In 1985 I was mentoring a group of high school students. One of them brought me an album of this cool band that was quickly getting the attention of his generation. The album was Under a Blood Red Sky. This remarkable foursome played rock 'n' roll, sang in Latin and used Scripture for lyrics. I was hooked.
In 1987 I went to my first U2 concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum. I sat at the top of the stadium watching in awe. Out of the darkness came the sound of an organ. As it grew in intensity, the Olympic torch on the Coliseum burst into flame, then came the unmistakable 6/8 rhythm of Edge's guitar, the pounding of Larry's kick drum and toms, Adam's driving quarter notes, and by the time Bono sang "I want to run" we were higher than the stadium itself. It was the first time I heard 90,000 people sing together. It was the first time I'd been to church in a stadium. I became a follower.
Fast forward to present day. I'm a professor of biblical and religious studies at a Christian liberal arts university in California where I get to teach a course called "Theology, Culture and U2." It's a joy and an honor to watch college students catch a passion for a band that has committed itself to so much more than just music.
I'm a husband, a father of two boys (who always accuse me of saying that every U2 song is my favorite), a musician (I play guitar, mandolin and a few other things you can thump, pound or strum) and people are genuinely irritated by all of my talk about U2. One good friend even called me a U2 evangelist.
But what I really love about being on the @U2 staff is that I get to interact with so many other wonderful people who also have eyes to see and ears to hear the deeper truths in U2's work. Now I don't feel quite so crazy or alone in the world.