Blind Man invited on stage with U2, Nashville, July 2
July 6, 2011 9:30 AM   Subscribe

You stand at the front of the stage with a sign that reads, "Blind Guitar Player Bring me Up". At the end of the encore Bono looks at you and says "What do you want to play". An uplifting story of a man that traveled to Nashville via Phoenix to watch his favorite band for the 20th time and the night he will never forget. I haven't been a big U2 fan for several years but props to Bono - how many rock stars would think of doing something so bold and generous (he gave him his guitar too).
posted by incandissonance (42 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's like Bono is human and not a multinational corporation represented in public by a robot decoy Bono. Good on him/them.
posted by nimmpau at 9:39 AM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


how many rock stars would think of doing something so bold and generous

Paul Simon
posted by edgeways at 9:40 AM on July 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Neither here nor there, I hear the "Edge" once gave a deaf person a reacharound
posted by nimmpau at 9:45 AM on July 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


No babies to kiss, or cripples to hug?

/crank
posted by Rykey at 9:46 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guess the rest of the U2 fans are deaf. I kid, I kid.
posted by punkfloyd at 9:48 AM on July 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a big U2 detractor and that made me tear up. Then again, I'm also a big baby.
posted by cloeburner at 9:57 AM on July 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


[Some comments removed, please seriously consider whether "oh yeah well here's something bad and only incidentally related!" is really going to do anything to improve a thread before going there.]
posted by cortex at 10:00 AM on July 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


It must be terrifying for a rock star to take the leap of faith necessary to allow some random stranger to come up on stage and play guitar. How do you know the guy's not going to be some Malmsteen/Vai disciple who just wants to shred some tasty licks for a stadium full of people? It makes me wonder if acts as big as U2 screen people ahead of time to avoid that sort of thing happening.
posted by The World Famous at 10:09 AM on July 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Eyes in a room of blindness"...and then I lost it. That was excellent.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:11 AM on July 6, 2011


How do you know the guy's not going to be some Malmsteen/Vai disciple who just wants to shred some tasty licks for a stadium full of people?

It's OK--he's BLIND!
posted by Rykey at 10:11 AM on July 6, 2011


God damn it, just when I get a really irritable, cynical streak going, something like this comes up and I end up dabbing my eyes. My opinion of Bono just went up a few points.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:18 AM on July 6, 2011


He used being blind to get what he wanted. That would've bothered me once upon a time, but now I figure there may as well be some benefit to it every now and then.
posted by Net Prophet at 10:19 AM on July 6, 2011


...and faith in humanity: +1
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:28 AM on July 6, 2011


Wow, lots of cynicism here. I just thought it was nice.
posted by monospace at 10:34 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Son, sit down a spell. Let me tell you about a time, oh... long before your mom and I ever met. See, we had rock concerts back then. Not the same rock concerts you kids have today, but they were still kind of a big thing. There wasn't no big screen projection video or choreographed pyrotechnics and auto tune hadn't even been invented yet. No $14 microbrews. No luxury box seats. Your upper management job at Microsoft wouldn't get you back stage, no sir, you'd have to suck a dick for that. Some of us would spike our cokes with rum to get past the gates and people you didn't even know would hand you a joint in the crowd. Good times.

The point, son, is that you never knew what was going to happen at one of these long hair rock and roll shows. Yeah, you could get pulled on stage to dance with Peter Frampton but you might also get stabbed. I ever tell you 'bout that Stones show I went to in '69? Bands would just make up their set list before going on and depending on their mood, they might even play requests. You even know where that "Free Bird" thing came from? And kid, I seen so many titties at rock concerts it just wasn't even a big deal. Going to a rock concert was new, exciting, and dangerous.

So, if what's-his-face manages to do anything that seems spontaneous tonight at the big show, I want you to scream your ass off. Remind him that arena shows used to have guts, that rock isn't about special effects, flawless musicianship, or about ending the show on schedule. It's about tearing shit up and having fun. Try to get into a little trouble tonight. Your mom and I will be here to bail you out.

Now here's $400, have fun tonight. Oh, and take your sister with you.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:41 AM on July 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


An uplifting story of a man that traveled to Nashville via Phoenix to watch listen to his favorite band live for the 20th time...

</pedant>
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:58 AM on July 6, 2011


Oh, I don't know. As someone who plays at least a couple hundred shows a year I'm always on the lookout for someone who will be willing to step up and give me a break while I take home all the pay. ;)
posted by sourwookie at 11:00 AM on July 6, 2011


Jeez, listen to those yahoos in the front rows yapping through the whole thing. Do they think they're watching a clip on the youtube?
posted by Scram at 11:28 AM on July 6, 2011


Great story. Be sure to watch the video/interview on the Phoenix Fox News page (the first FPP link).

