Last Dead Daddy entry and, for me, this was the song that really and truly helped me heal. In it I found the understanding I’d so desperately been seeking.
I won’t go into all of my feelings about The Joshua Tree, the album on which this song appears, and how U2 has changed since Rattle and Hum came out. If you’ve known me for any length of time, I’m sure I’ve bored you with my thoughts and theories ad nauseum. I’m sure I’ll get to it here eventually as it’s a big deal for me. Suffice it to say, you know that list of albums you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island? This is at the top of my list.
Bono wrote this song about Greg Carroll, his personal assistant and close friend, who died in a motorcycle accident. U2 doesn’t perform this song very often, in fact during an over 20 year career, they’ve played it live a total of 40 times. The reason for this being that it’s an emotionally painful song for them to perform.
I read an interview with Bono in Rolling Stone right after The Joshua Tree was released. In fact, I still have that issue somewhere buried in my closet full o’ crap. In it, they talk about Greg Carroll and Bono tells them that right after Greg died, he’d jump whenever the phone would ring. That he’d dread answering it because he was scared that it would be more bad news of someone else he cared about dying. That totally floored me because that was me. Being able to look back at that time more objectively, of course most grieving people have those same fears. But here was someone I admired, who created music I LOVED and he was having the same issue as me. I fell a little in love with Bono while I read that interview, which made their musical betrayal all the more painful later but that’s another story for another time.
I’ve even written to Bono to let him know how much that song meant to me and how much help and comfort it’s given me over the years. I know, total fan geek. But I had to. Even if he never read it, I knew that I did the best I could to let him know of all the songs in all the world, his is the one that helped to save my life.