My ChicagoII GA experience with my friend/meeting Bono - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-11-2005, 10:35 PM   #1
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My ChicagoII GA experience with my friend/meeting Bono

My friend wrote this really cool account of our experience and she gave her permission to share it with all of you...She also recently registered as a member to this site. Her name is Lady Spin'n Head.

Hope you enjoy!!!

Whose to say where the wind will take you?

It’s a beautiful day… blue skies all around me. I’m watching a perfect Chicago sunset outside of O’Hare. It’s Bono’s birthday, May 10, 2005. I am so overwhelmed by the events of the last several days that I am absolutely overcome with emotion. I’ve waited a long, long time to tell this story. Somehow, in my heart, I knew I had waited long enough. Boy was I ever right! …

I’ve been a U2 fan from the beginning. I was a young mother with two beautiful sons when “The Boys” began their journey to become The World’s Greatest Band. I was never able to physically join them, but I’ve always been there in spirit. After struggling through some very difficult times, I met my wonderful husband in 1988; three years later, his daughter became the daughter I never had. Busy times, hard work, challenging issues… the blended family is an uphill battle, but one well worth the fight.

Back in November 2001 (post 9/11) with three grown children, I decided it was time for me to do something I had always wanted to do. The Elevation Tour was winding down… tickets were going for big bucks… out of desperation, I contacted an eBay seller whose auction never reached Reserve and convinced her to sell two tickets at less than face value to give an old U2 fan the chance to partake. We planned to drive from Virginia to Atlanta, but my selfless husband instead encouraged me to fly down and visit my old college roommate. What an opportunity to spend such a special time with her and revisit the good old days woo-hoo-ing at a great rock concert together! The experience is a whole volume for another day, but when I returned to Virginia, I vowed that NEXT TIME, I’d pay whatever it took. I was a changed woman… the term “live for today” took on a whole new meaning. I wrote to the kind-hearted woman from Wisconsin to thank her for giving me the chance to experience something I won’t even try to explain. (If you’ve ever been to a U2 concert, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.) We stayed in touch for a while, so happy to know someone else who really shared our obsession, but then reality set in and we got busy in The Real World.

Back in October 2004, I sent her a card and we started to re-connect in anticipation of upcoming events surrounding the release of the new CD, the announcement of tour dates, the ticket mayhem, etc., etc. Being a South-central East-Coaster, it was my destiny to have to wait for the third leg, but once ticket sales started, I got too hyped. I called my Wisconsin friend and asked her if she’d meet me in Chicago to do the “G.A. Thing” (general admission: standing floor tickets). After all, I didn’t actually know anyone who would join me in this adventure and I wanted to experience it ALL THE WAY! Of course, we had to cave in and buy from eBay, but once we made up our minds there was no way an extra $100 bucks would stand in our way!

On Sunday, May 8th, my friend, her sister and daughter, picked me up at O’Hare. (They were using the seated tickets she had purchased with her fan club pre-sale code.) So there I was standing at the arrival terminal having to describe myself by cell phone so they could see who they were going to be spending the next three days with. We quickly became good friends after spending the afternoon at Millenium Park, just down the street from the Palmer House Hilton. That night, we went to the Hard Rock Café U2 Fan Club party. We got up at 5AM and headed to the United Center, where we became Number 103 and 104. What an awesome experience, in spite of the rain, lining up with hundreds of others who “Get It.” At 1:00, we walked to McDonalds and on the way back, we got lucky and were able to catch the limo transporting The World’s Greatest Guitarist, The Edge, pull up. He got out and signed a few autographs. I was able to get a couple of pictures and thought I was the Most Fortunate Person in the World. Then Bono’s limo pulled up…and suddenly I was at arms reach with undoubtedly the Most Inspirational Human Being Alive. I decided I’d rather try for some good close-ups and save the opportunity for an autograph for “Next Time.” After this most amazing experience, I decided it didn’t matter where I stood that night. I was so thankful at that moment and convinced it couldn’t get any better.

After the long wait, I changed in the back of a nice couple’s SUV since they had tinted windows and since my body is 51 years old. Then I did the best I could (after a day in rainy, windy Chicago) with the hair and makeup. One last trip to the Porta Potty and we took our places in line. Once again, we were in the right place, at the proverbial right time… the video crew passed by and we were filmed telling the story of how we became friends. We looked at each like “How Cool is This?” as we signed the release form.

