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Old 02-27-2002, 01:08 AM   #1
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Discovering U2... A Life-Long Beatles Fan Reflects On A Recent Musical Discovery...

This is a long article, but worth the read of how a long time Beatle fan became a U2 fan. I don't post this here as a put down to Beatles fans. God knows I was a Beatle fan myself before I was a U2 fan. I love the Beatles, but even more so, I love U2.

I post this letter here, because it is a reminder to me of what it felt like again when I first discovered U2 for myself, and how they have came to turn my world upside down. As I hear the writer speak of his new found love for my band, I'm reminded of how it was for me the first time for I heard Boy, saw the Unforgettable Fire tour, listened to the Joshua Tree for the first time after queuing at midnight, seeing Rattle and Hum all alone one afternoon, with tears in my eyes from what I was experiencing with all my senses blown away, being mesmorized my ZooTV and Popmart, to the present of listening to the heavenly strains of Beautiful Day from ATYCLB, to the Elevation Tour and Super Bowl performance, and all the wells up within me is an oversense of pride and joy for this band from Ireland that has been my mainstay of what passionate, inspiring music feels like, sounds like, looks like, is the epitomy for me and many of us who call U2 our band, just like our new U2 fan Chris Ford has come to call them, welcome to the U2 family...


A Few Thoughts on Discovering U2
A life-long Beatles fan reflects on a recent musical discovery...
Chris Ford

OK, I admit it. I grew up with the Beatles. They were my boys. I saw
them at the Hollywood Bowl. There was nobody better. Years later, I
keep hearing about this band called U2. I at least know they are from
Ireland. My roots are in Ireland. What's up with this? A friend of
the family arrives from Dublin to go to the U2 concert in San Diego.
He has no ticket, but takes my brother along, who is also a U2 nut. I
think "What, are they crazy? They don't have tickets!" They not only
get in but end up at an after concert party. As I recall, my brother
gets home the next day, the friend shows up a couple days later. The
assumption is that they had a good time.

Still, more years later, I am surfing the TV when I come across VH1
where they announce that the Boston concert of U2's 'Elevation' tour
is about to start in 15 minutes. I call my brother and tell him his
group is going to be on. I decide to watch out of curiosity. Two
hours later I am completely blown away. I think, "Where have these
guys been hiding?" I tell my brother I really like them so next thing
I know he has made me a CD of ATYCLB. I listen and listen and listen.
I can't get enough. I ask my brother why he never told me about this
music - he tells me he was afraid I would not like it and THAT would
be more than he could bear. I email the friend in Dublin and tell him
what happened. He emails back that he knew I would come around
eventually. I didn't get it before. I do get it now.

I went out and bought Joshua Tree, The Best of 1980-1990, the
Unforgettable Fire Video, the list goes on. I watch the ZOOTV concert
in Sydney and don't really like it. It seems like an assault on the
senses. My brother encourages me to watch and listen again. So I do.
Again and again and again. I love it. I watch the Rattle and Hum
video-I love all the music immediately. I love the idea of exploring
the roots of a country which is what they did. I don't understand the
negative press about that video. I also don't care. It's my
favourite. One day "God Part 2" is my favourite song, another day
it's "Mysterious Ways" or "Stay" or "One". I put on the video of "The
Unforgettable Fire" , watching Bono singing by himself in the
ballroom of Slane Castle. He is very young, but his voice soars,
caressing the words, living the moment, and takes you to another

My brother copied all of his CDs for me so now I have them all. I
take them to work and listen on my headphones as I bang away on my
computer, thumping my foot and rocking back and forth with the beat.
People look at me like I am in some sort of trance, or on drugs. What
is she listening to? They are in my car, in my home, in my sleep. I
wake up with Bono singing in my thoughts. You have to understand, it
was always the Beatles for me. It was George, he was the man, and
Lennon. But, maybe now that I am older, as I was only a child during
the Hollywood Bowl gig, the soul of a melody, the relevance of a
lyric, the places that this music takes me to, is so much more than
what the Beatles did for me. Maybe I was too young then. Maybe I am
too old now. But I listen to the lyrics and go places I have not been
in a long time. The song "Love Rescue Me" took me back years, to a
painful time. It's not a typical rock song - more country than
anything else. But it touched me down to my core. It was like having
an epiphany.

