'Extraordinary Ride'

31 July 2011
'Extraordinary Ride'
New York – London. Travel day.

Slept late – really late, until about 2pm – waking up to renewed excitement of going home. A great stack of email had appeared to and from our entourage with thanks, goodbyes, airport departure times, lost bag sightings and the attempted off-loading of accumulated tour junk. After three weeks in this hotel room I was pretty bedded-in but my having arranged an evening flight meant that I could ignore it until this morning and still have time to sort it all out pre-departure (this isn’t my first rodeo).

New York was sunny and warm so I promised to leave myself time for a stroll into Central Park which, miraculously, I managed to do. The park was full of Sunday afternoon post-brunch activity, with walkers, sunbathers, cyclists, joggers, horse and trap riders. It was just the gentle activity I needed and gave me a little quiet time begin the come-down process. Rock tours don’t end gradually, they keep going at full tilt until smacking into the brick wall of the final show, when this great ball of kinetic energy fragments and scatters quite literally all over the world. With this having been such an exceptional tour in all aspects, I sense that the come down will be tough for some, but I feel like I have been pacing myself for the past month (since Glastonbury, really) and gradually letting go of this overwhelmingly intense project that has occupied much of the past five years of my life.

Sad at all?  Not really.  I’m immensely proud of the achievement and of everybody who’s been part of it. We know that this will be the proverbial ‘milestone in rock history’; over seven million people (that’s 0.1% of the world’s population) came to see the show and we’re already thinking about what comes next, so there’s nothing to be sad about.

I do need to run away and hide for a while though and happily I am free to do just that. I’ve been away for such a long time that everybody I know assumes I’m dead, so I can now reintegrate with society at a suitably gentle pace.

What an extraordinary ride and what an astonishing thing this 'U2360' turned out to be.  I’ve loved it.  Just loved it.

