Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month January of 2023 is user mastrovox. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"When we came home I bought all their CDs, and I never missed one of their releases. I run to the stores to buy the CD, and then rush home to listen to the new record again and again."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
Hello everyone, my name is Stefano, I live in small town near Milan with my girlfriend and my beautiful black cat. I work in a factory operating in the textile field.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I became a fan of u2 in May 1994. We were a group of kids on vacation with the village priest. There was an older boy who had two cassette tapes with two u2 live shows. One was probably a live from the Lovetown tour (I remember van Diemens Land was on it), and the other was the legendary 1993 Dublin broadcast. He listened to them all day, and I with him. He tell me about Bono, about Edge and his wool hat, about U2. I loved those 2 live shows, I loved their music. I was blown away by it, and they became my favorite band. When we came home I bought all their CDs, and I never missed one of their releases. I run to the stores to buy the CD, and then rush home to listen to the new record again and again.
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?
No one in the family listens to u2, but I have introduced them to my girlfriend and take her to some concerts. A lot of the pieces he really likes, his favorite song is running to stand still. While as I said above it was a friend who introduced me to them, and I saw the first concert with him, in Reggio Emilia in 1997.
Your live U2 journey started with that famous show in Reggio Emilia, Italy, with a record-breaking number of fans. Tell us about that night and experience.
Reggio Emilia was my first show ever. I hadn't seen much of the previous gig, but I knew about the big stage, and couldn't wait to see them come out of the lemon. The day before was very strange, because unfortunately in Rome a guy died during the show, and at home there was some worry.
We left at 6:00 a.m., and at 8:00 we were in Reggio Emilia. I remember that you could see the stage from the highway. It was really huge. I was very far away from the stage and saw the show via big screen. I was a totally different show from the current ones, without smartphones. Everyone singing and jumping for those 2 hours. I think that's the best way to live the show. It was beautiful, it was the first time with them, and the first time at a show, a Guinness show.
You have seen U2 on every tour since, what was your favorite and why?
I think the tour I remember with more pleasure is the 360 (the first leg of 2009), because it was the first time I saw the guys in Dublin. I also saw most gig in the pit, very close to the stage. It was great, you could look them in the eye, I’d never seen it before.
I also had the chance to meet all the band members. Short meetings, just time for a few words and a handshake. But those few seconds are still impressed in my mind, and I don’t think I’ll be able to forget them.
I have travelled a lot, seen many show and met many people, friends with whom I go to the show. With them I went to the Death Valley to see the Joshua tree during the e+i tour. It would have been very difficult to go with my girlfriend...I don’t think she would have been as happy as I was.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
I collect their records (official material, special editions and vinyls), books, concert tickets, tourbooks and posters. I have several t-shirts. I store everything in in a bookcase in the living room, but the biggest editions of the various albums (the super deluxe) are at my mother's house, but I hope in the future to have a dedicated u2 room.
If there would be only one U2 song you could hear the rest of your life, which one would it be?
The choice is really hard, it would be already hard to choose one of their albums.
I think I would choose between bad, ultraviolet and Streets, and I say bad.
Live is an incredible song, and you never know what to expect. When bono is inspired anything can happen. Bad it's my favorite u2 song.
What are your hopes and expectations for U2's next album(s)?
I don't think they can pull out of the hat a masterpiece, like achtung baby or joshua tree. But I would be very happy, because there will be a world tour.
Before the pandemic we had 4 tours in 5 years and it was amazing, and I hope so in the near future. In the years 90 and 2000 we had 4/5 years of waiting which is not ideal.best.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
I also listen to other artists and like to go to show, but only here in Milan or not far from home. I don't travel or attend multiple shows, but I just see them once. There is no other artist who gives me the same emotions as they do. I love waiting times like the current one, full of rumors for the new record and the Las Vegas gig. Every little bit of news, even if unconfirmed, makes me dreams. And then the u2songs guys, that I thank, are never wrong.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I really enjoy traveling, and I have a passion for photography, although I was a beginner. As soon as I have a chance I travel, even if only for a few days. I really enjoy organizing the whole trip down to the smallest detail, I like that. I don't like to leave unprepared, and I book everything many months in advance. I like on the road trip, miles and miles between the nature. I love Iceland, a wonderful place, the most beautiful place I've ever been to...and now that we're talking about Las Vegas gigs, I'm already planning an on the road trip to the great American parks, hoping to meet many of you under the Sphere arena stage.
Thanks for this interview mastrovox!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.