Monday, September 19, 2005

It's A Musical Journey

Yesterday a new Sunday school class started about Strengthening the Family. Christian and I have been invited to attend. We like to hit all the special interest classes (Marriage Relations, Temple Prep, Gospel Principles, etc.) whenever we can to keep it real. It's all about keeping it real, don't you think? Whatever that means.

This class is going to be really good. The teachers--a couple from my ward who have been reasonably successful in raising and strengthening their own family--were prepared and enthusiastic and have all sorts of good ideas for us to implement in our own homes.

Since it was the first day, our teachers had us fill out an information form. They asked us to describe our happiest memory or adventure with our siblings or parents and also asked the question, "What is the best thing your parents ever taught you or did for you?"

These are hard questions to answer off the top of my head--and rather personal as well. I took the form home to give it some more thought. That day my cousin called from Las Vegas with an offer I couldn't refuse and it struck me that my family has given me a rich heritage of U2- loving and concert-going that has shaped me and influenced me all of my life.

That's right suckers! This is a music post and I'm going to U2 December 17th. Seriously folks, right on!

The information sheet also asked us to describe one of our earliest memories and one of mine is being left with a baby sitter when I was about 3 without my sister Erin because she and my mom were going to see Elvis Presley in concert. This was a huge deal because he was not just a king but The King and we were loyal subjects.

Years later I would worship at the black-booted feet of another. Erin pointed out how the stocky man they called Bono used electrical tape for a belt at Red Rocks. Hmmm. An accessory made out of tape. I like it. I like it a lot. But at that point I can't say I was on board with the crazy bi-level hair-do which, in an ironic twist of fate, I now sport. A Joshua Tree and a painful growing out of bangs later and HELLO BONO!

In my family we mark our lineage in terms of the U2 concerts we have attended. Erin was at the Joshua Tree concert in LA with Jon, who would later become her husband. Heidi was actually at one of the Rattle and Hum concerts in Phoenix when it was filmed. Carly has documented her concerts on her blog but, in brief, she saw Zoo TV, Elevation and The Popmart Tour. I was basically estranged from U2 during the Popmart era.

I would never have seen a U2 concert if it weren't for my cousins from Vegas and my dear mother. My Vegas cousins are, in a word, U2 nuts who possess the wherewithal to get tickets to every concert that ever happens. Long story short, that's how my mom ended up driving me and Carly to Vegas to see Zoo Tv. She even let my boyfriend come and she went to a Smothers Brothers show with him while Carly and I were at the concert. But you know, she really shouldn't have. Because he turned into a real jerk. My mom claims to not even like U2--she hates Bono (something to do with politics and self-righteousness. . . somethin somethin) but that was one of our happiest adventures nevertheless. You should have heard Carly singing along to "In the Name of Love." BAH HA HA!

My next U2 concert was a few years ago and was [also] in Vegas and [also] thanks to the efforts of my cool Vegas cousins. This time Christian and I drove out for it. I have seen a few concerts--some good/some bad. Of course U2 was great. But what stood out about this particular show was that they didn't turn the lights out or anything when they came on stage. No one ever does that. You'd think it would remove the dramatic element and--for most--it probably would but I just couldn't believe how cool it was. Do you believe me that it was super cool? Because it was.

So my cousin calls on Sunday with three tickets to U2 in SLC on December 17th. So Carly (who will be, oh, about a month into her post-partum depression at that time), Christian, my cousins, and I will be eating a big meal in Salt Lake City, looking around for Bono, and then going over to the Delta center, mourning the loss of the Salt Palace as a viable concert venue, and participating in some good clean loud fun as the many Faulconers/McNeals/Pauls/Deems/Rasmussens/Kenneys have done before me. And only the wusses will wear plugs. Just kidding. Christian is not a wuss.

Friend, I don't want to try your patience too much. But here are just a few other topics I am happy to discuss at length if you are interested: each and every tiny little detail in Rattle and Hum (the movie) including but not limited to Bono's hair, gestures, and tripping; the coolness of Larry Mullen Jr. as a drummer (but no other drummers, please); what exactly rhythm guitar is; your favorite U2 song and your interpretation of it; and/or what I should wear to the concert. Shalom.


  1. If you like electrical tape accessories you'd like the epoxies. They're great, and they're playing in salt lake soon!

  2. My parents have always supported me in my love of U2, as well. When I was 16, they let me fly to San Fran to stay with a penpal I'd never met before and go see U2 at an Amnesty International benefit show. 1986, my 16th birthday.

    This penpal of mine knew all the places to go to meet bands--she'd even met John Lennon when she was 5. We met U2. I MET U2!!

    Then years later my parents bought me tickets to see them on their Achtung Baby tour (if that was the one with the tiny cars suspended from the ceiling).

