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Old 05-14-2005, 03:30 PM   #1
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party girl--the 1st hand account

It all started when me and my friend Erin waited behind the arena to meet Bono before the show on the 7th. She had with her a sign that said “Party Girl,” which she had made on the Elevation tour in hopes of hearing it life. When Bono got out of the car, he pretty much came straight to us. I swear he recognizes Erin. She asked him if they’d play Party Girl for his birthday. He asked how many chords it was, and I said 3. He said he’d try. Erin pointed out the Sharpie marks on the sign and told him he did that. He said he’d have to sign it right. He wrote, “Put the P back into Arty and the B back into Ono.” He wrote “and the” very messily, then laughed and joked that he had just written it and couldn’t even read it.
I then asked him if I could possibly get a picture with him. He said I could, so I asked if I could step off the curb (I didn’t want to crowd him and ruin it for other people). He said, “Of course,” and took my hand and led me down. He was wearing his straw hat, so I had to crouch down to get under it. I apologized and said, “I’m tall.” He replied, “That’s OK. I like tall girls, it’s a known fact.” Afterwards I took a picture of him with Steve, then Bono moved down the line of people. We worked our way out to give others a chance. As Bono was walking back towards his car, Erin yelled, “Party Girl!” Bono yelled back, “How many chords?” I yelled, “Three!” Steve yelled, “Bm Em A!” Bono nodded and got into the car. We were so excited and had new hope of U2 finally playing Party Girl. We made a sign with the chords on it so Edge would remember.
At the show that night we had the sign right over the rail. They were right in front of us for Yahweh. After the song, Edge looked at the sign, smiled really big, and walked away. More hope for them actually playing it!
On Monday we didn’t bother to try and meet the band behind the United Center. We figured they’d be in a hurry due to filming. At the show we took the same spot bye the Love and Pease or Else drum. Come Yahweh, Bono definitely noticed the sign. After the song, he leaned in and took out his earpiece. He asked when the chords were. We yelled, “Party Girl!” He looked straight down at me and said, “Can you play?” I paused a second thinking about how I’d surely make a fool of myself and mess it up, but how could I possibly turn that down? I nodded, and next thing I know I’m being hoisted up onto the stage. The lights were up enough that when I turned around I could see every one of the 20 000 fans looking at me. Bono was startled by my height and said, “She’s a giant! They grow ‘em big and beautiful in Chicago!” He then said something about false advertising being a crime. I was in a daze. After that he referred to me as the “beautiful giant.”
I turned and Edge was handing me his guitar. I took it and put it on, took the pick out of his hand, then put mine out to shake his (so I could say I officially met him). I turned to see Bono ready to sing. I was shaking, I was so nervous. I started to play, messing up just about every other chord. I think once I accidentally hit an F# major instead of B minor…it was so hard to play in front of everyone. Halfway through the song I gave up on the syncopated rhythm because I was struggling to move my fingers. Bono was so encouraging. He kept telling me to keep going. At the part where the lyrics say “And she won’t tell me her name, oh no, not me,” Bono asked me what my name was. I said “Laura” into the microphone.
When it came to the solo I turned to the crowd and pumped my fist and said “Hey, hey!” Apparently Edge was on the main stage preparing to do the solo, so when I started to play the solo myself he sort of threw his arms up. Bono had the biggest grin on his face. I couldn’t hear myself at all since I had no in-ear or monitor, so Bono put the microphone up to the strings so I could hear better. At then end of the song I blanked on how exactly it ends, so I just kept strumming the Bm, and Bono looked at me and sort of signaled with his head when I should end. To be honest, when it was all said and done, I didn’t even remember Bono singing at all. My friends had to fill me in on what happened.
I handed the guitar to Dallas and turned back to Bono. He gave me the longest hug, and about 5 kisses on my cheek. He said something to the effect of “We could learn a thing or two from her.” John Sampson helped me off the stage, and I was quickly whisked away to sign the waiver for the DVD. I was in so much shock that I actually forgot my phone number. Security helped me back into the crowd where I spend 40 in shock.
We made our way through the crowd and off the floor. Just about everyone on the way was congratulating me and giving me hugs. We sprinted back into the GA line, where I quickly sat down dumbfounded. 8 or 10 of my friends ran up to me and tackled me, and the rest gave me hugs. I couldn’t believe what had just gone down. I think someone interviewed me for a fan documentary (not that I was cognizant at the time). I called my parents and told them even though I couldn’t hear their response and I likely woke them up. I was in complete shock. So many people congratulated me, it was really cool—people I had met in the GA line, and people I had never seen before.
