The title for Hawkmoon 269 came from a road side Bono saw while on tour, the sign referred to Hawkmoon being 269 miles away... Bono liked the sound of this, and used it for the song title.
John Boshears jboshearedukeep.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
Quote from: RATTLE AND HUM U2 NATIONWIDE RADIO BROADCAST, OCTOBER 26, 1988
Bono: "The other side of U2 is Hawkmoon. I'd like to say that, uh... I mean I called it Hawkmoon 269 because... It seems to me... Well, it's a reference to a few people, like one of my favorite writers Sam Shepard, but also to... It's a motel room in my imagination somewhere..."
[At this point, in my opinion, Bono realizes that he has been too serious (too revealing?) Then he slips into his "joke mode". You can hear it in his voice as he says...]
"But the 269 isn't actually a motel room, it's the fact that we mixed it two hundred and sixty-nine times before we got it right [Band laughs], and, uh [Bono laughs] we're that professional MAN."
Dan Eliot deliotearthlink.net (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)