I presume you know the story about Bono getting a death threat from someone who promised to shoot him during a gig as U2 played “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. I’ve always been under the impression that was during the Joshua Tree tour. There was a discussion about this incident on one of the mailing lists recently, but no one had any firm evidence pointing to a specific date.
Well, I just found this old NME article which might be the first time the story was ever told:
There was one notably frightening occurrence when touring The Unforgettable Fire across the southern states of the U.S. This meant playing “Pride (In the Name of Love)” in cities that had been segregated a mere two decades previous, cities harboring more than their unreasonable share of loose-nut white supremacists.
(Bono talking:) “There was a guy who said if we played that song, that was it, he was gonna take us out. He got organised, he got in touch and said, ‘Don’t do it. If you do, we’ve got people there.’ The FBI, or whoever, were taking it very seriously. I remember singing the tune, thinking, ‘Oh, this is interesting.’ But I was fine about it, no problem. Then after the show, Paul (McGuinness, manager) came backstage and said, ‘Um, look, it’s actually the second night he said he was going to do it.’ So I had to do it all again, and not to be melodramatic about it, but I was a little freaked. I didn’t even look at the crowd. And when it was finished and I looked up, I saw Adam was standing in front of me for the whole thing! I mean, Adam’s so posh, right? He’s not grown up with any sense of the street, but I have to say when it comes to digging me out of a few situations he’s there.”
So, now we know it could be either the Unforgettable Fire tour or the Joshua Tree tour. And we know it was in a city in the southern U.S. where U2 was playing two shows. That limits the choices to:
May 3-4, 1985: Fort Lauderdale, FL
April 2-4, 1987: Tempe, AZ
April 7-8, 1987: Houston, TX
November 23-24, 1987: Fort Worth, TX
December 8-9, 1987: Atlanta, GA
Tempe, AZ, isn’t considered the “south,” but one of the people on the mailing list was sure it was those first couple shows of the Joshua Tree tour. If the quote above is correct, and it was on the Unforgettable Fire tour, Fort Lauderdale is the only city in the south that U2 played twice.
Anyone have information that would help get to the exact date this happened?