Bono Recalls What ‘Nearly Killed’ Larry Mullen Jr.

In a recent interview with CBS Morning, U2 frontman Bono detailed a moment during a performance that, according to him, ‘nearly killed’ the band’s drummer, Larry Mullen Jr.

Mullen suffered damage to his elbows, knees, and neck, which he looked into during the COVID-19 pandemic and underwent surgery. However, The Edge said he was present during the studio sessions and the music video for ‘Atomic City’:

“He played on the track and just sounds amazing. So we’re very happy.”

Bono then chimed in, revealing Mullen’s performance almost took its toll on his health:

“He killed it, but it nearly killed him. So, if you see him on a stretcher, you’ll know he died for rock and roll. Now he’s feeling good, and I think he can see a way back to fitness, but it’s going to take time.”

Mullen revealed in a 2022 interview with The Washington Post that he may not join the band if they intend to tour in 2023 because he needs surgery. He said he wanted to take time off to heal from his drumming-related injuries:

“I really miss the audience. I miss that interaction even though I’m sitting behind a drum kit … My body is not what it used to be physically. Like next year, I won’t be performing live next year. I don’t know what the band’s plan is. There’s talk of all kinds of things.”

The drummer will not participate in the first round of shows for the ‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere’ residency, with Krezip drummer Bram van den Berg taking his place.

U2 had other moments where members couldn’t perform, such as when Adam Clayton missed a Sydney show in ’93. There was also a time when Bono couldn’t perform due to a bike accident, and Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin performed in his place.

U2 is set to play at The Sphere in Las Vegas without Larry Mullen Jr. Their Sphere shows will run from Sept. 29 to Dec. 16. The band will be playing their 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby’ in full during their residency, and it will be their first live show since December 2019.

Meanwhile, the band released the music video for ‘Atomic City’ yesterday. The song’s title refers to the nickname for Vegas from the 1950s. The video was filmed in the same Fremont Street location where U2 filmed their video for ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ 36 years prior.

You can watch the interview and the music video for ‘Atomic City’ below.