Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Following is the account of a long time U-2 fan and what I did to celebrate today’s release of U-2’s new C.D., No Line on the Horizon. My colleagues at work say I have a screw loose. I say to them I have many screws loose but, so what. If you don’t have a screw or two loose in this political and economic climate you ain’t human, so just deal with it…What you are about to read is the truth and nothing but the truth. Life is too short to be talking politics, religion, and economics all the time. Today is a day to revel in the passion, joy, and fun that music can provide for those who have ears to hear and hearts that are open. Enjoy…

4:30-5:30 A.M.
I was wide awake at 4:30 this morning. I didn’t plan on getting up so early but since I was up I figured I would go on line and check out what my other U-2 comrades are saying and doing on Facebook. Julie is waiting for Target to open so she can pick up her copy of No Line on the Horizon and Dave is already in the process of downloading the music off Itunes. Oh, the benefit of living in the Midwest.

5:50-6:20 A.M.
I am headed out the door and off to Wal-mart to pick up my copy of No Line On the Horizon. I briskly walk to the entertainment section. No C.D. in sight. Start to worry that I won’t be able to pick up C.D. until after work because they obviously haven’t stocked the shelves yet but before I go I flag down nearest salesperson. I tell her I am here for the C.D. She obviously doesn’t know who U-2 is but she says she will go check on the situation for me. I am grateful. It’s always easier to get service at the crack of dawn. I wait five minutes before my mild anxiety turns to joy as she approaches me with a armful of C.D.’s. I am a very happy camper as I head to the cashier, plop down my ten bucks, and scurry out the door to my car.

6:20-6:30 A.M.
I rip open the C.D. put the disc in my C.D. player and head off to the carpool lot. As I am heading down the freeway I am hooked right away with the opening guitar riffs and words of No Line on the Horizon. Now listening to Magnificent. My mind wonders and reflects on my past loves as I hear the words, “Only love, only love can leave such a mark”…That is so true. Then the next line reads “But only love, only love, can heal such a scar”…Reminds me of something I said on my relationship blog yesterday. “Loving relationships are the “potential” best environment for the healing of some of our deepest wounds. It’s good to hear that apparently someone else feels the same way and I am not alone.

6:30-6:40 A.M.
Am now sitting in carpool parking lot waiting for my colleagues. I am now watching the sunrise peak it’s face through the clouds as I hear the words Sunshine, Sunshine, the opening line of a song called Unknown Caller. I skip next to the song Get Off Your Boots and just absorb the energy that is expressed through the magical fingers of “The Edge.”

6:35-7:15 A.M.
…Car pool mates aren’t U-2 fans and seem a bit put off by my obvious enthusiasm so I sit in the back and just flip through the lyrics in the dusk jacket while colleagues talk politics. I am curious about pic associated with the song Cedars of Lebanon. Is that the Wailing Wall in the background? As we get out of the car one of my colleagues pokes fun at me for my fanaticism. I take it tongue and cheek. Nothing they say is going to deter me today.

7:15-8:00 A.M.
I am in my classroom now. Put U-2 on my boom box and turn it up as loud as I can…Open classroom door to let the sound of U-2 spread as far across the campus as I can. Cold air rushes in but I don’t care because the sound of a new U-2 C.D. is enough to keep me warm. I now open the door to one of my colleagues room and let the music do it’s magic. My colleague covers his ears. I tell him to embrace the music…embrace the love…and… remind him there will be no escape today…and…bark out one last passing comment, “If I have to listen to 45 minutes of political propaganda in the morning you can listen to some of my U-2 propaganda. It’s Karma. Time to get to work.

8:00 A.M. My students are filing through the door before the tardy bell rings. No Line On the Horizon is playing in the background. I take roll and then tell them the story of getting the C.D. this morning. I take the liberty to exaggerate the details. I tell them that I had to threaten the salesperson with a baseball bat from the sporting good department in order to get my C.D. They laugh. We move on to lesson. Today’s lesson is supply and demand. I find a way to fit a video clip from U-2’s Vertigo concert into the lesson. I choose City of Blinding Lights to launch into questions about why entertainers get paid so much. I then introduce the concept of supply and demand. Damn, I’m good. A “freaken” genius. Is it me, or the music that has inspired me today. I’ll share the credit with U-2.

Lunch time:
I am writing this blog entry while picking up where I left off with “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Crazy Tonight. Not particularly crazy over Bono’s shrieks on this song…hey…you can’t like them all. So far, I like the first three tracks better than tracks 4, 5, and 7. Things pick up a bit with the slow moving White as Snow and Breathe. I like the line Every day I die again, and again I’m reborn/Every day I have to find courage/To walk into the street from the song Breathe. Reminds me to live in the moment each day. I like the little Chinese sounding bit at the end of the song. I conclude my lunch by listening to Cedars of Lebanon. This song sounds familiar. Now I know…It’s reminiscent of one of Bruce Cockburn’s ballads. I really like the rhythm of this song and the lyrics, especially the line, “Choose your enemies carefully ‘cos they will define you”…How true…but, I no longer allow others to define me. If they don’t like me that’s their issue not mine. This is my favorite track of the second half of the C.D.

Right after lunch
… I Am hamming it up now. Running in slow motion around the room with my arms in the air as the song No Line on the Horizon plays in the background. Students don’t react much, just figure I didn’t get my meds at lunch.

Initial, “first impressions”
….I don’t think this C.D. is as strong as their last two. No huge fall off but doubt this one will be as popular as their recent works…but…I do appreciate U-2 efforts to explore and experiment and not simply settle for rehashing same old styles. For that, they get my respect and thumbs up for their new album. My favorite songs on first run were No Line On the Horizon, Magnificent, and Cedars of Lebanon but that could change with second and third listen….thanks for following along. It was a Beautiful Day….


julieunplugged said...

Ha! That was a riot! You are truly a great fan.

I like "Unknown Caller" a lot. Great lyrics. "Magnificent" is beautiful. Hard to judge the CD as it will just add to the soundtrack of my life, I'm sure.

But such a fun morning sharing it with all our Twitter buddies.


Dan Brennan said...

Great post, Bill, from another U2 fan. Been listening to the sound of the cd today, meeting grace in the sound

Bilbo said...

I sure wish I was in the same time zone as you guys in the midwest and back east. I always feel I am bring up the rear...

Julie...I do think most of these songs will transfer well to the concert tour especially if they improvise a bit. I did find the lyrics a bit herky jerky on some songs but since the lyrics are so good I'll give em a pass on that front...

Dan...thanks Dan. Good to see you joined the rest of us fanatics...but...perhaps you were there all along and I didn't know it...Too bad we didn't have this aspect in common back when we were dueling it out on Faithmaps, eh?...and...yes, there is much grace to be found in the music of U2...

Kansas Bob said...

I loved this post Bill.. gave me a great peak into your world.. great BB bat story :)

Did I read that $10 for the CD right?

Bilbo said...


Ten bucks, that's right. On the first day of a new C.D. or DVD release at Wal-mart the price is reduced. The same C.D. is probably now selling for 13 or 14 bucks. Glad you liked it Bob.