U2NEWS: July 3-8, Greg Carroll

Who Needs Bathrooms? ([email protected])
Tue, 07 Jul 1998 12:43:05 -0600

Since it's that time of year, and it's sometimes important to
remember these things,

>From U2news: History

July 3 1986 U2 crew member Greg Carroll, whom the band added to the crew
after the September 1, 1984 date in New Zealand, is killed in a
motorcycle accident in Dublin while running an errand for Bono. When
they accompany the body to New Zealand, Bono tells a reporter, "In the
rock & roll business, the higher you climb the lonelier you become, the
fewer people there are to turn to. In the short time we had together,
Greg became flesh and blood. He felt like my brother." Six months
later, choking back tears, Bono would later tell reporter David Breskin,
"It was a devastating blow. He was doing me a favour. He was taking my
bike home. Greg used to look after Ali. They used to go out dancing
together. He was a best friend. I've already had it once with my
mother. Now I've had it twice. The worst part is the fear. After
that, when the phone rang my heart stopped every time. Now when I go
away I wonder 'Will these people be here when I get back?' You start to
think in those terms.... The emphasis among family and friends when we
had a number one record and were a big band was on how much you'd
got--and not how much you've lost. The sense of loss came home through
losing Greg Carroll. But the sense of loss has continued--I feel it
even now." Adam Clayton also commented on the loss of Carroll, "For me,
it inspired the awareness that there are more important things than rock
& roll. That your family, your friends and indeed the other members of
the band--you don't know how much time you've got with them." Bono
writes "One Tree Hill" in remembrance of Carroll after returning from
New Zealand where he attends the funeral. "The Joshua Tree" album is
dedicated to Carroll's memory.

July 8 1986 Greg Carroll is buried at Kai-lwi Marae in New Zealand.
Bono and Larry attend the funeral with Ali and Ann Acherson. U2 crew
members Joe O'Herlihy and Steve Iredale are also present. Bono reads a
poem during the service and later at the traditional, 'last supper',
performs "Knocking on Heaven's Door" and "Let it Be". When he returns
to Dublin he writes the song "One Tree Hill" for Carroll. Months later
in an interview with David Breskin, Bono recalled the funeral, "[It] was
beyond belief. He was buried in his tribal homeland, as a Maori, by the
chiefs and elders. And there was a three-day and three-night wake
and your head would be completely turned around. And ours were, again
and again."


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