The Joshua Keys.
I can remember the first time I heard it.
The Joshua Tree. U2. The appeal was instantly tangible. It resonated chords inside me tuned to the frequencies of longing, hope, and liberation.
It was like nothing else in its time.
“I want to run / I want to hide /
I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside”
The concept of the album was so complete, from the music, to the design and photography; and every track had its own unique and powerful story. Stories worth hearing. And pulsing through it all, a soul that still believed hope was worth singing about.
In high school, I was unfortunately not quite nerdy enough to be a nerd, and not quite nasty enough to be a skid, and not quite sporty enough to be a jock. So I was a true misfit, I guess. Among those struggling for survival.
The way I learn and the way the public education system worked were just about as far from compatible as you can imagine; but that’s a story for another time, another place. (see what I did there?)
Along with my classical piano training, U2 became a sort of muse, in the form of The Joshua Tree, the Unforgettable Fire, and later on Rattle and Hum. I figured out a way of emulating The Edge’s digital delay on the keyboard, and forged my own arrangement of Where the Streets Have No Name. During those long lunch hour, I’d be found playing the old piano in the high school choir room, usually with 1 or 2 of my friends listening along. Those lunch hour jam sessions became a kind of solace during those long otherwise soul-sucking days. Renditions of some of my favourite tracks from the Joshua Tree were in regular rotation there.
Later on… I ended up marrying my high school sweetheart and best friend. And we’ve made ourselves a tribe of 5 kids—2 awesome boys and 3 incredible girls, and I’m working in the tech industry for some amazing clients and companies.
It was near the end of January that an ad showed up on my screen promoting the fact that it had been 30 years since that album first rang out over the radio waves. 30 years. Crap! I’m old. Was my first thought.
Then I had this idea…
(The concept. The momentum builds… )