Thursday, January 13, 2011

7th and Main

I liked U2 before they were popular. I'm not sure why I feel the need to say that, except to suggest there's something noble about "liking" something on its merits rather than joining the bandwagon later on and liking them just because everyone else likes them.

Is U2 the greatest band ever? Same line-up now for five decades. Well, 35 years, but five decades sounds more impressive. Same line-up since 1976, and as far as I know they've never "broken up" then reformed. They're not engaged in come-back tours... they're still touring and making new music.

In a cleverly designed intersection of the two themes I'm exploring this year, one of my favourite U2 songs is Where the Streets Have No Name. I've always loved how so many U2 songs are driven by the drums and lead guitar. Sunday Bloody Sunday is probably one of the greatest songs ever.

The critically acclaimed song, Streets, and its Grammy Award winning video are spine tingling. It's easy to think this was the only song played on that rooftop, but apparently they played 8 songs, including Pride (In the Name of Love) another of my fave U2 songs, not only because of it's link to Martin Luther King, but also for its haunting guitar riffs.

I've said before I don't think I'm very cool. So for me, the whole 7th and Main video shoot is JUST. SO. COOL. There's something about it that encapsulates something really cool. It's inspiring. It's electrifying. And how awesome would it be to have been there and witnessed it?

Megan Hartley introduced me to U2... no idea when. 1980? Where are you now, Megan? Looking back, I thought she was a cool person. A free spirit. Pretty. Sexy. Bohemian. So maybe there's a subconscious attachment to U2 that's a bit about her.

Nevertheless, 7th and Main, 27th of March, 1987. It was as much a protest (in true U2 style) as a video shoot. One of the goals was to close down the streets and to piss off the police. They succeeded in both. That rebel element has a coolness of its own.

There's also something groundbreaking to it (even tho the concept was nothing like original - is anything truly original?).

I've always thought it would be cool to be famous, for example a famous musician, and to just turn up somewhere unannounced and do your thing. Imagine if you're in a little cafe somewhere downtown next month and Sting walks in, grabs a guitar, and belts out a few songs while sipping a latte. How cool would that be? Unfortunately, it would probably turn into a circus.

7th and Main, down town LA, 27th of March 1987. One of my top ten places I'd like to have been in history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

U2 are an amazing band. Would love to have seen them when they came last year. People from work booked to see them in Auckland, before they announced they were coming here, to CHCH. The video you put up is quite often shown on C4 on their Saturday night, 40 top themed countdowns..