#3 – If you’re paying attention, you can really get to know them. A week or so ago, I was prepping for the Oscars by reviewing some of U2’s award show appearances, and while I was watching Bono’ acceptance speech for Album of the Year at the ’88 Grammys, I was moved by some of his comments about the band’s desire to make soul music, and to reveal themselves and their feelings through their music. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week, and I came to the realization that, unlike most music acts, who are too concerned about being cool or sexy or bad-ass or whatever it is that they are trying to be, U2 have always made an attempt to be honest. Thus it is that, 20 some years into my U2 fanaticism, I feel that I actually know the band pretty well. They’re real people to me. I’m sure that there is some artifice in some of their music, and I’m even more certain that Larry would disagree with what I’m saying here, but there is a true give and take relationship that exists between U2 and their fans that I don’t see with other bands. We share with and learn from each other, and it occurred to me that “knowing” someone else, as much as it’s possible to do so, isn’t about eating a meal with them, or how many deep conversations you’ve had, it’s not about living with them, it’s about them opening themselves up and how much or little they allow others to see. Following that example in my own life, trying to be transparent and real and honest – well, it isn’t always easy. It’s made me vulnerable at times, moreso than what was probably wise. It’s probably caused me to stick my foot in my mouth a lot more than I would, and it’s definitely made me look pretty dorky at times, but it’s also made my relationships all that much more rewarding, and that’s something that my life would lack if it weren’t for U2.
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