I’m not quite sure why “Where the Streets Have no Name” is one of my favorite songs – I love everything off The Joshua Tree, but when it came time to choose a song from the album for this week’s #MondayMorningMusic, I didn’t even hesitate.
I love other songs by U2, but for this story my choice had to be from The Joshua Tree, because this story involves a road trip to see the band on The Joshua Tree tour, and hilarious shenanigans, some intentional, others not so much.
Let me back up and start from the beginning. Back in 1987, I had just moved back to the States from Germany. I was not particularly happy about the move, but school started and I made friends, as military brats generally do rather quickly – a necessity brought about by near constant moving. You may not be happy about things, but you adapt and move on.
I made fast friends with the other KP and the two of us made friends with another girl – we’ll call her TL – a grade below us, I think, or maybe two grades. The three of us were three-quarters of the school freaks, if you will, the other being a gent who arrived later.
Anyway, the three of us were thick as thieves a couple months after school started. The other KP was the only one of us with a driver’s license, which was great for tooling around Fort Knox and local areas, but there was zero way in hell my parents would let me drive too far with only the company of another 16 year old and a 14-15 year old. Which meant, when I heard U2 was playing I begged my parents to drive us to the closest city they were playing: Indianapolis.
Thankfully, they agreed – though if I’m being honest, it was a huge pain in the backside to go from roaming around Frankfurt, (then West) Germany with little to no supervision to being dependent on other people – particularly my parents – to get anywhere.
Fast forward to November 1 – my parents, the other KP, TL, and I cram into the Saab and make the 2-1/2 hour or so drive. My parents were smart enough to get a hotel room for them to hang out in while us young ’uns were at the show. Not wanting to be cooped up inside, the other KP, TL, and I hung out in the parking lot, smoking cigarettes and being obnoxious, the latter culminating in TL pounding on the door of a tour bus parked in the parking lot of the hotel, and yelling for the occupants to come to the door.
As I recall, we made jokes about it being U2, which, of course it wasn’t – there was no way U2 would be in a tour bus in the parking lot of a budget hotel. It did, however, turn out to be Barbara Mandrell’s tour bus and her (very cute!) keyboard player (whose name I don’t remember and so far have never been able to track down) did open the door and chat with us for a few, including offering us free tickets to their show that night.
We had to turn them down, but it was a HUGE deal to be offered free tickets to a show, even if it was country.
Eventually, the time came to head to the Hoosier Dome, so off we went. My parents dropped us off and headed out, probably off to dinner and then back to the hotel. Us three girls walked toward the venue, each of us growing more and more quiet as our excitement about seeing U2 was tempered by the decidedly country attire worn by the vast majority of people around us. When we got up close enough to the venue, we realized we’d been dropped at the wrong place, which, coincidentally, was the venue where Barbara Mandrell and her cute keyboard player were probably getting ready backstage. I also seem to recall seeing pictures of Kenny Rogers, but I can’t be sure if this is true.
Oh, Lord, you’d have thought the world had come to an end. I remember that TL and I bitched and moaned our way back to the street – and the other KP had enough sense to ask for directions to the Hoosier Dome (I believe the original structure was demolished and was replaced with the Indiana Convention Center – don’t quote me on this…)
In 1987 there were no cell phones, so no way to get hold of my parents to let them know we’d been dropped off at the wrong spot and they needed to pick us up somewhere else. Not much to do about it, so the three of us girls trekked across the city for what seemed like ages until we reached the destination we were supposed to be at.
We got in, found our seats, and hung out (while I got anxious at the slightest scent of marijuana… lol) and waited for Los Lobos to open the show. The lights went out and the crowd roared. The stage lights came on and out came…
The Dalton Brothers.
I was absolutely disappointed – I’d been looking forward to seeing Los Lobos, too – not as much as U2, but still. La Bamba was the first movie I went to see after I came back to the states (saw it in San Antonio the night before I flew up to Louisville… probably not the best movie to watch right before a flight… Ha!) I had developed something of a fascination with Ritchie Valens and by extension Los Lobos since they’d done most of the soundtrack for the movie. As I recall, Los Lobos had missed their flight or something, so they didn’t make it to the show.
The other KP kept saying something along the lines of, “You’re a doofus. The Dalton Brothers… That’s U2, you dork!”
To which I’m sure I replied something along the lines of, “Bullshit.”
(In my defense, we were nowhere near close to the stage, so it’s not like I had a good view of the people on stage. Not so much in my defense, after watching the video and listening to Bono sing as Alton Dalton, I can’t believe I didn’t catch it myself. Good God, it was so obvious!)
I don’t remember with TL’s response to all this was.
I also don’t remember anything else about the show or what came after. I’m sure we enjoyed ourselves immensely, and if for any reason we hadn’t been able to reconnect with my parents, I’m fairly certain I would have remembered.
What I do remember is coming across a newspaper clipping confirming what the other KP had told me during The Dalton Brothers’ act – that the band was, in fact, U2. And despite being a day late for Halloween, it was the perfect prank.
And lest you think I made this up, you can read more about The Dalton Brother’s/U2 prank at the IndyStar. Make sure to scroll down and watch the video – Adam in drag, smoking a cigarette is hilarious! 🙂
So, Happy Monday! I hope everyone has a great week! xo