Bucket List: To Dance With Bono. That's It.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Today, May 10th, is Bono's birthday.  You know, my boyfriend. 

My friend Katie, from Katie's Dailies, and I have decided to join forces today in our collective consuming love for U2 and pay tribute to our blue-eyed man of rock n' roll. Cause we're cool like that. 

So, when you're done listening to me drool, go here to Katie's site and read her fine words about our friend. And shower Katie with love in your comments, if you don't mind. She's an awesome blogger and she's recovering from major surgery, so give Katie some well-deserved sugar. 

And here's a little editor's note: The first portion of what you're about to read is an excerpt from a previous post. The rest is some crap I wrote yesterday. 

I will also note that Blogger is torturing me again. Because, I've got different fonts and weird spacing and I am so very tired of trying to fix it. YOU WIN, Blogger! You broke me. But, I just want you to know, I hate you, Blogger. Sorry about the mess folks. Blogger is an asshole. 

And now here is my birthday tribute to my blue eyed boy.

It is one of those moments burned into my memory. 

I was a fresh young thing when punk rock music was born. With their talk of anarchy and anti-establishment, spit out in raging shrieks and bred with stripped down sound, it was Manna to my Catholic schoolgirl soul. I was enamored with that sound and too, with a boy who loved that same kind of intense music. 

I jumped into that boy's VW Beetle one night and as usual, the Bug was alive in wrap-around sound. His Bose sound system was worth more than his car in those days. And out of those speakers, came this voice like nothing I had ever heard before, crackling with passion, "Your eyes make a circle. I see you when I go in there. Your eyes . . . Your eyes . . . " 

I was transfixed by this soaring, hungry voice, a voice that sang like it was ready to rule the world. I turned to the boy and said, "I have to know who that is."

He answered, "Some new punk band from Ireland. They're called U2."

And the spell was set. 

I kept that tape and I kept that boy in the beat up Bug. It's worked out well for all of us. 

The tape wore out. The boy stays young with me, working our way through grown-up life, raising a family together and rocking out to U2. 

And those four Irish lads have been there with me, every step of the way, all of us growing and evolving in different but universally same parallels. 

We were punk rock together when we were young and the world was just in front of us, ready to open its mighty doors and invite us in. I memorized each album as it came out, feeling the questions and rock spirituality that Bono put on paper, emptying out his soul and singing for us. 

The words stay with me, like they did the first time I heard them. A mantra for life. 

Bono's powerhouse cry, belting out, "I'm wide awake, wide awake. I'm not sleeping."

It's how I've tried to live all the days set before me. 

There is so much underneath and in between a U2 song and that is one of my main reasons for my undying love for this band. Well . . . there's also Bono himself and Edge's genius on a guitar and Bono's blue eyes and, well . . . Bono. 

We grew up together. My babies knew the words to "One" better than any "Wheels On The Bus" or "I'm A Little Teapot."

When I had a mini midlife crisis in my late 30's, all gloomy and maudlin over the half of my life that had already whooshed away, fast and furious, like a Cat 5 hurricane, it was Bono who sang, "You gotta stand up straight, carry your own weight. Your tears are going nowhere, Baby."

And so I did, I opened up my writer's notebook, neglected for far too long and began again.

Quite adolescent of me, I know, to say a rock star changed my life. 

But, I've never claimed to be very good at the grownup thing. 

I have been privileged enough to see U2 in concert on almost every single one of their tours. 

And I will admit to you, Internet that each time the music for "With Or Without You" begins, I close my eyes and wish with all my heart and say, (not out loud because the people around me would think I was more than a little nutso) "Look over here, Bono! Feel my thoughts! I'm over here, the girl in the red shirt, jumping around like a maniac and screaming wildly. Feel my thoughts! Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!"  

But, he never does. 

See, he always brings a girl, (a girl who I hate instantly because she is not me), on to the stage during that song. And he sings to that lucky bitch while he DANCES WITH HER. 

Anyway, it's on my bucket list, to get on that stage with him one day. We might both be hobbling on walkers, but I will try with all my might, pulling every string I have, to the end of my days, to make my dream a reality. 

It's going to be really tough since I have no strings to pull. But, I'm never going to stop trying to find some strings. 

U2's concerts are all astounding. 

But, I have some favorites. 

