What kind of question is that? Of course we are; our faces are so spoiled by beauty that I’m doing this as a two-part series. Let’s examine the technological evolution U2 fans have been fortunate enough to benefit from over the past few decades, starting with the days when the guys were young, not dumb.
From 1976 to 1980: The only way to find out what happened at a U2 show was to go to one, which meant you had to live in Ireland, duh, or at the very furthest somewhere in the UK. Alternatively, you could read Hot Press to find out if they played 11 O’Clock Tick Tock – until you realized that they always played it. Good thing this socially conscious band of teens from the north side of Dublin isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, right?
In the early 80s: You could see what U2 was like live by watching Live Aid on MTV (or on ABC, I just learned – fact!). Otherwise, you could be one of the lucky ones to say they saw U2 in small venues when they first made their way to the states (I believe my friend Elaine from New York is one such fan) – but if that wasn’t possible, you could pick up the March 1985 issue of Rolling Stone (which proclaimed them “our band of the 80s”) and say a prayer that this group would get just a little bigger so they could make their way to your area. Ooh, fingers crossed!
In the late 80s: You had approximately 80 different opportunities to see the gargantuan musical behemoth known as U2 in North America, and 30 chances to see them in Europe. If you couldn’t make it to a show, you could wait until they came to a theater near you in 1987 to see what the Joshua Tree tour was all about and make your own informed conclusion about whether the biggest band in the world was lecturing Americans about their own music or not (and so what if they were? Maybe America deserved it). Like Larry said, it’s a musical journey…
So clearly, U2 fans had it rough in the early days. It was the time when new media was not yet the big idea, so the number of online tools for viewing shows in progress was a little less than zero (and the only definition of “online” was something that existed on a literal line). I hope it gets better than this! Oh, it does…it does.
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