If you know me, you know I love Larry Mullen. If you don’t know me, I am the woman at the U2 show wearing my Larry Mullen Band shirt staring at the drummer while everyone else is looking at the lead singer. Yeah that’s me. My love for Larry began 27 years ago, and I started wearing my “Larry Mullen Band” shirt 13 years ago.
U2 has completely changed my life. I studied at Trinity College in Dublin for a summer, I have traveled across the United States, I have found my passion in writing, and have made many great friends – all because of U2. But U2 would not exist without Larry Mullen Jr. As we all know, Larry started U2 with a note on the school bulletin board and for a few minutes the band was known as “The Larry Mullen Band.” And that is why Larry is my favorite – because he founded the band. No, that’s not why he’s my favorite, but that sounded reasonable, right?
It is true Larry started U2, but that is not why he is my favorite. The story goes likes this. It was March 1987. I was a freshman in high school. A classmate of mine was flipping through one of those teen music magazines and stopped at a picture of U2. She said they were the ones who sang that new song “With or Without You.” I had heard it and liked it and sort of remembered their song “Pride” that was out a few years before.
I noticed one of the four guys in the picture (Larry) was very good looking. To an almost 15 year-old, it is very important for band you like to have a cute boy to crush on. It is because of that picture of Larry that I became a U2 fan. Ok, so maybe I was shallow, but since then, I have grown to appreciate Larry’s other qualities such as his direct no-nonsense attitude, his drumming, his acting and his singing. Yes, his singing.
The story of “The Larry Mullen Band” shirt goes like this: Once upon a time 13 years ago on a tour known as Elevation, on a hot night in June in Philadelphia, a “Larry Mullen Band” shirt was thrown onto the stage. Larry put it on his drum kit and it remained there for the rest of the show. I of course took pictures of “The Larry Mullen Band” shirt hanging off Larry’s drums and posted it on some U2 website. Jenny saw these pictures and commented that her friend Paola was the one who threw the shirt on stage. That show was Paola’s birthday and being a huge Larry fan, she made the shirt for him. We became fast friends, along with my friend Tasha whom I had met a month before at the Pittsburgh show. Paola made us each a “Larry Mullen Band” shirt, which we all wore to the Providence2 show on Larry’s 40th birthday. Four years later on Larry’s birthday during the Vertigo tour, each member of U2 wore a “Larry Mullen Band” shirt – but we had them first. On the 360 Tour in St. Louis, Bono said, “Larry is still upset about the fact that we changed our name to U2 from the Larry Mullen Band. And there are some people here who agree with him.”
I still have that original “Larry Mullen Band” shirt from 2001, but I have since made a few others and will probably make more for the next tour. Nothing will ever replace my original “Larry Mullen Band” shirt. It holds so many memories and symbolizes the start of my U2 family. And it can all be traced back to that one photo of that cute boy I saw back in 1987.
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