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.