Back in 1985, when I was the music editor of Rolling Stone, I convinced Jann Wenner to put U2 on the cover.
It took some doing. I had first met U2 some five years earlier, when I was one of a handful of American journalists sent to England to see the band shortly after the U.K. release of its first album, Boy. I rode in a van with the band members - then barely in their twenties - from London to Coventry for their gig at a university gymnasium.
The show totally knocked me out, and I came back convinced that U2 was going to be, as the headline of my story put it, “the next big thing.” From that day on, I was constantly championing the band around Rolling Stone. When Jann finally gave in and let me put it on the cover, our headline boldly declared: our choice: BAND OF THE EIGHTIES.