Props to Bono for giving him the guitar!
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on July 6, 2011


After reading the story, and posting the thread:
Faith in humanity: +1


After perusing thread comments:
Faith in humanity: -1

Still I think it's a cool story.
posted by incandissonance at 11:49 AM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was at that show. I have seen the band 6 times, the first being in 1988, and that was definitely one of the best. My taste these days tend much more towards the small clubs, but far as big acts go, meaning arena and stadium sized acts, nobody does it better than U2.

But, you know, haterz gotta hate.
posted by vibrotronica at 12:03 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damned little makes me proud to be a human being these days, but this sure did. Major props to Bono for being such a damned decent human being.
posted by Quasimike at 2:38 PM on July 6, 2011


Before reading story and thread:
Faith in Bono: 0

After reading story and thread:
Faith in Bono: 0

After reading post in future detailing Bono's write-off on Dutch tax return of "1 guitar to blind dude":
Faith in Bono: 1
posted by nimmpau at 3:14 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


About a decade ago back in Dublin, I bumped (quite literally) into Bono when I was leaving a matinee show and Bono was heading in. He was alone (and shorter than you'd imagine), and was carrying a plastic shopping bag with what appeared to be a loaf of bread and a litre of milk. To this day it's a mystery to me why someone would buy perishables right before going to see a movie.
posted by amorphatist at 3:24 PM on July 6, 2011


Jeez, listen to those yahoos in the front rows yapping through the whole thing. Do they think they're watching a clip on the youtube?

I used to hate Baudrillard, but my faith in him has gone up +1.
posted by Beardman at 3:25 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


a loaf of bread and a litre of milk. To this day it's a mystery to me why someone would buy perishables right before going to see a movie.

Sometimes celebrities need some alone time.
posted by Beardman at 3:26 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was at the show. That was an incredible moment!
posted by BenS at 3:28 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact that I've never learned to play an instrument means that I'm going to have to settle for standing at concerts with a sign that reads "Mediocre singer knows all the words to Achtung Baby" and hope that Bono is bored with singing "Even Better Than The Real Thing."
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:55 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Much better video of the event from U2.com.
posted by ericb at 4:20 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Much better video of the event from U2.com.

Having watched this version a few times now, I get 'chills.' The band was backing him up. The sound was great. The guy was 'tight' with his guitar playing.
posted by ericb at 4:30 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sometimes celebrities need some alone time

Well yes, but my puzzlement was more about the milk and bread.
posted by amorphatist at 4:50 PM on July 6, 2011


Milk and bread can be a delicious snack during a movie. What's the problem?
posted by The World Famous at 4:55 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those talking dudes really get around, they're right behind me at every show I've ever attended.

Also - met Bono once 20+ years ago, long story short, we were in trouble and he had his limo drive my friends the 90+ miles to our hometown. He was a completely normal and kind. I liked him. He's been +1 in my book ever since, though I never listen to U2 anymore.
posted by pomegranate at 5:01 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


J.K Rowling is still cooler.
posted by fullerine at 5:44 PM on July 6, 2011


That's my favorite U2 song. And it's actually dead easy to play.
posted by bardic at 6:56 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It must be terrifying for a rock star to take the leap of faith necessary to allow some random stranger to come up on stage and play guitar.

U2 has done this sorta thing fairly regularly, and it usually works out well. The band try to make sure the fans don't feel overwhelmed once they get on stage. The only time I've seen it go sideways was a 2001 show where they brought a kid up to play Knockin' on Heaven's Door, and he was clearly too nervous to play. After a couple of faltering attempts, Bono grabbed the guitar and gave the guy the mic, and he sang it out.

As someone who is seeing his 27th U2 show this month, this clip was a new highlight for me.
posted by dry white toast at 8:01 PM on July 6, 2011


If you're taking bread and milk into a theater, you're obviously going to a Rocky Horror showing. Knowing Bono is a Rocky fan is definitely a +1 in my book.
posted by anotherkate at 8:58 PM on July 6, 2011


Much better video of the event from U2.com.

You're right, no yahoo comments, no video shakes, no dropped stage conversation, great sound, sharp pictures, slick editing...and yet I prefer the bad one. It's more moving.
posted by ecourbanist at 10:46 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


ceribus peribus wrote: </pedant>

I was born with an open pedant tag. My mother's obstetrician recommended that it be surgically removed, but I refused, and then corrected his grammar. Besides, the surgery was high-risk; it's morphologically attached to my ego.
posted by troll at 12:36 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


He gave him the guitar! Oh, that's what got me. And yeah, ericb's link is so much better. I love this song.
posted by h00py at 7:04 AM on July 7, 2011


You're right, no yahoo comments, no video shakes, no dropped stage conversation, great sound, sharp pictures, slick editing...and yet I prefer the bad one. It's more moving.

On top of which U2's server seems to suck, at least for me.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 8:54 PM on July 11, 2011


I'm sure there's a gajillion things running through Bono's mind during these shows (or cynically he's in robot performance mode) but most every cue he gave that guy was visual; hand signals, etc. I wonder if the blind part didn't register in the moment.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 8:59 PM on July 11, 2011


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