“I nearly ceased to be,” the Irish rocker told The Sunday Times about his “major moment.”
He added: “It was pretty serious. I’m all right now, but I very nearly wasn’t.”
Bono first described his near-death episode in the liner notes to U2’s latest album, 2017 Songs of Experience. “I was on the receiving end of a shock to the system,” he wrote. “A shock that left me clinging on to my own life. It was an arresting experience. I won’t dwell in it or on it. I don’t want to name it.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, he then went on to describe the health scare as “an extinction event,” although he refused to divulge any details of its exact nature.
The incident was not his first brush with illness or death. In 2000, Bono was checked for throat cancer, which turned out negative.
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In 2015, he was rushed to the hospital following a “high energy bicycle accident” in New York’s Central Park that left him with a facial fracture in his left eye socket, three separate fractures of his left shoulder blade and a shattered left humerus in his upper arm. It also tore through the skin.
Last month, the singer was forced to abandon a U2 gig in Berlin, Germany after losing his voice four songs into the set — although, thankfully, it turned out to be nothing serious and the band have since continued their Experience And Innocence tour.
“I’ve had a lot of warnings. A fair few punches over the last years,” Bono continued to The Sunday Times.
“There were some serious whispers in the ear that maybe I should have taken notice of. The Edge says I look at my body as an inconvenience, and I do. I really love being alive and I’m quite good at being alive, meaning I like to get the best out of any day. It was the first time I put my shoulder to the door and it didn’t open. I feel God whispered to me, ‘Next time, try knocking at the door, or just try the handle. Don’t use your shoulder because you’ll break it.’”
So, does this mean the iconic frontman is about to hang up his mic and retire to his home in the South of France? Well, maybe.
“I can’t do as much as I used to,” he said. “This tour is particularly demanding. Whether you have a face-off with your own mortality or somebody close to you does, you are going to get to a point in your life where you ask questions about where you’re going.”