    I love U2. Have fun.

  3. I was 15. I actually cried when the stage turned red and "Where the Streets Have No Name" started playing. I paid $6 for my ticket, and was in the 4th row. They sold all of the tickets for Rattle & Hum for $6 because they wanted to make sure they sold out. B.B. King opened for them. It was amazing.

    The second U2 concert I went to (because I never thought any U2 concert could top Rattle & Hum until then) was the Elevation Tour. It was in Baltimore, Maryland on October 12, 2001. I was still recovering from 9/11 and thought there was no better way to do it. They changed the show because of 9/11 and had huge LCD screens with the names of all of those who were on the 4 planes during "One". Again, I cried. The next day my roommate and I went to NYC to spend money because Rudy Guliani said that was how we could help. We went to Ground Zero and it was still burning. Really freaked me out. That weekend was a good way to heal.

    I still love Larry the best - especially on Elvis's motorcycle.

  4. I had the unfortunate fortune to be born into a completely musically uncool family. I can count the concerts I've been to on one hand, unless you count the symphony. I can't count how many of those I went to to watch grandma play. Ugh.

    I love U2, and the closest I've been to one of their concerts was the rattle and hum movie. So now I must hate you for a time.

    Have fun and know that I'm jealous. You're stupid.

  5. I am a fan. Been to several concerts, my fav was early Joshua Tree, in Madison Square Gardens.


    Look for me on the 17th


  6. I saw the Zoo tour because a glommer of a friend pressured me to do so. Concerts give me anxiety, big time. I have anxiety thinking about going to concerts. It was a good concert though our seats pretty much weren't. They had a "catwalk" out into the audience and a belly dancer came out for "Mysterious Ways". Then Bono pulled a girl up from the audience (ala Courntey Cox and Bruce Spingsteen except not scripted). I don't often feel real jealousy, but I felt SO jealous that that girl got to dance with Bono. SO JEALOUS. I was so far away! I didn't feel a drop of the champagne he later sprayed into the audience. NOT A DROP!

    And I hope you can enjoy the concert even though the acoustics at the Delta Center SUCK. And after concerts there I always head over to the Hotel Monoco. That's where all the rock stars stay.

  7. Let's talk about how in Rattle and Hum, they decide to have a surprise concert and sing "All Along the Watchtower" only Bono doesn't know all the words so he says "find someone who knows all the words to 'All Along the Watchtower'" and a crony goes to find someone, only that someone totally doesn't have the words right and Bono ends up singing "wild horsemen came and went" instead of "while all the women came and went." I LOVE to talk about that. What I love about Bono is that he's so FALLIBLE. Remember how he can't play guitar? Or how he falls off the stage and breaks his arm because he's dancing so crazy-like? Remember how, in frame #232 he trips ever so slightly?

  8. Merry Christmas, you lucky stiff! (I daren't say any worse--I know who reads your blog)
    I really like U2 but have never seen them in concert nor have I seen Rattle and Hum. When all that was going on, my mom bought me a Michael Jackson tape. And in high school I mostly listened to musicals.
    I hate myself. *wink*

  9. What about during With or Without You when Bono goes to brush his hair out of his face and then puts his hand down as if he has thought better of it? Could it be that he thinks he looks better with his hair in his face? Or is he just distracted mid-gesture?

    Is there anyone besides me and Carly--and now Carrie Ann--who thinks immediately of "Exit" and, then, Bono's high-waisted pin-striped pants whenever Gary Gilmore's name comes up? If you want to think of that, come over and watch Rattle and Hum with me tomorrow.

  10. Thanks for dumping me,

    We never would've been able to get along.

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  12. For years I sang, "I believe in the King of Kong" instead of kingdom come.

    Sometime remind me to share what my mom said about another line from that song that I can't really share here for all the world to see...

    Carly introduced me to "Rattle and Hum" with her ongoing commentary about every gesture, trip, comment, etc....

    I had a grad student professor in English at BYU who was also estranged from U2 during Pop. Maybe you were friends with him--if only I could remember his name. We actually spent a class period listening to him explain U2's history and why he was so disenchanted because of Pop.

  13. A lot of U2 fans (myself included) didn't understand what they were doing with Pop. Now I get it.

    When I met U2, my penpal had a friend who was with us, Sherry. She had made Bono this big flag with stuff painted on it. He wanted to sign it and let her keep it, explaining that he receives so much stuff from people on tour he can never hold onto it all, and she'd obviously spent some time on this and etc. But she wanted him to look at what she'd done and insisted he take it even if he had to toss it later. So he did.

    He must've been impressed because she was the girl he pulled out of the audience during "Bad!"

