Feb 17, 2007

When I Met Bono

U2's Bono playing guitar and singing during the 1984 Unforgettable Fire tour Years ago I worked in the food and beverage operations for a company called Olympia Arenas, which managed such venues as Joe Louis Arena and Cobo Arena in Detroit. The company chef stopped me one day and asked me if I wanted to help out at a freelance gig he was catering at the Fox Theater for some band he had never heard of called U2.

I, of course, was a huge U2 fan, and would have paid him to tag along to see the band, which was on then on the third leg of The Unforgettable Fire tour. The band, however, had yet to really hit the big time, and this album slowly catapulted U2 to greater prominence on the strength of the single "Pride (In The Name Of Love)."

In those days the Fox was a complete dump, and it would be another four more years before Mike and Marian Ilitch would renovate and reopen this beautiful facility. I helped set up and serve dinner for the band and the road crew. I'll never forget what Bono said to me as I dished out stuffed pork loin onto his plate:


Whoa. Pretty exciting, huh? I remember December 8, 1984 as if it were yesterday, although I had to check out this U2 tour site to remember the exact date.

Anyways, the actual highlight of the evening was being allowed to watch U2 from sidestage. It was as fine a show as I had ever attended, and one of the best moments was when The Edge played both piano and electric guitar during "New Year's Day." These were the days when the four-man band hit the road with just four musicians, and couldn't afford to hire additional musicians to fill out the sound.

This was truly a memorable evening, even for a jaded guy like me who saw virtually every live act that hit the major arenas in the 1970s and 1980s.

And that's my Bono story.


Anonymous said...

Very inspirational, Mike, especially the part where Bono says "thanks." A real hero!


Lisa Renee said...

I'm in envy...I never met him.


microdot said...

uhhh...I met Iggy Pop in 1969, but if I gave the details of our encounter, I would want to know if statutes of limititations would cover them......

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky!! They are one of the best acts I have ever seen in concert. The Vertigo Tour rocked.

Nicole Cassidy

-Sepp said...

My brush with stardom was when Alice Cooper pointed at me and said "HEY!". I think he thought I was somebody else but, all my friends were impressed as hell. I played it perfect and waved back as if it happened all the time.

kooz said...

I now officially envy you. Bono is the man.