I have a daily feature at 9am on my show called The Classic Hits Collection.

Each day, three songs are played on a different theme.

Last week, one of the songs I played was from one of the world's top selling albums, U2's One Tree Hill from The Joshua Tree.

When the album was released in March of 1987, it topped the charts in more than 20 countries and became the fastest-selling album in British history.


It took the Irish band from local heroes to superstars and won them a Grammy Award for album of the year and Best Rock performance by a Group in 1988.

It produced the hit singles With or Without You, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Where The Streets Have No Name.

The track I played was One Tree Hill, which has special significance not just to New Zealand, but to my home town of Whanganui.

U2 frontman Bono works the crowd on stage during an Auckland show in 2010
U2 frontman Bono works the crowd on stage during an Auckland show in 2010

Bono wrote the song about his personal assistant Greg Carroll who came from Whanganui but was sadly killed in a motorcycle accident in Dublin in 1986. He was just 26.

Bono met Greg Carroll on U2's first trip to New Zealand in 1984 for the Unforgettable Fire tour.

While they were in Auckland, Bono went out on the town with a group of locals who wanted to show them around Auckland.

One of the locals was Greg Carroll who had been hired by the band as a roadie for the tour.

They took Bono up One Tree Hill.


That midnight excursion up One Tree Hill left a lasting impression on the Irish singer and so when Bono received the tragic news of his close friends death he penned the song One Tree Hill following the tangi in Whanganui on July 10, 1986, which Bono and other U2 band members attended.

If you check the liner notes on the back cover of the album it reads, To The Memory of Greg Carroll 1960-1986.

A fitting tribute to a respected Kiwi.

The Joshua Tree Supplied by Universal
The Joshua Tree Supplied by Universal