Larry Lootsteen - Conestogo, Ontario, Canada
Fans exist is many shapes and forms. And times. Do you remember the first time you heard about U2? This is my story of U2.
My first ever exposure to U2 came on December 9, 1980. I was watching a local Toronto tv show called The New Music which always showed up and coming bands. They had an interview with an Irish singer from a band that was playing a local Toronto club call The El Mocambo (so many bands went through this place). Bono was sitting in a coffee shop with host Jeanne Becker and he really impressed me as an intelligent, thoughtful guy so different then most of the newcomers. They showed a 30 second clip from their show of them doing I Will Follow.
For whatever reason, that hooked me. I wasn't a mad fan back
then. That would
come later.. But they got me interested. A local Toronto alternative radio
station, Edge 102, gradually played more and more of their music.
I guess the change over to mad fan began with War. Sunday Bloody Sunday an obvious great song. But it was my first U2 album buy (Boy and October purchases came soon after) and I wore the damn thing out. Two Hearts Beat As One was my overall favourite track but Seconds, Refugee, New Year's Day, 40...really every track.
If I was hooked early, The Unforgettable Fire blew me away. Homecoming, Pride, Wire,
UF, Bad (yes I liked it even before the follow up version everyone loves). Joshua Tree
- Red Hill Mining Town and One Tree Hill are my two favourite tracks. Achtung Baby -
just such an amazing change of pace - Zoo Station, The Fly and Ultraviolet were the
best! Zooropa ended up being played more then any other album...over and over
front to back. The title track remains one of the most amazing pieces of
music/rock/electronica to me.
The whole thing was inspired.
If Pop didn't hit home for most, I still loved it a lot. Mofo, Please and Wake Up Dead Man were the best for me. As much as I liked the next two albums they were hardly killer in the annals of U2 time for me. Walk On, Peace on Earth and Grace were my favourites (no disrespect to Beautiful Day, which is great but overplayed to death) from All That You Can't Leave Behind. Blinding Lights, Love and Peace and Yahweh were great from How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.
Which brings us to No Line On The Horizon, which I really, really liked. Magnificent, Cedars of Lebanon and Unknown Caller were all favourites
From a live perspective, I had little luck, especially at first. 17 years in I saw
show...Popmart! ! Had floor seats and were near the aisle where they came through the
crowd so they were right there in front me. Just a great show and a complete
blur for my first time. Elevation was the only other tour I saw until recently and I saw two
shows. I have no luck with life, timing and money when it comes to U2 live. I am
thankful for those experiences nonetheless. My beautiful wife surprised me with 360 tickets more recently. Managed to get up front (outside the circle) by one of the claw legs. A great experience all around.
We live, we
laugh, we learn and we grow. U2 fans are a community of great people
with a passion. I am thankful to be a part of it. I may question, even curse on occasion but always a fan at the end of the day.