Melbourne. Show 2.
Had breakfast with a Melbourne friend before heading down to the venue a little earlier than usual, as I€™d arranged with Joe to have some time to e.q. the new computer voice piece over the 360 sound system. It was all very promising and when the band came in later in the afternoon they were equally enthusiastic.
We had a spectacular guest turnout for the gig, including both Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde. Blondie and the Pretenders are touring together down here at the moment, so I€™m assuming they€™re playing in Melbourne tomorrow. Both these bands were at their peak in the very early days of U2 and were great heroes to them, as they were to me. I had heard via a third party that Debbie Harry was particularly hoping to hear Ultra Violet so it was the very least we could do to oblige.
Another guest of special interest to me and to my lighting colleagues was a gentlemen by the unlikely name of Chip Monck. Chip is a septuagenarian these days, and is something of a living legend in the world of show production as he was the M.C. (and indeed did the lighting) at Woodstock. (That would be the
Woodstock - he€™s the guy in the movie telling the crowd not to take the brown acid.) He was one of the very earliest pioneers in the world of stage production, before there even was such a thing as stage production as we know it now, working with the Rolling Stones in the 70€™s and even the €˜Rumble in the Jungle€™ Mohammed Ali fight (!). He€™s been around the block a few times. He€™s still very much alive and has been living in Melbourne for some years now. Ethan, the 360 tour lighting director, and I had dinner with him on Sunday last, and he came to see our show tonight. He is absolutely as eccentric as the day is long, but has some astounding stories to tell. We had him press the red button to operate the smoke cue at the top of the U2 show; truly we are not worthy.
The new €˜Questions€™ piece worked well, computer voices and all, so you never know I might be able to call it finished some time soon (one more edit, p€™raps€¦) I also ran the astronaut out-takes film over Rocket Man after the show, which was great fun. There€™s a shot of Roman coming at the camera with a giant wrench, which is hysterical.
I met my guests in our hospitality room back at hotel and we ended up staying up quite late. It must have been gone 3am when I finally got in the lift to go up to my room. En route, two 30-something men with strong Greek-Australian accents got into the elevator. They greeted me and I said the usual €˜hello, how€™s your night?€™ kind of things. €œIt€™s a great night, mate€, said one, €œI got back thirteen grand tonight!€. €˜That is a good night€™, I replied. €œYeah man, last night I lost fifteen grand, couldn€™t believe it, it was terrible, fifteen grand down.€ Then he went on with genuine elation, €œtonight I got thirteen grand back, man, I€™m on top of the world.€