Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month June of 2021 is user kezman. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"ATYCLB was released at a time of change (new millennium etc.) it felt like a new start for U2 at the time and a time of positives changes in my life so I have very fond memories of the record."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
I'm Kezman,i live in the Lake District which is in the far North West of England,a beautiful place to live despite the rain!
I work in the security industry.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I'd always been a fan of rock music growing up,The Police were my fav band as a kid,my dad used to play a video tape that featured the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior",the backing track to the video was Pride In The Name Of Love,he used to blast out full volume so i loved that song,went out bought UF and R+H and was hooked from there (this was 1992).
Does anyone in your family or one of your friends like U2? If so, did they introduce you to U2, or did you "convert" them?
As already mentioned my dad liked the band but i took it up a notch,growing up around here finding other U2 fans was quite rare as the band openly opposed the Sellafield nuclear plant(which is the main employer of West Cumbrians),i can remember a garage wall which had "kill bono" daubed on it in huge lettering during the early 90's! Me and a mate were at Seascale the day U2 coasted in on a raft to protest against nuclear power,i never got to speak with Bono,just patted him on the back as he stopped in the beach car park with McGuiness to talk to locals,some walking dogs nearby shouted profantities at him but everyone else were friendly towards him.
My teenage daughter has a liking for rock and has many U2 songs on her Spotify,i consider this a victory!
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
Collected loads over the years,from vinyl/cd singles,ticket stubs,programmes t shirts etc.My dad once went to work and brought me home a security crew T-Shirt from the Lovetown Tour(the dream in up again night in Dublin),one of his co-workers told him he picked it up for £1 in a charity shop!
As for bootlegs,i started collecting properly in 2001 and have amassed every show from Popmart to 360,mostly silver pressings.
I keep them catalogued and treasure them,even getting them out for a look through is great.
You have seen U2 for the first time on the Elevation tour, in Anaheim. What was that experience like?
Incredible,first time in California,we'd gone over for a cousins wedding and somehow managed to secure tickets for the 3rd night,my mum was none too happy that i skipped the evening to go to Arrowhead Pond.Many might describe it as an average Elevation show,plus Edge kept snapping strings but it was incredible to be in that moment,being somewhere like Slane or NYC on that tour must've been something else!
You've seen them since in stadiums on the Vertigo tour and 360 tour, what was your favourite show and why?
I go with Vertigo Tour reason being I missed the Manchester shows because of the birth of my daughter so gave Twickenham a go instead,having your first born puts you on a high to start with so being at a U2 show on top of that emotion it was incredible,lovely summers evening too,band were bang on.Great,great memories for me.
Do you prefer U2 in stadiums or arenas?
Arena i think.Both have pros/cons but i just think that intimate feeling you get from an arena with U2 is pretty special.A friend of mine got tickets for the Irving Plaza in 2000,can't begin to imagine how good that was,1000 people in a room with the biggest band of them all playing hard in their faces.He also told me that Johnny Depp kept stealing his cigarettes!
When you're forced to leave to a deserted island and you can take only one U2 album with you, which would it be?
That is so tough,but ATYCLB probably.Released at a time of change (new millenium etc)it felt like a new start for U2 at the time and a time of positives changes in my life so very fond memories of the record.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
Quite different,i've always had quite a wide range of music but got into the heavier stuff big time,Nu Metal,alt metal,nu wave punk etc U2 were the softest music i listened to for a long time,but tellingly they were also my favourite music.I used to head into moshpits at metal gigs wearing the Elevation Tour t-shirt.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I've always loved keeping fish,i know many people consider goldfish to be a childs pet but they are fascinating when looked after properly,Japanese Koi Carp are so beautiful.Currently in the process of developing a 7 foot long aquarium.
Also have a keen interest in the paranormal,do ghosts really exist? I'd have to say not in the convential way people think,although i know "something" exists,we just need to understand what that something is.I was very good friends with British TV ghosthunter Derek Acorah,a lovely guy who i used to visit often for a coffee and a chat.
My other interest is fitness training and football,but i'll refrain from who i support as i don't want the other members to dislike me!!
Thanks for this interview kezman!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
"You have to accept the bold type and caricaturing that goes on when you become a big band and have fun with it and create these other alter egos. They weren't parodying at all, they weren't just sides of yourself, they were just different characters. They were just a way of sending out a decoy because deep down I'm just a really nice guy."
- Bono, 1995
did you know
The photograph made by Anton Corbijn for The Unforgettable Fire album cover was basically copped from somebody else's photograph (a picture of Moydrum Castle). It ended up in costing U2 some money.