Set designer for the Stones and U2 -
Mark Fisher RIP

Mark Fisher, the stage designer and architect who created sets for some of the world's biggest music shows, including the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary tour that finished its North American run Monday in Washington, D.C., died last week in London.

Fisher died in his sleep at a hospice after a long, undisclosed illness, according to an announcement on the website of Stufish, the company he co-founded. He was 66.

Fisher worked on every Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and U2 tour for the past two decades and was senior designer for the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. He helped create both Pink Floyd's groundbreaking tour for The Wall, as well as U2's 360 tour in 2009.

U2 had a particularly productive relationship with Fisher, who designed the eye-popping  Zoo Station, Popmart, and 360 sets.  The 360 stage was comprised of those now famous claws that stood as high as the stadium.

In the U2 coffee table book that came out in 2004, Fisher acknowledges the joy he felt working with U2 and their vision.

“On the Elevation tour, the band went with a heart-shaped stage,” he recalled. “The heart represents something so banal but so unassailably innocent and I think that was provocative. Mick and Keith never would go out on a stage like that.

“The Stones want a look that says we spent a lot of money and there is a toughness to the design. U2 on that tour took it back to John Lennon and the peace movement and, you know, what’s so banal about putting a symbol of love out there anyway?”

Like all big stadium shows, the stage is as much of the spectacle as the band itself, and Fisher’s designs set a high bar for U2. Imagine the embarrassment of being outperformed by your own stage!

“Mark Fisher's vision and genius was his ability to translate dreams into reality,” The Edge said in a statement. “With his talent and passion, he created designs which never failed to push every concept to the absolute limit. He made the impossible possible. And it always looked beautiful.

“Mark was a dearly beloved member of the U2 family and we shall all miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”