I’ve been a U2 fan ever since I listened to their first album ‘Boy’. I had a copy of that album on vinyl at home. I bought it in Conway’s Emporium in Carrickmacross – a magical shop on the Main Street which I always seemed to have a shopping list for. Albums were expensive and Boy exhausted my pocket money fund. I also had it on cassette because you couldn’t carry a record player around. Tape recorders were as portable as music could be in those days.
I marvelled as U2 made it onto Top of the Pops with Gloria and Fire from their second album October. And they also ‘qualified’ to be a poster in Smash Hits magazine that year. Ireland was like a underdog during those times. Our nation seemed to get a psychological boost with any international success. It was sensational to have an Irish band reach these heights. I bought all their albums – War, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby – everyone of them. U2 were to become the biggest rock’n’roll band in the world. And I was a pilgrim at their concerts too. My first time to see them was in Phoenix Park, Dublin with Simple Minds, Big Country and Eurythmics (what a line up!). In Slane I managed to skip through a gap without tickets!! I was determined to see my heroes. I took my children to see them in Croke Park many years ago. I just love U2. It’s like a lifelong friendship. Their songs resonate with me. They bring me back and propel me forward.
They’ve become a band that many people seem to want to hate nowadays but I have always just listened to their music. Today, they released their new album ‘Songs of Experience’. I’m listening to it now and loving every bit of it. A vinyl copy of it awaits me in @libersligo – ordered and placed aside for my collection. Just like old times. Good things never change. If they do they usually get better.
(c) Shane Martin