Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month May of 2022 is user rjwrjw. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"I felt very anxious that day and i could’t wait to hear the first notes being played. It was an overwhelming experience to hear and see them live for the first time. The show felt so big for me, but yet so intimate."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Ron, I am 43 years old and I work as a quality technician at an automotive manufacturing company. I live with my wife and our 4 children in Geleen, a small city in the south of the Netherlands. From my house it’s only 800 meters to the place where U2 played at the Pinkpop Festival in 1981.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I have a cousin who is a couple of years older than me, and one day when I was visiting him he was listening to the Rattle and Hum album. Out of the speakers i heard: “This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles…..” and then that song that blew me away. I wanted to listen tot he complete record directly. I asked him what band this was. And that day i also listened to Under a blood red sky. And i was hooked. What an energy in that music. Couple of months later U2 released Achtung Baby and from that time on I consider myself to be a fan.
Your first show took place in Arnhem, Netherlands in 2001. Can you take us back to that day and experience?
I already tried to go to a Popmart show, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any tickets then. So when the Elevation Tour was announced I knew that this time i would be there. I got two tickets for me and a college friend. She also liked U2. We drove from Eindhoven to Arnhem in the morning and we parked the car on spot that was called “Dublin”. We had seated tickets near the heart on Adam’s side. I felt very anxious that day and i could’t wait to hear the first notes being played.
It was an overwhelming experience to hear and see them live for the first time. The show felt so big for me, but yet so intimate.
You've seen U2 on every tour since. How have you seen U2 evolve or change over those years?
The Elevation tour felt intimate compared to the next tours. The Vertigo and the 360 shows were pure rock ’n roll to me. The I+E and the E+I shows were more like a theater piece. They were telling a story and the songs and shows had multiple layers. The music was great and you didn’t have to know/feel the deeper layer to enjoy the concert, but I think it made it special in it’s own U2 way.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
I have all the albums in one or more forms. Cd’s , records, special editions etc. Almost all fanclub releases, all the singles on CD. A lot of Vinyl, ofcourse all the recent RSD releases. Even got some bootlegs on CD and Vinyl.
Unfortunately I dont’t have a CD or recordplayer at the moment, so i stream their music most of the time.
And i have a bookcase where i have my stuff stored. And my kids know they aren’t allowed to touch anything there 😊
When you're forced to leave to a deserted island and you can take only one U2 album with you, which would it be?
Achtung Baby. Without a doubt. When i was a teenager I listened to it almost every day. The music, the lyrics and even the artwork. Wow. For every mood there is a song on it. I can listen to it over and over again and i will never get bored by it.
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?
Like i told earlier. My cousin introduced tot he music of U2. Couple of my friends like(d) U2 but were more casual listeners.
I try to teach my children about U2 and their music. And sometimes they like it when I’m playing U2’s music but most of the time don’t get why i am singing and dancing along. 😊 Though they really liked “Your Song Saved My Life” from Sing 2 and they still can singalong with the EURO 2022 anthem
What are your expectations for U2's upcoming albums?
I am looking forward to the possible release of Songs of Ascent. New Music as an ending of a trilogy or as an ending at all? Who knows.
In the fall there will be a Songs of Surrender album. Rearrangements of older work. I don’t know how that will turn out. I think it depends on which songs they choose from the rich discography.
I really hope to won’t come up with all their biggest hits, but surprise us with songs like : Drowning man, Seconds, A Sort of Homecoming for example.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
My music taste is allround. I grew up with The Beatles (thanks to my dad), but i also like Pink Floyd, Muse and Foo Fighters. But none of them get me as much joy and pleasure with their music as U2.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I play badminton, love reading books, listening to music and watch some nice movies. I like travelling and going to concerts, but at the moment my kids are my biggest hobby. Hopefully i can take them to their first U2 concert in 1 or 2 years. 😊
First show in Arnhem, 2001
Thanks for this interview rjwrjw!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
Great interview @rjwrjw! It's funny that you live really close to where U2 played in 1981 - I must have passed by your house (or really nearby) plenty of times during the last 2 years - I've driven plenty of times through Maastricht, Geleen, Aachen and Brunssum. First time I went there I deliberately drove by the Burgemeester park where Pinkpop 81 took place