POPMART Leg 2: 1997, Europe


San Diego to Anaheim.

Two 55-seat coaches transported the Vertigo crew to Anaheim this afternoon. It's not a long drive but the journey was quiet as many people took naps en route. I sat with Diana Scrimgeour, the photographer who put together the book ìU2 Showî which was published a few months ago. It's a large tome that visually documents every U2 production since the beginning and she's done a wonderful job in capturing the essence of U2's live journey. I jokingly call her ëmy biographer' as of course the book is as much a chronicle of my work-life as U2's. She's here to take photos for a trade magazine called ìTotal Productionî and with her is the editor Mark Cunningham who will be interviewing all and sundry. There are now quite a few of these entertainment industry technical magazines, with enticing names such as ìLighting Dimensionsî, ìDiodes Todayî and ìGel and Filament Weeklyî. Much as the contents would be guaranteed to bore the arse off the general public, they do serve a function within the industry to help us keep an eye on what's going on.

The hotel we are staying at is a pleasant enough freeway-side place, walking distance from nowhere, stranded in the middle of the desolate cultural wasteland that encompasses Disneyland and the Crystal Cathedral. Another night in the ìLosers Loungeî was not to be borne, so I investigated the possibilities of local fine dining. The teenager behind the reception desk recommended the adjoining Sports Grill, but finding it hard to believe that this could be a source of haute cuisine I spread the net a little wider.

The concierge recommended a place called the White House in Anaheim which could not only meet the culinary standard, but had a courtesy car that could come to pick us up. Deal done. 20 minutes later we get the call and head out to find a huge white stretch-limo waiting for us, white leather seats, onboard cocktail bar, the lot. So, in low-key tasteful style we cruised to the restaurant, barely able to remain continent. The grub was great, though, so we left sated and the pimp-mobile drove us home.

Predictably, our arrival and dismount was witnessed by the Vertigo rigging crew who were just returning from the venue. Such public blowing of cool was monumentally embarrassing, but then again they probably imagine that I travel like this all the time.

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