MacPhisto Centre Stage

Welcome to MacPhisto Centre Stage, a website that does exactly what it says on the tin – putting the spotlight on the greatest character ever to appear in the U2 universe. With everything from introductory profiles to image galleries and detailed transcripts of all his phone calls, this site aims to be a one-stop MacPhisto mecca, catering to U2 newbies and devoted fans alike. If you like your pop stars to be exciting, you've come to the right place!

Off with the horns and on with the show...

Who is MacPhisto?

MacPhisto (photo © Kevin Davies) In 1992, the world's greatest band – U2 – embarked on the biggest and most spectacular tour of their career so far. They called it ZooTV, and it would last almost two years (157 shows across five legs), promoting the fantastic Achtung Baby and Zooropa albums. One interesting feature of the tour was Bono's cast of specially created alter-egos – notably The Fly, the Mirrorball Man, and of course Mr MacPhisto.

For the first three legs of the tour, the shows' encores were dominated by Bono's American character, the Mirrorball Man. He was a corrupt televangelist in a silver mirrorball suit, who would spout out his dubious philosophies and make phone calls from the stage – usually to the White House in an attempt to harass then-President George Bush. When the stadium tour came to Europe in 1993, the Mirrorball Man character no longer seemed appropriate, so a colourful new alter-ego was developed with this latest audience in mind. From that moment on, ZooTV belonged to MacPhisto.

In a nutshell, MacPhisto is the Devil, in the form of an ageing rock star. But rather like the Biblical demon calling himself Legion ("for we are many"), this satanic celebrity incorporates a myriad of influences – probably more than will be mentioned here. Bold and theatrical, charismatic yet fragile, controversial and just a little bit camp, MacPhisto brought to the shows a wicked humour as well as a sense of faded glory that's genuinely moving at times. Dressed in a gold lamé suit and outrageous glittery platform boots, speaking slowly in an upper-class English accent, he inherited the Mirrorball Man's penchant for prank calls – and ran with it. Over the course of several months he phoned a wide variety of politicians, celebrities, royalty, religious leaders, taxi companies and more, with decidedly mixed results.

Bono has often been quoted as saying that "Mystery and mischief are the two most important ingredients in rock 'n' roll". In that case, MacPhisto is surely the embodiment of the genre.

Who The Devil?
Analysis of MacPhisto's character using quotes from the literature.
Things we know about Mr MacPhisto, from his likes and dislikes to his repertoire of songs.
All of MacPhisto's speeches and phone calls from the Zooropa Tour 1993, complete with MP3s. Also includes NEW Experience + Innocence Tour transcripts!
Off Stage
MacPhisto's activities outside of the ZooTV concerts, from visiting the Vatican to appearing in promo videos... plus his 21st century comebacks!
Over 4,500 MacPhisto photos and screencaps, with tags to help you find the pic you're looking for.
A list of other MacPhisto-related websites and videos available on YouTube.
Other books, TV shows etc that you might enjoy if you're a fan of MacPhisto.
Bibliography and thank-you list.

"Playing the anti-Christ was nothing new. My mother used to call me that when I was four years old."
-- 'Conversation with Bono' in Swansea, Wales, 1st October 1995.
From A Grand Madness: Ten Years On The Road With U2 by Dianne Ebertt Beeaff.

Eunice tells Bono that there have always been angels on U2's stage but now they are letting in the devils, too. She says she likes that; it makes for a fairer fight.
-- Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of JFK, speaking about the ZooTV Tour.
From U2 At The End Of The World by Bill Flanagan.