1980. I was working at a radio station, answering the phones, taking requests and running contests. This album came in and the station wanted to push it.
I gave it a listen and immediately loved it. Every song was incredible. Every note was mesmerizing. The music was full and lush, yet spare at the same time. And there was a soulful darkness about the album, something that made me want to listen to it alone, to take it home and study it and play it over and over again until I knew every word and note by heart.
The album was not in stores yet. This was a pre-release or something like that and our radio station had ten copies to give away so they could start the big push to get U2 noticed. So they did a call in contest. First ten people to call win the album by this yet unheard of band. I took the calls. Congratulated the winners. All nine of them.
The tenth "call" was from my cousin, whose name, unbeknownst to him, was put on the list of winners along with his address and I faked congratulated the dial tone that was playing the part of my cousin.
The next day I told that cousin to expect a package at his house from the radio station, and that it was really for me. I waited. Two days. Three days. No call from the cousin. Four days. Five days. Finally, I went to his house to see if he maybe got the record, but forgot to call and tell me it was there. His girlfriend let me in and the first thing I heard was that voice. That earnest, sweet voice singing Stories for Boys and I ran into the living room screaming "Hey, that's MY album!" to which he replied, "You are never getting this. I won it, remember? It's rightfully mine." I looked on the coffee table and there was the album cover, gloriously stamped in gold "Not for resale. Promotional use only." I sighed. I reached for it. He threatened to call the radio station and tell them what I did. I left, dejected.
Of course, I bought my own copy, which I still have today. It's one of the few U2 things I kept in the great "I'm poor, let's do eBay" fire sale of 1999. It reminds me of the radio station, of what a brat my cousin was and still is, and of the days before Bono tried to save the world.
Favorite song: Out of Control
Acura Rsx Club
2 years ago