Wednesday, 15 October 2008

1999 January - Chilly Dublin and a Larry Miracle!

Jane and I decided to have a three day break in Dublin in mid-January, not the best time to go to that part of the world, but hey, we're Northerners, we're tough!

On our second day, our only full day in the city, we went into the city and walked to The Ferryman for lunch. We were going to meet my friend Rosie at HQ later that day. Then I saw someone who fitted Rosie's description walking past I ran out into the icy pouring rain and shouted "Rosie!" and the woman turned and came back. I'd got to know Rosie, who was from Northern Ireland, through my fanzine and we'd arranged to meet for the first time here in Dublin.

We had a lovely chat in The Ferryman, she was so nice, very softly spoken and gentle with a great sense of humour, we all got along really well immediately. Rosie is still a very good friend of mine to this day.

We braved the weather and ventured out and walked the short distance to Hanover Quay. It was cold and damp and it is at these times that you ponder on your sanity! there was one other fans there a Dutch girl who talked incessantly and was a bit of a pain to be honest.

Luckily we didn't have to wait long for the first arrival, it was Adam, who smiled and waved but went in without coming over to us - we never go to band members, we leave it up to them and so we know that when we get meetings it's because the band members want to meet us not because they have been forced into it.

Next came Edge, he posed for a photo by his car when he saw Rosie with her camera, what a sweetie! In those days they didn't park their cars in the garage like they do now.

Next arrival was Bono, on the phone with the car windows all steamed up. He sat in the car chatting and as he did so Larry arrived. He stopped near us and was happy to sign autographs. Rosie had old records that Larry had asked for in Propaganda. He carefully looked through them all and said he had them all but very politely thanked her for bringing them.

Jane then congratulated him on the recent birth of his daughter and said. "Can I ask you what you've called her?" Larry smiled and replied. "You can ask but I'm not going to tell you!"

At this point Bono got out of his car came across and said jokingly to Larry. "What's this Larry, Christmas?" We thought he was probably alluding to the fact that it is very rare for Larry to stop for fans.

Larry completely ignored him, then looked at me and said. "Are you wanting a photo?" I was stunned into silence for a few seconds, Larry asking me if I wanted a photo?! "Er.... yes please." I said and gingerly walked across to him. He stood like a statue beside me no touching, Jane took the photo, then Rosie also got a picture with him. I'm pretty sure Larry did that to piss Bono off because he's made that quip - we hadn't asked for a photo. He looked stunningly handsome on the photo - I cropped myself off because it's such a terrible photo of me!

I must admit that I was quite glad when Larry left because I wanted time with Bono, but of course couldn't ignore Larry when he was being so sociable! The Dutch girl talked at Bono constantly (she'd said nothing to Larry) mostly about Gavin Friday. We could hardly get a word in for her and she often rudely interrupted too. She did ask Bono a U2-related question, enquiring what they were doing in the studio and he replied. "Knitting, embroidery, a bit of weaving......."

We got some things signed and Bono was very pleasant and obliging. Rosie asked for a photo with him and he said yes, then I asked and he was the opposite of Larry, he put his arm firmly round my shoulder and pulled me in close, he smelled lovely! He looked really well, dressed in a leather jacket cap and awful orange tinted black-framed shades. He was chatty though at times he was having difficulty concentrating because of the constant interruptions by the Dutch girl who stood back the whole time, strange.

After he left we went back to The Ferryman to warm up and reminisce. Rosie left at 4pm to get her train back to Northern Ireland but we stayed on to meet up with our friend Declan later. We hadn't seen him since his wedding so it was great to catch up on things with him. He was keen to hear about our meeting and we had a long chat before we went our separate ways.

Next afternoon Jane and I flew back to the UK. It had only been a short visit so we had been incredibly lucky to have those meetings. And to this day it's the only time I've met Larry and had my photo taken with him at Hanover Quay!

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