By: Karen Pittman
It was 1980 something and I had the flu and was home from school. I remember sitting on the couch and listening to the drama unfold on daytime soap operas that my mother watched religiously back then.
But, she decided it was time to get up and begin her motherly duties of cleaning and providing food for her family. As she went to the kitchen to begin cooking the evening meal (chicken and dumplings, as requested by me since I was feeling some relief from my flu symptoms) she said that I could, "watch what I wanted on the television." So like any kid from this time, it went straight to MTV (you know, when they played music and music related television shows. No 16 and pregnant would be seen this day).
Once on the channel I was greeted with Kurt Loder doing MTV news. I dont exactly remember what was happening that day in music news, but it was just a stopping point before they got back to playing the music videos that made MTV the thing to watch back then. Once the music began you would think from this story it would have been a U2 video, but no it was Whitney Houstons video for "So Emotional." I loved Whitney back then along with Michael Jackson, New Kids on the Block (who I still love) and Journey (Steve Perry's Journey).
It wasnt until after Whitney got finished that I got my first taste of Bono and the boys, the voice and the melodic sounds of their most famous hit (in my eyes) "With ot Without You." I was blown away by the music, the look of the members and meaningful song that I was hearing. After that I had to wait (a while in most cases) in order to see or hear another song from this band.
Keep in mind back then (before the Earth's crust cooled), there was no Youtube, no iTunes and no internet to research information about the bands and music you heard. You just had television and radio and of course you could go down to the local store and buy the cassette (yep, thats right ladies and gentlemen.......cassette). Kids these days (including my 3 year old) will never know how much time was wasted by sitting and waiting in front of their radio in order to tape their favorite song on cassette. Now there is the internet and phones that give you instant access to any song, or video at anytime day or night.
Now, back to U2. What a rush I felt listening to this band I had never heard of prior to this day. I had to know more. I had to hear more. So, after begging and pleading with my mother the next time we visited the store...it happened. She bought me the Joshua Tree. Of course, I was prepared to listen to it as soon as we got back in the car, but the batteries in my walkman (yep..thats right a walkman, made by Sony) decided to die. What luck. So I had to wait until we arrived home before I got to listen to my brand new cassette. Of course, back then, my older brother and I shared an extra room in the basement where we could listen to music.
Complete with a "We Are the World" (original 1985 version, not the Haiti version) poster on the wall.
Once in my little section of the basement I switched the batteries and began the journey of The Joshua Tree and all its splender. I was mesmorized. I couldnt stop listening, and I didnt want to. From Streets, to In Gods Country I was hooked. I still had to know more so I went back time and time again to MTV to get a glimpse of them. Finally seeing the video for "Where the Streets have no Name" and "I Still havent found What I'm looking for." Then, I ended up seeing older videos like "New Years Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Thus began my mission to buy those albums on cassette as well. Since I was my moms favorite (and have remained her favorite even today) she would always buy them when she had the chance. Before I knew it, I had Boy, War, October and The Joshua Tree.
Then it was time for U2 to go away and, "Dream it all up again." After which time most of the cassette formats were switching the Cd's. Which meant I had to not only rebuy all my favorite albums on Cd, but I also had to buy a Cd player (thanks Santa ;-D).
My journey with U2 continues when Achtung Baby is released.........