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Joshua Tree Journeys: Michel Pas

Coevorden, The Netherlands

@U2, February 06, 2017
By: Michel Pas



[Ed. note: This is the tenth in our series, which highlights visits to the U2 Joshua Tree, as shared by our readers.]

My wife and I are from the Netherlands. In 2015 we scheduled a round trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco to Los Angeles and via Joshua Tree National Park back to Las Vegas. On Day 1 we visited Zabriskie Point [in Death Valley National Park]. I walked with my Joshua Tree album up the hill and lots of people looked at me like: "What the hell is this dude doing?” Well, I was taking a picture of the front sleeve of the album in front of the landscape.

Joshua Tree Journeys: Michel Pas

Day 2 was JT day. My wife drove, and I turned on the GoPro together with U2's Joshua Tree. The organ started and instantly my eyes got wet behind my sunglasses. I realized that finally we were going to find what we were looking for. Yes, I am a die-hard U2 fan since I was 16 (almost 40 now), but I never thought visiting the holy grail would make me so emotional. 

I had the GPS coordinates in my phone, but the moment I tried to start the GPS tracker, nothing happened, so we just walked through the desert in the direction where I thought the Joshua tree was lying on the ground. I started The Joshua Tree album on my cellphone and turned on the GoPro. Suddenly I saw something blinking. I cried when I walked toward the site. I rarely show my emotions. But the complete site with the hill in the background is breathtaking.   

WOW ... I have no words to describe how I felt when I stood there.

“Bullet The Blue Sky” started, and that's my idea of Death Valley (without the fighter planes, of course). For me the album would never be the same; I never hear it without the images of Death Valley. 

The sequel: I saw the I+E tour eight times in Europe. “Bullet/Zooropa/Streets” was a return to Death Valley for me. I saw myself walking there with a blue sky and no compass or maps into the organ of “Where The Streets Have No Name.” At all eight concerts I cried my heart out during this sequel. Pure joy! 

In February 2016 I got my U2 Joshua tree tattoo. I really wanted the complete picture, with the foreground and background like I saw when I was there. 

Joshua Tree Journeys: Michel Pas

(c) @U2/Pas, 2017.

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