Twenty Years of U2

For the last two days my mind has been dry on subjects worthy of blogging

Until today: U2.

In 1985 my younger brother and I were given tape-cassettes for Christmas. If you do not know what tape-cassettes are, your education is not complete! {~terrible plagiarism of a quote by Bono whilst receiving his honoree degree at Pennsylvania university this year}.

I received “Midnight Oil – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1“, whilst my younger brother received “U2 – October“. My brother didn’t like the strange eerie noise of some of the music, whereas I had no idea who Midnight Oil were, nor that the lead singer (Peter Garrett) would one day aspire to being a politician.

We promptly swapped cassettes, which amazed our parents at how easy that problem was solved, and the rest is history.

Over the following few years, I thought I had the ONLY album by U2. I had no idea that there a few album that preceded it, and never thought to check if other albums had come out after.

Until I had to replace the cassette. You see, cassettes have only so much life in them before the sound quality becomes absurdly scratchy. I actually replaced it twice more, and may get a new one again soon! [29/10/2016 – Never did.]

It was when I went to a recommended music store in Adelaide – Andromedas in Gawler Place, Adelaide CBD. [29/10/2016 – No longer exists.]

It was there I discovered the fanaticism of Adelaidians to a rock group/band that had only visited Australian once, and only one concert in Adelaide! In the mid 1980’s, a U2 album in good quality would fetch as much as AUS$300. I smiled gracefully, bought a few photographs of Bono and Edge photographed in front of the Hilton hotel, sneaked out to a commercial-based record outlet, and bought every U2 album I could get my hands on.

Over the following 12 months, I managed to get every single available cassette, cassingle (egad, these were a waste of space!), vinyl – including 7″‘s and singles, and many books. [29/10/2016 – Still have them all.]

Since 1996, my collection has gone onto include every single available DVD in Australia, a lot more books, and all the latest compilation-album CD’s.

My wife, who has slowly become just as fanatical as I am, keeps a compiled list of it all to stay in her handbag. That way, when we go shopping, and I spot something U2 related, she can tell me if I have it already or not.

My best purchase yet? In New Zealand. An annoying habit of mine, according to my wife, is rummaging through records, wherever whenever. Particularly in Second-Hand/Recycling/St Vinnies/etc type stores. Where vinyls are a dollar each. So there we were, at a popular place in Auckland, the wife going through homemade stuff, and me flicking through the hundreds of records on display. When finally one caught my eye… “U2 – POP – Limited Edition – U210 524 334-1“, in original condition, no scratches whatsoever, and including the lyrics sheet, and internal cardboard record holders. For only $NZ10. I scratched together $8, and didn’t bother to ask the wife if she had the $2. Walked up the shop-owner, and offered him a mere $8 – and he let me have it! I felt so good that day. And it is still in mint condition, as I have not played it yet. [EDIT: Now 29/10/2016 – Still not played!]

Anyhow, this is my one passion. U2. There is no rock&roll band around the world that has come close to being as great as U2. Yet.

Yes, I will be at the U2 Concert tonight in Adelaide at the AAMI Stadium.

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