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U2 – Joshua Tree – 30 years ago!

I was a kid when this came out. To that date I’ve had a wide range of music forced my way, being the youngest: The BeatlesSimon & Garfunkel, Herbie Hancock, Bowie  and other popular radio friendlies…but nothing sounded or flowed quite like the perfected Joshua Tree Album by U2. I could get into a diatribe of every song and what each means to me, however, I recommend getting into your “quite spot”, light a few candles, strapping on the headphones (not earbuds) and listening to the album yourself (again?) in its entirety to find out where the songs take you now. The album was put together by the band, and producers Daniel Lanois  and Brian Eno . It seems to flawlessly carry on, with the help of great instrumental music, big sound, and meaningful thoughtful lyrics. Some songs are so timeless that they are recognized by many, and often played on today’s popular and classic radio and internet stations.

Well, I can honestly say that I became a fan of this band very early on, for a number of reasons, including the fact that the band stuck together – after fame and fortune. Heck, even before it’s release, I remember one of my older brothers coming back from their concert at the Commedore Ballroom in Vancouver – yes, that’s right, he saw U2 at this small venue back in the 80’s. I didn’t think much of it then, as he was seeing lots of concerts in that day, and going on about them. Crazy when I think about tho. U2. Commedore. Wow! A great venue to listen to any music.

Later, after purchasing the album, I went to see the Joshua Tree show at BC place in 1987 with three friends. This was probably one of the best sounding shows I’ve been to – at that venue – even to this day. I’ve actually walked out on a few concerts, just because the sound can be terrible. I remember it was the Bo-Deans and Los Lobos that opened up for them – which made no sense at all (to me), as U2 was a “fresh sounding” band. I wonder if the promoter had a difficult time finding someone similar to match them with, as all three bands had significantly different styles. The first two bands were fine. They came out, did their thing, then left the stage. People were standing aroiund and doing their thing, chatting. Then….(I remember) the long pause of stadium DJ music before Bono and the boys came out…..then….the lights went dark. Festival seething meant standing room only on the floor. I squeezed my way to the front. People cheered! Lighters flicked on! Then….that BIG RED-ORANGE GLOW of a background. After that? I have few words, other than the fact that everyone went quiet, and listened. And sang along. And enjoyed. It was a perfect night from then on. Everyone was in this together.

I certainly had a positive vibe going on after this show. So-much-so that I bought all the singles to that album later that year, plus previous albums October, Boy, War, and some bootlegs of live shows too. Hmm, yes, vinyl. Both Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum opened up like a book. When “Rattle And Hum” came out, it put things into perspective for me – like in a “Star Wars” or a “Lord Of The Rings” epic kind of way. I learned and listened: Martin Luther King, Billie Holliday, B.B. King, Sun Studios, Elvis, Ireland.

Well, it’s 30 years later, and guess what: As an Acoustic Live Looping Artist, I perform (on occasion) the entire Joshua Tree album from start to finish. I won’t be able to see the local Vancouver anniversary show as I’m booked that night, but I’ll probably be performing tracks from that album during that week (or next, or leading up to). Stay tuned for times, dates and  locations. Hit up my Facebook link for more info on shows/dates.