U2’s 30th Anniversary of “The Joshua Tree”

“The Joshua Tree” by U2 and their 30th Anniversary Tour has special meaning to me—it was 1987 when U2 led me to an obscure place to find my true expression.

U2 created music that spared suffering souls and longing hearts with raging energy that consoled not only twenty year olds, but wiser wanderers. I was one of those restless souls. I dodged my first marriage option, packed a suitcase, a credit card and the classified ads from the Los Angeles Times; ready for the vast unknown. Onward, just like their song, “With or without you”.

“In God’s Country,” on cassette was the album that was with me as I drove across the green hills of Missouri, the bare red dirt of Oklahoma like “Red Hill Mining Town”, flat Texas to the Grand Canyon, the mountains of Arizona through the desert to the Pacific Ocean, and southern California. The U2 album was my companion. Unwind, back track, rewind. Cracked speaker. Eject, flip, insert, rock on.

“Exit”, and traveling to Los Angeles, was radical for a single young woman, as a feminist, making her own lifestyle, career, money, and yes, creative freedom of expression. It was complex, exciting, and exhausting.

Fast forward to escaping Los Angeles, the culture shock and urbanity, to expanding on the earth-child camping of the 1970s. I discovered the desert’s subtle beauty, shifting sands and expansive sky. Like America’s “A Horse With No Name” there was U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name”. It all made sense.

A stake was claimed in the Wild West: Joshua Tree, California, my favorite part of the desert.

Drawing from my days at the typewriter letter shop, daily newspaper, moonlighting with magazines, my typewriter art and public activities, the first Type Inn, writers retreat consummated. “Unplug, read, write and listen.” Relisten to “Running to Stand Still.” It’s not perfect, but perfectly appointed with vintage typewriters, an original typewriter desk and inspiring typewriter art. I found what I was looking for!

Throughout my decades in Cali, my constant companion was music. Visiting U2’s album, ‘The Joshua Tree’ was like visiting an old friend. Now this bond had deepened by having a special connection with Joshua Tree in common.

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