The Joshua Tree Tour. It was the album that birthed "Where The Streets Have No Name." And you really haven't experienced that song until you've heard it live. Bono said it best with this quote, "We can be in the middle of the worst gig of our life, but when we go into that song, everything changes. The audience is on its feet, singing along with every word. It's like God suddenly walks into the room." 

When Edge's chiming guitar begins with the first lilting chords of that anthem, it is always one of the finest moments in rock and roll. 

Here, the only way to explain it, is to show you. This is a live performance of "Where The Streets Have No Name" during their Elevation tour and if you don't fall in love with this band after watching this, well . . . you're just a robot. 

We brought my little sister to that concert. It might have been her first concert, ever. And from that moment on, she became a die-hard fan. 

Bono does that to folks. 

I remember so distinctly at that concert, young Bono in his cowboy hat, asking who could play the guitar. Thousands of hands shot up and he pulled a dude from the audience and let this young punk of a kid play his guitar. 

When U2 played here this past year, our newspaper found that now 40 somethin' man and interviewed him. 

And he was kind of assbaggy about the whole thing saying he was tired of being the guy who was known for playing Bono's guitar on stage. 

Dude, seriously? First of all, it's been 20 years. I highly doubt people are still bringing that up. You're not that memorable. It's not like you're the Olsen twins who can't ever do anything else except wear weird clothes and get high because they'll always be the Full House baby. 

Just shut up, Dude. Do you realize how lucky you are?

If I ever, ever had the blessed chance to dance on the stage with Bono, after I grab him for a big, slurpy kiss and get escorted off the stage forcibly, I will be broadcasting the news from the highest of mountains. 

I will spend my whole life, opening every conversation with, "Hi. Did you know I danced on stage with Bono?"

Teacher conferences, greeting new neighbors, cocktail party fodder, gynecological visits, in the confessional, traffic citations, ordering in restaurants, agent introductions (from my lips to God's ear), with each new UPS man that comes to my door. In every single opportunity of my life, I will proudly inform the world of this. I might even get it engraved on my tombstone. 

She Danced With Bono. The End. 

I also really, really loved The Elevation tour from the "All That You Can't Leave Behind" album. 

It was right after 9/11 and I remember being a little worried to venture out into a big public venue like that, but with that red heart stage and Bono framing his hands into the shape of that heart, I felt like the world might find its way back from all the upheaval and sadness.

My father had just died and I was still stinging in grief and when he sang, "And I know it aches and your heart breaks and you can only take so much. Walk on. Walk on", I felt a little more fortified. 

Just a little while later, Bono lost his own father and wrote, "A house doesn't make a home. Don't leave me here all alone." Parallel lives, he and I. 

And then there was the last year's concert, the 360 tour, which I saw THREE—that's right—THREE times. 

I eagerly awaited the announcement of their tour. I kept my fan club page open at all times, so I'd know the minute the news hit the press. 

And yes, I said fan club. And not only am I a member of the fan club, I am at the highest tier of the fan club. In fact, I think I'm next in line for president if someone assassinates our fan club president. I am of the elite because I have been paying my annual fan club dues since the day of the club's inception. 

I have a card and everything. 

So, when the dates were announced, I couldn't believe my eyes. Their opening night?  MY BIRTHDAY in my old hometown, CHICAGO, where all my sisters live, where my brother-in-law has major Ticketmaster connections. And I just knew Bono was thinking of me . . . AGAIN. 

We flew to Chicago. 

When Bono asked us to sing along, the voices of the sold out Soldier's Field lifted together into the night sky and drifted through the streets of Chicago. It was spectacular. 

The following night, the planets aligned and unexpected tickets were thrust in my hands minutes before their second show was to begin. 

My hubby and I went a second time.

Karma is the goddess of all things good and holy. 

I went home a happy girl. By the time U2 made it to our corner of the woods, we decided we wanted to go again. It was too late for tickets, so we were going to find a decent scalper. (An oxymoron of terms) But first, I went to my Facebook and asked if anyone had tickets for sale. 

They didn't. 

We were walking out the door when my phone rang. My Olivia who was away at college said, "Mom, I've got U2 tickets for you." Her college pal Cassie, Hi Cassie! had seen my post and called Olivia to say her parents had front row tickets through her dad's company and they weren't going. 

The universe smiled on me again.

A third time. A third time with my magnificent boys.

