The U2 obsession EXPAINED!

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Mrs. Edge

Bono's Belly Dancing Friend
Jun 5, 2001
Torontonian in Maryland
Today, my mom and I got into a big fight about my U2 obsession, in which she accused me of being no different than a drug addict.

Back in 1992, I got into this same fight with her, as well as the guy who ran this rock band I worked for. He even had the gall to accuse me of being like Mark David Chapman!!! So I wrote a little essay called "The U2 obsession Explained" to try to convince them both of how wrong they are/were. I doubt it changed their minds, but it sure gave me a good laugh today, so I've posted it for you!

You can tell how innocent and earnest I was back then, but basically, I still stand behind all that I said. LOL at the very last sentence!!


U2 has been the soundtrack to my life for the past 9 years. To explain their importance to me in words is very difficult. It's something that could only truly be understood by another U2 fan and it is for this reason that there is such mass euphoria at a U2 concert. Following are two lists: One filled with reasons for my devotion to the band, the other a list of reasons why my obsessions are not psychotic, dangerous, unhealthy, etc.

Why I Will Always Love U2 No Matter What:
The quality of the band's songs may wax and wane (mostly the former), they may break up or disappear (God forbid!!!), and they might even do something horrible that will tarnish the whole U2 experience and disappoint me deeply, but I will always love them for the following 16 reasons (in no particular order):

1)They were the first band after the Beatles that I ever got into. The first U2 contact I ever had was with I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and it was on heavy rotation on Muchmusic. I remember thinking "Not them again!!!" Yet still being fascinated. Such charisma!!! And who was that charming lead singer and sad looking guitarist???

2)Soaking myself in U2 gave me the musical open mindedness to listen to more music and expanded my range of musical taste and favourite bands.

3)My first concert ever was the Joshua Tree Tour, an experience that completely blew me away and turned interest into obsession. First fell in love with The Edge at that show.

4)The first Muchmusic spotlight I ever taped was of U2 right after the concert. I then taped the songs off the TV and listened to them incessantly the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving will always remind me of U2. I listened to the tape constantly until the purchase of The Joshua Tree, then Boy, then every other thing they have ever produced.

5) U2 (particularly Edge & Bono) provided me with fantasy fare, (early short story writing, about 35 stories in all) and a (fantasy) love life, something I was completely lacking all through my high school years. Finding out The Edge was married was completely devastating!

6)Through the Propaganda pen pal list I have had more good friends than ever in my life, people from around the world, whom I would otherwise never have met.

7)Had I not fallen for The Edge, I would never have been introduced to Steve and I would not be married (or probably even have a boyfriend for that matter!) today!

8)U2 despise apathy, are anti IRA, anti Heroin, and have always supported Greenpeace and Amnesty International, two of my favourite charities. They have always emphasised that fans should not support a cause because the band does, they should be of their own mind.

9)U2 are Irish, intelligent, gorgeous and have beautiful accents. They are still just as self-effacing and funny as ever.

10)Musically, there is no sound in the world to compare to U2. NOTHING sounds better to me than U2. Even their weaker songs are superior to most rubbish out there. The sound of Bono's voice and Edge's guitar courses through my veins and fills me with utter ecstasy. Bad and With or Without You alone are reasons enough to crown U2 with the Greatest Band Ever award!

11)When I first heard about their image and sound change for Acthtung Baby, I was so furious I threatened to burn all my U2 stuff. After calming down and listening to the album I realised that U2 have never disappointed me in any way yet on this musical journey. They have always been a band unafraid of, and having admitted to falling on their face, but they are not afraid to try new things or to grow. Their image, sound and number of fans may change, I might not love everything they do, but they will always be brilliant.

12)There is NO band that can top U2 live. The experience of a live show is like none other on earth. The interaction and relationship they have with their audience could teach a lot to a good many bands.

13)They have always treated the fans with the utmost respect and kindness. Bono could easily tell people like me to fuck off etc, but no, he sat down and had coffee with us for half an hour and a great chat. I have not heard one report from a fan about being mistreated by any member of the band.

14)They have always been loyal to their friends and employees dating back to way before they were famous.

15)U2's goals are always artistic, never commercial. They are always striving to do better. "I've always thought the summit of Mount Everest must be a very depressing place!"-Edge

16)They have never professed to be anything other than a rock & roll band. "You can't be disillusioned unless you've had illusions to begin with." -Bono

What I Would Do Without U2 and Why My Love of U2 Will Not Take Me Over The Edge:

1)Obviously there is a difference between U2 fading away, and breaking up and my reactions would be very different:

a)If U2 were to merely fade away, I would be forever wondering what could possibly have led to such a sad end. As long as the band are together, I will always go out to see them and buy their material, while cursing everyone for being so stupid. At least there would be more for the rest of us!

b)If U2 were to break up, or be killed, I would be completely devastated. It would seem like the end of the world for awhile. What would be the point in anything without U2? Yes this is irrational, but haven't I the right to react that way at the loss of a loved one? I would be angry at the waste, the tragedy, the end of an era, and the loss of a vital part of myself. I would wonder if there was anything worth getting involved with (musically) again. I would cry, sit at home alone, contemplate suicide, not want to speak to anyone. I would get over it eventually, but it would be a long time and no band would ever take their place.

