U2 Buy Me A Pint

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Part 2 of My Mis-Adventures in Ireland

by Brenda Clemons, U2 Station Staff Writer

Like I said in the first part of my story, there was absolutely nothing to do on a Sunday in Dublin during the 90's. And it definitely wasnt a good idea to go wandering around the docks at night. So, I was more than just a little excited when I happened upon Dockers.

Now, of course I knew what Dockers was. Dockers is the Dublin pub famous for being a U2 hangout. However, I did come upon it by accident. I really wasnt expecting to find it, literally, just around the block from Windmill Lane. In fact, I bet if you looked on a map, it would be directly in front of Windmill Lane. Dockers definitely didn't look like a hang out for world famous rock stars. It looked more like the kind of joint where you would find rowdy mid-shipmen. The kind who have been at sea way too long and looking to blow off some steam.

When I walked in, the amount of U2 memorabilia overwhelmed me. You cant help but know whose hangout this is. U2's gold and platinum records are hanging all over the place. If that didnt give it away, then the photos of U2 taken inside of Dockers surely did. But, I didn't have much time to drool over the memorabilia. In fact, I had only taken about 3 steps inside of the door, when a Japanese man approached me and said,

You, rock star?

I think my reply was, Huh?

The Japanese man asked again, You, rock star?

No, she's not a rock star, the bartender said from behind the bar. The bartender looked as gruff as he sounded. Exactly the way you would expect someone to look who worked in a place where midshipmen would hang out.

The Japanese man didnt say anything else to me. He simply turned around and went back to his table. He was sitting with a group of about 7 Japanese tourists. Other than the bartender and the seven at the table, I was the only one in there. I swallowed hard. Suddenly, it seemed rather cheesy to be a U2 fan on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Well, I have been in bars like this before. My father is a construction worker and he taught me how to hold my own.

I chose to sit at the bar. I ordered my very first Guinness. The bartender sat it on the bar. I immediately picked it up and attempted, unsuccessfully to throw it back. The bartender erupted in laughter and said, Your first Guinness, isnt it? Yer supposed to let it sit and breath, like a fine wine. It's tradition. Here, try it again. He put a new pint on the bar. I went to the bathroom while my Guinness was breathing.

The bathroom walls were covered in love letters to various members of U2. This seemed like a waste of time to me. It's not like the members of U2 would ever be using the womens room.

I went back to my stool at the bar. The Japanese man swayed over to the bar and demanded to know why the bartender had not come over to his table to take their orders. We don't do that here. You come to us if ye wante a drink, said the bartender.

The Japanese fan said, I bet you do it for U2.

The bartender replied, I don't even do it for Bono or Larry. He said this just as I had taken a sip of my Guinness. The bartender's words made me giggle, thus snorting Guinness up my nose. The Japanese man asked for a mixed drink. Then got mad because there was no straw or umbrella in it. He came back up to the bar and demanded his drink's umbrella. Okay, I'm not the smartest person in the world and even I knew that this is not the kind of place where they serve drinks with little umbrellas floating in them.

I made small talk with the bartender while the Japanese fans ordered about 5 rounds of drinks without the little umbrellas floating around. It wasnt long before the group started singing in Japanese. Wait! I think I know this medley. It is Where the Streets Have No Name. I asked the bartender if he agreed with me on the song title.

The bartender replied, At this point, I think I have heard bad renditions of U2 songs in every language.

This made me howl with laughter. Okay, I was warming up to this bartender. Apparently he was warming up to me because he told me a secret, "f ye really want te meet the Boys- come back during the week. The fans come in on the weekends, so the boys and their gang stay away. But during the week....They're working back there in the studio.

Note -- just about everyone in Dockers referred to U2 as The Boys.

He didnt have to tell me twice. I came back the very next day. What I found was a bar that was jammed full of people talking and laughing. At first they were a bit standoffish with me. Then the bartender from yesterday announced that I was okay. I must have somehow passed some secret test or something because I was taken in as one of the crowd.

Dockers reminds me a lot of Cheers, the American TV show about a bar in Boston. Only instead of the bar patrons yelling out the name Norm; the crowd at Dockers are yelling out the names of various U2 members as they walk in the door. Dockers, at the time, was owned by a man endearingly called Paddy. He was a fatherly type man who seemed to genuinely care about all of his regular patrons. I recognized Paddy immediately from the Grammys. U2 won a Grammy for Achtung Baby. They accepted their award via satellite from inside of Dockers. They made sure Paddy was in the telecast.

The gang at Dockers are the perfect representation for Ireland. Intelligent, friendly, and honest to a fault. I grew up right outside of Washington, DC and they all wanted to know what it was like. I had long discussions on politics and religion. But, the Dockers gang warned me and were very stern in making me promise that I would never discuss politics or religion outside of Dockers. Ye could get yerself kelled, they said.

Paddy was always concerned for my safety. He worried about my getting back to my hotel at night. He would never let me leave unless he had called a cab and it was waiting outside. I started sneaking out because I found that the cab fare was half the price if I walked a few blocks and then caught my own cab. One day I found out why. One particularly friendly cab driver came right out and asked if I worked for U2. I told him no and that I was just a tourist. He then confined in me that cab drivers charge a lot more for fares that they pick up at Dockers. He said that all of Dublin knows that Dockers is the hang out for Irish celebrities. So, they figure that if you were coming from Dockers you probably could afford a higher cab fare. I felt like I had seen a glimpse of the downside of celebrity -- and I didnt like it.

It didnt take long for Paddy to figure out that I was sneaking out. He put his foot down, again, and made me promise never to do that. Again he said, ye gonna get yerself kelled. At this point the chauffer volunteered to give me a ride to my hotel. I had the chauffer let me off after just a few blocks. I was that scared. He was that drunk. How the boys are still living with this guy driving them around, I will never know.

I loved hearing the U2 stories and many of them were very funny. My favorite is the one about the U2 fans who were being very loud about the fact that they were looking for U2. Bono was sitting right there. The fans did not recognize him because he had recently had his hair cut short. What made it funny, I was told, is that MTV were there filming an interview with Bono. You would think that would be a dead give away, hello, that there is a celebrity sitting there. But, the U2 fans were too drunk to notice.

One night the phone rang and Paddy picked up. I heard him say into the receiver, Okay, yeah.. Then he put the phone down and yelled out, The boys are ready fer ye to go back to the studeo. I watched as all of the U2 employees got up and went out the door in an orderly, one by one, fashion -- sort of like well trained sheep.

On another occasion the phone rang and Paddy answered, again. He then announced that the boys were going home for the night. But, they were picking up the tab for the last round. In the midst of all the activity, Paddy put a pint in front of me. I declined it thinking that I shouldn't just assume that my pint was being paid for. Paddy insisted saying, the boys said everybody. Then I realized that U2 had just bought me a pint! How Cool!!!

I will never forget the night that I was allowed entrance into the very off limits, U2 room. This is the place where the boys always sit. I can not say that it is exactly a private room, it has 3

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 8, 2007 3:31 AM.

"U2-charist": Bono moves in mysterious ways was the previous entry in this blog.

Beautiful day: U2 manager's Principle Management profits rise to EU283,003 is the next entry in this blog.

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