Today is the 25th anniversary of the theatrical release of U2’s rockumentary of their Rattle and Hum tour. I follow Jeffrey Overstreet’s blog of film criticism and observations of truth and life, and he put together his own reflection of his attachment to the rockumentary. He asked for others to contribute their memories, and jumping at the opportunity to say anything about U2, I quickly contributed my own:
When I was in the 10th grade my dad took me to see U2 in concert after How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004) was released. I had been an amateur fan of theirs for years (The Joshua Tree, my favorite album of all time, was released the year before I was born), so seeing them live was such a rush. We didn’t have great seats, but because we were so far back and so high up, we were able to sit for most of the concert and just really enjoy the music. This is one of my favorite memories I have of my dad. Growing up he took me on daddy-daughter dates, and this one goes down in the books as one of the greats.
A few years later, during my junior year of college, my dad died. No more daddy-daughter dates. No more sharing memories together. Going through some of his belongings several months later, I came upon the DVD of U2’s Rattle and Hum. So in homage both to my childhood favorite band and to the dad who was no longer there to listen with me, I watched. Certain smells remind me of specific memories, and certain tastes cause instant aversion. So, too, do certain sounds remind me of home. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” accompanied by a Harlem gospel choir, will forever remind of home. It’s just a rockumentary, but it’s so much more: it’s the heritage my father left me.
So here’s to the music that still continues to challenge and elate me, to quiet and enliven me. Happy 25th!