Did U2 Have a Song about South Dakota, North Dakota or None of the Above?
Quick, name a song with either South Dakota or North Dakota mentioned in it. Other than Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles (which I'm still fuming about the fact that Paul McCartney didn't do a cover of at his recent Sioux Falls concert) there aren't too many.
I consider myself pretty varied on musical tastes. Sure I've worked in Country Radio for the past 20 years or so, but that doesn't mean I haven't been to a concert or two in my life or own about 500 albums boxed up in a closet downstairs. One of the concerts I've been to was in late April, 1987 at Chicago's famed Rosemont Horizon.
Tuesday afternoon, (another song, for another day) the song Hawkmoon 269 started circling around in my brain. I was typing, it was circling.
Like a desert needs rain
Like a town needs a name
I need your love
So, I did what I usually do. Googled it up, started reading and then my jaw hit the floor. I've owned the U2 album Rattle and Hum for ever. I've heard the song over and over but it never occurred to me to do a little research on the song. Hawkmoon 269. What the hell? Hawkmoon? So, I google it up and according to Songfacts:
Hawkmoon is a town in North Dakota U2 passed through in 1986 on the Conspiracy Of Hope tour for Amnesty International. Bono liked the name and used it in the title.
But, Google Hawkmoon, North Dakota and you'll get nothing. Now, here's where the/my, South Dakota theory comes in. Some say the band was on their way through Rapid City, South Dakota. On their way to North Dakota on the aforementioned tour Amnesty Tour. My theory is they were driving out of Rapid City, and saw the Blackhawk sign along the road. Blackhawk South Dakota.
Hawkmoon, Blackhawk, my guess is things got fuzzy. Nonetheless, the name stuck.
The number 269 on the other had seems to be a bit more set in stone. It's the number of takes the band had to get it right when recording the song.
Blackhawk? Hawkmoon? 269 or 500. Regardless it's a song that has South Dakota or North Dakota roots in it. Even if that's not was intended.
So, here we go again, quick, name a song with South or North Dakota in it, or it's title? If you can come up with one I'd like to hear from you.
JD Collins is a wish he could have been reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine in the late 70's and early 80's. If you have any questions or comments on this story, please share them in the comments section below.