Although I was hoping to get “Vertigo” which admits you into the “Ellipse”, I was not surprised when “Proceed to Floor” popped up on the ticket scanner; after all, I’m used to “Drink Coke… Try Again”). I then proceeded to walk (NOT run… yeah right!) into the stadium and try for a spot on The Coveted Rail on Edge’s side. That side had JUST filled up, so I grabbed my friend and raced to the other side where I gleefully took my place on The Rail. Only three after us were as lucky. I’m not EVEN going to try to explain how this felt. After all the waiting… the anticipation… you look around and you realize WE’RE HERE! Absolutely incredible. Once we came down to earth (a bit), we noticed we were surrounded by some of the many friends we’d made. Slowly the empty stadium filled up and The Kings of Leon took the stage. They were fun to listen to… lots of talent and a bright future. Of course, they were mere babes, younger than my own sons, but cute as they could be nonetheless!

At 9:00… the Lights… Go Down. It’s Dark… but U2 lit the place up with “City of Blinding Lights” and really Gave Us Something We Could Feel! I’d try to explain the feelings going through me (such a flood) as the confetti fell from the sky, but it’s flat out impossible. I think you’ll just have to wait and see for yourself… when The Vertigo DVD is released because, oh by the way… did I forget to mention they were filming it right before my very eyes? (Does it get any better than this?)

After the show, we headed straight to the hotel room, where a Chicago (not “style”) pizza was delivered to our room. After we devoured it, we called the desk to request late check-out and we Fell Hard.

I know this sounds like a cliché, but MAN did I dream GOOD that night. Literally, I dreamed that I was at the show and some kind of boom lifted me up – way in the air – Bono was down on another one, but not up as high. I was reaching down to him and he was reaching up to me and I was saying “I trust you… I trust you…” and I just kept reaching and stretching and I finally let go and he caught me. It was incredible.

When I woke up, I laid there quietly – the other three were sound asleep. I started to pray and thank God for everything that I felt so very grateful and blessed for having had. I laid there and tears started to stream down my face… for the first time, I had a moment to reflect on what had happened to me and I just had a tremendous outpouring of love and peace and utter joy!

An hour later, my friend woke up and I looked over there and she had tears streaming down her face. At first she was sort of trying to hide it, but I told her the same thing happened to me. Then I started to cry too and we were definitely ONE at that moment.

We checked out and went to Cosi’s to get a take-out picnic lunch and we went back to the park to enjoy the sunny (Beautiful) Day! We decided to head over to the Marquee entrance and try our luck at catching The Boys coming in for sound check. We waited for an hour and a half and just when we decided we better head out, we crossed the street and who do you think pulls right up, rolls down the window and flashes that incredible smile while gesturing peace? Another “Oh by the way”… but guess who’s sitting right next to him in the back of the limo? Only the Luckiest Woman Alive, Bono’s wife Ali. The limo pulls in, Bono gets out, and we just gravitated right back over four lanes of traffic. Somehow I managed to occupy some previously off-limits space by getting between the film crew and the crowd. Bono is making his way down, chatting and signing autographs, and I’m behind a couple of people and (good thing I have Basketball Jones Arms) cause I pulled out the picture I had in my jeans pocket and stretched as hard as I could… and I just kept reaching and stretching, and instead of saying “I trust you, Bono, I trust you…”, I said “Please…Please… Pleease… Pleease… Pleease… (never screaming it, just persistently and desperately)… Pleease… Pleeease… Pleeease… Pleeeese… Pleeeease… Bono, Please… and just then, he looked directly into my eyes and he took the photo and signed it (while I was saying Omigod… Omigod!) and when he gave it to me, I looked at him and I said “I want to kiss you” and he put his arms around me (another Omigod!) and I kissed him and while I was hugging him , I said… in his ear…”Thank you Bono for everything you are doing” and just like that I added two more great moments to my treasured, wonderful life. Afterwards, I found my friend and I kissed her and hugged her and whispered in her ear “I want to share Bono’s kiss with you!”

We had to leave to get to the airport. On the way, they loaded a B-side song into the CD player that I’d never heard. As I listened, I heard that familiar, awesome voice for the first time since the show… he was singing to me… “Here she comes… Lady Luck again…my Lady with the spinning head!” I began to cry, then almost an unbelievable burst of emotion…I cried the rest of the way to the airport.

When we arrived we got out of the car to say our tender good-byes. I reached into the back of Towanda’s Mustang (“Towanda” is my friend’s fan club name; I’m Donna BoBonna) and gave her daughter a hug. I thanked her for putting up with an old granny lady. She sweetly told me she thought I was an awesome woman and that she felt lucky to know me. Then I turned to her sister “Chee-mo” who I had had an immediate connection with and shared many good laughs with. It was hard saying goodbye, but we vowed to do this again and we’re definitely friends for life. My friend and I didn’t really have to say anything except “I Love You”…

So I sat there and watched the sun set. The flight was for 8:55 pm. It took off right on time, and as we flew over Chicago, I scoped out downtown and looked west till I could make out the United Center. I looked at my watch and it was precisely 9:00. The Boys are taking the stage as I look down on a City of Blinding Lights. It was an awesome sight and gave me one more opportunity to reflect on my incredible journey… Today and in my lifetime.



