Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dierks Bentley and U2 Connection, Years in the Making

As die-hard, card-carrying members of DB Congress, we know what it's like to be super fans.

We listen to--and know--all the songs; we travel--sometimes around the world--to see him; we have the homemade t-shirts to prove it.

But what if you had Dierks Bentley's phone number in your cell? That's reaching dream status. Am I the only one?

Dierks knows that feeling. He, himself, is a card-carrying member of U2's fan club (literally--he carries the card in his wallet). AND he is in regular contact with frontman Bono.

Their history goes farther back, and is more intricate, than many realize. It all started with a "mutual interest in helping people out and trying to use our celebrity currency for good."

But a very public nod from Bono to Dierks this month drew the attention of country music (and U2) fans everywhere.

In a New Orleans concert on Sept. 14, U2 stunned the audience--and very clearly, Dierks Bentley--with a cover of "Drunk on a Plane" as an interlude in their hit "Beautiful Day."

One could argue that is the ultimate compliment.

The feeling is mutual. In addition to publically noting U2 was the best concert Dierks has ever seen, for those of us who are familiar with Dierks' bluegrass album, Up on the Ridge, the song "Pride (In the Name of Love)" is actually a U2 cover.

Dierks even contacts Bono before every new album release, sending a song or two for Bono's feedback. A recent example is "Freedom" from the Black album.

"The third verse of the song was kind of inspired by something he said to me once," said Dierks. "He said when people in other countries see the American flag, they don't just see a geographical location, they see an idea of freedom. And they want a piece of that idea. So I sent him the song, and he sent me a pretty thoughtful email back. ... He couldn't be more supportive. It was pretty cool to get that email."

It's not just professional feedback between the two artists. When Dierks' dad passed away in 2012, Bono reached out with a letter of condolence. The words that stuck out most to Dierks were, "I don't know how close or far away you were, but it's just a stinker." That message held a lot of meaning in a very difficult time.

Just two months before, Bono--a lover of country music himself--had the privilege of introducing Dierks at the ACM Awards.

"Dierks Bentley's music reaches all the way from Nashville into my kitchen in Dublin."

As DB Congress representatives globally, we would have to agree, Bono.

Now the only question that remains: Has Bono joined our ranks a DB Congress member?
If not, sounds like he has honorary member status already established.
Now, to get him a card ...

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

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