My U2 History
I have been listening to U2 for a long time. I am an Army Brat. I grew up, for the most part, outside of the United States. That exposed me to lots of “culture” not American. That doesn’t seem like that big a deal in the days of the instant culture via the internet. Everything is everywhere immediately. For those of you that cannot remember days without digital, it has not always been the way it is. There was a time when music was extremely regional. My friends who lived in different countries and parts of different countries would bring their favorite music with them. The shopping center that we simply called the “PX,” catered to a wide variety of soldiers.
I remember getting my first U2 record, 1980’s Boy. It late October or early November, it was brand new and it was in the “Import” bin and the track titled “An Cat Dubh” caught my attention as a held the record in my hands. Even though I was really into hard rock and heavy metal at the time, that one track name was cool enough for me to drop the $7 dollars to buy it. I was on my lunch break from bagging groceries for tips at the Commissary. I remember my best friend laughing at me because I had bought a “sissy” rock record. No metal on that album! “An Cat Dubh” was and still is a cool track with a groove a mile wide and it is still one of my favorite U2 songs.
“Shee Ca!” (She cat)
Much has changed in my life since 1980. I have become a follower of Jesus. I have been married for going on 27 years. My daughter is in college and my son is in 11th grade. It seems that U2 has continued to produce music that grows with me. I am not alone, I tried to get tickets to see them in San Jose. The show was sold out before I moved to California and the price required was more than an ordinary pastor’s salary could afford.
I listened for years without knowing the depth of the spirituality of their lyrics. People write books about that now. I have read a couple of them. I found out after I became a believer that 3 of 4 members are Christians. I have had several conversations about U2 and their music with very judgmental brothers and sisters in Christ. They have told me how awful it is to listen to “that kind of music” and then get in their vehicle to drive away listening to that super spiritual country music. They have not deterred me from U2.
The one band that I have not stopped listening to is U2. Always cool, always relevant and it is always hard to be mad at folks who aren’t happy with the wars, the poverty, or the sick children in the world.
U2 manages to stay in my playlists and on my devices. My U2 iTune catalog has 734 songs. That is easily more than any other single band. I was gifted “The Complete U2” back in 2004 on iTunes by coworkers… I remember wanting that iPod U2 Special Edition with the then new click wheel, but that would have to be another article… My collection also contains some “taped” shows (What U2 fan does not have a couple of those?) and a few DVD audio rips.
It is 2016. I am already looking forward to what they will record next. Not too much makes me look for what is next… U2 has since 1980.