Joshua Tree tour program
Back in ’87, when I was 14, I fell in love with U2’s music. I remember hearing I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For on the radio, and like any teenager, felt the lyrics said EXACTLY how I felt. I didn’t actually know the title of the song (weird considering it’s the chorus, but I had a crappy boombox), so when I bought the Joshua Tree cassette (yes, that’s right) I wasn’t too sure which song it was. I had heard of U2 but wasn’t familiar with their music, since their previous album came out when I was 11 and wasn’t interested in that type of music back then.
I would listen with my headphones to the Joshua Tree so many times at night while doing my homework or as I drifted off to sleep. I loved the album so much that when I was in college, I bought the vinyl record for $3 at a used records store, just to have the huge cover.
Any good rock band knows you need a great photographer to help create that larger than life image. Anton Corbijn is one of those photographers. He had photographed tons of legendary artists, from Depeche Mode to Miles Davis to David Bowie, and in this case U2. His moody black and white photographs of the band in the California and Nevada desert helped evoke the themes of searching, desolation, and craving in the songs.
I never was able to make it to the tour, but years later in a long gone independent record store, I found a pristine copy of the tour program, all of the photos shot by Anton. Designed by another longtime U2 collaborater, Steve Avrill, the sparseness of the layouts complement both the photography and the songs.