Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm Glad I'm in a Band

Those who know me, know I'm a U2 fanatic. Many people who know the band, realize they tend to be somewhat spiritual in their outlook. But most have no idea about just how committed to following Christ they are. If you've kept up with this blog, you may have already read my thoughts on their new song, "Get On Your Boots." Well, back in the 80's, U2 spent quite a bit of time and effort lobbying strongly for an MLK Remembrance Day. One of their songs, Pride (In the Name of Love) is all about the power of a life of love in two men: Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Bono wasn't saying MLK was divine or was even in the same league as Christ, but the song simply acknowledges all the MLK did for African-Americans, who like all others, are image-bearers of God. Surely the fact that we just elected an African-American President reveals just how great an impact MLK had on the world. Though it is hard to say for sure how much of us having MLK Day is due to U2, certainly we can say they played a role in it. Of course, not everyone was happy with U2's agenda. So, in the late 80's as U2 prepared for a concert in Arizona, the band received a death threat that said, "Don’t do the concert; and if do, don’t sing Pride. If you do sing the song, I will blow your head off, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Not surprisingly, U2 decided to play anyway. During the concert, the came time to sing Pride (In the Name of Love), and Bono became distracted with the thought that it was actually plausible for someone to make good their threat. This was before 9/11. Concert goers weren't checked for weapons, someone could hide in rafters...a shot could come from almost anywhere. Perhaps in danger of losing focus, Bono decided to close his eyes in an effort to marshal all his concentration, and sang the song. At the end of the verse, when Bono opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was bassist Adam Clayton, standing as a sentry directly in front of him. Apparently Adam began thinking the same thing Bono was thinking and at some point in the song decided to step directly in front of Bono, directly in the line of fire, basically saying, if some bullet heads toward Bono, its going to have to go through me first! Bono, recounting the story, shared, "It was one of those moments when you know what it means to be in a band (story taken from Christian Scharen's book, "One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God," p.154). I'm glad I'm in a Band too.

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