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April 13th, 2004

(no subject) @ 02:19 pm

jentwo:
(this was cross-posted to my personal journal a few days ago, so I apologize for the repetition for some of you!)


Recently I took a trip to Death Valley, and just outside of the park lies the remains of THE Joshua tree. This was my second attempt at locating it, and with my both of my parents along this time, we were successful.

Click on the image below to view an album of pictures we shot of the tree.




Another fan constructed a plaque, and someone else left a vinyl copy of the album to serve as a guestbook. Another guestbook --this one in the form of a notebook and pencils inside a thick plastic tube, can be found at the site. If you live or ever find yourself in southern California, I think it's well worth the effort to search for the tree. It was a fun challenge and extremely rewarding when it paid off in the end!
 
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From:lancelot10
Date:April 13th, 2004 03:52 pm (UTC)
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truly awesome :)

I'll make it someday...
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From:screendoor3
Date:April 13th, 2004 04:00 pm (UTC)
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That is one exodus I have to make. It is on my to do list.
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From:rob_dl
Date:April 13th, 2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
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awesome!

i'm going out to LA this summer. will def look for the joshua tree.
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From:jentwo
Date:April 13th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC)
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It is quite a bit north of LA, and not in Joshua Tree National Park at all. Most people make that assumption. It's actually closer to Lone Pine, CA on the way from there to Death Valley.
From:rakksi
Date:April 13th, 2004 05:53 pm (UTC)
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i live in southern AZ so it's definitely a possibility for me!

thanks for sharing - sounds like a fun roadtrip for the summer.:)
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From:zoeverve
Date:April 13th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC)

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Wow. I just love finding new depths in old passions.

I might be ignorant...whatever....but I never knew there was a significance to "The Joshua Tree" as a title. What is the story behind the actual tree? What does it all mean, please? I am so interested!

Peace,
~*~Zoe
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From:jentwo
Date:April 13th, 2004 06:41 pm (UTC)
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This is my understanding, if anyone has different or additional knowledge, I'd love their input:

As they were writing the album, I think they had America in mind, and the imagery of the desert and the West in particular. I think it was in December 1986 that they came to southern California for a photo shoot with Anton Corbijn, who has worked for them for years.

Anton was fascinated by the Joshua trees in the southwest, and he talked about them a lot. However, in his Dutch accent it came out sounding like "yoshua," and this amused the members of the band. They tried to get him to say that word as often as possible.

Supposedly they went to Joshua Tree National Park to shoot photos, but they had difficulty locating one tree all by itself --they tend to grow in bunches of hundreds if not thousands.

Next, they traveled to Death Valley National Park, and it was at a place called Zabriskie Point where they shot the cover of the album.

From here they headed much further north, to a ghost town called Bodie. However, on their way there they located a very pictureque looking Joshua tree out in the middle of nowhere, with no other members of its species around. They tramped about a half-mile off the road and shot a number of pictures with it. The silhouette of this tree made a very striking symbol. I think the whole experience and the imagery of the trees inspired them to name the album for the Joshua tree.

This particular tree toppled over sometime in the fall of 2000. A fan found it that way just a few weeks before All That You Can't Leave Behind was released. It is believed to have collapsed naturally, and there is some evidence that a small gully of water may have eroded some of the soil near its roots. But since this is a very dry area of the desert, vegetation decays at an extremely slow pace, and the "corpse" of the tree is surprisingly intact. It's harder to find now, but if you know where to stop and where to look, it can be seen from the road.
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From:zoeverve
Date:April 13th, 2004 06:44 pm (UTC)

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Wow. Ok. So the Joshua tree is a species of tree then? Not some Biblical or historical reference or something? Ah ha, I see. Thank you so so very much!

Peace,
~*~Zoe
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From:jentwo
Date:April 13th, 2004 10:52 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it is a species of tree, and I believe it is related to the Yucca plant, as well as being a member of the lily family, believe it or not.

Supposedly the Mormons gave it the name as they traveled across the Mojave desert in the 1850's, because the branches spread upwards in all directions reminded them of Joshua, beckoning them to the promised land.

In a way, naming an album after it sounds kind of ridiculous, like, "The Saguaro Cactus" or "The Tumbleweed." U2 really thought people were going to laugh at their silly album title. Little did they know! =)
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From:stateless
Date:April 15th, 2004 04:29 pm (UTC)
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it can be seen from the road? hrm.

i don't think they were looking for a lone joshua tree, i think they just spotted it and were intrigued.

:-)
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From:jentwo
Date:April 15th, 2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
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it can be seen from the road? hrm.

Yes, not easily, and probably only if you've found it and know exactly where to look. It may help if the sun is low in the sky towards the west, creating more distinct shadows.

It's probably 1/3 to 1/2 a mile from the road, so it's not terribly obvious.
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From:stateless
Date:April 16th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC)
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hm. thanks. will talk to you more about it soon-ish, probably. :-)
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From:jentwo
Date:April 16th, 2004 12:33 pm (UTC)
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I expect there will be some exchanging of email and photos before your next trip up that way. ;-)
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From:stateless
Date:April 16th, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC)
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exactly. :-)

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