The Martha Quinn Show

The Martha Quinn Show

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Flashback: U2's Save The Yuppies Concert In San Francisco

Here’s a perfect trip back to the 80s if you’re home taking a shelter-in-place lunch break on your couch. 

Remember when U2 held the free Save The Yuppies concert on the Embarcadero? It was November 11 1987, just a few nights before their sold-out shows at the Oakland Coliseum. The band put out a last-minute announcement of a pop-up performance. 20,000 fans showed up with only two hours' notice to fill the Embarcadero Plaza!

It was during this set Bono climbed onto the Vaillancourt Fountain and spray-painted his now legendary Stop Traffic, Rock and Roll graffiti. The fans loved it but then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein was less than thrilled saying, "I am disappointed that a rock star who is supposed to be a role model for young people chose to vandalize the work of another artist.” She issued a citation, Bono apologized and the band paid to have the spontaneous graffiti removed. Interestingly the fountain’s sculptor, Armand Vaillancourt, actually loved Bono’s addition to his work and he showed up a few nights later at one of U2’s Coliseum shows and spray-painted his own message on U2’s stage, “Stop The Madness."

I feel for the person who showed up to the Justin Herman Plaza (as it was known back then) with the banner saying SF U2. I’m sure they thought they were supporting the band’s event, after all they only had two hours to create a sign, but Bono took it in a whole different direction. Check out his fiery interpretation at 8:50, and the graffiti incident at 41:00!

Thank you Johnny Funcheap for posting this concert on

Can you spot the Lionel Richie lyrics?? Enjoy!

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