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NEWS OF THE WORLD , 11 August 2002.

"U2 fanatic Michael Malone started his own rock-star career the day he got MARRIED! At his reception he got on stage, picked up a guitar and belted out a few of his idols' anthems for delighted guests. They soon told Michael he was so good he should go back to playing music. Inspired, the Dublin teacher formed tribute band Rattle and Hum the moment he returned from his honeymoon. And two years later they're winning acclaim around the country.

Michael doesn't boast that they're even better than the real thing - but the lads have definitely hit all the right notes with Bono, who calls them his favourite U2 tribute act. Rattle and Hum sent the superstars a DVD of one of their gigs and the front-man gave them his official thumbs-up. Michael said yesterday, "I had a hunger to get back in a band as I played when I was younger. My obsession with U2 provided the perfect chance."

He and three pals locked themselves in rehearsals for three months before playing live. Rattle and Hum play their biggest show yet at Dublin's Olympia Theatre next Saturday night - and there is the added twist that Bono and the boys could make an appearance. On stage Michael bears an uncanny resemblance to Bono, with his leather jacket and trousers, his "Fly" shades and slicked back hair. He is proud to admit that he has been a fan of the band for the over twenty years. And he says several of their biggest hits touch him deeply when he sings them. Emotions can run high at Rattle and Hum gigs and some fans are just as crazed as U2's. At a Galway show a foreign fan at the front of the stage kept asking Michael for the towel he was using to wipe his face with. "It was a bit scary. She just wanted my sweat!" he laughed."