  14. Hee heee... Eliza and Matt and I will be there too. Me. Dateless. As usual.

  15. Ah, I love U2, but my dh loves them more. We were born the year they were formed, and we have older siblings who were listening to them at that time, so you could say we've both been listening to them all our lives. How can U2 not be our favorite? DH even sang a line from "All I want is you" when he proposed to me atop the Y when we were at BYU.

    One of my brother-in-laws named his son Adam Clayton. I had to draw the line when DH suggested "Edge" as a name possibility for our baby girl...

    "Am I buggin' ya? I don' mean ta bug ya..."

    "Edge, play the blues."

  16. Bob, Who watched Quadrophenia with you! Now give Rattle and Hum the respect it deserves. . . I think I remember you and Shane Chapple having this exact conversation.

    PS It kind of bugs me when Bono says, "Am I buggin' ya? I didn't mean to bug ya." I get that from my mom.

  17. woo-hoo! i'm seeing U2 oct. 19 in DC. i can't wait!!

  18. As much as I love U2 (who doesn't?)I am not into them like you are! But reading your blog makes me wish I WAS into them. Fun Fun! Congrats on nabbing some tickets.

  19. After I saw Rattle and Hum, I wrote a letter to Weston (who was living in Boston). I summarized the movie like this: I saw Rattle & Hum, in it Bono says: "%*&$ the Revolution!" My Mom got a hold of the letter before I sent it out, and she turned it into a Family Home Evening, wherein she read the letter, (or at least that first line) so that explains how come I have heard my mom use the F word.

  20. Do you think Bono would have taken up an offer from say a polished stripes and bow-ties (gospel) barbershop quartet, or a (gospel) boy band that wanted to cover Still Haven't Found? (Because I realize that if you listen to the lyric, it's really a gospel song--not the way they do it of course, but it's, it's a gospel song.) What if instead of the guy that sings "Freedom for my people" they ran into a really rich and well-dressed investment banker that also played harmonica on the street for a hobby. Would they have included his stuff on their movie/album? I tend to think they would.

  21. My husband and I are going Nov. 9 in Oakland. It's the first U2 concert for both of us. Always before we've been too far away or too broke. We're jazzed for this!

    I can still picture the whole Time Magazine spread on U2 plastered on the sliding doors of my closet when I was 14. (Larry Mullen is as hot today as he was in 1988.)

    Who remembers this quote: "All I have is a red guitar, three chords and the truth." Oooh, I loved it. My dad was constantly razzing the bands I liked for their lack of musical sophistication. But Bono acknowledged it himself, thus pulling the rug out from under my parental unit. What could be better?

  22. Kacy sent me a mix tape of U2 on my mission and I listened to it. I listened to it! Dear Jupiter I listened to it!!! No wonder no one got baptized.

    I always think of Ben Blair when Bono talks about "I didn't mean ta boog ya."

  23. Sorry Chris, Your mission president put me up to that. It was a test and he had a feeling you wouldn't pass.

    Anyway, it didn't have music on it--it was a clever series of excerpts that formed words and encouraging messgages. Ending with--if I remember right--"This Christmas, baby, please come home." And you did! Well, you were sent home.

  24. What kind of test is it a failure to listen to U2? I say he passed with flying colors. Kudos to him.

  25. RADICAL MILHOUSE live on saturday at the apollo in american fork. 50 north church street. 7:00. $5. Be there. Forget the $5 part, we'll sneak everyone in the back.

  26. What was the Sunday School connection again? Oh, right. The best thing your parents . . .
    U2, Brute?

  27. I am so jealous that everyone I know is going to U2.

    When I was at BYU I used to work at the Underground w/Lisa Valentine Clark (that place was nasty, but that is a story for another day) and every night when the place closed we would watch Rattle and Hum while we cleaned up. Around that same time there was a guy who was kind of stalking me, but he worked for Sony and got tickets to U2 (Zoo Tour, I think--the one w/ the lemon). I went with him to the concert and THEN filed a restraining order.

    I served my mission in England and while I was there I bought all these "undergound" cd's that have interview w/ all the U2 guys. They sound kind of drunk and don't make much sense, but I still have them because, hey it is U2. Most of the memories of my life as a young adult are tied up w/ U2 songs.

    Have fun!

  28. Kacy, when you mentioned contemplating what to wear to the U2 concert, I remembered something about what you wore to a certain Depeche Mode concert--something that didn't make it home. If my memory is incorrect, please correct me.

    One of the things I like best about this world is that it has U2. Therefore, one of the things I like the very least is U2 fans. Why, oh why, can't I like a band that doesn't sell out concerts in 1/100th of a second?! -sob-

  29. I've never been to a Depeche Mode concert! You must be thinking of Shelley.


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