"Some people expect U2 to come on like a political band. . . . Other people see us as prophets. Some see us as pop stars. . . . And we're not any of those things. We're probably all of them. I don't know what we are."
Column: off the record...,vol. 9-434
October 31, 2010
With the recent celebration surrounding the 25th anniversary of the film Back to the Future, I entered into a discussion with a friend about where I would go if I had the use of a time machine. Aside from family milestones and encounters with ex-boyfriends, most of my "past" desires were U2-related.
First on the list was the Red Rocks concert from June 1983. Of all the landmark shows, this one takes the cake for cool as far as I'm concerned. It contained a great playlist of War-era tunes, featured a stage lit by fire and boasted a crowd full of poncho-wearing fans who weren't giving up for anything. My kind of gig.
Next on the list was Live Aid in July 1985. I still get goosebumps watching the footage of "Bad" and seeing Bono leap off the stage to dance with the girl in the crowd. I can't even imagine what it must have felt like to be a live witness to that turn in their career — going from a popular band to being the favorite band in the scope of one festival.
After that, I'd journey to some of their famous appearances: the "Where the Streets Have No Name" rooftop video shoot in 1987, the halftime show at the Super Bowl in 2002, the Golden Globes in 2003 (when Bono dropped his FCC-forbidden F-bomb) and SNL in 2004.
I would also return to some of the great shows that I did have a chance to experience, just to relive certain moments. "Until the End of the World" at Slane Castle during Elevation, "Love and Peace or Else" in Seattle during Vertigo, "Fast Cars" in New York during Vertigo, for starters.
So, if you had access to the time machine, what U2 era would you return to? Answer (and see where other folks would go) in the @U2 forum.
It was announced earlier this week that U2 will release a vinyl in time for the holidays featuring three songs. This excites me greatly, but what concerns me is the number of copies that will be available: only 5,000. For a band of U2's magnitude and popularity, that number is very small.
I remember having to travel to multiple outlets on Record Store Day to get the John Lennon Singles Bag in April. There were only 7,000 of those made, and Lennon's been dead for 30 years. Granted, he was a Beatle and his collectibles can grow to be very valuable over time, but U2 are a current, touring band with a vibrant fan base that spans multiple age groups. Even if the release is limited to North America as some reports have indicated, I hope they distribute the 5,000 fairly among the stores.
I have been blessed with many wonderful U2 experiences, so I almost feel guilty for being jealous of my friends who are attending the preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway Nov. 14, but I must confess that I am. My work schedule is too jam-packed to allow me to get away for it, but after hearing bits and pieces of the music, I must say I'm intrigued. I was also a huge Spider-Man cartoon fan as a child, so the character holds a special place in my heart. Hopefully, a trip early next year will be in the cards for me. I look forward to reading my peers' reviews on @U2 in the meantime.
Since it's a day of crazy dressing, it’s relevant to note that Bono made a recent Top 10 list of Top Rock Halloween Costumes. Personally though, I think it's much funnier to create U2 out of everyday items, like the time @U2's Kelly Eddington made a Pantyhose Edge.
Of course, it's also Larry Mullen, Jr.'s birthday, so in honor of him, I'll leave you with my favorite Larry performance.
© @U2/Kokkoris, 2010.