Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlight. The fan of the month for March 2018 is user miryclay. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"I never expected during those early tours that I went to that I would end up seeing them over ten times a tour."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
I am a 42 year old single male that was born, raised and currently live in Hamilton, Ontario. I have been a teacher for over ten years as it is a very popular profession in Canada and is the chosen profession of many other Canadian U2 fans. Keen and observant U2 fans would know that Daniel Lanois grew up in this city and much of the artistic pre-production of the Unforgettable Fire was done here in his family owned studio. Both of my parents were born in rural Ireland and left in their early 20’s. They both grew up about 20 mins drive from Moydrum castle which was on the cover of UF.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
My first exposure would have been through the CHUM station in Toronto which later morphed into Much Music which was Canada’s answer to MTV. My father was semi in-tune with Irish acts but the word on the street about Bono that time was that he was more of an actor than a singer-which was a source of much hilarity. In think there was some passing mention of him in the house during the Pride single era but it really blew open with the TJT. I was 11 when JT was released so that was an impressionable age. Toronto media really got behind U2 at that point with the videos etc.
Your first 8 U2 shows took place in Ontario from 1992 to 2001, what was your favorite and why?
I’ll have to say that my favourite U2 show would have to have been my first one on March, 24, 1992. I went with four friends from school to Maple Leaf Gardens which is now a grocery store and recreation facility. Older fans will remember that the spring tour was a hot ticket and difficult to obtain.
The last 4 tours you bumped the number of shows you attended per tour from a few to quite a lot, how did that happen?
That’s a very easy question to answer. I got an adult job in 2006 and that meant that I could afford to go to more shows. I never expected during those early tours that I went to that I would end up seeing them over ten times a tour. Many of those have been multiple nights so it does make a higher show count. I have seen U2 53 times over a 25 year period and been outside the venue about 3 or four times in addition to that. Fordham in the Bronx was one in which I got shut out after a very long bus ride! When I travel to see U2 it is in a very economical manner that most couldn’t tolerate. Should I talk about the rat in the Dublin hostel? As Mike Watt said, “We Jam Econo”
What was your favorite tour and why?
I’ll have to say 360 hands down. I really did see them continually over a 24 month period so that meant continual saving, planning and waiting. I liked how tickets were readily available for exchange and most fans were able to get in. The stage was beyond words and I met so many great people. I try and stretch out my tour shows if possible and long weekends are always a bonus.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
My collection includes vinyl, tourbooks, cassingles, autographs CD singles and books. Collecting U2 is my one life indulgence so I am still hunting for things. I don’t get the rush I once did but do enjoy a great score. In 2018, I have obtained both Artificial Horizon and Melon on vinyl so I have nothing to complain about. It is all organized by chronological release and I have considered donating it to the Rock Hall as I get older.
Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?
I think Stay live at Sydney is the greatest. Crazy Live in Dublin and Mothers 98 POP in Brazil was pretty special. MOFO and ZOO Station live of course.
What is your favorite U2 bootleg, and why? Do you often listen to bootlegs?
My first bootleg has an interesting story. In July of 87 I had gone to Ireland to visit family and some cousins had seen U2 at Croke. I was only 11 and too young to go. I was also denied a visit to their Toronto show in October of that year by my parents. Croke has a special place in the mythology of Ireland and my father was a mascot for an All Ireland winning team in the 1940’s. I was walking up Grafton Street with my family and we saw some illegal cassette bootlegs for sale. I picked up 1 cassette of 87 Dublin (but not number 2) and only got the second half when U2Bloodredsky went online during the Napster era. I find bootlegs to reach their saturation point very early for me and I only collect Soundboard broadcasts or shows that I’ve been too.It’s not like I own every Pearl Jam or Dead bootleg that exists.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
U2 will always be my number one. I also follow The Flaming Lips, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cult and RHCP. I suppose those bands date me to a certain extent.U2 are number one because of the Irish connection, the social engagement, the embracing of technology and social awareness. The fact that they are universal in their appeal also helps because I get to meet many people world-wide who adore them.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I play guitar quite a bit but am more of a strummer than a delay expert like Edge. I can get to the spirit of a U2 song quite easily but find it difficult to replicate note by note like some tribute bands. I play ice hockey and golf in the summer. It’s all good. Thanks Remy, keep up the good work.
Thanks for this interview miryclay!
Note: Our crew members choose the fan of the month, you can't sign up for it.
U2 are number one because of the Irish connection, the social engagement, the embracing of technology and social awareness. The fact that they are universal in their appeal also helps because I get to meet many people world-wide who adore them.
Couldn't have described it any better
Great interview, you're older than I thought (always a good thing I guess?). Lucky you, these early 1992 shows were nothing but epic. You have a little piece of Music History embedded in your brain Nice to hear about your Irish family (and the bootleg finding in Grafton St!) too.
"The truth is, Bono is always broke,
while Larry still has his First Communion money."
- Paul McGuiness on U2's financial situation
did you know
The album Songs of Innocence used to start with 'This Is Where You Can Reach Me,' which was always supposed to be the first song. U2 then changed this to Raised by Wolves, but ultimately decided to "put the songs first", just like on Joshua Tree.