hair.

She added to “Day-to-day, slicked back hair is my go-to style. Most of the time it’s because I have about four different oils or masks in there and I like to let it sit. I’ll apply loads – castor oil, coconut oil and also Christophe Robin’s lovely nourishing formulas. I like to load my hair with hydrating products, put it up in a bun for two days and let everything absorb.”

Meanwhile, Hailey recently revealed she tried following a plant-based diet in lockdown.

Alec Baldwin’s niece decided quarantine would be a good time to make a change to her diet and whilst she gave the plant-based option a go for eight weeks, it wasn’t for her.

She said: “I tried a plant-based diet for two months during quarantine. I felt great and I had a lot of energy, but it was not for me. I don’t eat a strictly plant-based diet and I do still eat meat. I just don’t eat a lot of it. I’ve picked up more fish, greens, and lentils.”

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Emily Eavis | Glastonbury Festival 2021 cancelled due to coronavirus

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The Glastonbury festival has been cancelled for a second year running due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisers Michael and Emily Eavis announced on Thursday (21.01.21) that the rescheduled 2020 festival – which would have been the event’s 50th anniversary – would not go ahead in 2021 due to the continued spread of coronavirus throughout the UK and the restrictions that are in place to fight the respiratory illness.

A statement released via the official Glastonbury Twitter page read: “With great regret, we must announce that this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not take place, and that this will be another enforced fallow year for us.

“In spite of our efforts to move heaven & earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down.

“As with last year, we would like to offer all those who secured a ticket in October 2019 the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022.

“We are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!”

“We thank you for the incredible continued support and let’s look forward to better times ahead.

“With love, Michael & Emily.”

The decision to call off the festival for a second year in a row comes despite the best efforts being made to get fans at Worthy Farm and the artists on stage, which would have included headliners Taylor Swift, Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar.

Last month, Emily said: “We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare but I think we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead.”

Beatles legend McCartney previously admitted that headlining Glastonbury was not looking likely in 2021 due to the numbers of people who attend the world famous music event and how coronavirus spreads.

The 78-year-old musician said: “This is the problem, the thing we do is we get 100,000 people closely packed together with flags and no masks – talk about a super-spreader.

“I’d love it to be in my diary but I have a feeling it’s not going to be.”

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