When I announced it to my Facebook friends, they all battered me with their words of hate and envy. 

It was awesome. 

There was only one concert I wish I'd been able to attend. 

U2 at Red Rocks. 

Their video of the song, "Sunday Bloody Sunday," was filmed during that famous concert. 

It was in their first days of fame when Bono kicked it with a snappy mullet. He was so full of fire and idealistic hunger and even at that young age, he could whip a crowd into a frenzy. 

"This is not a rebel song. This is Sunday, Bloody, Sunday."

I have always watched that video with such a longing in my heart. 

So, a few weeks ago when we were on vacation in Colorado, you know where I had to go. 

The bright yellow scarf is me. The kid crossing over the no trespassing fence, at the bottom, is my Julia. 
My plan was to go stand on that stage, the same place my boy had stood so many years ago, a new punk rocker on the scene, with a mullet head full of dreams and aspirations. 

But, did you know this, Internet? Colorado has no air. Seriously. I would grow winded every day walking up the 10 steps to our hotel. I would stumble my way into the elevator gasping for air. And I'm in good shape, man. I felt like an asthmatic any time I took more than 2 steps. I seriously have no idea how people exercise out there. I"d have to run with a portable oxygen tank strapped to me. 

So, there was no way I was climbing up all those stairs. I would have been dead. 

My 12-year-old with young, sparkly lungs had to lay down on the ground by the time she made it back up. 

But, at least I was there. And it was beautiful. And if that's as close as I ever come to that gorgeous man, well, I guess I'll have to take it. 

But, if for some reason, a miracle as great as the Immaculate Conception happens and Bono stumbles upon my lowly blog, I want to say, Happy Birthday Dear, Darling Man. You have held my hand as we walked down these parallel paths together. You never knew it, but your words have lifted me up and helped me through some of my darkest days. I will walk the walk with you, as long as you continue to give us your voice. And I can only hope that voice is singing for many years to come. 

And about that dance. I'll wear a red shirt. I have short, platinum blonde hair. I'll be the one screaming like a prepubescent girl at a Justin Bieber concert. And for you, (Hubby, close your ears) sexual favors can be a part of the deal. And that coupon only extends to you. It is not open to any other band members. 

I'm not sure who Punk Rock Girl Katie will be extending her offer to. I can only speak for myself. 

Today's Definite Download: The song that started it all for me. The world stopped as that young, hungry wail soared through those car speakers and into my heart, forever to stay.

"I Will Follow" 

If you walk away, walk away 
I walk away, walk away . . . I will follow

And I will. To the ends of the earth and back and I will pay my dues every year and I will buy every bit of music you make and someday, somehow, somewhere, that dance is coming. I can feel it. 

Happy Birthday, B-Man. Thanks for the songs. 


Lisa said...


Loved it!

Christine Macdonald said...

I knew we were connected! Bono is GOD. Period.

The last time I saw him my friend West and I got randomly selected for the 'inner circle'. I was able to see him and The Edge the way they were meant to be seen: sweaty and raw.

This music makes me weep.

PS: Let me tell you about West. My friend is a celebrity assistant to Jen Aniston. Yes, THAT ONE! :) I wrote his resume for him and that's a whole other story. West started working for her and Brad in 2004. Brad is very close w/ Bono. Sufficed to say, West MET BONO at a dinner party in 2004 -- and it just to happened to be the night before our concert experience. He was tripping out that he just shook Bono's hand -- and then seeing him be this rock god on stage.

Needless to say. I was (and still am) GREEEEEEEEEN with envy.

Great post. Happy Birthday Bono!

Katie's Dailies said...

I would gladly offer sexual favors to either Adam or Larry, but I think Larry is married so don't want to mess that whole thing up, plus he has a really bad back from all that drumming (no pun intended...?). Adam is my man! He would be SOOOO cool to hang out with, plus he's the party animal in the group, and gets to hang out with all the supermodels!

"If You Walk Away..." was the first song that made me fall head over heels in love with these guys, TOO! How is it that we MANAGED to FIND each other??? It's NUTS! ANd everytime they showed that Red Rocks video or the "Streets With No Name" video shot live in L.A. on MTV, I would crank up the tv and dance around the room, singing my head off!

Oh, have fun my friend, have fun!! : )

RedheadedStepchild said...

I think....I might need a xanax now. LOL So..um...you love Bono? ha!

