September 25, 1976, a day that will live in infamy. For it was on that day that Larry Mullen Jr had a group of people over to his kitchen, and they played a few songs together for the first time. Some of them didn’t come back, some of them stayed for almost forty years (and counting). I wonder if Bono will mention the anniversary in the Berlin 2 show tonight?
So famously Larry put a note on the message board at the school they were attending, and several people showed up. In It Might Get Loud Edge took us back to the school, wandered through late at night, and showed us the actual board where the note was posted. I was surprised, I thought there should be some kind of commemorative stuff, maybe a spotlight on it, a neon sign saying U2 was here, or something like that. But no, it was just a regular board on a wall in a school, nothing exciting other than the fact that it spawned the biggest band in the world.
Can you imagine a band forming in your kitchen? I can’t, but then my son is only ten, so who knows what might appear in my future. I don’t think I’m going to count on him forming a band and becoming rich and famous though. Although if he does, I think I can get him 500 bucks, seems the least I can do given how much I’ve given to U2. I mean, I spent more than that on just show tickets this year alone, let alone flights and hotels. Let alone all the years worth of tickets and albums and books and shirts and so on. But it’s all been worth it, hasn’t it?
What do you think it’s like for the band, looking back on that day and remembering it? Now, I’m willing to bet that each of them have different memories of the day, and the guys who showed up but never joined the band have different memories too. That’s just the way that memory works, it’s why witnesses tell different stories about events, it’s why Brian Williams conflated stuff he did into a different story, and it’s why the band would all have a different way of seeing things that happened in Larry’s kitchen. You make yourself the hero of every story, although of course Larry tells you that he was the hero for about ten minutes before Bono took over. Which reminds me, I need to get a Larry Mullen Band shirt sometime.
I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t know if it’s possible for this type of story to happen today. Oh, a group could meet and form a band in the same way, but every one of them would have their iPhones out recording, and we’d know exactly what had happened. There’d be no backstory, no mystery, it would all be well documented. You would know everything about them, including what snacks they had while they were playing whatever songs they played. No need for any kind of websites listing their performances, they’d all be on the internet for all time. You could go back and relive any of it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Might be bad for a lot of bands, and good for a few. Probably wouldn’t make any difference if they were as good as U2 though.