It is Dave Fanning’s fate to be forever known as the Irish John Peel. A Dublin pirate radio DJ during punk, he has ever since been Ireland’s late-night voice of left-field music on national broadcaster RTE, and for many years hosted its main TV movie-review show. The first man to play U2’s debut single, in 1980, he formed a close personal relationship with the band that endures to this day. On my trips to Dublin to ghost-write The Thing Is… (Harper Collins, 2010), Dave recalled idiosyncratic encounters with Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Schwarzenegger, Beyoncé, and… how long have you got? Bono wrote our foreword.