Good post. May you one day get to dance on his stage

alicia said...

I take it you like Bono. Lol After being trampled and thrown like a dozne times like a torpedo at a NKOTB (GASP!) concert I have stayed clear. I'm sad to hear about what I've missed out on. You blog rocks btw.

alicia @ a beautiful mess

Mama-Face said...

sigh. I got nothing other than I think I am now in love with Bono myself. (I mean I liked him before...but now...:) )

Anonymous said...

Geez, I hope you make it on stage someday! That would be so cool.

Do you have 600 songs on your iPod like Katie does??

I love Katie too.

Natalie said...

I was never really a huge Bono fan before, but now I think I'm in love, too!

Alexandra said...

Hmmm....you sound like a bit of a fan of Bono. Hmm.....

Seriously. That's like me and my movie stars...they see my soul.

Haha..Very funny and wonderful.

I love Katie, too. I'm on way over.

Oh, and blogger??? I had to post and repost this morning, cuz it all looked good in "preview" but after posting, it was all full of crazy breaks and shit.

Ooops..did blogger just make me say shit??


Shelley said...

Ohhhh, I can't believe you were that close to me. I live less than 10 miles from Red Rocks. Did you go into the vistor center/museum part? It's really cool. There is 20% less oxygen at this elevation than there is at sea level. You wouldn't think that would make such a huge difference, but it does. I've never walked down to the stage either, for that same reason. But, I am hoping to be able to go to a concert there this summer. I have no idea what the schedule is, but I just really want to go to a concert there.

MrsBlogAlot said...

Yeah, I'm with Mama-face, I think I love him now also.

You have a way Joann.

It's almost like magic or something (-:

Unknown said...

I love U2 as well.

For me, it brings back memories of a college boyfriend. I thought we were going to get married. We would spend hours making out while listening to the Joshua Tree album....

Jen said...

I really hope you get that dance. I also hope that Bono Googles his own name so he finds this.

Trista said...

Once again you leave me here with a silly ass grin spread across my face. I love reading your stuff and I just have to say that seeing any concert in Red Rocks is amazing so I can't even imagine what U2 would be like.
The way you feel about Bono and U2 is the same way I feel about Dave Matthews Band, I would pretty much take my clothes off for any of them. I have seen them several times and try to see them every year. They make every fiber in my body just melt when I hear them.
When the World Ends is my favorite song by them
Happy Birthday Bono

Renee said...

I sincerely hope you get to dance with Bono some day. You deserve it!

Bossy Betty said...

Bono called. He says he loves you too!

April said...

Great post! I love U2. Stopping by from SITS. Oh and I also hate it when blogger gets all funky on me!

ErinFromIowa said...

Dang it! This made me all teary-eyed and sniffly!

Anonymous said...

He is hot, Lord knows. Great tribute:-) Edge always kind of excited me. He's so serious.

Anonymous said...

Ahh yes.. Bono. U2...

My Bono is Peter Murphy of Bauhaus. Everyone is like, WHO?! sigh. I love that man in all his emaciated glory.. to this day.. I still love him. There will always be room in my bed for that man. Though I think he's about 60 now. No matter, he's my Bela Lugosi.. I doubt he's aged a bit :P

Loved your post.. now I'm feeling all giddy and nostalgic.. time to listen to some tunes!

Have an awesome day madame!

Rae said...

I am embarrassed to admit I am not familiar with Bono, but you sure have made me want to get to know him! No worries, though- I won't steal him away from you. For one thing, I can't dance.
If I could grant you one wish, it would be to get you on that stage-
rockin' the night away with your idol!

OC Fun Blog said...

Great Blog! I love your writing style. I have not ever been a Bono fan (not because I dislike Bono but because I haven't listened carefully enough I guess) but you have peaked my interest. The way you feel such passion from those lyrics and how you absorb each of their songs is enticing.:) Thanks for the awesome post!

One Photo said...

I first saw US when I was at University, before they became famous. We lived in Ireland for a long time during which my husband was a chef and the restaurant he worked at was a favorite haunt of U2, so my husband has cooked for him numerous times. We also once went to a great little fish restaurant for lunch, near his home which is another place he loves and he was there with his wife and two daughters, one of whose birthdays it was and the entire restaurant were treated with birthday cake. I am not a U2 fan music wise or looks wise but he is a very nice guy.

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