Inspired first by Hunter Week’s documentary 10MPH, then Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, and my whole life by U2, I decided to write my U2 tours memoir called On the Road with U2. 10MPH was about these guys who left their secure corporate jobs to follow their passion of making documentaries. Similarly in Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about how she took a year off from her life to take a pilgrimage for self-awareness through adventures she had always wanted to take. Hunter Weeks inspired me to pursue my passion and Elizabeth Gilbert inspired me to write about it.
In January, I gathered all my journals since mid 1997 and began writing about my adventures on the U2 tours I have been on from ZooTv to 360. This summer I will continue to write about the U2 360 tour while I’m on a 2 ½ month road trip across America to all 16 US shows. It’s more than just the U2 concerts. It is about the people I meet and the places I see along the way.
I have met so many amazing people by going on U2 tours. I met Tasha, who is now one of my best friends, in the GA line in Pittsburgh on the Elevation tour in 2001. In fact, I made a lot of friends on the Elevation tour. We still keep touch and meet up every few years on the U2 tours. And now through twitter, facebook, my blog and U2TourFans, I have met lots of new U2 fans that I cannot wait to meet in person at the U2 concerts this summer.
My love for U2 has brought me to many great places. The best was Dublin, Ireland. I spent a summer in Dublin studying at Trinity College in 1998. U2 wasn’t playing a concert in Dublin, but I became interested in Ireland because U2 are from there. I went to Las Vegas, my second favorite city, two times because U2 played there on the Vertigo and 360 tours. I have been to Vegas two other times, but U2 playing there gave me a reason to go two more times. I had always wanted to go to Chicago and see a Cubs game at Wrigley and U2 gave me the excuse to go. U2 opened their 360 North American tour with two shows at Soldier Field in Chicago. I went to both shows, and I finally got to Wrigley. I love Chicago now. I went back again for Lollapalooza, and I’m going back twice this year – for U2 in July and for Lollapalooza in August.
I have had some great experiences with U2 over the years on the various tours. The first time I met Bono was in 1992 at Giants Stadium the afternoon of the opening of the ZooTv Outside Broadcast tour. He liked the ‘One’ shirt I had made. He autographed a book I had, but I noticed he was spelling my name wrong, so I corrected him. Then he put his head on my shoulder and arms around my waist as we posed for a great picture. A few weeks later in Philadelphia we were let inside the stadium for the sound check. I had three great moments with Larry on the Elevation Tour in 2001: he gave me his drumstick at the end of the show in Jersey, I finally met him and he hugged me in Baltimore, and he gave me his champagne bottle during his 40th birthday concert in Providence.
I have seen 59 fantastic U2 concerts since 1992, each special in the their own way. This summer I will see 16 more U2 concerts as I drive across America to all the US shows while writing about my adventures On the Road with U2.