'Under The Starting Pistol'

25 March 2011
'Under The Starting Pistol'
Santiago. Show day.

Having stayed up later than I meant to last night, I allowed myself a bit of a lie-in this morning. I even ordered room service which is a once in a blue moon event for me, always being one to get out of the hotel and see something of the locale whenever possible.

I was glad to get to show day at last. It always focuses the mind a great deal to be under the starting pistol. The day was pretty straightforward, though I kept thinking there must be something I'd forgotten to do. We decided on the set list yesterday, so that took one of my major show-day duties away, but even so by the time Muse went on stage I was sitting in catering with Alex, really thinking that I just didn't feel quite busy enough. 'What am I normally doing at this point on a show day?' I asked him, hoping he might be able to shed some light on the strangely becalmed atmosphere of the moment. 'Guests' he said, 'You're normally meeting somebody by a gate somewhere, clutching a couple of passes, or lifting up barbed wire. I was just going through that same thought myself.'
It's always wonderful when friends come to a show but, well, let's just say it's not too much of a hardship to have a day off being tour guide.

Rene Castro came to the show with his family and it was fascinating to talk to him about his relationship to this building and the wider situation at the time that he was incarcerated here. He did an interview for where he spoke about it all, so you can hear him talk about it there. I laughed though when he said that, not being a football fan, he had never been to this stadium before he was locked up in it. His visit to 360 is only the second time he's been back to the scene of the crime - the other time being to see the Vertigo tour (which by my reckoning now makes the score U2 2, Pinochet 1). His lack of bitterness toward those who imprisoned him is startling, he said he has no time for any of that. Even in his political views he has no hatred for the Right, saying he can understand both the Right and the Left. 'The Right look after the money, the Left look after the people, the schools, the hospitals...' yet when you hear him say it in context, somehow it doesn't seem like a compromise.

My only other task of the day was to help Dec put an iPod playlist together for the aftershow knees-up at the rooftop bar of the Hotel Fabulous. I'm not quite sure why, but we decided that the theme should be 'Tonight we're going to party like it's 1991' and trawled through all the early Indie / Madchester stuff we could find on our respective iTunes. I loved that period - for a couple of years you couldn't kick over a rock in the UK without finding a couple of indie guitar bands underneath it, all kitted out in baggy pants, silly fishing hats, oversized parkas and haircuts with fringes halfway down to their waists. Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine ('Sheriff Fatman'), SoHo ('Hippy Chick'), The Soup Dragons, a shed load of Jesus Jones, The Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, The La's, The Farm, Inspiral Carpets (for whom Noel Gallagher was the drum-roadie, I'll have you know) and of course the unforgettable Ned's Atomic Dustbin ('Kill Your Television'). Some of the tunes I hadn€™t heard in a decade and others made us laugh out loud because they were so utterly archetypical of the time. Sadly I couldn't find anything by New Fast Automatic Daffodils but it didn't seem to wreck the party mood. Stayed up far too late again, eating fried food in the middle of the night. Clearly I need to get my tour discipline back on or I'll be needing a wheelchair by the time we get out of Buenos Aires.

Related Topics


27 March, 2011
Way Out
...and The Wonder Stuff, Charlatans, Lush, Ride, Emotional Fish, Something Happens, Godfathers, on and on. Man, such fun!
27 March, 2011
Beautiful day in Santiago
Dear Willie, thanks for this beautiful diary entry! All your stories are informative, entertaining and humorous at the same time. I think you need not worry about your tour discipline. With such an active life full of exciting, wonderful and multifaceted experiences you will never have any time to sit in a wheelchair!
27 March, 2011
As I look out my living room window at another cold, wet snow covered day in Bergen Norway, I can’t help but dream about what it must be like to attend an after show knees-up at a rooftop bar in Santiago. It’s a long way back to The Dandelion Market when I used to hitch hike from Kells up to Dublin hoping to see the lads, maybe I should have stuck around a little longer there, or even had the balls that night in a tent in Paris, to have asked for a start on the crew,(would have to been in catering) and would be now at after show parties in Santiago instead of freezing my town halls off here in Norway. It’s the 27 of March and there is not a sight of a bloody Daffodil yet, so all I can do in the meantime is look forward to spring and summer and East Rutherford NJ and Pittsburgh. You have a wonderful job Willie, thank you for sharing, no matter how green with envy it makes me I love your diaries.
27 March, 2011
Santiago show day
Beautiful diary and rich of episodes of healthy humour.
26 March, 2011
The please get your discipline back, Willie, Brazil doesn't want to see you get here in a wheelchair!
Newer comments    1 - 5 of 5    Older comments

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.