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Bono Had a Near-Death Experience, Says Music Has Become "Very Girly"

by Newsdesk

U2 frontman Bono suffered a near-death experience just as the rockers were preparing to explore the subject of mortality for their new album.

The singer, 57, stops short of revealing specific details about the ordeal which almost claimed his life, but admits it gave him plenty to write about as he and his bandmates worked on Songs of Experience, which was released at the start of December.

"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," Bono explains to Rolling Stone. "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?"

The musician 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 continues. "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 following the secret health scare.

"Strangely enough, mortality was going to be a subject anyway just because it is a subject not often covered," he says. "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."

Bono's close friend and bandmate the Edge had previously touched on the singer's "brush with mortality" in a separate chat with Rolling Stone back in September, but was equally as vague about the circumstances, simply stating, "He definitely had a serious moment, which caused him to reflect on a lot of things."

It's thought the incident occurred towards the end of last year (2016), months after Bono was caught up in the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France in July, 2016. He had been dining on a restaurant terrace when a lorry driver slammed into a crowd of people watching a firework display on the nearby seafront, killing 86 people, on the country's national holiday.

Meanwhile, the singer is unimpressed with today's music releases, labelling them "very girly".  Asked how and where he discovers new music, Bono replied that he hears his children, who are into rock music and hip-hop, playing some of the newer releases.

Bono's son Eli Hewson, who fronts his own rock band, Inhaler, "believes that a rock and roll revolution is around the corner", the singer explained, and when asked whether he agreed, he replied, "I think music has gotten very girly. And there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment - and that's not good."

Bono, real name Paul David Hewson, has been making music since the tender age of 16. At the beginning of his songwriting career he discovered that he was a very angry teenager, but he managed to find a way to express this rage through his music - which he maintains is a healthy way to deal with the emotion.

'When I was 16, I had a lot of anger in me. You need to find a place for it and for guitars, whether it is with a drum machine – I don't care," he explained. "The moment something becomes preserved, it is f**king over."

The band remains one of the most popular rock groups in the world, with their fourteenth studio record Songs of Experience topping six album charts worldwide. And Bono remains incredulous that he's managed to have such a long and successful career.

"I am the f**king luckiest man on Earth," he said. "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."