Chapter 32

I first heard U2 in the early 1980s. I started with ‘War,’ which was huge. ‘Boy’ came out before that. Once I heard ‘War,’ I went back to that and ‘October.’ My brother got on the bandwagon when he heard me listening to them.

You can’t help becoming a fan once you listen to U2.

The same four band members have been in the band since 1976, Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. They are the best rock-n-roll band in the world. It’s no blasphemy. Don’t blaspheme Bono and U2!

Bono’s name is Paul Hewson and the Edge’s name is David Evans. Nobody calls them Paul and David. Adam Clayton’s nickname is Sparky and Larry Mullen’s nickname is Jam Jar. Nobody calls them that. Bono is Bono and the Edge is the Edge. Adam and Larry are Adam and Larry. It’s just the way it is.

A lot of U2’s music is about Jesus. A lot of people don’t know that. There are not a lot of songs that Bono sings that don’t either talk about or mention his name. Being a fan for a long time I thought it was the coolest thing ever that the song ‘Until the End of the World’ is an imaginary conversation between Judas and Jesus and what Bono was thinking about the Last Supper.

When I started listening to them, were the only band that would go on tour and read the Bible instead of drinking. The only party boy on the bus was Sparky.

Bono lost his mother at a young age, and so did Larry Mullen, who is the drummer. They leaned on each other. When Larry’s mother died Bono was there to help him.

One of the cool things among the many cool things about Bono is that he has given over half of his earnings away to different charities, like Red, which is about the fight against AIDS in Africa, and the One Campaign. Even though he’s got millions, he’s given millions away, because he believes in tithing.

There aren’t too many people like him.

Bono is still married to his high school sweetheart, which is impressive in this day and age. His favorite book of the Bible is Isaiah, which used to be called the Fifth Gospel. Isaiah was a prophet who came out hard and fast prophesying about Jesus’s coming.

I identify with U2 because I was brought up religiously and those guys sing about somebody I worship. The music is good, too.

I saw them live for the first time in 1987 when they came to Cleveland and played at the Municipal Stadium on Lake Erie. It was the Joshua Tree Tour. The Edge says U2 is a live band. I was dead set on going to that concert.

I was in beauty school. I didn’t have tickets and I didn’t have any money, but I was getting there come hell or high water. I saved up all my tips from bartending.

My girlfriend and I parked on East 9th Street and walked all the way to the stadium. I figured scalpers were going to nail us with the price, but we were ready. A guy was standing in the lot near an entrance with tickets.

“You guys need tickets?”

“How much,” I asked.

“Face value.”

His friends hadn’t shown up. They were floor seats, on the baseball field outfield grass.

“Hell, yeah, we want those tickets,” I said.

I couldn’t believe we were on the floor, close to the stage. I was so excited. The Plain Dealer music critic was in the row behind us. I know she was behind us because the next day our picture was in the newspaper with a blurb about how obnoxious U2 fans could be, not staying in their seats, obstructing the view.

I was just so excited that I never sat down. Who sits at a concert? Get up!

Then a fight broke out. Who goes to a U2 concert and gets into a fight? Freaking morons! After it got sorted out, we were all moved forwards and got better seats, anyway.

The concert was great, but the fight was ridiculous. It’s a band that sings about love and peace and idiots are going to start fighting? Ridiculous!

It was all so great that, even though I wasn’t drinking, I have almost no memory of the show. I remember running into my brother and his friends, though.

“Can you give us a ride back to our car?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” he said. He had no idea we had parked so far away. We sat for hours in traffic that barely moved.

“I’m going to kill you,” he said.

I’ve never missed U2 whenever they’ve come here. I’ve seen them in Miami, Virginia, Detroit, too, although I missed going to the Pittsburgh concert with my brother a few years ago. I was having surgery. He got mad about it.

It was Halloween when I saw them in Detroit. Everyone was dressed up. We got high. There were guys dressed like Devo, all of them in orange jumpsuits. I thought it was a poster, not real people.

“Check out that poster, dudes,”

Then they all started moving and dancing.

We were walking down a hallway and a guy dressed like Elvis was in front of us. He kept turning around and looking at us. I tried to focus on him. He finally whirled around, facing us.

“Do you know who I am?” he asked.

He knew we were all completely stoned.

It was a great show, although it might have been greater if it had been the show at the Palace of Auburn Hills one March twenty-five years ago during the Zoo TV Tour when Bono ordered 10,000 pizzas for the crowd.

That’s putting your money where your mouth is.

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