What's Your Story?

17 Oct 20228

When U2 X-Radio debuted in the midst of the pandemic in 2020, writes Tassoula Kokkoris, I pulled an all-nighter to listen to the channel and report on what I heard. I had a lot of fun dissecting the new content and was grateful to be among the first invited to participate in a segment for the fan-led show "Desire." A year later, I covered the first anniversary of the channel and spoke with several of the presenters.

A few months after that, an idea I had for a show that would go deeper into the fan experience began taking shape. I envisioned a place where I could spotlight the amazing ways U2's music and activism have significantly changed people's lives.

Arguably, every U2 fan's life has been positively altered in some way by the band, but I wanted to zero in on those specific jaw-dropping instances where a tectonic shift truly took place. I knew the stories were out there.

After further discussion with a member of U2's team and a workshop session with a SiriusXM producer, I reached out to a few U2 fans who I knew had powerful stories and asked if I could interview them for the potential future show. Graciously, they all said yes, and I began taping episodes in August of 2021. After a formal audition for the band and production team, I got the green light to proceed with more episodes of what would soon become ‘Stories.'

Now, just days from the show's debut, I'm overwhelmed by the personal, meaningful exchanges I've had with guests so far.

I've interviewed fans across the globe who have endured treatments for illnesses, fallen in love, grieved a lost friend, survived the aftermath of a mass shooting, started a nonprofit and more — all because of U2. Each episode concludes with a U2 song that represents their journey.

Together we've laughed, cried and celebrated this band that connects us all, and I know that I've only scratched the surface of these powerful stories.

If you'd like to be a guest on my show, I'd love to hear from you!

To be considered, please send an email to our production team, 1-2 paragraphs in length, that describes your specific experience or epiphany and how it relates to being a U2 fan. I'm especially interested in stories about addiction, family, love, friendship, disability, discrimination, social justice, career changes, mental health, grief, sexual identity, gender and race. In the short term, I'm also booking guests that may have a holiday-themed story to tell.

The address for submissions is: u2xstories@siriusxm.com

If you're in North America tune in to Channel 32 to hear the first four episodes later this month.

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Book for U2
5 years ago we made a book for the guys with more then 700 personal stories from fans worldwide why U2 mean so much for their fans and what a big impact they have on their fans life. We handover the books personal to Bono and The Edge.
I go there with you...it's all I can do
I wasn't always a die-hard, crazy U2 fan girl. For years, U2 was “that band that sings about war and protest,” an opinion I’d express as my teenage daughter, Helen, began listening on continuous repeat. Until she showed me how their lyrics were really all about love and peace, about coexisting and fighting the “good” fight. Until U2 became something we could talk about while the dark secrets of the sexual abuse and torment she was enduring remained unspoken for her survival. “When Bono’s singing about love, he’s singing about God,” she told me. And vice versa. “And how he misses his mother. She’s the “she” in a lot of his lyrics, the woman he’s having to learn to live without. His Mum died of a brain aneurysm when he was fourteen.” Of the truly momentous sparks of synchronicity in my life, that one was a game changer. When the daughter I named after my mother opened up a new portal for me, for us, to be able to hear and feel her still surrounding us in the musical poetry of a superstar. When I realized Bono’s Mum Iris died suddenly---the same way mine did within a few weeks of each other in 1974---inspiring iconic songs about our shared heartache. “Mysterious Ways” became my anthem, a song I’d sing on continuous repeat and hear serendipitously on the radio or public Muzak when I most needed my Mum to tell me “it’s alright….it’s alright.” I belted it out live (with the entire set list I’d absorbed like mantras) at the Boston Garden during the Elevation Tour in 2001, again at the Providence Civic Center…and again and again and again till I was a bona fide U2 super fan. I’d stand for hours in GA (the general admission, standing-room-only queue) to be as close as possible to the magic, the mind-body spiritual experience that transforms a crowd when Bono and the boys are in the house. With Helen. Now, 22 years after our first concert, I've just channeled my Mum energy to magically navigate the online TicketMaster stampede, scoring two tickets to "Stories of Surrender" in Boston. And Helen and I continue to find what we're looking for.
Marco Merlin and Andréa from Brazil
For years and years, in the 80's and 90's, we Brazilian fans of U2 suffered a lot, with the lack of a show in Brazil, we are very passionate about the band and we tried somehow to replace that lack. I was a collector of U2 stuff and I had one of the biggest collections in Brazil. At that time, in São Paulo, there was a U2 cover band, formed by important fans, including a presenter from the biggest TV station in Brazil, called Augusto Xavier and the DJ from rock radio 89 FM, Everson Candido, the most listened to radio in the country in dealing with rock and roll, it was called "U2 Cover", and it was an absolute success, taking thousands of people to the shows. It was when I met my wife Andréa, we fell in love at one of these shows, we had our first kiss a few days later, on February 19, 1992, to the sound of With or without you, today we are married and we have 2 children and the love for U2 only increases every year. U2 is part of our life!
Before U2
I turned 18 in 1980. I wasn’t listening to U2 because I didn’t know their music yet. That was first later by coincidence. Around 1980 I was listening to Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Police, Pink Floyd, Simple Minds, Clash Blondie, Beatles, ELO and Danish bands. A couple of years later it was U2, Joy Division, The Smiths, Bauhaus, Cure and Kraftwerk. I still remembering listening to Boy the first time. I was blown by the energy. That was to keep. U2 and Joy Division are the biggest bands in my world.
Feel like i grew up with them
In the early 80s in order to listen to anything new you had to listen to cfny out of Toronto. Well i live in Niagara falls ny so i discovered the band as well as bands like the Police etc. Well In 83? U2 came to Buffalo at an old theatre called Sheas. I sat in the balcony with a friend and And they had the place going nuts. We were standing and i asked my friend if he could feel the balcony swaying? Felt like an earth quake.. Was an amazing night. When I got home my mom was watching Tv. I told her I just seen an amazing show. She said they are talking about it on the news! Pieces of the balcony fell down on to the crowd.! After that Sheas had a extensive renovation and is still a wonderful theatre. After that i have seen the band 5 times and hope for one more chance
Email sent, as well!
This is awesome. U2 has had a lifelong impact on me, I hope to be able to share it with you all.
Email sent!
This is exciting. Looking forward to listening.
Showing my age, I've attended at least one show from every U2 tour since War and still wear my '85 Unforgettable Fire t-shirt when attending any U2 show. But I surprised myself at the lengths I would go to for a song, Zooropa. During the last tour - Songs of Experience - the band didn't perform Zooropa on any of their U.S. dates, but were performing it on their European dates. Did I mention this is also my favorite of the catalog? I traveled to Berlin to soak in the Rammstein, German Doom Techno, Nina Hagen and Eno vibes, stopping at Zoo Station for the second time in my life, for a few days before traveling by train for the Cologne stop on the tour. I had purchased a ticket on some dodgy Euro ticket site or other, not thinking that it was even a real ticket. But there I was in Cologne walking up the ramp at Lax Arena. I made it inside, but didn't have the wristband to go with my purchased floor ticket. Traveling solo and not speaking German seemed to help my cause, and they let me through. The band didn't play the song in full but it was enough to make it all worth it. Got on the plane and flew home the next morning. Please let me know if you share my story. One day, probably never, I'll shoot the band with my real camera. Thank you!! Paul
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