U2’s Bono on his new book ‘Surrender’: “The title is where I’m headed, rather than where I’m at”

Penguin Random House

U2‘s Bono may have titled his new book Surrender, but he says that word is something he really doesn’t quite get…though he’s working on it.

Appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday, the Irish icon noted that “[‘Surrender’] is a word I haven’t yet fully grasped or fathomed, if I’m honest. I was born with my fists up, metaphorically — sometimes physically! — and putting them down is hard for me.  And I’m trying to. So the title is where I’m headed, rather than where I’m at.”

The full title of the book is Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. In his conversation with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Bono described it as “a love letter” to his wife, Ali Hewson.

“Writing the book was really frightening because I was going to have to let her read it!” he laughed. “And she came back with spelling [corrections], mostly — there were a couple of sections she wanted removed.”

Bono met Ali and the other three members of U2 during the same week at their high school in Ireland and has kept both his relationship and his band going for more than 40 years. Asked how he’s managed that feat, Bono joked, “Desperation.”

Turning serious, he then explained, “Friendship is at the heart of it, really. I mean, friendship is a lot less passionate as it looks at face value but I think it can outpace even romantic love. If you’ve got both — even better.” 

“I love my bandmates,” he added, laughing, “We don’t always love each other at the same time…but we get through it. We’re always breaking up!”

On Wednesday, Bono starts his 14-date book tour, described as “an evening of words, music and some mischief,” in New York City.

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