U2’s promoter looking back on band’s career

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Walking into Bruce Moser’s house, it’s easy to tell the Buffalo-area native loves music as every inch of his his walls are covered with posters, pictures, and promotional pieces for rock bands.

“It’s like a little rock & roll hall of fame in here,” said Moser, one of the co-owners of Could Be Wild, a company which promotes bands.

One of the frames holds every backstage pass Moser has ever received while attending U2 shows – more than 150 of them. That item is hanging right under one of the band’s records which went platinum – a record Moser was in charge of promoting.

“I just thought they were a really important band,” said Moser about his role with U2. “I knew they were going to be big but I had no idea they were going to be as big as they are.”

Tasked with setting up the group with gigs in the U.S. prior to their first album launching here, Moser met Bono and the band in 1980. He arranged for them to play ten shows across the eastern corridor from Boston to Cleveland. During their stop in Buffalo where they were opening for Talas at Stage One, only eight people showed up to support them.

“U2 appeals to me on so many levels – musically, lyrically, and as people,” said the promoter who stuck by the group through the years. “It’s been fun watching them go from eight people to the biggest band in the world.”

Moser’s friendship with U2’s lead singer, Bono, soared as the band was climbing the charts.

“If one person can change the world, it’s him; he’s doing it,” said Moser who calls the group and Bono ‘the real deal’.

In 2009, after suffering a heart attack, Bono called daily, checking on his first promoter; paying for Moser’s mortgage when he was sidelined from working to focus on recovering. And after Moser’s wife had an accident which left her in a coma, Bono wrote her a very personal note. For Moser’s 50th birthday, the Irish musician recorded a personal, biographical song for the group’s promoter.

“I feel like I was part of something,” said Moser, recalling how the group has impacted his life. “They would’ve been a big band with or without me but I was there when no one else was. And of all the bands I’ve ever worked with, they’re the best.”

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