Why U2? – Reason #8

whyu2If you listen to a lot of rock music, you start to realize after a while that most bass players don’t have a personality. Maybe I should say instead that their playing lacks personality, as the norm for rock music seems to be for the bass to simply follow along with the guitar melody like an obedient little puppy. That couldn’t be further from the truth when we’re discussing U2. Its hard to imagine the ever-original Adam Clayton walking in anyone else’s footsteps. I think that Adam has always been a little bit of a “weirdo”, marching to a beat that only he could hear, and I expect that a lot of his showy, extroverted behavior has been an attempt to cover up the fact that he’s often felt like a bit of a “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Like a lot of us, I think that Adam talks a good game, puts up a good front, but that deep down he’s afraid that he might be exposed as being completely full of crap. Of course, anyone who’s paying even a little bit of attention can see that Adam’s a deep, thoughtful, soulful man who enjoys learning about other cultures and is anything but “full of crap.” From “New Year’s Day” through “Mysterious Ways” and on to “Get on Your Boots”, Adam’s playing has added a sexy playfulness to U2’s music that most rock bands can only dream about. There’s a naughty little character that resides in every note that Adam plays, like the Pilsbury Doughboy, selling those fat buttered rolls that are simply too good to go down without that little bit of guilt we’ve been taught to feel anytime something tastes or feels that good. I could easily say that I love U2 because their music is textured and interesting and organic, but I think it might be better to just say that, in addition to everything else, I love U2 because of Adam.

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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