The U2 frontman and activist talked to Rolling Stone magazine in a story that published Wednesday but declined to go into specifics of how he almost died.
In a chat with the magazine’s co-founder Jann Wenner, the singer initially said he didn’t even want to discuss it at all.
“It’s just a thing that . . . people have these extinction events in their lives; it could be psychological or it could be physical,” Bono said. “And, yes, it was physical for me, but I think I have spared myself all that soap opera.”
By “soap opera” the rocker apparently means all the attention his health scare would get if it became public.
“Especially with this kind of celebrity obsession with the minutiae of peoples’ lives — I have got out of that,” the singer said. “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 has had more than his share of crises in the past few years, including a check for throat cancer in 2000 (he turned out to be fine), a herniated disc in 2010 and a bike crash in New York City in 2014 for which he had to undergo extensive surgery.
The activist said he saw parallels between what was going on with his health and in the world.
“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 realize that you are not a tank, as [his wife] Ali says.”
This latest incident helped to inspire the band’s newest project, an album titled “Songs of Experience” which dropped on December 1.
Bono said that strangely enough the album, which is a follow-up to 2014’s “Songs of Innocence” was always meant to deal with the issue of mortality.
“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,” he said. “Like my bike accident or my back injury. So it was always going to be the subject. I just didn’t want to be such an expert in it.”