Bono says he had ‘near-death’ experience while making U2 album Songs of Experience | music | Hindustan Times
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Bono says he had ‘near-death’ experience while making U2 album Songs of Experience

There have been several reports of Bono grappling with a serious health condition during the recording of the album but this is the first time the singer has spoken about it.

music Updated: Dec 29, 2017 21:57 IST
HT Correspondent
U2 frontman Bono
U2 frontman Bono(AFP File Photo)

U2 frontman Bono has revealed he had a “near-death” experience while making the band’s new album Songs of Experience but declined to go into the details.

The experience was like an “extinction event” that influenced the music on the new album and made him realise he is “not a tank”, the 57-year-old musician and activist told Rolling Stone magazine in a wide-ranging interview.

There have been several reports of Bono grappling with a serious health condition during the recording of the album but this is the first time the singer has spoken about it.

Though he was initially reluctant to talk about the incident, Bono told the magazine’s found Jann Wenner: “It’s just a thing that...people have these extinction events in their lives; it could be psychological or it could be physical. And, yes, it was physical for me, but I think I have spared myself all that soap opera.

“Especially with this kind of celebrity obsession with the minutiae of peoples’ lives – I have got out of that. I want to speak about the issue in a way that lets people fill in the blanks of what they have been through, you know?”

Bono said the experience last year had left him “very alone and very frightened”. He added, “I am a singer, and everything I do comes from air. Stamina, it comes from air. And in this process, I felt I was suffocating. That was the most frightening thing that could happen to me because I am in pain.”

He refused to give details because of how the matter would be reported by the tabloids. He also didn’t want to “demean” people with more serious health issues.

“You know, people have had so much worse to deal with, so that is another reason not to talk about it. You demean all the people who, you know, never made it through that or couldn’t get health care!” he added in the interview that will appear next month.

The health scare coincided with the “political apocalypse…going on in Europe and in America, and it found a perfect rhyme with what was going on in my own life”, he said.

“And I have had a hail of blows over the years. You get warning signs, and then you realise that you are not a tank, as (his wife) Ali says. (U2 guitarist) Edge has this thing that he says about me, that I look upon my body as an inconvenience,” he added.

In 2000, Bono was tested for throat cancer and suffered serious injuries in a bike accident in New York in 2014.

The singer said he now plans to focus on positive things, such as making more music and spending time with his children.

“I didn’t think that I had a fear of a fast exit. I thought it would be inconvenient ‘cause I have a few albums to make and kids to see grow up and this beautiful woman and my friends and all of that. But I was not that guy. And then suddenly you are that guy. And you think, ‘I don’t want to leave here. There’s so much more to do.’ And I’m blessed. Grace and some really clever people got me through, and my faith is strong,” he said.