‘I Still Find It Hard to Surrender’: 6 Takeaways From Bono’s New Yorker Festival Interview About His New Book

‘I Still Find It Hard to Surrender’: 6 Takeaways From Bono’s New Yorker Festival Interview About His New Book

Bono is the leader of one of the most iconic rock bands ever, U2 ,. But the rock star is much more than that. The 62-year-old Irishman is activist in the fight against AIDS and campaigns for Africa while being a 22-time Grammy Award-winning artist.

Bono, a man well-known for his social justice philanthropy as well as his unique voice, kicked off the New Yorker Festival night on Friday Sept. 7 with performances of “With or Without You,” City of Blinding Lights, and “Vertigo .”


Then ahead of the release of his debut book, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, in November, Bono chatted with renowned New Yorker journalist David Remnick to discuss the upcoming memoir about his life. He talked about his mother’s death, how he came up for the title of the book and how his bandmates read it. U2 was almost disbanded.

Here are six key takeaways from Bono’s conversation with Remnick before he releases his memoir.

Losing his mother made him turn to music

For his upcoming memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, Bono recalls his mother, Iris Hewson, dying from a brain aneurysm four days after collapsing at the funeral of her father, Gags Rankin, in 1974. The U2 frontman, who was just 14 years old, turned to music to cope with the heartbreaking death.

“It became a gift. This wound in me turned into an opening where I had music to fill it. It’s a very unscientific theory that I have. He said that he believes that when someone you love passes, there is sometimes a gift.”

The meaning behind the name “Surrender”

The 62-year-old noted that “surrender” is an essential word for him that doesn’t come naturally.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said, “I still find that it difficult to surrender to my fellow bandmates.” “As an older person it is harder to surrender my wife, to my maker. David, I am a stubborn character. But I am working on it. I wrote the .”


Did his group members see the book before it was published?

Bono revealed that Adam Clayton, Bono’s bandmate, had some thoughts about his upcoming book. Bono stated, “He thought that I had drawn him a bit as a caricature.”

Remnick asked Bono if he was correct. Bono replied “For a few reasons.” Perhaps I didn’t want him to know certain details, as it might have been too personal. It was my memoir.”

“And he also said, It’s too much about music, Bono.’ I replied, ‘Well you know, it isn’t just a music memoir. I wanted people to see that my life, as an artist, as an activist, as a hooligan, as a husband, and as a father, are all the same. Bono said that it was all part of one creative canvas.

He said, “It’s no traditional rock and roll memoir in this sense.” “And it’s not a traditional rock and roll memoir in that sense; it’s a love story; a pilgrimage.” A better title would be the pilgrim’s lack in progress.

U2 was almost broken up due to a spiritual crisis

Remnick asked Bono during the conversatio about David “The Edge”, the lead guitarist and backing singer of U2, about his spiritual crisis. He was about to leave the band.

Bono said that they were both in a non-denominational school (Edge was at Mount Temple Comprehensive School with Bono). They didn’t force religion on them, but they were deeply religious.

“We meet this — I guess you could call them first century radical Christians, kinda punks. They didn’t have many material possessions. Bono said that they were very strict in this regard. “And at first, we thought they would accept us for who we were. After a while they started to accept us for who we were. “Maybe this music thing — you should just stop that.” If the world is really broken, it is really broken. If you want to help fix it, music might be something you should just forget and sing these praise songs. ‘”

Bono said that he and The Edge had started believing in these people and that Bono felt terrible for his bandmate. “He calls me up and says, “I don’t think that I can solve this.” I replied, “Well, yes, I have some problems with this.” I want to be useful. I want to make a difference in the world. The world is, as you know, f—. ‘”

Larry Mullen Jr. was also a drummer and co-founder at U2. He also joined Bono and The Edge. Clayton, the fourth member of the band, introduced them to Paul McGuinness, a “quite wealthy manager”. The band just released their debut album , boy. “ We go to tell him that it was over. He was sitting there, and Paul said, “So, you’ve spoken to God?” And we were like, “Yeah.” “Yes.” “And God has said to you that you don’t want to be part of the band?” You want to disband the band? So you’ve been talking to God, and what’s God’s position on legal contracts? Because I’ve signed one here.

The band returned to touring, but The Edge was not resolved. Bono married Ali Hewson. The Edge and Ali were on a Jamaican trip when he began to write a song. It was called “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and Bono pointed out that the song has a Jamaican influence thanks to Bob Marley.

“That’s why Chris Blackwell [founder and CEO of Island Records] didn’t throw us off Island Records, because we’d made a mad religiosity album. Bono said that it wasn’t mad, but people were calling the album mad. “It’s because Bono said he was used dealing with Bob Marley. Bob Marley wanted God to sing to him. Bob Marley wanted girls to sing to him. Bob Marley wanted the world to hear his songs and to protest it. It was a three-cord strand, which became U2, and it began with Edge on “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” ‘”

Writing the book was therapeutic

When asked if writing Surrender was therapeutic for him, Bono said that the gift he received from writing this memoir was “time on my own.”

He continued, “And it gave you a reason to stop talking and listen.” “Also I’m a shy typist and talk too fast, so I kind of throw the paint at it. When I write and type, I need to slow down my thoughts. They make more sense of me .”

and I make more of them

The secret behind 40 years of marriage

The secret behind Bono and Ali’s 40-year-marriage is pretty simple: friendship.

Sometimes friendship can surpass romantic love. Bono said that Ali and I have a friendship. “But I don’t want to give the impression that everything was easy. However, if one of us were to get lost, the other would be there for the other. He concluded, “And I’m so thankful.”

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story is set to release on Nov. 1.

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