In his New Year blog entry on the U2 website, Bono expressed his concern that he may never be able to play guitar again, due to his November Central Park biking accident that left him with fractures to his eye socket, shoulder blade and elbow – the elbow fracture resulting in his being fitted with a titanium elbow replacement.
Bono exhibits his iconic Irish wit, as well as his musical passion by stating further: “The band have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this. I personally would very much miss fingering the frets of my green Irish falcon or my (RED) Gretsch. Just for the pleasure, aside from writing tunes. But then does the Edge, or Jimmy Page, or any guitarist you know have a titanium elbow, as I do now? I’m all elbows, I am.”
We can’t help but be reminded of another legendary musical artist, Les Paul, who, in January of 1948, while a passenger in a car being driven by his wife, Mary Ford, suffered a devastatingly serious injury to, among other parts of his body, his right elbow. On the Les Paul foundation website, the results of the accident and Les’s remarkable recovery are described as follows:
“… In California, Dr. McKeaver replaced Les’ right elbow with a piece of bone from Les’ leg, but there would be no elbow joint; meaning that once Les’ arm was set, it would stay in that position. So Les told Dr. McKeaver, ‘Put my forefinger in my bellybutton when you set it. That’s how I hold the guitar, and I’ll still be able to play.’ The doctors still were telling Les that he may never regain full use of his hand, but he wasn’t listening. Les was determined to be able to play again, and after over a year of recuperation and adapting to the change in his arm, Les was not only able to play guitar, he went on to hit the top of the music charts with Mary Ford.”
We hope that Bono’s recovery and guitar playing facility are restored in equal fashion and that he will once again enjoy the irrepressible pleasure of playing the guitar.