Rehearsing for U2 tour in Vancouver, Bono opens up about injuries

Bono, right, with U2 guitarist Edge, pictured in Toronto in 2009. John R. Kennedy / Global News

TORONTO — U2 singer Bono, in Vancouver rehearsing for the band’s upcoming tour, says he is still recovering from a bicycle accident last November that fractured his eye socket, shoulder, elbow and left hand.

“It feels like I have somebody else’s hand,” Bono said in an interview with the New York Times.

“I can’t bend these,” he explained, referring to his fourth finger and pinky.

Pointing to another part of his hand, Bono added: “And this is like rigor mortis. But they say that nerves heal about a millimetre a week, so in about 13 months I should know if it’s coming back.”

Bono said his shoulder and face have healed but his arm — now reinforced with titanium — is “all numb.”

The singer, who turns 55 on May 10, suffered the injuries when he crashed his bike in Central Park.

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“I really used to think that my head was harder than any surface it came in contact with, and I don’t anymore,” Bono said.

“I didn’t come off a Harley-Davidson. I came off a push bike and smashed myself to bits. There is no glory here.”

Bono, pictured with his guitar in Toronto in 2011. John R. Kennedy / Global News

Two months after the accident, Bono told fans “it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again.”

In the Times interview, Bono confirmed he can’t play guitar. He joked his bandmates “don’t seem to mind.”

U2 — which also includes guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. — is inside the Pacific Coliseum rehearsing for the Innocence + Experience tour, which kicks off a few minutes west at Rogers Arena on May 14.

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The band is also scheduled to perform in Montreal on June 12, 13, 16, and 17 and in Toronto July 6 and 7.

According to the Times, the tour has sold 98 per cent of the 1.2 million tickets available at 68 shows.

The band will perform on a large rectangular stage and a smaller round stage connected by a walkway. For the first time, there will be an intermission during the concert.

In addition to rehearsing inside the Coliseum, U2 is recording material for a new album in a mobile studio.

Bono addressed the social media backlash after their previous album was automatically uploaded to Apple customers’ iTunes libraries.

“As a person who’s been a lifelong member of Amnesty International, of all human-rights crimes I think that this kind of unwanted mail, if it’s at the top of your list or even halfway up it, your life is really fantastic.”