Where the Streets Have No Name: U2’s Joshua Tree

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. In 1987, Irish band U2 released their fifth album titled, “The Joshua Tree“, a sort of love letter to America represented images of California’s Mojave Desert. The album artwork included photos of the band in various desert locations including Zabriskie Point at Death Valley National Park and a strikingly solitary joshua tree – chosen for its unique situation since joshua trees normally grow in forests. The location of the joshua tree became a pilgrimage for U2 fans, though the tree was difficult to find. Many believed the tree was located in Joshua Tree National Park – a logical assumption – when in fact the tree was located just outside of Death Valley National Park, a few hundred miles away.

For those who did find the location of the joshua tree, the site became a shrine to the band and the album with rock art, visitor logs, offerings of booze and momentos, and a bronze plaque that reads, “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?” The joshua tree itself died in 2000, but the remains of the tree and the shrine still exist in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Located on Lower Centennial Flat off CA Highway 190, the site is near the Darwin Road – turnoff for the mysterious desert community of Darwin. Visited infrequently, the shrine still marks a gathering place in the desert, as even the few hearty souls who make the trek leave an impression on the fragile landscape.

The Joshua Tree in 1994 by Joho345 www.atU2.com

The Joshua Tree in 1994 by Joho345 www.atU2.com




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