This was the tour that kicked me in the arse and dragged me to the light. Before ZOO-TV I was just a pup. After... Well... That story's still being written, but I've never looked at the world the same way since. To this day, it's still the greatest tour I've ever seen. ZOO-TV had such a resounding impact on my life, I can't imagine anything else coming close. Ever.
Around that time I was madly in love with a girl who had tainted my perceptions of Bono. She thought he was an asshole and I, being whipped, thought so as well.
But that was a rocky relationship. I tried so hard to impress her and pursued her more intensely than I've ever pursued a woman. That will never happen again. In retrospect, given how she treated me and her opinion of Bono, it's very clear now she simply had rottent taste in men. I offered Porterhouse. She wanted hamburger.
Later on, when I finally saw U2 perform live for the first time, I came to realize Bono's not an asshole. He's blood.
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about my college "career" was all the opportunities that helped broaden my horizons and open my mind. Prior to the ZOO-TV tour, I spent a year living in Connecticut, working as an intern in the accounting department for IBM's software division, at the time located in Milford, Conn. While driving home to Denver from the East Coast in January 1991, Achtung Baby! had grabbed my attention. I had already dabbled in U2 with Rattle and Hum and The Joshua Tree. The seeds of a bonding were in place when I started to appreciate the lyrics for Pride (In the Name of Love). April 4, for one thing, is my birthday. It certainly didn't hurt matters any when a girl in the dorms said I looked like Adam Clayton.
But... Achtung Baby!? Hot damn! That album got to me like nothing else I had ever heard. As Bono has described it, Achtung Baby is the sound of the band chopping down the Joshua Tree.
I was curious to see the band live. When the ZOO-TV tour rolled in to Denver, I went with some friends from the dorms and... well... I've never, ever looked back.
That was 21 Oct. 1992. I finally finished the college phase of my life in May 1993 and I was lucky enough to have not landed a job. Yeah. Lucky.
Instead, I got a passport, a student work permit for London, and planned on spending a month working in a pub then spending another month riding around on the trains of Europe with a Eurail pass. I joked about how cool it would be to see U2 in Dublin.
Well, I lucked out in a big way. Having blazed through my savings faster than I imagined, it looked like I might have to go back home in short order. Instead, I managed to land a job as a fax boy at Mayer, Brown, & Platt, an American corporate law firm with an office only a couple blocks down from St. Paul's. (They were located in a building directly across from the Black Friars tube station, but that building's since been razed and replaced.)
Things went so well, I stayed for the entire period allowed under my 6-month permit. I sent my 1-month Eurail pass back to my mom and had her exchange it for a 2-month pass. Even so, I wound up riding the rails for a full 4 months. What was supposed to be a 2-month summer jaunt turned into a 10-month epic.
Of course, during that time U2 released an album that for me will always be fondly associated with my European travels: Zooropa. It's still my favorite travel music.
I only saw two ZOO-TV performances, but I was fortunate enough to see Bono as both the Mirrorball Man and Mr. Macphisto.
And I did indeed see U2 in Dublin. On the last night of the ZOO-TV tour.
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