A day-by-day history of U2, now in its second edition.

Bono says 1986 was a “dark year”

By on November 6, 2007 in Call for Help with 5 Comments

I am absolutely going nuts over this, and it’s driving me crazy. And now, I’m throwing in the towel and turning it over to my blog readers, AKA … you. 🙂

I’m certain I’ve read a quote in which Bono describes 1986 as a “dark year” for him, or perhaps it was a “dark year” for U2 as a whole. He might’ve said “difficult year”, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I can’t find this quote! Arrggghhhhhhh! I’ve read the 1987 Rolling Stone interviews, thinking the quote was in there. I’ve read some of the other 1987 and 1988 articles about the band, thinking it was in there … but no luck.

So, I’m asking here on the very remote chance someone else remembers this quote and knows where to find it. My fingers are crossed.

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  1. u2search says:

    I’m pretty sure I read that too, and very recently, but can’t remember where. I guess this remark in Musician doesn’t qualify?

    I found this last year a time of reassessment in my own life. I think Dylan said: “When you reach the top, you’re at the bottom.”


  2. Raul says:

    Looking backward, mid-life crisis around… 87! Did it began in 86?

    Q: Has that line about “midlife crisis” in the song “New York” dogged you?

    Bono: «It followed me around, but everyone who knows me knows that I had a midlife crisis when I was about 27. (…)»


  3. Richard Lamberti says:

    Hi again Matt,

    I was pretty sure I had the quote somewhere so have spent days trawling my U2 mags and have now found it!

    I have the “Uncut – Legends presents U2, volume 1 issue 3” published in May 2004 – similar to the NME ‘special’ published around the same time.

    The quote is on page 88 of the mag in an article about the making of The Joshua Tree. The 5th paragraph reads… ‘But the album’s lengthy gestation, Bono later admiied, began to strain his already volatile marriage. “I live with a very strong person, and she throws me out occasionally,” he confessed to ‘Rolling Stone’. “I hardly saw my wife Ali for a year. 1986 was an incredibly bad year for me. It’s almost impossible to be married and be in a band on the road.”

    Later on in the same article, after referring to Bono’s trip to Nicaragua and El Salvador… ‘In early July, tragedy hit U2 a lot closer to home. Greg Carroll, Bono’s 26-year-old personal assistant and stage roadie, collided with a car on Dublin’s Morehampton Road while riding the singer’s Harley Davidson home. He died in hospital soon afterwards. The band were frozen with grief, devastated. Bono, Ali, Larry and various U2 family members flew out for Carroll’s traditional Maori funeral, a three-day affair in Wanganui, New Zealand.

    “He was one of those guys you say is too good for this world,” said Bono. “And he died doing me a favour. I don’t know what to say. He further made 1986 the most paradoxical year of our lives. That’s why the desert attracted me as an image. That year was really a desert for us. It was a terrible time. Death is a real cold shower… it’s followed me around since I was a kid and I don’t want to see any more of it.”

    Matt – I hope this is waht you were looking for? If you want me to e-mail you a scan of the page from the mag I can do so although I’m not sure whether you’d be able to read the size of the text. Let me know.

    P.S. Like Coca, I’d love a signed copy of your book when it’s published if possible please as I’ve helped out a few times! If you want me to send you the book after I’ve bought it and pay for the return postage I’d be more than happy to do that.



  4. u2search says:

    That particular issue of Uncut can be found online here (you have to register first):

  5. Matt says:

    That’s the quote, Richard – thank you!! So it was from Rolling Stone originally, but I must’ve not looked at the right articles. I read that UNCUT issue a couple months ago, so that must be where I saw it.

    Thanks so much for finding that. On your question – I’d be glad to.

    @u2search – thanks for the link, as well.

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