Las Vegas

10 April 1997
Las Vegas
Las Vegas pre-production - Lemon lunacy. The infamous lemon is assembled and stands surreal against the Nevada desert backdrop. Willie tries it out for size and tries a roller coaster ride for comparison.

Pre-production, Vegas.
By way of distraction and to clear our heads, we headed out to ride roller coasters this morning, but on the way stopped by the stadium to see the Lemon. Yes, it is here. It was assembled outside the venue against a fabulously surreal backdrop of the Nevada desert - every inch the UFO. Its a magnificent object - standing 40' off the ground, a ball of glass with Lemon-ish nipples top and bottom. It revolves, it travels down its track, it opens... this is sheer lunacy. Gorgeous it is. Of course I had to take a ride inside it, which feels a lot like being inside a cement mixer. You stand on a little platform within, which remains stationary, whilst the curved walls and ceiling revolve around you. Thing is, because you have no points of reference, there's no way you can convince yourself that its not you that's moving. You feel like you're on a giant turntable until the thing opens up. All in all, its about the most barf inducing experience you can imagine.

Although, having said that, there may be a challenger for that title half an hour south of Vegas in a town called 'Stateline' which is home to the world's tallest roller coaster. The thing I love about a roller coaster is that I always get really scared once I get on, before it takes off. This one is so tall that the upward journey seems to take forever. You sit there ascending and ascending, with the mechanical car going "tick, tick, tick..." and on and on it goes. Then you see the crest of the hill and the first few cars disappearing over the edge, then... boom, your seat back hits you like a car crash and you're whipped over the summit and down, down, down, down, down... the absurd height of the drop creates a kind of swan dive motion in the train... you're in free fall for a few moments as you look straight down... straight the way down, at planet earth getting bigger and bigger by the second, then... oof, the rail catches you, scoops you up and around and you're on your way to the next whirlwind corner... Its a great ride and quite like my life at the moment. Nothing like a moment of blind terror to take your mind off work.

Related Topics

Latest Willie's Diary

31 Jul, 2011
'I’ve loved it. Just loved it.' Homeward bound Willie grateful for an 'extraordinary tour'.
18 Jul, 2011
'I'd agreed to see the Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.' Day off in New York City for Willie.
15 Jul, 2011
'It was a beautiful night and I enjoyed  strolling, people-watching, window shopping.' Willie has a day off in New York.
06 Jul, 2011
'The booths, the counter, the old boy on the stool with his gruff greeting...' Willie discovers a special food establishment.
05 Jul, 2011
'Soldier Field is a great-looking stadium and sits right in the centre of the city.' Willie in Chicago.
21 Nov, 2006
Within the bands entourage (certainly by comparison to the crews clockwork scheduling) travel departure times are often a little loose. This morning was especially so, due to three contradictory memos which had been emailed out last night and this morning.
20 Oct, 2006
There was a 6.30pm conference call arranged between Bono (Dublin), The Edge (Los Angeles), Steve Matthews (London) and myself (also London) to blow the cobwebs off our brains and discuss the reincarnation of the Vertigo Tour.
15 Mar, 2006
I was planning on resurrecting the tour diary today, being the day we were scheduled to fly to Auckland for the load-in tomorrow. However, its now old news that the remainder of the tour dates have been postponed, so Im not going anywhere further than the corner cafe. Its been a very weird week indeed - much akin to driving into a wall.