Happy Birthday to The Edge!

For Dave Evans’ 52nd birthday, an excerpt from U2 FAQ by John D. Luerssen.

The Edge

By the time Edge had stepped up to Mount Temple in 1973, he began to take guitar lessons. A relatively shy boy who was small for his age, Dave found the bigger environs of his next school, Mount Temple, and the action on the Mall somewhat intimidating. Throughout 1974 and 1975, he mostly kept to himself and focused on his studies, while honing his musical skills.

Edge did make a couple of friends, including future Leeds United soccer player Stephen Balcombe. Another friend, named David “Barney” Barnett, was a drummer in a garage band. After witnessing their practice, Dave Evans was sure he had found his calling.

Meanwhile, Dick had grown tired of playing the Beatles’ catalog on an acoustic guitar and was determined to do something about it. Dick wanted to go electric, and much like Garvin he had a talent for building things. Inspired by a magazine at the time called Everyday Electronics, which boasted a cover story on how to build an electric guitar, the Evans’ oldest son did in fact craft the instrument – a yellow guitar in the shape of a flying swan – in the family shed with the help of a friend, Barry O’Connell, while Dave watched in awe.

When he was fourteen, Dave first met Bono on the grounds of Mount Temple when the latter – by now a notorious personality on the Mall – witnessed him playing songs from the Fab Four’s songbook on an acoustic guitar during a lunch break. A brief conversation about guitar ensued, but the discussion was short lived.

In September 1976, Edge, now fifteen, learned from his mother that a boy from his past, Adam Clayton, was going to Mount Temple. Looking, as Edge would later describe him, as “an albino Bootsy Collins,” the weird new hippie kid he saw with the rest of the sixth-form smoking fraternity was indeed the guy he had known when he was seven.

Days later, Dave’s music teacher, Albert Bradshaw told him that a younger classmate, Larry Mullen, had posted a flyer around the school announcing that he was starting a band. After tracking down the aspiring drummer, he explained he wanted to attend the audition at Larry’s house. He would bring his older brother Dick, and his homemade electric guitar.


These are just some of the topics U2 FAQ explores:  How did Bono recover his cherished suitcase of lyrics 23 years after its 1981 disappearance? What movie dialogue is sampled in the middle of “Seconds”? What effect did bull’s blood have on Larry’s drumming? How did Bono’s visit to Central America inform The Joshua Tree? What are the details of Adam’s 1989 marijuana bust? How did Mick Jagger wind up on All That You Can’t Leave Behind? Award-winning music journalist John D. Luerssen goes beyond the essential facts, delving into the legendary fables and unique anecdotes that make U2 FAQ an indispensable read for all U2 disciples.



Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on August 8, 2013, in Music Fans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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