Depending on your age, there will be an era that reflects your musical taste even to this day. If you are really lucky, the artists that were influential in your teenage years, will still be making music and they will have evolved to become a soundtrack of your life.
In 1976 when I was just eight, 6 teenage boys in Dublin formed a band that they named “Feedback” Their musical style was rooted in late punk and influences such as The Jam, The Clash and the Buzzcocks.
It is claimed that the popularity of punk convinced them, that being good musicians was not important for success. They carried on to win a 1978 talent contest in Limerick sponsored by Harp Larger. The £500 prize perhaps not as important as the studio time to record for CBS. The 6 piece soon became a quartet.
Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960) Dublin
David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961) born in England with Welsh parents.
Adam Charles Clayton (born 13 March 1960) born Oxford
Lawrence Joseph Mullen Jr. ( born 31 October 1961) Dublin
Better know as Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. or collectively U2
It would be 3 albums (Boy – October – War) and 7 years before I found U2 in 1983 as a 15 year old.
The 80s were a great time for music, with ranging genres. It was also the time of a wide scale adoption of the synthesizer. Distinct styles developed including the “New Romantics” which were everything U2 wasn’t. This brand of non guitar and drum, softer music was apparently described by Bono as “Non stick, wallpaper music” Personally I had eclectic tastes, but loved a good guitar.
My first opportunity to see U2 was in 1984 at a small Manchester venue, the Apollo. Some friends invited me, but perhaps knowing my mum wouldn’t let her 16 year old attend I declined !!
So I missed the “Unforgettable Fire Tour”
Fast forward 19 years to 2005 and the band was back in Manchester at what is now the Etihad Stadium. Married with my own teenage children, I couldn’t justify the cost of the tickets. So my friend Brian and I came up with a plan. Concerts are loud, next to the Etihad is a giant Asda Walmart… So we took his works truck and parked as close as we could to the stadium in Asda’s car park along with several other cars. We had a great night sat in the back of his pickup !!!
So I heard, but didn’t see the “Vertigo Tour”
Jump forward 4 more years to 2009.. We were not going to miss the “360 Tour” Tickets were bought and Brian and I went to Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield to watch our band. It was everything I expected and more! The atmosphere was electric, the massive stage created a 360 degree experience for fans all around the stage.
I never imagined as a 16 year old, I would be seeing U2 live – 25 years later.
So which songs stand out to me?
I had the War album on vinyl and probably wore out tracks like Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Years Day. No line on the Horizon is a favourite album in the car. But it changes from week to week.
Bono, born of a protestant mother and Cathlic father, still often states before performing this song live “This is not a rebel song” he maintains it is a protest at the futility of violence.
Each Album released has evolved slighty and had its own “sound” I’ve liked most of them.
I started by saying long running artists evolve. You can still identify Bonos voice or a guitar riff by The Edge, but the punk has faded and a new softer image sometimes comes through… I could listen to the next song on repeat for days… As an aspiring guitar player, one day I will be able to play this.
Now as a 52 year old I am listening with a new set of ears. The novice guitar player in me is listening to notes, thinking about timings and pondering lyrics.. One day I will be able to play an entire U2 song, until then, I will enjoy playing with intros, like this attempt …