U2: Save The Yuppies Free Concert

One of the greatest thrills of my musical life was to be present at the ‘Save the Yuppies’ concert in San Franciso in 1988. I was working in downtown San Francisco at the time and at 10:30 in the morning, a local radio station announced ‘This is not a prank or a hoax, U2 will be appearing in a free concert in Justin Herman Plaza at noon today. I ran through the office, alerting my fellow yuppies. We stopped at a local deli and grabbed some Heinekens and made our way to the concert. The free concert was priceless!!!

The image below includes the famous statue on which Bono spray painted the words “Rock and Roll stops the traffic” in recognition of the cars which had stopped on the highway on ramp behind the impromptu concert to get a glimpse of what was going on. Bono was later forced by then mayor Diane Feinstein to appear in court and face charges for defacing public property…

Here’s how the Wikipedia describes it

The performance of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” is from the band’s impromptu “Save the Yuppies” concert in Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, California on 11 November 1987. The video intersperses the performance of the song with footage from the band’s performance of “Pride” from the same show, during which Bono spray-painted “Rock and Roll Stops the Traffic” on the Vaillancourt Fountain. This caused a bit of controversy, and ultimately, the band paid to repair the damage and publicly apologized for the incident. The phrase “Rock and Roll Stops the Traffic” reappeared 18 years later in the video “All Because of You” when an unnamed fan appeared with the sign at 1:55 in the video.


And I was there…

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