U2: Elevation

U2: The Elevation Tour

ELEVATION: The Tour Diary ("For my sanity and your entertainment," M.) - Page 14

1 January 2002 - Happy New Year!

OK, it's New Year's Day and I've got a headache.

Not sure why…

Surely last night's Big Head Todd concert had nothing to do with it!

Maybe it's because I can't figure out how some Ducks beat up on some Buffaloes this afternoon. Hmmm…

Maybe I have a headache just because I've been thinking about the amazing year that was 2001. It was an incredible year for many, many reasons and I'm looking forward to 2002.

Of course, with the conclusion of Leg 3 of the Elevation Tour (Vegas was my last show), Mattopia was thrown into a temporary state of chaos and uncertainty. Leaving Las Vegas was a difficult time, but airport security had nothing to do with it. It took less than 15 minutes to get from the hotel to the airport, check in, go through security, and get seated in the airport Cheers with a tall cold one sittin' in front of me. It was difficult because I was facing The Big Question: What's next?

Fortunately, the International Committee for a Better Mattopia (ICBM) saw the crisis coming and has been looking into options that will build on 2001 and make 2002 another year to remember.

Happily, there are plenty of rumors regarding “my band” that bring a smile to my face. Yeah, they're doing the Super Bowl’s half-time show, but the rumors are even more exciting and they give me the guardedly optimistic hope that I’ll once again be in a far-flung land in the summer to meet up with that Irish boy band.

I have noticed in the past that years in which U2 release new music and/or tour are the most productive and creative years for me. 2001 took that observation to an exponential level.

The band put out a DVD of one of the Boston shows and I can't help but be amused. True, I was not at the Boston shows. But, the DVD has a documentary on the making of the video and one of the funny comments they made was that the best night on the tour was the first show in New York, where they didn't have the cameras. I was at that show. That was the one where I was supposed to be in a seat, but MSG messed up and I "sacrificed" myself by going on to the floor. Then they mentioned how the first leg ended in New Jersey, where I was on the floor for both shows, before setting off to Europe, where I caught up with the band yet again in London and Slane (an odyssey in and of itself, especially having some 78,000 fanatics behind me on September 1).

The DVD also has a booklet in which the editor of Q wrote a little article and mentioned the extraordinary bond between band and fans at the August 21 and 22 shows in London. I was there on the 22nd, lifting up my mentor after his father's death.

Spurred on by all the stimulation, 2001 was a very productive year indeed. Let's see… One year ago today, www.Mattimus.com was a single "coming soon" page and had been that way for a few months. Now it's a not-so-humble Mattropolis. Sure, there's a lot of work to be done, but it's coming along.

Among the new stuff, there's a link to my interview with George Butler in the Movie Reviews section. He has a new documentary on Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic adventure now in theatres; it's been named 2001's Best Documentary by the National Board of Review. (He also did a separate version for IMAX that's been playing for a couple months now.) George was also the guy who put Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map waaaaay back when with another documentary, Pumping Iron.

There are also links to some good movie reviews to peruse, including Vanilla Sky, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (which I wrote first person, from little Jimmy's point of view – hey, it's funny!), and The Endurance (in which I get to mention the name of my favorite "fashioneer," Burberry).

By the way, thanks to Marty for letting me spout my opinions at www.MovieHabit.com. I know often times my views seem to run contrary to just about everybody else, but I gotta be me. After all, it wasn't fun not being me when I was slaving away through grad school and selling my soul to Corporate America!

Also, I've put up some decent shots of No Doubt in concert in Denver and Las Vegas in the U2 photo galleries… Uhh… I still need to get the U2 pix from those concerts posted. They're on the To Do list.

Now that my little Web experiment is up and running, it's time to finally get to work on The Great American Screenplay. In fact, I will not go to sleep tonight until Page 1 is written. I want an Oscar – and to give an acceptance speech that people will quote from well into the next millennium. (Hey, like Bono says, "Dream out loud, in high volume.")

Those of you that still read my e-mails (and have made it this far in this one) should prod me on that screenplay every now and then. It must be done.

Basically, 2001 was the year in which I got my soul back (in part by following a rock band half way around the world and back). In 2002 I intend to put that soul to use. I will try to send out e-mails more regularly with updates on all this stuff… Hmmm… come to think of it, I think I wrote very similar words 365 days ago. (Uhhh... and I know I was buggin' people a couple months ago about not writing back; my apologies for having failed to write back in return. My bad! I will work on that this year as well.)

OK. I'm ready to defend my turf in the grudge match of Mattopia vs. Reality. I hope you all are equally optimistic about the year ahead and have a good one!

I guess that'll do for now. Time to wrap a new bandage around my head and crank out Page 1…

President and CEO of the Mattimus Media Empire, Surgeon General and Doctor of Mattopian Mental Health, Prime Minister of Mattopia, Minister of Finance for MattAid, and your Cruise Director,

Mattimus

#8-)3


20 May 2002 - Mind the Gap

I'm finally going back and filling the holes in this diary. The gaps were mainly due to a lack of time to chronicle the travels. It was a whirlwind trip of Guinness, rock 'n' roll, and all the nonsense that naturally follows. My lack of access to e-mail while running around Ireland didn't help matters; up until then it was a convenient medium for cranking out my notes. Ironically, my Mattman@U2Dublin.com e-mail address went kaput (the whole site closed for good) shortly after my arrival in Dublin.

Continuing the delay, I returned to the States on 9 September and my first day back on the job was 11 September. That started a whole new train of thought and totally unexpected concerns. The notes were left untouched.

When you pick on New York, you pick on me. I am a New Yorker, if not by birthright, definitely by spirit. My wanderlust began in New York and it's alive and well today. The aftershocks of 9/11 have rippled right on up to today; now I find myself with a new job and a new start on the horizon. Before that new era begins, though, next week's trip to The Big Apple will bring a fitting close to the old. All the grief will be left behind.

You'll recognize the late additions - they're in this mesmerizing shade of blue. I'm rebuilding the coverage based upon my sloppy, frantically-written notes (on napkins, envelopes, scraps of paper, etc.) and pure recollection since some of the bloody notes have gone missing. At some point it will hopefully be revised into complete sentences. For now, a lot of it's gibberish. But in a way, it works. It serves as a vague yet amusing sketch that captures at least some of the insanity of it all.

#8-)3

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