Dublin, to U2 fans will always be the Mecca, the (un)holy centre.. visits to shrines, walking in past footsteps, a magical place. Some of that is of course just fantasy, imagined stuff that listening to the band’s music over 40 years has evoked - but made real... real people and places that were introduced to us through the songs, each having a unique meaning to the listener should we so desire..
It’s far from glamorous. It’s nearly midnight and I can hear loud Bingo calling drifting out of the Youth Club, while just around the corner the financial centre & posher, newer bits of the city slumber..
I spend the night parked up in Dorty Oileen (her name has took on a Gaelic lilt since arrival) in a city centre car park.. the first of those postponed meetings from yesterday has been rearranged for early today. It would not be a good idea to miss it again..
A package is to be collected… and delivered.
A visit to the hub within the hub… If Dubs is the hub, U2 main office has got to be hub central.. Its not a place to take photos, I liken it to the Sisteen Chapel of U2 land. Covered in amazing artwork and desks and telephones. One of the team makes me a cuppa & who listens to me rave on for a good half hour about how special all this is, especially to be here.
I try to be cool, and not fangirl it. I think I succeed to a degree. Impossible to stop smiling and imagine Paul McGuiness on that telephone over there finalising some big tour or other. Or booking lunch.. The heaven is in the ordinary I am told.
This is not ordinary. If heaven has an office…
I tear myself away.. package carefully tucked under one arm. Hmmm.. lunch you say…
It’s true.. sometimes you can’t make it on your own & I arrange to meet Aaron Govern
, @atu2 staffer who is heading up all the arrangements for their Dublin fan stuff, and let him know I have a little package for him.. We know each other from our online bits & bobs of course, but its always great to put a real face and body to our online entities. We meet up in (in Bono’s cousins cafe I think) and a long chinwag ensues. If you get the chance to talk U2 with this man, do. Your knowledge and intimacy will deepen. He has some tales that’s for sure… he would make a great choice for a U2 Playlist. I get to meet Aaron's family too, Amanda, Thomas & James who have only gone and designed some badges to also give away to all the fans this weekend..
He show’s me his. I show him mine. Badges. Call it serendipity, call it something else (little U2-related miracles to
The idea for badges has been invoked completely independently.. the badges Aaron & his son have made are an exact replica of one of the earliest U2 logo designs (by Larry we think - more on these badges in final part of this tale - which is coming soon!) and the package I have to give to him to give out to U2 fans this weekend contains badges sent over from U2.com
- designed by Shaughn McGrath over at Amp Visual
- who have been at the heart of much U2 related artwork over the years.