Friday, February 27, 2009

Under a Blood Red Sky

Yeah, baby. Remember that video? "U2: Live -- Under a Blood Red Sky". The Red Rocks Concert. 1985. I was at the grocery store today and they had the DVD for sale. Cleaned-up video, extra songs, commentary, etc. Do you think I could pass that up? I mean, heck, this was the defining music of my young adult life, the defining concert video. I bought the vid back in early 1988, watched it constantly (enough so that my parents began to get worried about me and I had to sneak watch it when they weren't home -- and I was 25 years old!) I do tend to be obsessive, if you hadn't noticed that yet. (Does the name "Phil Joel" ring a bell? lol) So tonight I watched it. First time since we got rid of our VHS player several years ago. Gosh, I love this concert! (And, boy, did Bono ever have THE DEFINITIVE mullet!)

I got interested in U2 in 1988 when The Joshua Tree album came out. Because I liked that one, I dug up their older ones and bought them, too. "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" really caught my attention, and I began to wonder what the song was talking about. So I looked up "Bloody Sunday" in connection with Ireland and discovered the 1972 massacre of civilians at the hands of the British army that had happened in the town of Derry in Northern Ireland. (You can look it up in Wikipedia if you're interested.) 1988 was the same year that there was a sort-of tit-for-tat thing going on in Northern Ireland involving funerals of IRA men and members of their counterpart Protestant terrorist gangs. I can't remember who was killed first -- I think a Provie (an IRA man), and then I think the UVF or one of the other Prod paramilitaries killed someone at his funeral, and then if I recall correctly some Provies killed someone at the UVF guy's funeral. I got very interested in the Northern Irish conflict from that and the "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" song, which started me off on an over-12-year-long obsession with Ireland.

I know the terminology because 1) I did an Independent Study course on the "Current Troubles" in Northern Ireland when I was in college at Arizona State, had to write a 25-page research paper on the topic, and 2) I later wrote a novel that was set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the early nineties, before everybody began to become more level-headed and the Cease Fire started up, and the Modern Troubles pretty much changed irrevocably so that the IRA and the Protestant paras are no longer a huge factor in the lives of the Northern Irish people -- at least where violence is concerned. In all honesty, I've lost track of what's going on over there now. But for ages I knew so much about it, and I can even talk with a Northern Irish brogue (which is very different from other types of Irish brogues). To get a hint of it, here's what it sounds like when a person from Northern Ireland says "Northern Ireland": Norn Iron. It's so cool!

Anyway, I totally love U2's stuff up through Rattle & Hum. Then they went weird on me and I couldn't stick with them anymore. I think lately they've supposedly gone back to their roots a bit, and they have apparently put out a new album that I'm mildly interested in. But for me Iconic U2 is the "War" album, "Unforgettable Fire" and "The Joshua Tree." Their best stuff ever. Ever.

I promise I'll show you my two finished mini-scrapbook pages in a minute. Allow me to wax a bit more "nostalgique" about U2 and then I'll be done.

It's their sound that does it to me. There is NO other band that has the U2 sound except U2. They started it, and no one can do it half as well. And they are the standard by which I measure all other bands. I know the Newsboys are not U2, but they were unique in the Christian music world when I first heard them (and I still consider them to be unique in the flavor of their sound), something I considered "worthy of U2" because of their freshness, their uniqueness, and their excellence. That's the main reason I fell in love with them, and the main reason they're still my favorite band today. And I still measure my Christian bands by U2 (because I don't really listen to anything else). The only other band I've heard that halfway compares in my book is Tree63. They have a U2-meets-Sting sound, and they are awesome. They just aren't the Newsboys ;-)

Okay. To summarize -- U2 are AWESOME (even if I'm not still their #1 fan today; I do really think Bono is an amazing person, incredibly intelligent, his world-saving ideas are brilliant and really will work if we can just get enough support going for them, and he's a Christian, albeit a rather unconventional one, but much more Christlike, despite his filthy mouth, than a darned awful lot of "good Christian people" I know); U2 is probably the definitive music influence in my life, even more so than the Beatles, who I really grew up with as a small child; U2 is my measuring stick by which all other rock bands are judged.

Oh, and I had a mullet in 1988, too -- just like Bono's (his 1988 one, not the 1985 one in "Under a Blood Red Sky"). It was unisex, remember? And very, very cool despite what people think now.

AND NOW, if you're still with me, here are the mini-pages you've been waiting for:

Now, I realize that the photos aren't exactly high quality. I don't even know for sure who took them. These are pictures of my dad and my nieces when the girls were in high school and were in town for a bowling tournament. (They were excellent bowlers, BTW!) The reason these pictures are in my Favorite Photos album is because they capture so well the huge amount of love my daddy has for "his girls" (granddaughters). And you can tell the girls love him, too, in their "too cool" high school way. I don't know, I just really love the feelings coming out of these pics.

They're 6"x6", and I used Bazzill scalloped CS for the yellow base, and SU textured Riding Hood Red for the BG. The DP is from a K&Co mat pack, and the flowers are from a K&Co diecut pack that coordinates with the mat pack. Brads are Making Memories, marker is Stampin' Up! Ruby Red, and I think the rhinestones were also K&Co. I used the SU scallop-edge punch for the journaling tabs.

Gosh I love these girls! And gosh, do I ever love my daddy! I'm glad we have these pictures, and I had fun making these little pages.

Well, it's really late, and even though it's Saturday tomorrow, I need to get to bed. I'm hoping we can get some Actual Housework done around here this weekend. We'll see. A cold front is coming through tonight, and that always messes with everybody around here. Hopefully we'll feel good and have the energy!

Grace and peace, and a good weekend to you!


Anonymous said...

I also am a fan of U2 though I ahve not listened to them in a long time. I need to go check out the video as I have never seen it.


Jamie said...

I remember your U2 days. :) Joshua Tree over and over in the Touch of Class van? I stopped listening after Rattle & Hum, too. I personally think they lost themselves for awhile. I haven't heard anything about the new one (other than "there is a new U2!"). We'll see.

I took a class on "Modern Irish History". It glossed over everything before the English showed up (and I think the accuracy rate was pretty spotty on the early bit), then went on from there. I had a non-credit course in Pre-Christian Ireland that rocked, too.

I think the hostilities died down more than anyone really expected after the terrorist (non-Irish) bombings in London. (Did you know the IRA received training from the PLO?)