2)If U2 were to do something disgusting or horrible, I would think they are going through a lapse in judgement because they are human and I would be tremendously disappointed in them. The music however, should never have to suffer or sound any different because of the actions of the band itself. I would have to remind myself that you have to separate the music from the musicians. I realize I have said that I love U2 for both elements, but ultimately the music is what's important. U2 can do interviews and sound stupid (which rarely happens) but the music is the true U2 and that will never change.

3)I realize that my devotion is pretty fanatical. I think there is nothing wrong with being loyal to, or believing in something to the death as long as you aren't destructive of others. One thing no U2 fan (unless mentally ill) would do is impose their feelings/opinions on others to a harmful extent. This separates us from followers of hateful and harmful cults. U2 fans have minds of their own and are not brainwashed! If U2 does something to annoy them, they won't fail to criticize, with U2's blessing! This is the difference between an objective fan and a subjective fan like Mark David Chapman. Mark David Chapman lived through John Lennon and thought of him as a saviour. He was disillusioned by him and felt he no longer deserved to live. Although U2 fans have their subjective moments, the key difference is that Mark David Chapman was insane!!!
This is totally right on Mrs. Edge (and funny as hell too!)!

Great job!

You will believe in me
And I can never be ignored
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge:

13)They have always treated the fans with the utmost respect and kindness. Bono could easily tell people like me to fuck off etc, but no, he sat down and had coffee with us for half an hour and a great chat.

You had coffee and a "great chat" with fecking BONO!? Oh man...I'm SO jealous now I can't even begin to explain. Wow! I'm happy for ya though, too!
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge:
Today, my mom and I got into a big fight about my U2 obsession, in which she accused me of being no different than a drug addict.

Thanks! Your story was great! Your mom should be grateful your obession is with an intelligent, caring, spiritual, and talented band. There are MUCH worse things you could be doing. ~Jen
Great essay! I do love the last sentence. Hey, I think you should post your tale of meeting Bono again. It's been a long time, and I'll bet a lot of people haven't heard it. (And I'd love to read about it again!)
Reading this much too late (or early) in the morning...I hear ya sister!!!!and so eloquently written...I feel I've only begun my obsession!!!

I forgot you had java with Bono. I;m going to go to sleep now,...and dream out loud!!!

Hope Mom gives you hugs tomorrow!!!!

If your glass house should crack....POE
Thanks for sharing that with us Mrs.Edge! I used to get so defensive when people said I was obsessed with them, but now I don't care. Perhaps obsessed is the proper word, but as many already pointed out, it's as healthy an obsession as you can get. What can be so wrong about something that truly makes you happy. There is nothing comparible to listening to a U2 boot, going to a U2 gig or just chilling to one their CD's. I look at my pictures of the band on my wall and I am looking at four friends. Ok, that sounds whacked, but that's how it feels. It puts a smile on my face, who can be judgemental of that?

Oh, and please Mrs.Edge re-post your story about having coffee with Bono. I missed that the first time round.
Originally posted by Angel:
I used to get so defensive when people said I was obsessed with them, but now I don't care. Perhaps obsessed is the proper word...

When someone says I am obsessed, I simply say "actually, I am passionate. What is it that brings you passion?"

They usually don't have an answer, in which case they stress over the fact that there's nothing notable in their life which they can get all giddy and passionate over

Mrs. Edge, great essay! And I love the part about proving that your obsession isn't to a dangerous degree!
Originally posted by Achtung_Bebe:

When someone says I am obsessed, I simply say "actually, I am passionate. What is it that brings you passion?"

They usually don't have an answer, in which case they stress over the fact that there's nothing notable in their life which they can get all giddy and passionate over

Great idea, Bebe!

And great essay, Mrs. Edge! You made some good points. I hope your mom doesn't think you have a dangerous obsession anymore.
Mrs. Edge - You wrote the essay that I always wanted to write. I whole heartedly agree with so many of your points. Thanks for sharing!

Coffee with Bono! How great! I got a five second chat once and I thought that was good.
Wow, you guys! Thanks for all your wonderful comments!

My original intent wasn't to make a fuss about the coffee w. Bono thing, but since there have been a few requests, here is my story...reprinted with permission from...MYSELF!

.....FLASHBACK Toronto 1992......

