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Old 07-09-2002, 11:50 AM   #1
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One Tree Hill

On July 9, 1986 (July 10 in New Zealand), Bono and Larry attend the funeral of Greg Carroll at Wanganui, New Zealand. Bono reads a poem for Greg during the funeral, and sings "Let It Be" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" during a post-ceremony supper. The whole event inspires Bono to write the song "One Tree Hill," named after the highest of the volcanic hills that overlook Auckland, the city where U2 and Carroll first met.

We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy love
The sun so bright it leaves no shadows
Only scars carved into stone
On the face of earth
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes

You run like river, on like a sea
You run like a river runs to the sea

And in the world a heart of darkness
A fire zone
Where poets speak their heart
Then bleed for it
Jara sang, his song a weapon
In the hands of love
You know his blood still cries
From the ground

It runs like a river runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea

I don't believe in painted roses
Or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill

We run like a river
Run to the sea
We run like a river to the sea
And when it's raining
Raining hard
That's when the rain will
Break my heart

Raining...raining in the heart
Raining in your heart
Raining...raining to your heart
Raining, raining...raining
Raining to your heart
Raining...raining in your heart
Raining in your heart..
To the sea

Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea


I wouldn't even begin to try and interpret this beautiful, haunting song inspired in death and overwhelming pain, but I will say that when I first heard this song I was so overcome with emotion as Bono sang with such grief and deep respect for a man who had become his right hand man and friend, and now sensed with so deep a loss, Bono for a brief 5:23 minutes, lets us experience his pain and heart wrenching despair mixed with admiration for one Greg Carroll who was his hand of love now loss forever, and even today I am still filled with that same sense of sentiment and awe when I hear 'One Tree Hill'.

Anyone else willing to share their admiration for this song that has become revered by fans, as well as given us a private glimpse of just how deep Bono cared for Greg Carroll through this hymn of release and unrelenting love for a friend.

Chris
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:52 AM   #2
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Greg Carroll R.I.P.
[source and date unknown]

The music industry this month mourns the tragic death of Greg Carroll, one of its most popular and accomplished sons. Carroll was a charismatic personality who made friends easily, and never forgot those friends. No matter where he was in the world during his travels working for U2, he'd phone up his friends and relatives in New Zealand to say hello.

Carroll, who was 26, was killed in Dublin early this month when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car. For the last two years he had been working as a permanent member of U2's production team; on the band's recent short tour of the United States, he was promoted to tour manager. Carroll was such an integral part of the U2 "family" that Bono Vox, drummer Larry Mullen and several other U2 personnel travelled from Ireland to Wanganui for his funeral at the Kai-Iwi marae.

"We had to come to New Zealand," Bono told Colin Hogg at the funeral. "We felt we had a duty to our friend and workmate. To see that he came home with honour."

It was with the Wanganui band Blonde Comedy that Greg Carroll's career in music began in 1980. "He rang us up and said 'Hi, do you need a soundman," says Anthony Johns, lead singer of Blonde Comedy and now with National Anthem. "We didn't, really, but he was such a personality, so funny, that he had to be part of the band." Carroll was always included in the band's photos, "because he looked so much better than the rest of us."

When the band shifted to Auckland in 1983, Greg became well known for his quick wit and fast work. He worked for the sound company Oceania, and often did the sound at Mainstreet. "He was so fast, and such a perfectionist - always giving the audience their money's worth," says Johns. Support bands always got as much effort spent on their mix - occasionally Carroll's sound got better reviews than the bands - but woebetide any support band that didn't want to celebrate afterwards.

Greg met U2 during their 1984 tour. "He was just one out of 100 workers there, but the band saw the way he handled the crowd," says Dave Major, also a member of Blonde Comedy. "He was always very cool when the heavies got heavy, and the band were very impressed." U2 invited Greg to stay with them when the band went to Australia, and later to become a permanent part of the U2 team. "Bono and Greg ended up best friends," says Johns. "He was instantly likeable." When U2 played on Live Aid, Greg was seen on screen protecting Bono from the crowd. In Wanganui, Bono revealed that it was pre-arranged for Greg to come on stage, so that all hs friends back home could see him.

