- 19 Oct 22
At the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literary Festival last weekend, Bono said he's still shaken from the incident.
Bono has claimed that a major Irish gangland leader plotted to kidnap his daughters a number of years ago in his new memoir, Surrender.
The 62-year-old recalled how gang members had watched the home he shared with Ali and their children Jordan, Eve, Elijah and John. The revelation came after Francis Cahill, daughter of the late gangland criminal Martin “The General” Cahill, made the revelation in a 2007 book.
Francis wrote how her father stopped the kidnap attempt of Jordan for a €6 million ransom after he was told of the plot by another criminal associate. She also maintained that her father refused to take part in the kidnap with a gang who had staked out the U2 rocker's luxury home in Killiney, South Dublin, for several months.
The U2 frontman went on to describe criticism from former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams over his pro-peace stance in the tell-all book.
Surrender illustrates an assassination threat in America over the U2 song 'Pride', penned as a tribute to murdered civil rights leader Martin Luther King, which made him fear for his life while performing it on stage.
The claims are detailed in full in Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, which is published on November 1. In the book, Bono recalls how former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams criticised the band’s pro-peace stance.
Adams allegedly said Bono “stinks” after it was perceived “U2’s opposition to paramilitaries had cost the IRA valuable funding from the US”.
Ahead of a performance of 'Pride', the band had come under fire for speaking out against the then-governor’s resistance to a memorial day for Dr King. Bono claimed U2 received a threat which promised that he would be assassinated before the end of the song.
He said: “The specific threat was that if Bono sings the verse about the assassination of King he will not make it to the end of the song.”
‘A shot rings out in the Memphis sky, free at last, they took your life, they could not take your pride’, was the key lyric in the track.
“I then realised the gravity of the situation and I did close my eyes," Bono said. "It was a slim possibility [of being assassinated] but, just in case.”
He opened his eyes to find bass player Adam Clayton had stood squarely in front of him to protect him from any shots.
The 576-page Surrender will explore the origins of 40 key songs in U2’s extensive discography. Each chapter is named for the song it covers, with Bono’s life story weaved throughout the book.
Bono is set to embark on a 14-city book tour dubbed ‘Stories Of Surrender’, which will begin on November 2 in New York City, Live Nation and Penguin Random House announced earlier this month.
The U2 musician will stop at Dublin's 3Olympia Theatre on Monday, November 21 for “an evening of words, music and some mischief”.
Bono said in a statement:
“I miss being on stage and the closeness of U2’s audience. In these shows I’ve got some stories to sing, and some songs to tell. Plus I want to have some fun presenting my ME-moir, SURRENDER, which is really more of a WE-moir if I think of all the people who helped me get from there to here.”
Last week, the rock star visited his old secondary school, Mount Temple Comprehensive, to surprise students with a reading from his new book.