How to Dismantle a U2 Fan’s Enthusiasm

Yes, I got U2 tickets.

And yes, I’m going to whine like a kid whose told that the cookies are off limits.

Because I paid for those cookies, blast it!!

U2.com (not the band, the club) has a lot to answer for. They’ve apologized already for all manner of mixups on the Web site. And I’m sure they knew going into it that dealing with Ticketmaster is like signing a deal with the U.N. and expecting things to go according to plan. But still, what’s happening is ridiculous.

I know a lot of U2 fans who paid the $40.00 fee to be in the fan club, and all of them … well … they still haven’t found what they’re looking for.

This morning, when Seattle fans were told that tickets would go on sale at 10 a.m. … tickets that would be cheaper and better… we all dutifully waited in the Internet queue to buy those tickets.

At 10:02 am, the link suddenly started working correctly. We dove in. But we were immediately informed that THERE WERE NO TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE FLOOR (which is, by far, the best place to be) and that the only seats available for under $100 bucks were BEHIND THE STAGE.

Wow. That’s some privilege our fan-club membership bought us!! Sometimes you can’t make it on your own … even with a 40-dollar membership card.

What … did friends of Steve Jobs get them all in a special deal because of the iPod ad? What happened?!

So yes, I bought tickets. Yes, I was a fool and I paid way way way too much … for the “privilege” of actually being able to see the stage.

But if I find out that the general public gets to buy floor tickets on Saturday morning, when Ticketmaster opens things up for the rest of the world, I’m going to cancel my fan club membership. You’d think that U2 would have the most conscientious of rock-and-roll fan clubs. But this is unacceptable. What a rip-off.

If U2.com really wants to give fans their money’s worth, they should send us all coupons for free stuff from the U2.com store.

Okay. That’s my childish tantrum for the day.

I think Bono would understand. He’s such a sensitive fella.

Bono? Are you listening?

Hello … hello …

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Brian Friesen

    I still own one of the first books I ever read: a first edition of Lucas’ novelization of “Star Wars.” I hadn’t seen the movie yet. The marketing folks at Del Rey seemed to be a little confused about what they had on their hands. The inside of the dust jacket summarizes the roles of the main characters with names written in bold type. Han Solo is not written in bold but Chewey is: “*Chewbacca the Pirate* and his human companion Han Solo have other ideas. Along with Luke, Ben and a pair of devoted robots, they plan a near suicidal assault on the Death Star to rescue Leia and free the universe from tyranny and oppression.” Perhaps wookies are meant to be a more essential role in the series than I thought…

  • russell lucas

    First toy: a Chewbacca action figure purchased at a Toys R Us in suburban D.C. I’m having trouble remembering the exact year, since it should have been second grade (but could it have been in first grade before the movie actually came out?). They had over a hundred Chewies. Nobody else. Just Chewie.

    Yeah, I still have him. And his bowcaster.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    My family was always poor and we couldn’t afford a lot of the SW memorabilia that we wanted.

    That is one of my big memories of growing up surrounded by the Star Wars phenomenon, too — the fact that there were so many attractive looking toys in the Sears catalogue, and my family couldn’t afford more than a few token items. A few action figures and maybe a couple of those tiny die-cast fighters, but definitely not that many action figures, and definitely not the fighters that could hold the action figures, and definitely not any of the various replicas of the Millennium Falcon or the Imperial and Rebel bases, etc. Watching E.T. at the tender age of 11, I was very conscious of the fact that Elliot’s toy collection (which included a number of Star Wars items) was underwritten by the movie’s production budget, and I wondered if his divorced mom really could have bought him all that stuff.

    For all the it’s-so-spiritual hype that these films have received over the past three decades, there doesn’t seem to have been quite so much attention paid to the ways in which they encouraged a consumerist mentality within their younger viewers — at least not in church circles, near as I can tell. But I don’t know how strongly I’d want to push an “anti-consumerist” message, since in my case at least, it would admittedly be motivated by a wee bit of envy.

