U2, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"

>> Monday, June 18, 2012

It's hard to believe they were ever this young. It's hard to believe I was ever this young.

It's hard to believe they were ever this good. No--I mean, of course they got better. It's hard to articulate what I mean. They were on fire. They were young and they believed in stuff. The way kids do. It's not that you don't believe in things when you get older--of course you do. But everything is important in a way you can't muster the same passion for when you're older, no matter how passionately you may feel things when you're older. Things are very stark when you're young, and all the colors get muddled together; you become better able to discern all the gradients shading between colors and accordingly, the better you can see, the worse your vision gets.

I played the hell out of the cassette Under A Blood Red Sky in high school. You had to crank this as loud as the speakers would go unless there were other people at home; that's when you cranked the hell out of the headphones. Everything is better louder, too; that's still true when you're old, but only because you shot your hearing cranking the headphones when you were young.

Later in U2's career, Bono would announce all he needed was a red guitar, three chords and the truth. In retrospect, the three chords probably spoke for themselves; adding the truth was redundant, and red guitars, well--The Edge's Explorer was wood-tone and sufficiently pretty.

I've played "11 O'Clock" three times writing this post. When I hit "Publish," think I'll play it one more.


paddy Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 3:56:00 AM EDT  

I saw these lads live back in 1988. In a stadium in Cork. It was a monster of a gig. I bought a lighter just so I could wave it. Something tells me they should have called it a day not long after that.

Eric Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 12:14:00 PM EDT  

That had to be a helluva good show, Paddy. 1988? Right after Joshua Tree--they had two more really good records in them (Achtung Baby and Zooropa) and one underrated one (Pop), but I could have probably lived without them in exchange for the sense U2 was going out at the top of their game--yeah, I can't argue with you that maybe they should've called it a day not long after that.

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