It was the day after the indoor Zoo TV show. I had phoned in ?sick? from work, because a friend and I had booked a room in U2?s hotel, and we wanted to see if we could catch a glimpse of them. Steve was at home with a cold, and majorly pissed that I would leave him to go chasing after a band (this was before I had converted him!) but when it comes to U2, I have my priorities straight, and there was just no way I was staying at home if there was one iota of a chance of meeting U2. Steve would just have to stay home with his box of kleenex and survive!

At 9:30 my friend (whom I no longer speak to because among other reasons, she denied me an opportuntiy to meet Edge in favour of some guy she met in the lobby!!!) and I sat in the lobby of the hotel nervously drinking coffee and talking very loudly at times. (We were very nervous!) We noticed another girl about our age sitting across from us who looked like a typical U2 fan. After about 20 minutes of our incessant chatter she said "Are you waiting for U2?" She was too. She was a clone of me! She had loved the Beatles all her life and fallen for the Edge. Very odd.

Anyway, we waited with her, and 2 more people (a total of 5 of us), drinking coffee steadily from 9:30 until 1:30. That?s one hell of a lot of coffee. Not only that, but we were afraid to go to the washroom in case everything happened while we were away. I will never be able to describe how nervous I was at around noon after all that waiting and knowing that at any time they could come out! I felt so sick, I felt like there was a cauldron of boiling oil in my stomach. I never wish to feel that sick again.

One of these fans was telling us about a girl had her back signed, but didn't know a thing about them. She had asked all kinds of pathetic questions like "What's Larry's last name? I want to kiss him!" and "Where are U2 from?" She had even gone so far as to knock on Bono's hotel room door and when he came out she said "Oh, Bono will you please come down!" he said "I'm on the phone right now but I'll be down soon." Imagine! I have NO IDEA how she got past security to his room, and she could have potentially blown it for everyone else! This girl was really irritating, and fortunately, the fan we were sitting with got her kicked out.

Anyway, I digress. A little while later I had finally calmed down a bit, I was in kind of a trance. I'm quite amazed that there were no other U2 fans or press or anything like that. At the table next to us were the roadies, the tour manager and (I think)Edge's bodyguard. We tried to keep our U2 talk to a minimum. We didn't want to spoil our chances. Chances for what, we weren't sure. We toyed with the idea that we'd sing something like '40' when they came down but soon abandoned that plan.

I was sitting around absent mindedly staring into the lobby at about 1:30 (4 hours later!) when suddenly like a ghost, out of the elevator and across the lobby walked Bono! The eyeballs nearly popped out of my head. He had on black leather pants, a black t-shirt with a necklace, a black cotton jacket with the sleeves slightly rolled up and those sunglasses that aren't quite Fly goggles, they were narrower, and dark, but we could see through them.

He then walked over to the table next to us and got some coffee and began to read the review in the paper! I figured this would be the last I'd ever see of him so I decided to burn this image into my mind forever. At first I was standing and Edge's bodyguard motioned for me to hurry up and sit down. This made me very nervous. Then of all things the tour manager, Dennis Sheehan walked right over to me and said/yelled, "You know, you really shouldn't stare like that, it's very rude. The band will not mingle if you stare!" I nearly died. His tone softened somewhat when he saw how much he was scaring the living daylights out of me. The last thing I ever wanted to do was get us all in trouble with the U2 entourage!

What did they expect though? Who wouldn't stare if Bono actually was a few feet away? If you have loved U2 for years and there he WAS? And, I never expected any mingling in the first place! I thought I'd be lucky just to see them leave the building! I thought I was lucky just to be in the same room as him!

Anyway, I turned a deep shade of crimson and sat back down. I was on a small couch with my friend and the chair next to me was empty. Guess what happened next. A few minutes later, Bono stood up and walked right over to us!!!! He said "Hi." in his husky, post show voice like it was the most casual thing in the whole world (which to him it was of course)! We said hi back and asked him if he was tired. He said he was extremely tired and he felt after a tour as if his whole body was broken.

Then he walked right over to the chair beside ME and plopped down. He was so close I could see all the detailing on his earring and pinky ring! I must say he smells fabulous. Just a hint of very nice cologne. His hair was glossy and black. His voice...what I had listened to in countless interviews....was real!...That ACCENT!

He stayed with us for half an hour and had another coffee with us. He takes cream, no sugar, just like me! The funny thing is, he didn?t have a spoon, so he poured in the cream and kind of swished it around. I thought of offering him my spoon, but I had licked it already!

