Special gig No 2: U2 at Wembley in an Austin Allegro – 1987

On 12th June 1987 me and my mate Simon were heading down to the old Wembley Stadium in my newly acquired Austin Allegro! 🤣 I’d only passed my driving test on 21st May that year and this was my first car, purchased just a week before the gig. Believe me when I say it – driving from Nottingham to London, first time on a motorway and on a red hot Friday in the capital – this was one serious life event! 😮

As we sat in the car park at Wembley, sinking some of the warm beers we’d taken with us it suddenly occurred to us that (shock horror) we also needed to DRIVE HOME that night. In the excitement of arranging our big adventure we’d completely overlooked this minor detail. Staying in a London hotel wasn’t an option for us skint teenagers in those days. We needed a plan and this is what we came up with…

Simon wasn’t too bothered about drinking so he volunteered to drive us home in my car

He was quite an ‘experienced’ driver (for an 18 year old) since his boss used to send him out on jobs in the works Ford Escort van.

Except Simon didn’t have a driving license.

Regardless, we agreed it was a great plan. Simon went onto orange juice while I polished off his stash of cans as a thank you for being such a great mate 😂

Me proudly showing off my Austin Allegro and mullet/moustache combo – May 1987. The mullet clearly wasn’t as cool as Bono’s!

On to the gig, U2 had become a global sensation by now and this was one of two sell out Wembley shows on their Joshua Tree tour. I had been a fan since the early 80s and was keen to see them at the very stadium where they had captivated the worldwide Live Aid audience two years earlier. They were superb. In fact they were that good I wished I had bought a ticket for the Saturday show as well (we could have slept in the car park lol!) 🤣

Support was excellent for those gigs too. We were fortunate to see World Party, Spear of Destiny and The Pretenders on the Saturday and they were all on great form. For the record Lone Justice, the Pogues and Lou Reed joined U2 on the Saturday. I can still hear Kirk Brandon’s voice echoing around the famous old stadium as he sang a haunting version of “never take me alive”. I also have vivid recollections of the crowd in ‘the pit’ getting hose-piped down during the Pretenders set as it was so hot.

The remains of my ticket stub – U2 and Wembley Stadium, London – 12th June 1987 (how dare security tear the tickets in half!)

U2 opened their set with a spine-tingling “Where the streets have no name” which has obviously become one of their anthems over the years but was a relatively new song at the time. The same can be said of “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” and “Bullet the blue sky” both brand new songs from the Joshua Tree album at the time. I was also made up to hear them play “Bad” (I still love their Live Aid performance of that song all these years later) and “New Years Day” (the song that got me into U2 back in 1983 when I saw them play it on The Tube).

This was an absolutely scorching 🥵 event in more ways than one and another London gig that will live long in the memory. Oh and our unqualified / uninsured driver got us both home safely while I offered my ‘support’ from the back seat (I actually slept all the way home). Cheers Si…. 😳

The stage – U2 at Wembley – June 1987
Here’s a decent audio recording of U2’s set at Wembley on 12th June 1987 (I wish I could find some video footage!)

Here’s a link to U2’s setlist from Friday 12th June 1987 and some reviews from other lucky people who were at the same gig as us.

Here’s a link to U2’s setlist from Saturday 13th June 1987 and some more reviews.

Did you see U2 on the Joshua Tree tour? What are you memories of it? Did YOU travel to the gig in an Austin Allegro?! Share your memories in the comments below or over on the Music in the Attic Facebook page.

Special gig No 1:

A ghostly stage for Viola Beach (RIP) – Feb 2016

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