U2 is supposed to play a Las Vegas residency in 2023. However, the band’s drummer and founding member, Larry Mullen Jr., has said that he won’t be playing in the band. The question remains: Will the residency still take place with or without Mullen?
In an interview with the Washington Post, the drummer admitted that he is opting out of U2’s residency at the opening of the new Las Vegas Sphere in the fall. Turns out, the drummer needs surgery. For the 61-year-old musician, that means playing with the band next year just isn’t in his plans.
The typically media-shy founding member of the band hasn’t given an interview in seven years. Mullen only opened up to the Washington Post because he and the other three band members were honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Kennedy Center Honors. Even in the article, Mullen is only paraphrased. However, it’s clear that the founding member is facing surgery that may take him out of commission for a while.
The article, written by Geoff Edgers, shares that Mullen is “blunt” and “says if the band plays live in 2023 it will probably be without him, as he needs surgery to continue playing.” Unfortunately, we don’t learn what kind of surgery the drummer needs. Apparently, Mullen opened up about the surgery without being asked about any physical ailments.
Mullen Isn’t Leaving U2
Since posting the article, Edgers has shared a few more details from the interview. In a Twitter thread, the writer provides several additional quotes from the drummer.
As Edgers tweeted, “[Mullen] 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.”
For Mullen, drumming is a non-negotiable. Since he wants to keep on playing, now is the time for him to focus on healing. As the drummer said, “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.”
Mullen then explained, “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. So there’s some damage along the way.”
The drummer went on to admit, “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.”
Even if the residency takes place for U2, it sounds like Mullen won’t be the band’s drummer. Since the founding member only wants to be with his fans, hopefully Mullen will have a swift return to the band. It will definitely be a beautiful day for Mullen and fans alike.