U2 drummer Larry Mullen reported that, if the band tours in 2023, he probably won’t be on the road with them.
In a recent Washington Post article, journalist Geoff Edgers wrote that Mullen was planning to take time off regardless of what his colleagues were planning. “You only do this if you’re having the best time,” Mullen was quoted as saying. “And not everyone is going to make it because the price is so high. So I think the challenge is for more generosity. More openness to the process. I am autonomous and I value my autonomy. I don’t sing from the same hymn sheet. I don’t pray to the same version of God. So everyone has their limits.”
That led to speculation that Mullen was thinking about leaving the band he’d co-founded, so Edgers added more quotes from the drummer in a Twitter thread, which can be viewed below. “I have lots of bits falling off, elbows, knees, necks, and so during COVID, when we weren’t playing, I got a chance to have a look at some of these things,” the drummer had explained to Edgers. “So I’d like to take some time, which I will do to get myself healed.”
Edgers also confirmed that Mullen had spoken of his continued passion for U2, saying: “I really enjoy playing and I enjoy the process of playing and being in the company of creative people. I enjoy that. I don’t care if that’s big or small. … I really miss the audiences. I miss that interaction even though I’m sitting behind a drum kit. … My body is not what it used to be physically. Like next year, I won’t be performing live next year. I don’t know what the band’s plan is. There’s talk of all kinds of things.”
Edgers commented: “I did not ask about [Mullen’s] physical issues. He volunteered them. He said that he had been told, in the past, to rest or get work done and take time off. Instead, he pushed himself to perform. He does not want to now. He wants to fix his issues. Because he wants to drum again. … He never said he was leaving U2 or retiring.”
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