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23 November, 2011
thanks willie
thank you willie for the diary and keeping us in the sound
09 October, 2011
Thanks Willie
Thanks for taking us along for the ride
05 September, 2011
well done willie wills
27 August, 2011
Do it again...
Thanks guys for giving so much back.....You guys should be illegal, you are like a drug and im hooked...
26 August, 2011
Thanks for the most amazing musical expe
After years of near misses, I finally took my wife to her first U2 show in Dublin on July 25, 2009.... then we took our whole family to Pittsburgh on July 26, 2011... and I also took our 13 y/o son to the Raleigh show (he\'s an amazing young guitarist, and had his mind blown by having both Edge, his hero, and Larry wish him happy birthday that day). I am also a musician, and have to say that I was completely blown away by every aspect of this tour. The band obviously taps into an emotional power that few others do... but without what you, Willie, and the others have assembled on this tour it never would have had near the magnitude. The visuals were stunning, and the sound system was by far the best I have ever heard in a larger venue. In Pitt and Raleigh were were on the outer rail, and I couldn\'t believe how perfect the sound was with subwoofers feet in front of me, the mains directly above... volume loud enough to rattle my ribs, yet perfectly balanced mids and highs as well. Most probably don\'t realize what a trick that is in such a venue.... you guys have no doubt put the very best rig and production together that the world has ever seen..... yet w/out seeming over the top... everything done amazingly tastefully. You\'re all my heroes. Best of the best, without a doubt. Congrats!
23 August, 2011
To Willie
It was a pleasure seeing this tour through your eyes. Thanks for making it available to all...
22 August, 2011
Thanks Willie!
Thanks for a great tour & thanks for the inside information you share with your diary! I always loved reading your entries; they are funny & insightful... I\'ll miss your diary and I already miss U2 360! ;) I saw 8 shows, but it\'s never enough. Enjoy your free time! But I hope it won\'t take too long until you are on the road with U2 again ;)
16 August, 2011
You have to love these guys they are simply the best of the modern times. My entire family are simply devoted to U2 all the time. We will wait to the day they come back to us.
16 August, 2011
Thanks Willie!
Thanks for a great tour & thanks for the inside information you share with your diary! I always loved reading your entries; they are funny & insightful... I\'ll miss your diary and I already miss U2 360! ;) I saw 8 shows, but it\'s never enough. Enjoy your free time! But I hope it won\'t take too long until you are on the road with U2 again ;)
11 August, 2011
7 Million Hugs : ).
I Love U2
09 August, 2011
Well done Willie!
It was a brilliant tour!
08 August, 2011
Lit from flame every night for years . .
Between you and the lamp post; this is just the very begening of experience shared. Looking forward to the future. I think you are too. What talks people so long to understand that we can be One?
08 August, 2011
Thanks and nastravia
thanks for a great show in pittsburgh. i was worried because u mentioned u were winding down. but u and the boys put on a GREAT show. little choppy but boy did they ride that wave. the effects and lighting was spot on. ur a genius.
07 August, 2011
Thanks Willie
I will so miss your diary Willie. Your perspective on the tour and your insatiable curiosity about the world make for fantastic armchair travel. I will miss you and the characters you have a introduced us to. And I must thank you for Zooropa, one of my all time faves. The arrangement, the visual, the whole thing was just gorgeous perfection. Wishing you happiness and continued creativity.
07 August, 2011
I just loved it too! Thank you!
06 August, 2011
Oakland was truly a breath-taker looking up into the dance of lights! Never got to shake your hand, but that was the next best thing. Mahalo for the memories!!!
06 August, 2011
Thanks Willie for a great show and for your writing! see you next tour
06 August, 2011
Thank you
Thanks for the laughs and the insights, Willie! Hope you can get some very well deserved rest now, and on to the next dream...
05 August, 2011
Great hearing about the tour via your constant post. Much excitement has been had read and reliving the concerts. Thanks again for taking time to give us insight into this 360 world!
05 August, 2011
Thanks a lot, Willie!
05 August, 2011
not enough words
to describe how much your insight, wit, charm, frankness, hard work, vision... has meant to so so many. grazie mille.
05 August, 2011
Please write a book!
Your diary is smart, funny, and thoroughly enjoyable. You brought joy to 7 million people and we will miss you terribly!
05 August, 2011
Thanks Wilile
What an amazing job you and the crew did over the last 5 years. I hope you pop in from time to time. With the Anniversary of Achtung Baby coming out, perhaps you can share stories with us we never heard before. Enjoy your well deserved hide from the world.
04 August, 2011
Thank you Willie
I am sad the tour is over and part of that is because I will miss reading your diary! You gave us all glimpse into tour life with a great perspective that made me laugh out loud many times. You should be very proud of everything you helped achieve with incredible tour. It was monumental. Best of luck and we hope to see you back here soon!
04 August, 2011
Keep Writing?
I will miss following U2 so close - yet so far away... My son saw U2 for the first time in TO when he was 9, and again at 11 (in TO AND Moncton - we are making him a U2TOURIE young!). My Daughter was 9 her first show in Moncton... Their concept of what a concert should be is such a high bar, that they are RUINED for life!
04 August, 2011
True Elevation!
Thank you Willie for your hard work and creativity, We saw 4 shows in July...it was the summer of our dreams. We will never forget it!
04 August, 2011
True Joy in your work
I came here two years ago looking for some insight into what the tour would be like and found myself hungry to see it in person. I did that, it was a defining moment in my life and I will remember it always. The best thing is that I feel your diary entries gave me some perspective on what it truly takes to put on a show like this and how much dedication this team has to make it great. Thank You for having obvious joy in making your work meaningful and representative of the best that one can do. It was Magnificent.
04 August, 2011
Thanks Willie!!
Willie thanks for taking the time to write your diary. I enjoyed it very much. I was at the Toronto show and it was my son who Bono pulled up on stage! Memories for life! Enjoy your time away....you certainly deserve it!
04 August, 2011
You should write a book!
you Should! I absolutley loved reading you dairies, it gave me, and many others, a great look at the other side of the "fence". You made me laugh and sometimes made me cry ( actualy this last post did), but most of the time you let us see the inside of this amazing tour and wonderfull band, and let us be a litle part of it! Thank you for your diaries, for the time you took to write them. And ofcourse the biggest Thank you is for the whole 360 Tour idea! I had a great 2 years under the Claw, I saw it from almost every angle, it was simply AMAZING! Thank you!
04 August, 2011
Thank you Willie for being.......Lets go in the round......indoors......smack in the middle of the floor...........the MIDDLE of the FLOOR..........Achtung Baby !!!!!!!!..........hicksong
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