Ok, ok. U2 may not be the coolest band around. Certainly not since their “Elevation” days, anyway.
Despite the travesty of the aforementioned single, however, one good thing that came out of their “Elevation” tour in 2001, was this rendition of their song, “In A Little While”.
Perhaps one of my favourite U2 songs of all time, there is a tenderness to “In A Little While” that Bono really can turn on, when he wants to.
This version is taken from their San Jose Arena stop on the tour, and is introduced by Bono’s dedication to Joey Ramone (who had died 5 days before) saying, “This is a song Joey Ramone loved, and we loved him, so…”
It’s a strange fact that a listener can shape a song after it was written. This is the case with “In A Little While”. The song was the last song Joey Ramone listened to, on his deathbed.
When Joey’s brother, Mickey, and their mother were called into the hospital to say goodbye, Mickey brought a copy of the current U2 album at the time,
All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and slipped the CD into a music player in Joey’s room. The track he played was Bono’s own, “In a Little While”.
In a little while
This hurt will hurt no more
I’ll be home, love
In a little while
I won’t be blown by every breeze
Friday night running to Sunday on my knees
After Bono heard this, he commented at another show on the Elevation tour that, although the song was originally about a hangover, he now sees it as a gospel song due to the effect it had on Joey Ramone. Said Bono:
“So this is a song that Joey Ramone loved… We played it to him while he was lying in his hospital bed a couple months back. It was the last song that Joey Ramone heard in his life here, and… That’s an amazing thing for someone who grew up as a fan of Joey Ramone, I can tell you that. Anyway, Joey turned this song about a hangover into a gospel song, I think. ‘Cause that’s the way I always hear it now, through Joey Ramone’s ears.”
Songs are changed by the act of listening. And that’s a beautiful thing.