It turns out Bono’s bicycling accident in late 2014 may have changed something about U2 forever. The crash that happened while he was cycling in New York City led to him breaking his arm in six places and fracturing his eye socket, among other injuries. U2’s front man posted an essay on U2.com that reflects on 2014 and reveals his days playing the guitar may be over.
“Recovery has been more difficult than I thought,” Bono writes. “As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again.”
He realizes that while unfortunate there are worse things that could have happened than losing his ability to play guitar. “The band have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this,” Bono jokes.
It’s worth noting that while fans know The Edge as the band’s primary guitarist, it’s quite common to see Bono strumming along on stage. Should the doctor determine Bono can’t play guitar anymore, the changes would be very obvious — and heartbreaking — for fans. In addition to no longer contributing to the guitar portions of future albums, the live versions of some of the band’s most iconic songs would have to be altered.
Below you will find five TV appearances by the band, made all the better by Bono and his guitar.
1. ‘Walk On,’ performed on ‘America: A Tribute to Heroes’
2. ‘One,’ performed with Mary J. Blige on the 2006 Grammy Awards
3. ‘Exit’ and ‘In God’s Country,’ performed on Britain’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’
4. ‘She’s a Mystery to Me,’ Roy Orbison cover performed on MTV’s ‘Jammed: U2’
5. ‘City of Blinding Lights,’ performed on ‘Top of the Pops’