- 27 Nov 17
10 Hot Press writers share their favourite U2 moments as we get set for the release of Songs of Experience on December 1. On our seventh day, Hot Press Commissioning Editor Roisin Dwyer shares memories of Rattle and Hum and her own brush with death.
My U2 moment is without a doubt receiving Rattle and Hum on vinyl for Christmas 1988. Various not-so-suble ‘hints’ had been dropped to my brother Fergus with alarming frequency. I was 12 years old and had loved the band since I started exploring music, which was quite early due to having three older brothers with extensive record collections. The turntable in our sitting room was rarely stationary. MT USA and The Tube were essential viewing.
U2 were different to all the other bands though. Bono had grown up in Cedarwood, a few minutes walk from my family home. My brother had been in Gavin Friday’s class. There was a sense of closeness, almost an ownership, or right to relate to the music in a way that others couldn’t. A statement which sounds vulgar on re-reading but still holds true. Bono - sure he’s from up the road!
I vividly remember the video for 'Angel Of Harlem', released that December, playing regularly on our television. It is still one of my favourite ‘Christmas’ songs, though I doubt most people think of it as such.
Christmas 1988 was an extra special one for me. In September I had a close brush with death. I was knocked down and lay in a hospital bed in Beaumont unconscious for five days. The prognosis was not good; I had bleeding on the brain and the situation was critical. Miraculously I made a full recovery. My wonderful father (now deceased) seeing how miserable I was in hospital insisted on taking me home after two weeks and monitoring my recuperation himself.
I was back on track by the time Christmas arrived and had a renewed appreciation for my time on this planet. I was full of hope and determined to make the most of the life which had been very nearly taken away. U2 were the soundtrack of that festive season and new year. They were the opening theme to the second chapter of my life, which I chose to spend pursuing my passions of music and writing and my dream job in Hot Press.
I always revisit that album during the festive season. And ‘Angel Of Harlem’ gives me goosebumps. Still.