Before my parents left for their recent trip to Ireland, I jokingly asked them to "tell me if you run into Bono." Well, as it turns out, they apparently ran into Larry Mullen. As my mother tells the story, she and my dad twice encountered a guy in Dalkey (small suburb of Dublin) who 'looked to be a big deal' with people seemingly constantly coming up to talk to him. Once he outside a pub with his dogs, chatting with some people inside, and the next time he was coming out of a fish-and-chip shop. He apparently just passed my folks as they were entering, and said 'Hello, pardon me' as they passed.
In the words of Stunning Steve and Flyin' Brian of the Hollywood Blondes, my folks just had their brush with greatness. It wasn't until later that the landlady at their B'n'B mentioned that Larry Mullen lived nearby and often walked his dogs around the area that my parents put two and two together and came up with....er, U2. My mum says she checked a few of my U2 albums for a picture of Larry to confirm (my mother has never heard of Google Image Search), and in fact it was him.
Disappointed about the lack of a picture or autograph? Hell yeah! This my mother we're talking about, one of the all-time autograph hounds. This is a woman who once ran down a Toronto street with her 10-year-old son in pursuit of former Jays pitcher Jack Morris. For the record, we weren't 'chasing' him, but just trying to catch up to him before he headed into his hotel. Jack was accompanied by a hot blond, for the record. My pal Kyle is probably already mentally adding this sexual conquest to his ludicrous list of reasons why Jack Morris should be in the Hall of Fame. Back to my mother, this is also the woman who, on an elevator ride with a long-haired degenerate and a young boy who was clearly excited by the presence of this degenerate, asked "Excuse me, are you someone famous? Could you sign my autograph book?" The long-hair grunted and signed, and then got off on the next floor. The excited kid then yelled "You didn't know who that was? That was the Renegade!" Crickets chirped. After we got off the elevator, my mother asked the front desk if anyone famous was staying at the hotel, and in fact, the star of the Renegade TV series, Lorenzo Lamas, was checked in. My mother was recently reminded of this story because Lamas' airhead daughter is apparently one of the Bachelor contestants this year.
So yeah, Larry Mullen, just one degree of separation away. Pretty damn cool. In a way, it's perhaps best that my parents didn't ask him for an autograph. My father, for whom popular music apparently stopped around 1965, wouldn't have cared less. My mother might've asked something borderline insulted like, "Are you Bono's drummer?" Then again, perhaps they would've hit it off and ended up appearing as guest musicians on the next U2 album. My mum used to teach music, so she could've played keyboards or done backing vocals. My dad....um....well, that tambourine won't play itself.