We talked about all sorts of things. There were so many things I wanted to say to him but most of the time I was too speechless with amazement. There was one point where we were quoting him and I was the only one who could remember the quote. There I sat giving him this quote of his as he turned and looked at me! I remember this out of body type experience, watching Bono watching me talking him. It was SO surreal. When he looks at you he really looks at you and listens and it seems like no one else exists but you and him. His eyes are incredibly blue. He didn't take the glasses off but when he threw his head back laughing you could really see it.

Some of the topics we discussed included: Rattle and Hum (criticizing it, and I remember wanting to defend it, bc I loved R&H, but like an idiot, I didn't.) and Phil Joanou, politics and the photography of Anton Corbijn. They were talking about how "Anton photographs the music". We also talked about music today (well, circa 92 of course) and U2 fans. Bono gave us a lecture on ?not being elitist with Rock'n Roll?, ans also talked about his father, BB King and his old high school friends. I wish I could remember more details, but I know these were the topics bc I wrote them in my diary the minute I got home. I do remember like it was yesterday him saying "B.B. King is the same age as me Da but he's a lot cooler!" and "That boy on the cover of War and Boy was in this movie the Commitments. Have you seen it? Well he's got a lot deeper a voice and a longer face!" He'd laugh away and was completely charming.

Anyway,...I had brought this book called 'Another Time, Another Place' about U2 when they were only in their teens. It has some hilarious pictures. I thought this would be the best book to bring to get an autograph. Was I right! Bono went through the book and made all this commentary about all the pictures! He was also imitating the voice of the author of the book and laughing away. It was so great! In one picture he is fooling around with the Edge and he has his leg up and this flirty expression on his face. He writes "What a tart! Bono." Then on the front he wrote "Bono '92 Jessica" and a heart.

Like an idiot I didn't bring my camera but my friend had hers. When we asked if we could have a picture with him he said sure and patted his lap. I actually sat in Bono's lap. I even had to kind of climb over him, so I could sit at the right angle!! I put my cheek on the side of his head and I am here to tell you, he has the silkiest hair in the entire world. It was unusually forward of me to put my head on his but how many opportunities like this does one get?! He had one arm around me and the other hand was wrapped around my wrist. He had a small smile on his face. I was very red. The photo came out quite darkly but you can see it. (dotphoto isn't posting my pic properly so I can't post it here, but it's on my NicaMom interferencers page).

I just couldn't believe I was sitting or lounging all over the man who sings 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'One' and 'With or Without You' and 'I Will Follow' and all these songs that have meant so much to all the millions of U2 fans like us. It was the most exciting, overwhelming thing that's ever happened to me. Like winning the lottery.

After that my friend had to check out and we didn't want to overstay our welcome. It was terrible having to thank Bono and leave while he was still sitting in the lounge! I'll tell you, I was worried I'd be disillusioned or something meeting Bono (and yes, I DO have some illusions to begin with - per essay above) but quite the contrary. He was so sweet and charming and caring! When we told him how hard it was to get tickets (this was when they sold a max of 2 tix, so the scalper prices went through the roof!) so he called Dennis Sheehan over to listen to our problems and try to find a solution! He said "We wanted a better solution to keep our fans out of the lineups in the cold!" (looks like we?re back in line in the cold! But at least we?re so much closer...)

That day will live on in my life as one of the top 3 most exciting things ever to happen to me. Anyway, there?s my story, thank you so much for asking about it!

[This message has been edited by Mrs. Edge (edited 01-24-2002).]

Thanks again for posting that story. I can't even imagine how awesome that would have been.
That was an AMAZING story! I have only been listening to U2 for a short time (compared to most of you at least) and before I knew who they were I used to see interviews where they would be talking to Adam and Larry or Bono and Edge, so when they said "U2 have done this or that" I thought they were saying "You two have ..." I remember many times shouting at my TV to tell me who these amazing people were that supported all of these charities and such!

Great story again and I hope Steve understood!
Preach it, sistah, Preach it!!! Can I get an Amen?

Reminds me of when I got the back of my head shaved in high school. Everyone was scandalized, but my parents figured, hey, our kid makes straight As, isn't pregnant, and isn't on drugs or alcohol. So what's the big deal?

I think it's the same with U2. If you're going to be obsessed with a band, U2 is a pretty admirable choice. It's not hurting anyone, it makes us (you) happy, and U2 stands for some really great things. Great essay, Mrs. Edge!

U2 @ The Blooming Heart
I always tell people that being obsessed with U2 is better than being obsessed with something illegal. I mean, really!
I'd rather spend my money on something that I can have forever than a big pile of blow! lol

Rock on!

"It's all about drums."

Whether you love me or hate me you can still email me:

[This message has been edited by clarityat3am (edited 01-24-2002).]
You go Mrs EDGE!!! I agree with everyone of your 16 points!!

What a great story about meeting Bono!!!! Thanks for sharing!! You lucky girl!

[This message has been edited by Shygirl (edited 01-25-2002).]
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