ELEVATION: The Tour Diary ("For my sanity and your entertainment," M.) - Page 10
28 August – Liverpool
Taxi Driver to airport: I was in New York and the taxi driver was in the back eating a sandwich, made the customer drive. Disgusted, the customer threw the fare into the front seat upon arriving at the destination. Crazy Americans. Where are you from? America. I knew that!
Student to teacher: Do prostitutes get pregnant? Yes. That's where taxi drivers come from.
After telling him about my 9 pints, he writes it off a Arthur-itis. Another joke: Man falls into vat of Guinness and dies. They tell his wife. Did he die happy, she asks. Yes – he came out three times to take a piss!
Clerk at the tourist office gets wound up by a crank caller – "Michael Hunt" wants to make a reservation
Beatles Convention, bands from all over the world:
Abbey Road from Brazil
Beat the Meetles from Copenhagen
1964 from US
A "lounge act from Brazil," not a Beatles act
Band from Mexico and from Australia
Lennon look-alike in army greens at Cave Pub across the street (solo era Lennon)
Ringo look-alike in Cavern Club – Nike baseball cap, beard, kept sunglasses in the very dark club
Free ticket inside the Cavern – guy had an extra, friend wasn't going to use it! Live music all day/night.
On this particular day, emphasis was on early Beatles, only the Copenhagen band played the later (and in my opinion more interesting) material
A Guinness at the Cavern
Philharmonic pub, one of Lennon's favorites – across from Phil Hall
Brahms and Liszt rooms – "one of the most ornate in Britain"
29 August - Liverpool
Magical Mystery Tour (no Hard Rock Café in Liverpool, by the way)
Paul couldn't (and still can't?) read music; was turned down from boys' choir
John couldn't play guitar
"I hope we passed the audition" – famous last words, John
Became popular only after they went to Hamburg
Atomic Kittens are from Liverpool
Homeless guy: Are you from Kent? Weymouth?
Mathew St.: Where the Beatles began; great row of pubs, clubs
Two teen girls thought I was from up the road; bar hopping; one passes out in my lap – Joanne and Terri
Girl at Rubber Soul thought I was the glass collector, so I took her glass; Karoake – "Hi, lovey."
'70s club – The Grape – Beatles hangout
3-1 girl/guy ratio?
30 August – Return to Dublin
Liverpool Airport (pre-John Lennon) – security alert
11:00 a.m. flight, still in the air at 11:15
Big Mistake #3: Left passport and camera on plane under seat in front of me
Calls to Ryan Air from phone booths; guidance from the folks at the Clarence Hotel, re: Police
Friendly crew from Nova Scotia, one girl, Emma, looks kinda like Ana Gasteyer from Saturday Night Live; both are also funny
We all go to the Kitchen, Bobs (night club), and another pub
Loud, friendly, huge U2 fans – something like 6 of them, but only 2 tix – knew friend in security who was going to get them in
31 August – Dublin
Prep for Slane 2
1 September – Slane 2
Police are worried about Hooligans – there's a Germany/England football match; it's also the 62nd anniversary of Germany's invasion of Poland
Bus it; everything works out better; grab a spot on the outside of the heart
Bullet the Blue Sky: Ireland is at war with itself
2 September – Dublin
Difficulty of getting stuff done in Dublin
Bono's a good man: everybody from the Drogheda taxi driver to Mary at her B&B readily acknowledge the fact
3 September – Dublin
Of Mona and Mary, the B&B matrons; conveniently located across from Phoenix Park
4-7 September – Irish Road Trip
Why no Paris? Spoiled by Irish hospitality; had to follow heart; not in Paris state of mind; ungrounded, lacking logic; didn't want to leave
It seemed like it would be a mistake to blast off to Paris; too time-consuming to get down to the Riviera
One reason why I don't like to book in advance
Car rental – making it up as I go
Happy B&B owner outside Waterford; he's goin' golfing after I finish breakfast
Waterford crystal factory tour
Nice couple people from Oklahoma in an otherwise quiet pub, quiet town
Parking garage in Cork closed; locked out of car for the night; guy at tourist office made no warning
B&B in Blarney – busy signal
Roman House – alternate lifestyle owners
Cork – Father Mathew, Apostle of Temperance – statue across from Bonavox store
Bus Tour of Cork
Insane traffic, tiny roads, construction in Cork = Madness
Blarney Stone – eloquence to those who kiss it. I am not officially eloquent.
Ring of Kerry – hunt for ancient ruins
Killarney – old town – Spanish girl ran across the street to ask me where a "young" pub was – referred her to a pub just down the street; went back there myself, and she was there with her friends
How do you get to Ross Castle? B&B owner points at the horizon and says, "Turn just there." Huh?
In Ireland, you do hear "Thanks a million" a lot, you do not hear "brilliant" as you do in England
"Wee bit" is another popular expression in Ireland, as in, "Oh, that's down the road just a wee bit." Precise definition of "wee" seems to vary.
Novelty of driving in the country, one-way traffic, wears off after a while, but the countryside does have multiple personalities and driving along the coast is spectacular
Why all this travel? To restore my soul after selling it to corporate America in college
"I still think that rock music is the only music that can still get you to that eternal place where you want to start a revolution, call your mother, change your job, or change your mind." Bono in Time magazine (Fall 2001 Music Special Issue)
"I remember I felt bullied by the need to succeed, to find a good job, and a pretty girl. Forming U2 was a way out – it was also a way in to expressing how I felt constructively as opposed to banging my own or somebody else's head off a wall." – Bono
"We'll win! The good guys always do in the end.
Love, (signed) Bono, Ringo, George, Paul" - On postcard to Hot Press from Grand Rapids, MI
5,000 rock bands formed in Ireland because of U2's breakthrough
8 September - Return to London
Mattopia Jones covers the world's loudest folk band:
14 countries • 30 cities • 7 tours
49 shows • 3 special appearances
1 boy dreaming in high volume
Mattopia Jones and the
Heart of Evita
Argentina • Uruguay
Mattopia Jones and the
Flames of the Fates
Thailand • Vietnam • Myanmar
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