For the love of the bassist...

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I have talked about albums, concerts and the band as a whole...but I haven't singled out any members. As a respectable fan, it is often looked down upon to have a "favorite". Or to find a member of the band "hot" puts you in a category that I'm not comfortable in.

I began my U2 fandom not really being concerned with the four gentlemen in it. It was about the music for me. However, when I rediscovered the band in 1992, Bono took a certain hold over my young adolescent hormones. Watching Live in Sydney on PayPerView with my family was a sexual awakening of sorts...Bono was wearing leather, sweaty, gyrating on stage, dancing with girls, wearing make-up....what's all this? Sure, I liked the boy bands of the early 90's but this was a completely different type of sexuality. It was real and raw. It blew my 11-year-old mind.

As I grew up, I watched Bono with hormones raging but there was always another face hovering at the cusp of my vision. Different, quieter, a little off the radar of most. I remember reading about him in magazines, dating supermodels. Such an odd looking man dating a supermodel...what is it about him? Not the easily digest sexuality of the front man or the obvious good looks of the drummer...that's for certain. He had a penchant for wearing skirts and smoking on stage. When I first saw U2, he was wearing a shirt that said "Pop Tart". In all my U2 books, there were pictures of him in interesting outfits, drinking and living that rock star lifestyle, far more than his band mates ever did.

Of course, I'm talking about Mr. Adam Clayton. I always identified with him, in a way. I was an outcast, the goth girl in a Catholic High School. I wore different clothes, listened to different music than most of my peers, smoked, drank, knew real musicians, and knew what words like "fret" "riff" and "gig" meant. While my friends were at Church, I was probably at a concert or at home, listening to music, trying to teach myself to play guitar. Although I wasn't comfortable with being an outcast, I wasn't comfortable fitting in either.

Adam never looked like any of the other guys in the band...how could you with a large blonde afro? He looked like he belonged more with the Virgin Prunes in the early days than with the wholesome looking U2. During the religious days, he sided with Paul McGuinness rather than with his friends who had taken a different road. Adam has also been the member of U2 has fallen from grace publicly but remained humble and admitted his downfalls. He regrouped and continued on. He's also fiercely loyal to his friends. I will not forget tearing up as I watched Bono's acceptance speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 2005.

"Third Kodak moment. 1987. Somewhere in the south. We'd been campaigning for Dr. King, for his birthday to become a national holiday. In Arizona, they are saying no. We're campaigning very hard for Dr. King. Some people don't like it. Some people get very annoyed. Some people want to kill us. Some people are taken very seriously by the FBI. They tell the singer that he shouldn't play the gig because tonight his life is at risk, and he must not go on stage. And the singer laughs. Of course we're playing the gig. Of course we go onstage, and I'm singing "Pride (In the Name of Love)" -- the third verse -- and I close my eyes. And you know, I'm excited about meeting my maker, but maybe not tonight. I don't really want to meet my maker tonight. I close my eyes and when I look up I see Adam Clayton standing in front of me, holding his bass as only Adam Clayton can hold his bass. There are people in this room who'd tell you they'd take a bullet for you, but Adam Clayton would have taken a bullet for me. I guess that's what its like to be in a truly great rock and roll band." - Bono

As an adult, I am able to appreciate the unconventional beauty of Adam a bit more. The upside down smile, the silver hair, the sense of style, off beat sense of humor...all of these things might not register with most people but because I'm a little off beat myself, I find it quite endearing. Not many people could pose naked for the cover of an album without being pretty secure with themselves and yet completely honest about their faults as well. Adam is perfectly fine with standing aside and letting other people get the glory, smiling almost like a proud father as he watches the front man teeter dangerously on the edge of the stage. The cool member of the group never needs the attention anyway, does he?

I met Adam along with those three other guys this past March. Meeting the front man reduced me to tears; the guitarist was met with awe and the drummer humble thanks for starting this band. But Adam elicited another reaction from my usually quite reserved self. Giggling. As that British accent asked my name and blue eyes looked at me, my face heated up and I started to giggle as I responded. I got a low chuckle as he scribbled his name and moved on. I earned a few glances back from the blue eyes as I bounced in my spot, staring at the magazine that had just been signed. A 26-year-old acting like a 12-year-old at the most inappropriate time.

I'd like to publicly apologize for that...but I couldn't help it. While the front man has his unabashed sexuality and voice that makes women scream, the guitarist has the intelligence and creativity, the drummer his boyish good looks and machismo...the bassist has his cool, stylish, sexy bass lines that vibrate your entire being and a stage presence that is both unaffected yet deliberate. Adam Clayton knows he's fucking cool...and doesn't need the adoration of millions. There are only us lucky few who seem to be in on the awesomeness and I'm honored to be one of them.


One of my favorite Adam tunes...love the bass lines.


Me too, Larry, me too.


This clip comes completely gratuitous at about 4:45. Sorry...I couldn't help it.

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This page contains a single entry by Chelsea Andrus published on October 19, 2009 4:13 AM.

"We're a bit like Star Trek, we're boldly going where no man's ever gone..." was the previous entry in this blog.

Rock Hall to screen U2 3D concert film to celebrate new theater is the next entry in this blog.

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