All the time he was overseas he was constantly phoning home; "He had a great love for people, and he used to ring to say that he hadn't forgot them," says Major. On the day he died, Greg had called his parents; as they were asleep he said he'd call back later.

Greg was given a three-day tangi on the Kai-Iwi marae near Wanganui. Mourners slept in the room where his body lay, and there were many eulogies and speeches calling upon Greg's ancestors to welcome his spirit. Greg was a dedicated member of the Ratana Church, and the local Ratana choir was led by Greg's uncle Dalvanius Prime, who played a major role explaining the tangi to those who didn't speak Maori. At the burial, Bono read a poem he'd written for Greg.

"Afterwards, there was a 'last supper' at the marae," says Johns. "It was Greg saying thank you to the people who had come, and a time of celebration." Both Johns and Bono were called upon to sing; Bono, accompanied by Gavin Buxton of the Ponsonby DC's on violin, sang 'Let It Be' and 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'.

Next morning, Bono and Larry Mullen visited the Ratana temple in Wanganui before flying to Auckland to catch their planes home, Bono travelling via Nicarague where he was to visit as part of an Amnesty International team. U2 plan to hold a memorial service in Dublin later this month, and to send a representative back to Wanganui in a year's time for the traditional unveiling ceremony.
Chris Bourke
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Old 07-09-2002, 12:05 PM   #3
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They came halfway around the
world to mourn a friend.

By Bryce Johns

They came halfway around the world to mourn a friend. Members of the acclaimed Irish rock band U2 shared grief with the family of their Wanganui-born stage manager Greg Carroll at the Aramoho Cemetery yesterday, Mr Carroll, 26, was killed in a car accident in Dublin last Thursday and was interred at the Aramoho Cemetery yesterday. Several members of the cult band, including lead singer Bono Vox and drummer Larry Mullen, attended the funeral service at the Kai Iwi Marae which preceded the burial.

About 200 people attended the Aramoho service and in a short eulogy Mr Vox paid tribute to a top-class sound engineer and friend.

"He believed in New Zealand. He believed in his Maori back-ground. And he believed in New Zealandmusic." Mr Vox said. "We all believed in him."

Mr Vox and others from the U2 party, including Mr Vox's wife Allison Hewson and Mr Carroll's girlfreind Kathy McGuinness, arrived in Wanganui on Wednesday under a cloack of secrecy.

"We have found it very difficult to keep it low key," Dalvanius Prime, press liaison officer for the group, said.

"The visit is a private one and contact with the media has been played down." With the U2 party were two plain clothes detectives, a representative from the Prime Minister's Office who handled the band members' arrangements, and eight Maori wardens who ringed the band members at the funeral.

Mr Carroll joined U2 in I984 during its tour of New Zealand. At that time the band was enjoying huge success from the live album "Under A Blood Red Sky."

This was more recently followed up bv annother big seller."The Unforgetable Fire." Mr Carroll had allready earned a reputation in New Zealand as a top-class sound engineer before he joined U2. His career began in Wanganui with a local band, Straight Flash.

The Chronicle was invited to yesterday's funeral by Mr Carroll's Wanganui Parents.
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Old 07-09-2002, 12:05 PM   #4
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U2's Tribute

Greg had spoken keenly to Bono about One Tree Hill when they had first met. Bono was so taken by Greg's enthusiasm for the Auckland landmark that he went up to the summit with him to see it for himself.

After leaving Wanganui, Bono and Larry flew back to Auckland and visited One Tree Hill for another look at the place that Greg was so fond of. On his return to Dublin, Bono wrote the song One Tree Hill and later dedicated the album on which it appeared, The Joshua Tree, to Greg. Consequently, U2 received much publicity in New Zealand and their kiwi fan base swelled.

