There’s a book coming out next year, called Rock Atlas U2, which by the title you can probably guess it is about locations involved with U2. I believe it was originally released a year or two ago, but it’s coming out next year in paperback, and I haven’t seen it and can’t find a copy of the current release. Since I haven’t seen it I don’t know anything about it other than the short blurbs in Amazon, which say that it is a book of locations in Ireland that are related to the band. I suspect this is one of those books I should have before I travel there. I wrote earlier this month about Dublin and my impressions of the city based on the knowledge I have gleaned through U2, so this book should help clarify some of that.
But a book coming out in 2016 doesn’t help much for a blog that’s going to end at the end of 2015, does it. Before I knew about the book, I had put on my list of things to write about this year an idea for a map of U2 locations. I wasn’t being specific to Ireland though, I was thinking of all the places around the world related to the band. My thought wasn’t so much where they’ve gone and what they’ve done, but places specifically mentioned in songs, either titles or lyrics. For example, they sung at Red Rocks, which would put it on a U2 map but not on mine. But, they released it as an album called Live At Red Rocks, so thus it would get some attention (I know, I’m being a little loose with the facts there). Maybe a better example would be Cedarwood Road, we know all about it because of the band’s history, but I wouldn’t count it prior to the song being released.
If I were to take just one lyric, the easy one would be New York, London, Paris, Munich. Gets a lot out of the way to begin. You can even count New York again, since they had a song with that title too. And you’d go a long way just working on titles. A quick tour of the Middle East will get a look at the cedars of Lebanon, with a shout at Jerusalem and then you can go by Fez after you’re born.
Does Zoo Station count? It’s a real place in Berlin, and for that matter Oh Berlin gets in there. While you’re in Europe don’t miss Sarajevo. But interestingly enough, most of the titles are across The Ocean, and as you sail there you might realize there’s no line on the Horizon. Once you get to the other side, you might see some hands that built America, and look out for the angels when you land in Harlem.
While you’re in New York you might stay in the Heartbreak Hotel, if they have a room, and you can look out and see where the streets have no name (they’re all letters and numbers). It’s a City of blinding lights up there, so maybe get out of town and go looking. You could head down to Miami, or go out west to a Red Hill Mining Town. Eventually you’ll get to California, where you could stay at the Million Dollar Hotel unless you want to try your luck at the Playboy Mansion (wear protection).
And take a long trip across the ocean again and you might get to Van Diemen’s Land, then make a turn toward New Zealand and watch the sun come up on One Tree Hill.
After all that, since you’ve been trying to throw your arms around The World you can count it all. But then again you might have spent too long staring at The Sun.
I’m sure I missed a lot of places here. And that might be a good thing, not sure this bit worked as well as it sounded like it would.