As I finished this, no lie, the attendant on our flight asked us to put up our trays and prepare to land. All I can say is… I’ll try!
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Old 05-12-2005, 01:59 AM   #2
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I cant put into words how amazing your story is and it just keeps my spirits up hoping i will be lucky enough to experience at least half of what you have. I will be attending my first U2 concert in Manchester on 15/6 and not being a "youngun" myself it is fantastic to keep being reminded that the love and soul of U2 crosses all ages and boundaries. I wish I was good at putting into words how much I appreciate your post and share the excitement and wonder at what you have experienced. Wish me luck on my venture coz if that happened to me I am sure I would never be able to "come down". Why on earth would anyone want to?

U2 luv from ME2U2!

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Old 05-12-2005, 03:17 AM   #3
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Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with us!!

I'm seeing them on June 10 here in Belgium and I'm in between deciding whether or not to stand in line to meet Bono. Part of me obviously really wants to but another part of me is intimidated as hell, and also scared of the emotions he'll surely trigger in me (I cant begin to describe how much U2 means to me) and of the come-down after the moment's gone...Overthinking, moi?
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:23 AM   #4
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You put tears in my eyes
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by the soul waits
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with us!!

I'm seeing them on June 10 here in Belgium and I'm in between deciding whether or not to stand in line to meet Bono. Part of me obviously really wants to but another part of me is intimidated as hell, and also scared of the emotions he'll surely trigger in me (I cant begin to describe how much U2 means to me) and of the come-down after the moment's gone...Overthinking, moi?
Are you reading my mind??

I think I'm gonna go for it if we make it on time (do they even do soundchecks on the day itself in open venues?)
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:59 AM   #6
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That was beautiful!
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:08 AM   #7
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Greety, we have to meet up! Email me if you want tocagirl@gmail.com

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Old 05-12-2005, 10:53 AM   #8
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This is so very very beautiful. I am so happy that you got to meet Bono. I'm also happy for you that you got to share some special moments with a long-time friend.
And as another "over-40 and fabulous" fan, I'd like to welcome you to Interference!!!
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Old 05-12-2005, 01:21 PM   #9
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Thank you, thank you, thank you -- from this 52 year old U2 fan -- who went to the 5/9 show with my 2 older sisters and 1 younger brother (and his wife and 20-year old son).

That night I dreamed about my mother, who died 7/18/01. I occasionally dream about her -- and some dreams I really think she comes to me because they are so vivid -- I actually remember the feel of her skin and kiss. And in this dream I remember walking into a room and hugging her tight and kissing her on the lips and saying, "I forgot where you were!" She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her.

I told my sisters later that I truly believe U2 opens some sort of spiritual plain for me and I was open enough after their show to visit with my beautiful mother again.

Thanks to U2, thanks to all you wonderful, crazy U2 fans who continue to carry the faith.

I'm going to the November 16 concert in Tampa with my daugher and I have forewarned her I do want to stand outside during the day. I want to look that man in the eyes.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:03 PM   #10
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Beautiful story! Tears are falling... and welcome to the over 40 fanclub
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:07 PM   #11
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Awesome
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:16 AM   #12
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I read this again, it's moving to say the least-especially the dream-part, wow.
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:30 AM   #13
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What an absolutley amazing story!
Tawanda you sound like an incredible friend, also BTW I've been a lurker here for a while and I think we're in the same city in WI.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by greety


Are you reading my mind??

I think I'm gonna go for it if we make it on time (do they even do soundchecks on the day itself in open venues?)

Go for it!! I too have feelings of trepidation and excitement. But in the end, we have to give it a shot or regret will surely set it.

And yes, i believe they will do sound checks the day of the show at outdoor shows. If all stays the same, get there about 2pm. They have been arriving between 2-3pm, sometimes later.

Good luck from the USA
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Old 05-14-2005, 02:02 AM   #15
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Thanks so much for your story from another 40+ fan with tears in her eyes.


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Old 05-14-2005, 06:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharon
What an absolutley amazing story!
Tawanda you sound like an incredible friend, also BTW I've been a lurker here for a while and I think we're in the same city in WI.
OMG! No way! email me if you'd like brudnrs@new.rr.com...

Did you go to any Chicago shows?

BTW, I'm so glad I could share this story with all here and so far you've enjoyed it!

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