Lyrics For U2's Next Album Reported Stolen

Words and other work in progress for Irish rock band's record were in Bono's shoulder bag.

A shoulder bag that U2 singer Bono reported missing this week contained

lyrics and other work in progress for the superstar rock band's next album,

according to the band's manager.

"It's really important that we get it back," manager Paul McGuinness said

in a statement Thursday (Dec. 9). "To anyone else it's just a personal

computer, and a few pieces of paper. To Bono, obviously, it's much more

important."

U2's management company, Principle Management Ltd., is offering a substantial

reward for the bag's return, McGuinness said. Reuters reported Wednesday

that Bono was offering about 2,000 Irish pounds ($2,600).

The black shoulder bag, which had a red luggage tag bearing the management

company's address and phone number, was discovered missing Monday night

at Clarence Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, according to a statement released

Wednesday through U2's UK publicity firm, RMP.

A bag matching that description was reported stolen from the hotel Tuesday,

according to Irish police spokesperson Noreen Harrison.

Bono (born Paul Hewson) and U2 guitarist the Edge (born Dave Evans) are

investors in the hotel.

Brendan Walsh, another Irish police spokesperson, said on Thursday that

he expected the bag to be returned.

"There's a reward for it — it's worth their while to do it," he said.

"It's been widely publicized here."

U2's album is scheduled for release in 2000. Bono said in an online chat

in June that the disc would return the band to a more organic sound than

their most recent work.

"It's the sound of four people playing in a room, four people who've known

each other all their lives," the 39-year-old singer said of the album,

which the band is recording with producers Brian Eno and Lanois —

the team behind such previous hit albums as The Joshua Tree (1987).

The band's most recent studio album was Pop (1997).

[This story was updated with additional reporting at 2:30 p.m. EST

Thursday, Dec. 9.]