23 April 2001
Show day: Anaheim - The Pond 1st night
Up at sparrow fart to get a plane from San Francisco to the fabulously named John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, which is the closest airport to this gig. I'm always nervous of flying commercial on a show day (not least opening night in L.A.) so allowed hours of extra time in case of delays, etc.
On arrival, had a meeting with Hamish Hamilton (director), Al Gurdon (cinematographer) and Ned O'Hanlon (producer) who are joining us for a couple of days to discuss possibilities for filming at some point. They were of one mind that this is an extraordinary and beautiful show, but also one that will be monumentally difficult to commit to celluloid, which I decided to take as a compliment. That's the thing about great live shows - when it comes down to it, you really need to be there to experience it. That said, if anyone can turn this show into a great looking event on screen it's the team we have here, so we will all work toward that end.
Just prior to the show as the crowd was getting amped up, the band's guests were filling up the platform in front of me and Salman Rushdie was dancing in a fascinatingly entertaining fashion, I saw a friend of mine who I couldn't place so gave a cheery wave. As he rather politely smiled and waved back I realised that it was actually UK pop sensation Robbie Williams, who wouldn't know me from a hole in the ground. I felt a bit of a plonker, but at least he waved.
It was a big night for U2, coming back to the Los Angeles area, and they rose to the occasion. I had fun afterwards, getting lost in the melee of friends, family, celebs and guests in the aftershow hospitality throng. Its always fun to see famous people in the flesh, but I find myself oddly shy of them. As evidenced by my Robbie Williams moment, you can't help but feel like you know someone with such a familiar face, but the truth is, its just somebody that you've never met and have nothing to say to, so I tend to steer clear. There have been exceptions of course, like when Benny and Bjorn from Abba showed up in Stockholm on Zoo TV - after the show I was in the dressing room like a shot & ended up talking to Benny about his most vivid memory of life on the road - that there always seemed to be cheese cubes in backstage catering. Show biz celebrity gossip at its finest, eh?