Review: Book: U2 Live: A Concert Documentary *

February 23, 2004


By Devlin Smith

Author: Pimm Jal de la Parra
Publisher: Omnibus Press

A few months ago someone posted a picture in PLEBA of Edge onstage with an eye patch. The picture was taken on Oct. 24, 1981 at a concert in Belgium and everyone who saw the picture wondered why on Earth Edge was wearing an eye patch.

Threads were posted in Interference.com and several other U2 boards looking for an answer. Then someone suggested looking in

Interview: Niall O

February 16, 2004


By Katie A. McGrath
2004.02

In his early 20s Niall O

Experience: Beautiful Days: Meeting U2 in Dublin *

February 12, 2004

By Dave Withers
2004.02

Every year I go to Lourdes, France, with an organization called Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT), and we take about 2,000 physically and mentally disabled children with us for the week. When I went there in 2001 I met a beautiful young Irish girl there called Mary, who was there with her American boyfriend Cal. Mary, Cal and I met up in a Lourdes bar one evening and she informed me she was very sick, she had secondary bone cancer and would be dead within six months. I was absolutely rocked, so much so I had to leave the bar for a few minutes because I needed to cry for her, I had never cried that much in my life and I certainly don’t think I have ever cried that much since.

After our week in Lourdes together we stayed in touch, but sadly Mary’s illness worsened. On August 17, 2001 Mary passed away with Cal at her bedside. The next day I went to see U2 at Earl’s Court, London. As much as I enjoyed the show it felt wrong being there, but when I needed them the most U2 played a massive part in my life. The next day I sat down and wrote a poem for Mary while listening to my favorite U2 song, "Peace on Earth." I sent the poem to Cal, he rang me up and told me it was amazing and wanted to read it out at Mary’s funeral. I went to see U2 again that same day, little knowing that writing that poem would eventually lead me to meeting Bono two years later in Dublin.

February 11, 2003

I am sitting on the bench outside Hanover Quay recording studios in Dublin. It’s absolutely freezing cold, all I have on is a blue hooded top and jeans, with no food or drink. I am just feet away from the greatest rock band on the planet, they are inside—will they come out? I am there with my friend Declan, who I met yesterday. He has met U2 loads of times so he came down to take a photo of me with one of the band members, if they come out. I am in luck.

We see the door to the studio open, it’s The Edge. Declan and I look at each other and just smile. I know Edge is going come over, and he does. I look like I have swallowed a coat hanger, I am smiling that much. I shake The Edge by the hand and tell him how pleased I am to meet a fellow Essex Boy, at which he laughs. He tells us that U2 have just been nominated for an Oscar for "The Hands that Built America," he looks really pleased. I ask him to sign my Zoo TV, Pop and Elevation programs, which he kindly does. Then I ask him if I can have a photo with him, and he says, "Sure." After the photo Edge bids us farewell and heads back inside the studio.

I am so happy. He is a lovely bloke, Edge, so calm and cool. I go straight to get my photos developed and they turn out brilliantly. I am over the moon but I want that photo of me and Bono more than anything else on earth. In just over 24 hours my dream will finally be realized.

February 12, 2003

I arrive at Hanover Quay for the third day running with the sun is shining. Today’s the day I just know it. I have just been to church and prayed to the big fella that if he could finally make my dream come true by letting me meet Bono, I wouldn’t swear as much and would cut down on my smoking. I am armed with my programs again, a photograph of Mary and Cal and the poem I wrote for Mary. When I get to the shrine of the bench there is a girl there from America with her two friends. Her friends go for a walk when Dallas Schoo comes over to us and gives each of us a Bono guitar pick from the Super Bowl. It’s my third day meeting Dallas, and he is an absolute gem of a man. The other two girls come back and are jealous about the guitar picks.

About 10 minutes passes by when a black Mercedes pulls up, we cannot see inside as a big cement lorry pulls out and blocks our view. About half an hour passes and the studio door opens, we all look up and our hearts sink, it’s Sam, Larry’s drum tech and studio manager. The door goes again and it’s two women, again our hopes are dashed. About 30 seconds later the door opens for a third time, oh my God, I cannot believe it, it’s Bono, it really is Bono. My pulse is racing, for an autograph I’ve been waiting. He stands still and waves over at us, I try to be cool and give the peace sign, then I think, Bono is drinking a cup of coffee, how can that dude make coffee look cool? He does, though, he looks so cool, he is wearing a black leather coat and red Elevation style shades and he has a beard.

He slowly walks over and I shake and almost break his hand. I let him talk to the girls first, they ask me to take a photo of them with him and I happily agreed. After signing various memorabilia for them and posing for photos, he turns to me. I tell him that I am so honored to meet him, I ask him to sign my programs, which he kindly does. I then pull out the poem I wrote for Mary, he reads it and tells me to sign it. I cannot believe I am hearing this right—U2 megastar asks for my autograph? Who am I to say no? I then pull out a photo of Mary and Cal and Bono wants to know absolutely everything about them, he asks all about Lourdes. Then he does the most amazing thing which will stay with me for the rest of my life, he turns the photo of Mary and Cal over and draws a crucifix, inside the crucifix at the top he writes "Mary" and underneath the crucifix writes, "Will Live Forever Cal Love Bono" and then draws two little flowers at the foot of the cross. I have a massive lump in my throat.

I ask him to write "Peace on Earth" on my Pop program and he does, and he also draws a self-portrait. I have my photograph taken with him three times, thank you so much to one of the girls for taking the pictures, they came out brilliantly. Bono says his goodbyes and goes inside the studio, I thank him for taking the time to come out and for giving me a great life.

I say goodbye to the girls, run down the road and burst into tears—I have never been happier. I phone my mum back in England and again started to cry. My mum is not a U2 fan, even though she is from Dublin, but she cries because she knows how much it meant to me. It was a very special moment, mother and son hundreds of miles apart joined in one by Bono. That man has touched so many lives around the world, I don’t think he realizes just how powerful he can be. I keep a photocopy of the photo Bono signed and send the original to Cal, he phones me up and tells me Bono is a legend and the photo has a place of pride on his fireplace.

I never in a million years ever imagined I would meet Bono, but I did and after that I felt there was nothing I couldn’t achieve. Bono often tells us to "dream out loud." I did. Amen, Brother.

Featured Cause: Live Aid *

February 9, 2004


By Simone Schramm
2004.02

What Live Aid did was to make artists aware of their awesome power to create positive things,

Classic Track: Always *

February 9, 2004


By Gregory Mc Guire
2004.02

For this installment the classic album track isn

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