Works In Mysterious Ways

November 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm (The Easy Chair)

Has Sting taken the sting out of the word ‘sting’? And why is Sting on my mind this morning?

It’s Sunday Bloody Sunday in my head. The British and Irish are at it again. Can’t we all get along?

I like The Police. (Musical group. Those with guns are okay as well.) Synchronicity will always hold a warm spot in my heart. (Little Sister bought the album for me way back when, and we still laugh as we meander around the house singing “Walking in your food stamps…”) With all the acrimony of their breakup, and the reemergence of Lord Sting and his ten-hour tantric sexin’, well, let’s just say when Sharon Osbourne calls him Lord Sting like she’s rolling around a cat turd in her mouth? I understand.

My favorite U2 moments came in the 1980s, when Under A Blood Red Sky was popular. U2 and The Police played Live Aid, and we watched in the cabin on a 12″ black-and-tan-white TV while simulcasting through the monster stereo. It looked like a full stage in our minds. (A $4 gallon of burgundy helped.) At that point I was a full-fledged fan of both bands.

I was not one of the 20,000 that saw U2 back in 1981 at the Paramount. (Capacity 2,000.) I have not seen U2 in concert. Would I love to? Hellyeah! But not at $200 a ticket. I’m glad they’ve done well, but I’m a poor Irish boy so I get their CDs and DVDs from the library. I’m pretty sure Bono can afford Jameson’s without my contribution.

As time has passed, Sting tends to tour with symphonies, or will regroup with the Police long enough for a cash-grab. He is as much a punchline as a musical force these days.

U2? They still sell out football stadiums, and I still cry like an Irish baby at some point in their shows. Bullet The Blue Sky may be the best rock song ever played in concert. New Year’s Day played in my head as I chugged a bottle of vodka on the MAX on New Year’s Eve 1986. I get chills every time I hear the opening keyboard riff.

Angel of Harlem has its own special category, thanks to a very special lady.

So the other day as I was surfing the stacks, I saw Achtung Baby! was available at the library, along with two DVD concert videos. Achtung Baby! was more commercial than I’d cared for when it released, but it has aged well. I wanted to listen to it on the commute, so I copied it to my MP3 player.


I put the CD in, and Sting’s Nothing Like The Sun pops up on the player. Oh hell no.

I took the CD out and looked at it. Nothing but a pretty swirling label. Fuckin’ hippies. It had already copied, so I left it on the hard drive. I called the library to ask what to do? “Bring it in and we’ll locate the right CD to the right CD case. Happens all the time.”

Sting is no fix for a U2 craving, but I’d already committed, so I let the CD play.


The gizmos say I’m listening to Lord Sting, but Achtung Baby! is coming out of the speakers. And no, I wasn’t on funny mushrooms or ‘special’ candy.

It’s not the end of the world, but I feel icky at the thought of some hot girl looking over my shoulder to see me listening to March of the Blue Turtles. U2 isn’t exactly spring-chicken music, but I’m partial to the working-class Irish, I guess. I can muster an honest tear as I listen to (Pride) In The Name Of Love.

Time to take my working-class Irish ass to the job. Think I’ll listen to U2-not-disguised-as-Sting along the way, and daydream of lunchtime.

“Angel… Angel of Harlem…”


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