The next day, Erin convinced me to wait out back with her to talk to Bono. I really wanted to thank him profusely for the experience. When Bono came out, the crowd got ugly. People rushed from across the street and were in front of the barrier, trapping those who had been there longest in the back. Erin pointed it out to John Sampson and he very kindly remedied the situation. Bono went to leave, but John pointed us out to Bono. He looked confused because we didn’t give him anything to sign. Erin said we just wanted to thank him for pulling me up on stage last night. She pointed at me, standing behind her. Bono recognized me and began to explain the problem with playing on the ellipse. The PA system is delayed from what’s actually being played, so that’s why it was so hard to play. I nodded in agreement. Bono said that “next time” I’d have to come onto the main stage so I could hear myself. We chuckled at the joke. Then John joked that I should make it to sound check this time. I said, “Hey, that’s not in my control…” Bono held my hand and looked me in the eye for a few seconds, and off they went.
At the show that night, the 10th, we took the same spot on the outside of the ellipse again. AJ stopped and chatted for a second before the show. He said something about me needing to practice. We mentioned the PA stuff and not hearing and he nodded understandingly. When Dallas was sound checking out on the ellipse, he saw me and tossed his pick. During the show at one point, John Sampson smiled and shook my hands, which were hanging over the rail. In hindsight, I suppose these were clues, but I was clueless at this point. Especially when they took another girl up during Mysterious Ways to dance. After she left the stage he said something about there being another girl, and said, “Where’s the beautiful giant?” My friends around me went crazy and I stood there shocked. John came running around the ellipse and gave me a leg up onto the ellipse.
As I walked around the ellipse, Bono was walking backwards in a coy manner, as if he didn’t want to get too close to me. When I reached him on the side of the main stage, he took me by the hand and we walked down the ramp to the center. Edge put his hand out for me to shake. Bono said, “Will someone get this girl a guitar?” They reached for one of Edge’s, (the Casino, I think) but Bono said, “an acoustic would be better.” They handed me Bono’s black acoustic and a pick. Bono looked at me, and into the microphone he announced that he had one birthday wish: “Could you please sit down?” Then he laughed and said he was kidding. Edge leaned in and asked Bono, “it’s in concert tuning, right?” I was in the middle of a band huddle…too cool.
Edge started in and I looked over and joined in. He winked at me. I could see the lyrics scrolling on the screen in front of the microphone stand. As I was playing, I looked to my right and saw Edge playing. I looked to my left and saw Adam jamming along, nodding his head. It was the most surreal moment of my life. Edge did the solo and I played rhythm underneath it. Near the end I watched him to see exactly what to play. As we were playing, he took a bottle of champagne, shook it, and sprayed the audience. He turned and sprayed my legs a bit, but smiled guiltily and sprayed the audience more.
When we finished, I nodded at Edge. As I turned to Adam and he leaned in towards me and said with a smile, “We got our shit together.” I smiled. I saw Larry standing there with his arms crossed. Apparently he looked a bit annoyed on the 9th, so as I walked past him I grinned and put my hand out for a handshake. Bono kissed my cheek, and I kissed his. He took me by the hand and started walking me back across the stage. His tech was holding out another bottle of champagne. Bono took it and said it was for me. We walked up the ramp, and there he took my hand one last time and kissed it. He looked me dead in the eye and smiled sweetly.
I turned and walked down the ellipse. John Sampson was walking right below me. When I got to the end, security helped me down and John lifted me back over the rail into my spot. He put the champagne against the barricade on the inside and told me I could get it after the show. With that I signed another waiver and that was that.
After the show, people were walking up to me and asking to have their picture taken with me. It was the craziest thing. I was also interviewed by one of the guys for the official DVD. On the 12th, people in U2’s camp were recognizing me. Rocco was walking around the ellipse before the show and said “Hey, Laura. What’s up?” It was so bizarre. The girl who had danced during Mysterious Ways was about 4 people down from me. During Mysterious Ways, Bono saw her and waved. Then he saw me, waved, put his hand over his heart and said my name.


