U2 Frontman, Bono recently recalled the time when he hadn’t joined the band. Bono recently revealed that he had started out by experimenting with music in his teenage years.
In a household with some musical inclinations from his father and brother, but no real interest in pursuing a career in the industry, Bono had idols like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie.
Bono reveals how he decided to join the music industry
However, his dreams of becoming an artist finally took shape after a traumatic event when he was 14. The singer lost his mother Iris to a brain aneurysm at his grandfather’s funeral. Not only did this loss become the inspiration for many U2 songs later on, but it was also an event that triggered the frontman’s passion for music and artistry.
In a chapter taken from his upcoming memoir “Surrender“, Bono remembered the conflicting feelings he had as a young boy who had to say goodbye to his mother (via Rolling Stone):
“[Bono’s brother] Norman and I are brought into the hospital to say goodbye. She’s alive but barely. The local clergyman Sydney Laing, whose daughter I’m dating is here. Ruth is outside the hospital room, wailing, with my father, whose eyes have less life in them than my mother’s. I enter the room at war with the universe, but Iris looks peaceful. It’s hard to figure that a large part of her has already left. We hold her hand.”
He further talked about his childhood, Bono recalled the surprise his mother felt when she saw him sing for the first time, during a production of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, where he played the Pharaoh:
“Dressed up in one of my mother’s white trouser suits with some silvery sequins glued on, I curled my lip and brought the house down. Iris laughed and laughed. She seemed surprised that I could sing, that I was musical.”
He continued: “I was born with melodies in my head, and I was looking for a way to hear them in the world. Iris wasn’t looking for those kinds of signs in me, so she didn’t see them.”
Following his mother’s death, Bono took more interest in music and he likened the tragic incident to an opera, saying:
“The subject of the opera is the absence of a woman called Iris, and the music swells to stay the silence that envelops the house and the three men—one of whom is just a boy.”
Dedicating himself to music to cope with his feelings of loss and grief, Bono went to his brother for help learning the guitar:
“With his guidance, I learned to play ‘If I Had a Hammer’ and ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.’ I worked out how to play ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ ‘Dear Prudence,’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’ on my brother’s guitar.”
Bono’s memoir “Surrender” is set to for release on November 1.