What was this? These songs are too thought provoking. Be careful,
some of his thoughts are your own. His loves, his desires, his pain,
his confusion are all your own. Be careful, you may find answers to
questions, answers that stir up some of the dark recesses of your own
mind. This guy is talking about God, about love of your children, the
love of your life, about hope and despair, war and peace, friendship
and dying. Why is he doing that? It's who he is. He can't help
himself. He has no choice. He's a singer, a songwriter, a poet, a
father. He is in our faces, asking us to make a difference in the
world. What a year he has had. A platinum selling album, a tour that
brought a grieving country together in a way no one else had done,
the birth of his child, the death of his father. He is asking us to
help the developing world by relieving them of their debts. Who else
is talking about that? He seems to use his celebrity like no other.
He knows that "celebrity" is ridiculous, so he's using it for some
good. He doesn't just throw money at the problem, he wants to get at
the structure of the problem, to figure out a solution. I feel like
he must believe in Grace over Karma.

And yet, as mesmerizing as Bono is, like a pied piper with his
following, it seems clear to me that this band is like a four legged
table. Bono without the other three would be incomplete. They all
support the table and carry it in their own ways. I wonder if Bono
were standing on a stage by himself, would he feel alone? Would he
feel incomplete? I like to think that he would. The sum of the 4
parts is what it is all about.

I saw him interviewed on a TV show here in America where he talked
about this band saving his life. He said he could have turned out
badly had not this group of friends come together. How lucky they all
are, to have found each other. They seem as close as brothers. They
are a family.

I have never been to a U2 concert. I don't know if I ever will get
to one. If they come back to San Diego, I am there. I will however,
be in Dublin in September for a wedding. Maybe, while wandering the
streets with no names, I'll bump into Bono. If I did, what would I
say? Simple. Thank you for reaching down into your soul and sharing
what you found there with the rest of the world. Thank you for
helping my country in its time of need, when all we could do is rage
and cry. I hope that you have a happy life, that your children are
safe and well, that you continue in a relationship with your wife and
family that has obviously grounded you, comforted you and uplifted
you. I probably won't see him. He probably won't even be in Dublin.
He'll be off flying a kite on some hill, or banging on some Senator's
door. But I'll be looking. And if this girl from San Diego should run
across him I will invite him back to our town and maybe the friend
from Dublin will come here to see him again. And this time we could
go to the concert together.


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Old 02-27-2002, 01:21 AM   #2
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Isn't that awesome?
I wish for that exact same thing to happen to all my friends. Alas, I don't think it will happen. However, it did take this guy many years, so there's still hope I guess.

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Old 02-27-2002, 03:27 AM   #3
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Hey, I was around for the First Coming.

I watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I grew up singing "She Loves You," "Yellow Submarine," "All You Need is Love" and "Let It Be." I clapped along with "Hey Jude" and stomped along with "Revolution."

I bought the solo albums, I accepted the breakup, but I always hoped against hope for a reunion - if that's what they wanted to do.

A worthless SOB made sure that never happened, and for a while there was damn little reason to care about pop-rock music at all.

Once in a while a voice would rise from out in the badlands of Wyoming and ignite the spark once again, but it seemed there was less and less reason to give a damn every passing day.

Then four guys from across the ocean arrived and started to kick the darkness once again. And they haven't shut up since.
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Old 02-27-2002, 06:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting that Chris!
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Old 02-27-2002, 07:20 AM   #5
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That was beautiful! Thanks Chris!

"There's a lot of real rubbish going on about new music & old music, can I just say we play U2 music? Is that OK?" - Bono, Us Festival 5/30/83
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