“If You Want A Pizza, Call An Apache”

October 9, 2009

apache-pizza-temple-barI have pondered what that statement means many times since I first visited Dublin and came upon it.

It wasn’t graffiti.

It wasn’t code.

It wasn’t some quant Irish adage.

(at least I don’t think it is)

The phrase “If You Want A Pizza, Call An Apache” was written in red letters across a box at a pizza place near Temple Bar.

Of all the cities which I’ve visited, few had me as smitten as quickly as Dublin. On one visit, the cabbie, an older, well-worn fellow with bushy white hair, explained that he was “going to catch hell” from his wife for skipping mass.

Upon hearing our destination of The Clarence, a hotel partly owned by U2’s Bono and The Edge, he asked “Going to see Uncle Bono, eh?”

“Is he around?”

“Ahhh,” the cabbie sighed, shaking his head and rolling his eyes, “he’s probably trying to make peace in the Middle East or something.”

It’s hard not to fall in love with such down-to-Earth people and the Irish have always struck me as some of the least pretentious folks around.

Another trip to Dublin had been spent celebrating a friend’s birthday – dinner at a small Indian restaurant followed by an evening of drinking a club called Zanzibar.

Returning to my hotel room, I sat dully watching a Bruce Lee movie and craving food. I remembered seeing a pizza place not far from the hotel and set out resolutely.

(it was a similar scenario that led to me to wander about lost at three in the morning in Edinburgh, Scotland once – apparently there is something in my DNA that causes me to trek out for pizza in strange, foreign cities after an evening of drinking)

And that is how I ended up at Apache Pizza. It had to be after midnight, but the tiny place was packed with amped up Irish kids. U2’s The Sweetest Thing was playing on the radio and they were all singing along, loudly.

I snagged a pizza for take-out and there was the phrase – “If You Want A Pizza, Call An Apache” – on the box.

It was inscrutable to me then. It’s inscrutable to me now.

The website for the chain offers no explanation and their slogan now appears to be “Too Many Cowboys, Just One Apache.” I have no idea what that has to do with pizza, although it is a rather concise assessment of the plight of Native Americans in the US.

As for the pizza, I thought it was quite good.

Of course, I’d been drinking, it was late/early, and I was hungry, so, as anyone who has been in a similar situation (in Dublin, Ireland or Dublin, Ohio) can likely commiserate, all but the vilest pizza would have been manna.

I don’t understand exactly how that works any more than I understand why an Apache is the person to call if you want a pizza.

But, as Paloma has a birthday coming soon, I’ve submitted an application to be an Apache Pizza franchisee (I’m fairly certain it’s something she doesn’t have).

In the meantime and as we will soon be seeing U2 on their 360 Tour, here are some lesser-known, personal favorites from the band that I don’t expect us to hear…

U2 – Love Comes Tumbling
from Wide Awake In America

Subtle and hypnotic, Love Comes Tumbling was one of two songs on the Wide Awake In America EP that were outtakes from The Unforgettable Fire. Had that album been released a few years later, after the advent of CDs era and longer running times, it would have made a worthy addition.

U2 – Hallelujah Here She Comes
from Desire single

U2 tried to incorporate American blues, gospel and soul into their sound on several tracks from Rattle And Hum with mixed results. Hallelujah Here She Comes – a b-side from that set’s first single – is far more low-key than most of those attempts on Rattle And Hum, and succeeds in being soulful with considerably less effort .

U2 – Lady With The Spinning Head (extended version)
from Even Better Than The Real Thing single

It was dance music of the late ’80s/early ’90s that was a major influence on Achtung Baby. Lady With The Spinning Head was another strong U2 b-side which fused dance-rock with garage-rock, incorporating grinding guitar and a heavy dose of keyboards.

U2 – Salome
from Even Better Than The Real Thing single

Before Achtung Baby was released in the autumn of 1991, a bootleg of tracks from the recording sessions for that album caused a stir. Entitled The Salome Sessions, the triple CD release is, for fans of the band, a fascinating glimpse into many of the songs that would appear on Achtung Baby in various stages of completion.

Salome, a song that didn’t make it onto Achtung Baby inspired that bootleg’s moniker.