In March 1988, One Tree Hill was released as a single and quickly went to number one on the charts. Because the track was released in New Zealand only, neither Island Records nor Polygram offered an accompanying promotional video. However, an official video was eventually made; if this likely story is accurate, it was edited together by Television New Zealand personnel after they realised they didn't have a video to play for the country's top selling single. So, with little time and a shoe-string budget, a One Tree Hill video was quickly compiled using footage from U2's previous videos of The Unforgettable Fire and With or Without You. The new video also included shots of the Wanganui River - superimposed by photographs of Greg - brief news footage of a mournful Bono at Greg's tangi, and stark images of One Tree Hill itself. As with the album liner notes, the video ends with a dedication; "To the Memory of Greg Carroll, 1960 - 1986".

The Joshua Tree had already achieved significant success in New Zealand (as it had done around the world) and it was given further promotion by the story of Greg Carroll, One Tree Hill and the subsequent release of the New Zealand only single.

Afterthoughts

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bono talked specifically about One Tree Hill, "Personally, I can't hear that song. I cut myself off from it, because if I didn't and somebody told me, 'Eh, now we'd like you to do the vocal again', or, 'Listen, I think that chorus is weak', it would be iron-bar time." Edge, too, offered some thoughts, "I suppose that's the privilege of youth - you leave death to one side to be dealt with later. The uncertainty - that this person who had been so close to us was gone… For a long time, still sometimes, I feel like he's going to walk through the door."

While talking about The Joshua Tree and looking back at Greg's tragic accident, Bono told an interviewer from Melody Maker, "He was one of those guys you say is too good for this world. We haven't, and I don't think we ever will, get over his loss. And he died doing me a favour. I don't know what to say. He further made 1986 the most paradoxical year in our lives. That's why the desert attracted me as an image. That year was really a desert for us. It was a terrible time."

Bono also spoke with Bill Graham and Niall Stokes about the tragedy, reflecting on his experiences at Greg's tangi, "Greg Carroll's funeral 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 could be completely turned around, and ours were again and again."

U2 Return to New Zealand

Two and a half years after the release of The Joshua Tree, U2 arrived back in New Zealand with the Love Town tour. By then, they had another album on the shelves and their world-wide popularity had soared. After a long wait, New Zealand concert tickets were snapped up en masse by patriotic kiwi fans who hadn't forgotten U2's dedication to Greg Carroll and One Tree Hill on The Joshua Tree.

The following transcription is taken from the U2 press conference held at Auckland airport, on 3 November 1989, when the band had just arrived in New Zealand for the tour. Bono talked (somewhat uneasily) about the background to the song…

After a barrage of unintelligent and banal questions from uninformed members of the media, a journalist raises the sensitive subject of One Tree Hill; "Can you tell us about One Tree Hill? What was the motivation for where that song came from; what it's about?"
With a look of anxiety on his face, Bono attempts an answer, "Again, ya know, it's hard to have sex in public - it's also hard to talk about things... arr..." Suddenly thinking about what he's just said, Bono realises his faux pas. With a slight grin on his face, he tries to continue, "Actually, it's..." - the press gallery joins in on the joke and, realising he's now in too deep, Bono decides to really make a joke of it. He adds, "depending on your point of view!", to much laughter from the media.

Bono gets serious again and continues, "One Tree Hill - we were there last night, actually, the four of us just got up there but, ah... It was the first night we came into New Zealand [in 1984]. We went, ah... I actually couldn't sleep and I met some people who also couldn't sleep who were hangin' in the hotel, and they took me up to One Tree Hill. So I associate it with the first night. And also, it was the first conversation I had with Greg Carroll... was about One Tree Hill and what it was a symbol of originally for the Maori people, and the like." It is obvious that Bono does not want to dwell on the painful past, and he seems to be searching for a quick way out. He finds it by simply adding, "And it's now... a song."

