Twenty-five years ago today, U2 released their paramount record, The Joshua Tree. The record was intended to be a spiritual quest for Bono: A meditative dissection of the "spoiled child" he saw in American culture. Before Bono blessed the area with his humanitarian spirit, however, many other musicians visited the Joshua Tree in pursuits of (somewhat) similar spiritual quests. To this day, there continues to be a substantial and very specific group of artists who inhabit the area.
The area of Joshua Tree, Calif., is located in the Mojave Desert, a location said to be a metaphysical and spiritual mecca for artists and musicians -- specifically, artists and musicians who like to participate in recreational psychedelic drug use. The most famous "trips" to Joshua Tree, a few of which ended in death, happened in the late 60's and 70's. There's something hypnotic and magnanimous about the destination.
So magnanimous that the Joshua Tree knew we were looking for it, and it presented itself to us. Two days ago -- when we were originally supposed to start writing this piece -- we flipped on the television to the "Joshua Tree" episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. In this episode, he hangs out with Queens of the Stone Age vocalist Josh Homme, who was born in the area.
In unrelated honor of U2's Diamond-certified record, we're revisiting the trips of a few psychedelic rockers and current inhabitants of Joshua Tree.