The Joshua tree immortalized by U2’s award-winning 1987 album has been deliberately damaged.
Countless fans of the Irish band have made the pilgrimage into the Mohave Desert to stand and gawp at the tree, which appeared on the cover for U2’s fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree. One who has repeatedly made the trek has reported the tree had been hacked at, and is now missing a limb.
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“I’ve been visiting U2’s Joshua Tree in the California desert for nearly 20 years now; the Mojave is my home,” notes the user Hwy 190 in a post on the U2 Forum. “This past Sunday, I made my proverbial yearly hike out to the Tree with my dog to reminisce only to find that some hack and I do mean hack, decided it was a bright idea to take a hacksaw to one of the Tree’s limbs – evidently to remove an inch thick cross section as a souvenir.” Consequence of Sound has posted a picture of the damaged tree.
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The tree, photographed by Anton Corbijn for the iconic artwork, toppled over sometime around year 2000. Though that hasn’t deterred the visitors. “My cynical belief is that some jack-ass climbed the tree and while saying “take my picture dude” the additional weight keeled the tree over,” notes Hwy 190. “In short, leave the damn Tree alone, so that future fans can enjoy it. Left alone, the Tree will be there for many, many decades to come.
U2’s The Joshua Tree cemented their status as the biggest band on the planet. The set peaked at No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and across Europe and is now diamond certified by the RIAA.