"I want U2 to be a band that takes risks. I hate this idea of U2 as a nice safe band. . . . The rock rebel thing is very phony."
U2 Lists: Top 10 Sentimental Collectibles
August 15, 2012
[Ed. note: This is the 41st in a "U2 Lists" series, where @U2 staffers pick a topic and share their personal rankings on something U2-related.]
When I heard about the opportunity to put together a list of U2 collectibles, I thought, "This one is for me!" I didn't want to just list the Top 10 most rare or valuable U2 items, or to create a guide to the Top U2 collectibles (plenty of excellent websites already do that better than me, including u2wanderer.org and u2collectors.net. I'm not a big collector, but over the years have accumulated a lot of U2 memorabilia, CDs, DVDs and T-shirts that have sentimental value. Here is my list of 10 U2 collectibles that mean the most to me.
1. U2 By U2 book (signed)
Why is my copy of U2 By U2, released in 2006, so special, besides being the first book by U2 in their own words? I was one of the lucky fans who had the opportunity to meet the band in Dublin at a book signing, a day I will never forget. I wish I could say I had the chance to get into conversation with the band, but I didn't. It all seemed to happen so quickly! Edge was first to sign my book. I said hello and introduced myself, and he asked what I wanted him to write on the book. I said "best wishes" (cheesy!). Bono was very cool; he definitely has an aura about him. I don't remember saying much, just hello, and he gave me a wink! Larry has always been my favorite. I shook his hand, thanked him for signing my book and tried to remain cool (not easy!). Adam said, "Nice to meet you, Carol" and I thanked him for signing my book. From time to time, I'll take the book down from the shelf and look at the page the band signed and be reminded of a truly memorable day, guaranteed to make me smile.
2. Love Comes To Town tour program (1989)
In 1989 I attended my first U2 show, which also was my first-ever concert. I began my habit of spending endless hours in line for U2 – tickets for the show went on sale in November of that year, and I spent a long night queuing outside the Point Depot in Dublin to get my ticket. This program, along with a tour T-shirt (which I no longer have) were my souvenirs of the concert. The program is now nearly 23 years old, and a reminder of the excitement I felt on my first introduction to U2 live!
3. U2 360 T-shirt, Gothenburg (2009)
This shirt is a souvenir from my first front-row U2 show, which required an extremely early start and hours in line, culminating in the excitement of seeing U2 up close and personal for the first time. And as a bonus, we got "Electrical Storm"!
4. Vertigo tour ticket stub, Madison Square Garden (2005)
In 2005 I went to New York for the first time on a family holiday. As soon as I realized U2 were playing in New York when I was there, I knew I had to go. I managed to get a ticket on eBay, and while the rest of my family went to the cinema, I went to see U2 in Madison Square Garden. It was a dream come true: seeing my favorite band in what I consider the most famous venue in the world.
5. U2 photo from 360 tour in Montreal (2011)
This one is very special to me. My friend is a friend of Peter Rowen's sister who took the photo. I bought a poster from the u2.com shop and he signed it for me, but as a surprise he also gave me a copy of a photo from Montreal (he had photographed the band at some of the 360 shows). According to his sister Miriam, the other copy of that photo was given to the band. It's a true original and I'm honored to have it.
6. "Gloria" 7-inch single (1981)
"Gloria" has always been my favorite U2 song, and one I still haven't heard live. A couple of years ago I came across a 7-inch copy at a record fair and had to buy it. I don't have a turntable, but mainly I wanted an original issue of my favorite U2 song.
7. Rattle & Hum VHS tape (1988)
Living in Dublin, I was always aware of U2 but didn't really become a fan until the late '80s, around the time Rattle & Hum was released. When my parents bought a VCR I rented a copy of the film and watched it constantly. Eventually I bought a copy on VHS and was able to watch it to my heart's content.
8. Unforgettable Fire book by Eamon Dunphy (1988)
My dad bought me a copy of this book, which has sentimental value for me because it's my introduction to U2 and the first book I read about them.
9. Under A Blood Red Sky VHS tape (1983)
When I discovered U2's earlier recordings in the 1990s, I wished I had been old enough to see them in concert in the early days. At another record fair, I saw a copy of Under A Blood Red Sky on VHS (prior to that I had only heard the album version) and again knew it was one for the collection. Under A Blood Red Sky to this day is my favorite U2 concert DVD.
10. U2 & I book by Anton Corbijn (2005)
When I was in New York, Anton Corbijn was signing copies of his book U2 & I. I was flying home that evening, however, and the book signing was at noon, so I wasn't sure I would have time to go. I made the decision to go and was glad I did. He was very nice and asked if I had enjoyed the show the night before. He even asked if I was from Dublin (it must be the accent!). It was a great end to a great holiday.
(C) @U2/Foster, 2012.