News: Bike crash may end Bono’s guitar playing days

U2 front man tells fans recovery from accident slower than expected

Man Down

The U2 front man suffered serious injuries resulting from a grisly bike crash in New York’s Central Park.

U2 lead singer Bono may never be able to play the guitar again because of injuries suffered in a cycling accident last year in New York’s Central Park.

Bono was attempting to avoid another cyclist when he went down in a heap, suffering fractures to his face and arm. The singer was rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Emergency Department and underwent multiple X-rays and CAT scans followed by five hours of surgery.

“Recovery has been more difficult than I thought,” wrote the 54-year-old Bono in a blog post on the band’s website. “As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again.”

Of course guitar playing has never been the U2 front man’s No. 1 job, but the fact that he may never do it again speaks to the extent of the injuries resulting from his accident. The final injury tally included a facial fracture involving the orbit of his eye, three separate fractures of his left shoulder blade, and a fracture of his left humerus bone in his upper arm, with the bone shattering in six different places and tearing through his skin, according to a report by Rolling Stone.

After the accident, which required the insertion of 18 screws and three metal plates, the surgeon who treated Bono told Rolling Stone that he expected the singer to make a full recovery, but he would be required to do “intensive and progressive therapy.”

“On the day of my 50th birthday I received an injury because I was over indulging in exercise boxing and cycling, which was itself an overcompensation for overindulging on alcohol coming up to the big birthday,” the singer wrote in a 6000-word diatribe that included an A-to-Z summary of what went down in 2014. “I promised myself I would be more mindful of my limits, but just four years on, it happened again – a massive injury I can’t blame on anyone but myself, mainly because I blanked out on impact and have no memory of how I ended up in New York Presbyterian with my humerus bone sticking through my leather jacket. Very punk rock as injuries go.”

“X is for X-ray,” he added later in the expansive on-line posting. “Here’s my titanium elbow for a laugh.” The actual X-ray image followed (also shown below), showing numerous pins and other artificial implants put in place to hold his elbow in place.

Pins and Needles

A look at what’s left of Bono’s elbow.

The accident forced the band to cancel a string of public appearances with hopes that Bono will be back to full strength for U2’s next tour, which is slated to kick off on May 14 in Vancouver with an already sold out show.

“The consequences of this freak accident are significant enough that I will have to concentrate hard to be ready for the U2 tour in fitness terms,” Bono wrote. “As a result I have cancelled every public appearance and decided this missive is all the communication I can manage for the first half of 2015, beyond muttering and singing to myself of course.”

Let’s hope he gets back on stage soon — and continues to ride bikes.

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  • laurel says:

    Bono. Get well soon


    Wonder if he was wearing a helmet? Doubt it. I’ve cracked more than one helmet and they usually keep me from smashing my orbit of the eye. Got my nose pretty good though.

  • Conscience of a Conservative says:

    There’s something missing from this story. Nobody seems to know who this other cyclist was and with a rich rock star who also now has an apparent reduction in earnings capacity you would think this would be the subject of either a law suit or more press coverage.

    • jiw71 says:

      There is a lot of info missing. Probably due to his stardom. The speed limit in Central Park for cyclists is 20mph. No details of the accident suggest that he was in the wrong. Too bad – hopefully a full recovery!

  • James Thurber says:

    I shattered my wrist in 2005 and had a titanium plate / screws inserted. My other hand suffered a badly fractured thumb. Recovery has been 100 percent and I still continue to play piano and banjo with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

  • CA says:

    Get well soon. Recovery is tough but you will be back on the bike.
    PS-Might be a song in all this.

  • des stevens says:

    ironic name bono

  • Roy Bloomfield says:

    As a professional guitarist, I can relate…but will he be able to RIDE again? . . . priorities

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