Tuesday 18 June 2019

Bono tells of brush with death - and 'nausea' over Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi with Bono
Aung San Suu Kyi with Bono
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Bono has revealed the "hail of blows" he has suffered over recent years as he suffered a near-death experience in the run-up to U2's latest album.

The singer (57) stopped short of revealing specific details about the ordeal that almost claimed his life in an extensive interview with 'Rolling Stone' magazine.

But he admits it gave him plenty to write about as he and his bandmates worked on 'Songs of Experience'.

"This political apocalypse was 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 Ali [his wife, Ali Hewson] says. Edge has this thing that he says about me, that I look upon my body as an inconvenience."

He added 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."

The frontman insists his access to top quality medical care allowed him to make a full recovery from the incident, but that alone has also given him pause when discussing what actually happened to him.

"People have had so much worse to deal with, so that is another reason not to talk about it," he said.

"You demean all the people who, you know, never made it through that or couldn't get health care."

Bono claims the group had already decided to create songs reflecting on the idea of death, so it was the perfect creative outlet. He said: "Strangely enough, mortality was going to be a subject anyway, just because it is a subject not often covered ... and you can't write 'Songs of Experience' without writing about that.

"And I've had a couple of these shocks to the system, let's call them, in my life."

The singer did not provide more detail, but asked about a throat cancer scare from 2000, he added: "It was a check for it. One of the specialists wanted to biopsy, which would have risked my vocal cords - and it turned out OK."

On Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he previously championed, Bono said: "That is very hard, and I'm - I feel kind of nauseous about that. I have genuinely felt ill, because I can't quite believe what the evidence all points to.

"But there is ethnic cleansing. It really is happening, and she has to step down because she knows it's happening. I am sure she has many great reasons in her head why she is not stepping down."

Irish Independent

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