  • matt

    I can’t remember what my first Star Wars item was, but the one that stands out as being the first significant item is the Star Wars #1 comic. It was the first comic I ever bought and so I recall it fondly. (Thinking about it, I might’ve bought an action figure prior to the comic, but I’ll go for the revisionist idea of the comic being first.)

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    I REMEMBER THAT SOAP!!

    (How odd, that those would be my first four words posted online AFTER seeing Star Wars Episode Three. :)

  • Julie

    My family was always poor and we couldn’t afford a lot of the SW memorabilia that we wanted. But my mom found some SW fabric and made sheets and curtains for my brother, as well as a Luke Skywalker-styled tunic.

    Then for Christmas one year, we got a box of action figures to share and that was soooo cool.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    FWIW, here’s a link to my own latest, vaguely thumbs-down thoughts on Episode III.

    What was your first piece of Star Wars memorabilia?

    I can’t remember whether I got the action figures before the 12-inch Luke Skywalker doll, which I got for Christmas, but I suspect the doll may have been first (my sister got a Leia doll that same year; they were just like Ken and Barbie dolls, only different).

    I remember buying a Hammerhead (sorry, in our p.c. world, that’s “Ithorian” now) action figure with some money my parents gave me, and then being told to go and return it because there was nothing special about Hammerhead action figures so it was a waste of my money.

    FWIW, I still have at least a few of my action figures from the original film, but they’re missing their plastic capes, which tore off far too easily.

    Curiously, I never got any action figures for the sequels, not even when I had all that paper-route money to blow on Return of the Jedi paraphrenalia; for the latter film, which came out when I was 12, I bought comics and magazines and I tracked down every single bubble gum card (and I still have ‘em, too!), but I never got the action figures.

  • Diane

    Not sure about the first, but the strangest Star Wars stuff I ever owned has to be my Luke and Leia soap. That’s right…soap with their faces on front of the bars. They were too precious to actually use, so I set them up as part of a display in this little alcove in the hallway. After I used up my Luke bubble bath and Leia shampoo, the plastic bottles, which were shaped like the characters, went into the alcove, too. My brother-in-law still jokes about my Star Wars soap shrine.

    Funny, but weird.

  • lbrodine

    Ah, my first piece of the Star Wars universe… not completely sure, I know I had the story books from the start…

    But I think it would have to be a Darth Vader action figure, with the light saber that slid up from his arm… which at age 3 and a half, I dismantled to figure out how it worked…

    A follow-up question should be, what was your most memorable Star Wars toy? I would have trouble answering that one myself, so here’s my list:

    Landspeeder
    Tie-Fighter
    Rancor Monster
    Ewok Village

    Best part about the Ewok Village is that the same model was resurrected for the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” Tree House… yep, exactly the same…

    Jeff, hope Episode III is amazing for you. The rest of us will have to wait just a little longer to complete the journey.

  • Bryan Zug

    I got GA floor for the second Seattle show. Quite an ordeal — got a lucky draw at a Ticketmaster outlet way south of Seattle.

  • Anonymous

    The whole thing was so disappointing…..

    Kent

  • Lara

    Do you think it’s possible they will add another night for Seattle?

    I wasn’t part of this ‘fan club’ but when I went to purchase tickets for the first night in San Jose, I only got the behind the stage option…. then after that show sold out, I kept refreshing the ticketmaster page until a second show appeared and then as soon as it said “Find Tickets” I clicked through and was able to get 2 GA tickets. I don’t think that show was made available to fan club members at all since it wasn’t on the original list…

  • Martin

    I already HAVE a second leg, but I guess a third one wouldn’t hurt.

  • Anonymous

    Be thankful they’re coming to your corner of the country. They completely ignored the entire south and southeast. I’ve been trying to go to a U2 concert for 20 years and still won’t be able to this time.

    I’m hoping for a second leg.


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