by Deena Dietrich @OnTheRoadWithU2
Over the past 23 years, I kept a journal with me at the 75 U2 shows I went to so I could remember every magnificent moment.
About five years ago I used those journals to start a blog, to share my stories with other U2 fans.
It was about that time I was inspired to write my U2 tours memoir after I watched Hunter Week’s documentary, 10MPH, and read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.
In July of 2008, I quit my well-paying job, sold my house, left my family and friends in Maryland and moved to Memphis for a less-paying job where I knew no one - just because I loved Memphis.
A year later I decided to quit my job in Memphis and live off my savings for a few years, so I could have the freedom to pursue my passions. It was then I decided to follow the last leg of the U2 360 Tour, every concert in the U.S. After watching 10MPH, I felt a little less crazy about my decision. In the film, Hunter Weeks and his friends quit their corporate jobs to pursue their passion of making documentaries. It was a huge risk, financially and otherwise. It was mentioned in the film life is too short not to take these risks and adventures when they arise, which is exactly what I did by quitting my job and following the 360 Tour.
I then read Eat, Pray, Love about a woman who took a year off of her life to take a pilgrimage for self-awareness through adventures she had always wanted to take – and then wrote about it. I had always wanted to drive across the country, and I had always wanted to follow U2 on tour, the whole tour. And I decided to write about it.
One of the greatest days I had on the last leg of the U2 360 Tour was in Seattle on June 4, 2011. Before the U2 concert that night, I talked with Bono about meeting Larry. This is what happened,
After a short time, we saw the flashing lights of the police escort and black SUVs. Edge, Bono, Adam AND LARRY drove into Qwest Field right in front of us. We looked down the long driveway and saw Bono get out and head back toward us. He hopped on the back of the policeman’s motorcycle and in seconds was talking with us. Jenny and I were in our ‘Larry Mullen Band’ shirts as usual. I shouted, “Is Larry ever coming out to greet the fans … of the Larry Mullen Band?” Bono responded, “He only likes you. I love you.” Everyone laughed. Then Bono went on to say, “You like that kind of cold stare” (referring to Larry). Before Bono was about to leave, he asked the small crowd of about 30 people, “Where are the Larry Mullen people?” I shouted, ‘Right here!” and pushed my way toward Bono. He read my shirt as if to make sure I was the ‘Larry Mullen Band’ girl he had been talking to earlier. Then Bono asked, “Do you have a message I can deliver?” I was confused and frantic. I thought he was going to tell me a message from Larry, but I quickly realized what he had said and I replied, “Yes, tell Larry to come out in Oakland since he didn’t come out here.” He said, “OK.” I then went on to tell him that I would be at all the US shows, but I don’t think he heard me. Bono then asked my name and repeated it back to me, “Deena.” When he got in his golf cart to go back, I saw him write something down. I was hoping it was my message to Larry. I had no idea what this conversation would eventually lead to almost two months later in Pittsburgh.