so yeah. best 10 minutes of my life, between the two nights. my guess is that after the 1st night, they thought it would be cool to do for the DVD so they called me up again. a friend of mine heard part of soundcheck and they played through party girl, so they were definately planning something...i hope it makes the DVD
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:31 PM   #2
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:35 PM   #3
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Wow I was awaiting the story from the girl herself! I was at the concert on the 9th and must say you're a beautiful girl and did a spectacular job. Loved hearing what happened from your point of view! I hope you never get out of your dreamy cloud you're in hehe
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:38 PM   #4
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It had better make the DVD! That was so awesome!
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:40 PM   #5
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Absolutely awesome story!!!! Thanks for sharing it!!

Congratulations on a remarkable performance.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:43 PM   #6
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That is one heck of an experience. I am so happy I was there to see you play. Way to go. I hope you make the DVD.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:45 PM   #7
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you've lived what every guitar playing U2 fan, and non musical instrument playing for that mattter, has dreamed of
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:45 PM   #8
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As Chizip said,

Thank you for party girl

I wasn't there, but Lies put a video from the 9th. Bono looked to be having the time of his life when you played
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by kellyahern
Bono looked to be having the time of his life when you played
he was so cool...if he hadn't been encouraging me, i probably wouldn't have made it. what a man...
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:16 PM   #10
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Laura, "Stories For Boys," you now have one of the all-time best stories to tell! Congratulations!!!
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:16 PM   #11
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The whole week was so cool! I know I was crabby when you guys came over to sit with us but in the end I guess it worked out for both of our groups. You got to thank Bono and we got to listen to him for a few minutes right in front of us. The whole week is something I'll never forget and we both get to do it all again in Dublin next month!

Here's you, in Bono's shades, talking about Party Girl

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Old 05-14-2005, 04:24 PM   #12
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Laura,

Your definitely the cat's meow from chicago.

I can't wait to see the dvd and you on it. I can tell all my friends that I met you in chicago when I have a screening party of the concert.

It was 4 really awesome concerts, but it was also great meeting all you U2 midwest fans. I totally enjoyed my GA experience, and can't wait till September, so we can do it all over again.....


Laura, your definitely the Party Girl of Chicago...hope your still on cloud 9....

Hope to have my pics up soon...
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:26 PM   #13
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Originally posted by hef4u2
Laura,

Your definitely the cat's meow from chicago.

I can't wait to see the dvd and you on it. I can tell all my friends that I met you in chicago when I have a screening party of the concert.

It was 4 really awesome concerts, but it was also great meeting all you U2 midwest fans. I totally enjoyed my GA experience, and can't wait till September, so we can do it all over again.....


Laura, your definitely the Party Girl of Chicago...hope your still on cloud 9....

Hope to have my pics up soon...
hey you wouldn't happen to be one of the guys I met at a White Hen (or whatever it's called) after the 2nd show would you? We met a few guys from TN who walked from the show back to their hotel.
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:27 PM   #14
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Great story!
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:47 PM   #15
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hey laura!

i met you on the 12th; i was right next to you guys on the rail, next to the MW girl from the previous show (next to your guy friend w/ the longish hair). you absolutely ROCKED on the 10th!!! honestly, 'party girl' was the highlight of the show for me.... great job, and congratulations once again!

i can't wait to see the DVD of your performance!
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:59 PM   #16
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Hey Ally,

How's returning home.......don't want to come down from this cloud but your lucky though.. you get to see them, again..before they depart for Europe......

It was great meeting you and that beautiful dancer that moves in mysterious ways....

Hope to see you guys in the GA line sometime this fall..

Good luck with your schooling, but you pass the bar in my book ...lol

Jeff
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Old 05-14-2005, 05:06 PM   #17
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Fantastic story! Way to go Laura! The selflessness of Bono and the boys never ceases to amaze me. They gave you an incredible life experience which you will remember forever and now so will we. I hope we get to see you. I think I saw a picture of you on the stage, and you looked right at home.

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Old 05-14-2005, 05:08 PM   #18
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WOW...just freakin WOW.
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Old 05-14-2005, 05:20 PM   #19
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Old 05-14-2005, 05:42 PM   #20
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Laura,



1) That was the greatest fan experience story I have ever heard plus the details are fantastic.

2) Saw your pic on another thread. Your smokin!


way to go!!!
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