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"In another time, another era, we would just be wandering minstrels in the village square with nothing." — Bono

Bono Has Back Surgery; Tour Opener Postponed

@U2

U2 has postponed the opening show of this summer's U2 360 Tour after Bono underwent emergency back surgery Friday in Munich. According to U2.com, Bono suffered a back injury while preparing for the tour. He'll spend "the next few days" in the Munich hospital before going home to recuperate.

U2's tour opener in Salt Lake City, originally scheduled for June 3rd, has been postponed indefinitely, and it seems there's a chance future tour dates could be in jeopardy, too. In an audio statement about the postponement, Paul McGuinness mentions "dates" in the plural. Here's the full text of his announcement:

"The band were really looking forward to getting back out on the road until the emergency surgery on Bono's back, which took place in Munich today. We were due to start rehearsals on Tuesday in Salt Lake City and get the show ready for the next leg. There were gonna be some changes and some new material. It's unfortunate that we're inconveniencing fans. We will make plans to reinstate these dates as soon as possible. Obviously, it's been very disruptive for our crew, as well; we have over 400 people converging on Salt Lake City, and some of them have been turned around and told to stay at home until we make our new plan. We hope to get things resolved as soon as possible. Keep watching U2.com and you'll get the information as soon as we can get it out to you. Signing off, this is Paul McGuinness."

This is the second consecutive tour that's seen shows postponed. U2 delayed several Vertigo Tour shows in the spring of 2006 due to a family health emergency that was later revealed (in U2 by U2) to be an illness to Edge's daughter, Sian.

U2 fans with tickets to the Salt Lake City concert are being told to hold on to those tickets until further information about the postponement is announced.

You can join fans in our forum talking about Bono's surgery and condition or about the postponed Salt Lake City concert.

Postscript: Bono has been having back trouble for several years now. Here's a selection of entries that appear in my book, U2-A Diary, that refer to Bono's back trouble.

February 14, 2003
Edge attends the Dublin premiere of Salma Hayek's new movie, Frida. Bono is reportedly unable to be there due to back pain.

February 18, 2003
Bono is unable to attend the Dublin premiere of Neil Jordan's The Good Thief, his second cancelled appearance in the past week. Dublin media learn that Bono has a slipped disc in his back.

March 9, 2003
Reports surface that Bono's back pain is so bad, he has to lie down in the studio while working on U2's new album.

March 10, 2003
Subbing for Bono, whose back is in too much pain, Edge and Tom Morello (of Audioslave) induct The Clash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

May 19, 2005
The New York Daily News reports that Bono has seen a back specialist while in the area this week. The paper says Bono visited Dr. Vijay Vad, a physician who specialises in non-surgical treatment of the spine, at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

June 13, 2005
- Brainpool TV Studios, Cologne. U2 appear on the German late night programme TV Total. Host Stefan Raab interviews the band between live performances of 'City Of Blinding Lights' and 'Vertigo'. Earlier in the day, a team of German doctors visits Bono in his hotel room and administers about two-dozen injections to alleviate pain in his back.

Bono, on behalf of U2 fans all over the world -- get well soon!

Postscript #2: Greg Gunn, the fan in Salt Lake City who was sharing video of the stage construction at Rice-Eccles earlier this week, has posted an update on Twitter that says one of the U2 360 truck drivers told him they're relocating to Minneapolis. We'd caution against assuming that all shows before Minneapolis on June 27th will be postponed. Keep in mind that there are three stages in use on the tour.

Postscript #3: Over the weekend, Greg posted again to say that the trucks were not going to Minneapolis after all, and instead were staying at Rice-Eccles Stadium until they receive new instructions.