During the tour that followed, U2 played to 155,000 fans in three New Zealand cities. In a country with a population of only 3.4 million, U2 had been extremely well received.


Chris
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Old 07-09-2002, 12:17 PM   #5
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We run like a river, run to the sea, we run like a river to the sea. And when it's raining, raining hard, that's when the rain will break my heart.
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Old 07-09-2002, 12:30 PM   #6
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It is such a beautiful song. And so sad....
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:15 PM   #7
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:(

*plays one tree hill*

I never knew why that was written.....i liked all those wee stories- very sad though!
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Old 07-09-2002, 05:40 PM   #8
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My beloved grandmother passed away while I was pregnant with my first kid. I remember standing at the cemetary in the rain, crying, and looking up to see a perfecty shaped hill with one tree on it. The next year when JT came out and I heard One Tree Hill, it reminded me of the funeral. When I read the lyrics sheet and saw that it was written about their friend whose funeral was the same day and year as my grandmother's considering the international dateline, it gave me the chills. What a U2 connection. Now her hill has many trees, and the one in the song now has no tree. Sorry to tell such a sad tale of coincidence, but the anniversary and the song reminded me of it.

"See you again when the stars fall from the sky, and the moon has turned red over one tree hill"
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Old 07-09-2002, 07:12 PM   #9
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This has always been one of my top 3 U2 songs. I have been a fan for 16 years. This says a lot. I think it is the best song Bono has ever written, and it brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. I tend to listen to it whenever I am depressed, and for some reason it brings me up...

Here is a pic of Ali and Bono at the funeral:



A pic of One Tree Hill:

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Old 07-09-2002, 07:44 PM   #10
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Definitely my favorite JT track. I absolutely LOVE it!
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by GypsyHeartgirl
My beloved grandmother passed away while I was pregnant with my first kid. I remember standing at the cemetary in the rain, crying, and looking up to see a perfecty shaped hill with one tree on it. The next year when JT came out and I heard One Tree Hill, it reminded me of the funeral. When I read the lyrics sheet and saw that it was written about their friend whose funeral was the same day and year as my grandmother's considering the international dateline, it gave me the chills. What a U2 connection. Now her hill has many trees, and the one in the song now has no tree. Sorry to tell such a sad tale of coincidence, but the anniversary and the song reminded me of it.

"See you again when the stars fall from the sky, and the moon has turned red over one tree hill"
GypsyHeartgirl, thanks for sharing your story. It is such an amazing U2 connection!
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:37 PM   #12
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Chris and Olive - thanks for all of the history regarding Greg Carroll. I never knew much about him before so I appreciate the info. It's a very sad story.
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:10 PM   #13
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I just found this, in the u2 history:

1987: 'U2 perform in Brussels, Belgium at Vorst Nationaal. U2 play a small date inbetween nine stadium shows. The show is only 8,000 people, but results in a fantastic atmosphere. Bono dedicates "Bad" to his friend Greg Carroll who was buried in New Zealand one year ago. "This is a song we filmed in this building, maybe two years ago...and the camera recorded a very special concert. But the star of the camera was not the band. The star of the camera was a guy called Greg Carroll. He used to just stand there. On this day last year, a few of us arrived in New Zealand, in in Wanagnui. Greg Carroll was a member of the Maori tribe, and his tribe sent him off...forever. We were very proud to be guests at the burying of Greg Carroll this time last year, and we play this song for Greg Carroll this year..."
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:17 PM   #14
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and another..

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 firends 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 attended the funeral. "The Joshua Tree" album is dedicated to Carroll''s memory. '
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Old 07-13-2002, 10:21 AM   #15
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So sad!
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Old 07-13-2002, 01:21 PM   #16
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This thread is very sad but quite beautiful.
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Old 07-14-2002, 10:54 PM   #17
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Thank you everyone for shedding some light on my favourite U2 song - one of their best, most beautiful and most haunting, imo.
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