U2'S NEAR SPLIT ( Bono)

The philanthropic rocker says his bandmates - guitarist The Edge, bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. - were convinced his prominent involvement in promoting numerous charities issues would end the Irish group.

He told the Observer Music Monthly magazine: "It's dangerous. And it worries Larry, and it worries the whole band, if truth be told."

"But, you know, here's the thing - they thought, all of them, Larry, Edge, Adam, that my campaigning would sink the ship."

The band - who were awarded Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for their work in promoting human rights - were particularly against their frontman meeting one specific world leader, former US President George W. Bush.

The "Get On Your Boots" singer said: "Edge pleaded with me right at the start not to meet Bush."

While Bono, 48, works hard at finding enough time to devote to U2, his family and the causes he supports, he is adamant he has the energy to do it all.

The singer - who has campaigned for Third World debt relief and better AIDS treatments in Africa -said: "When I'm with U2 doing U2 work, they have me 100 per cent or we would not be here now."

"I give my time to my family, my band and my interest in the wide world. It all seems to be fuel for me. My engine seems to be working better these days."
( Bono [02/16/2009])