In 1974, Paul suffered a tragic and devastating loss, when his mother died of a brain aneurysm while attending her father’s funeral, an event that is believed by many to have sparked the flame for the U2 hit, “I will Follow”. Two years later, when Paul answered Larry Mullen’s post, he was neither an accomplished vocalist nor a guitar player, but his earnest charm, poetic lyrics, and theatrical demeanor won him the fitting position as the band’s front man and song writer.
Over the years, Bono’s social awareness and activism have lead him to meetings with such luminaries as the Pope, the Secretary General of the UN, Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, and Muhammed Ali as well as many entertainers in every genre. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for his successful efforts to relieve third world debt and promote AIDS awareness in Africa, Bono has been an active as well as vocal supporter of many charitable organizations including Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
Despite the “star status”, Bono continues to display a generosity and genuine interest in his audience and it carries over to all fans as demonstrated at the Live Aid Concert in July of 1985 when he vaulted a security barricade to dance with a woman in the crowd.
Married to long-time sweetheart, Alison Stewart in 1982, Bono and Ali continue to make their home in Dublin with their four children.
Dave (The Edge) Evans (Guitar) born August 8, 1961
"Above all else," the Edge said in his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech, "what U2 has tried to avoid over the last 25 years is ...being completely crap.”
With Evans on guitar, it was an easy goal to achieve. As Springsteen says about the Edge, "There are only a handful of guitar stylists who can create a world with their instruments, and he's one of them… It is a thrilling and a heartbreaking sound that hangs over you like the unsettled sky… it is grace and it is a gift."
Not only a gifted guitarist but also a guitar builder, Dave Evans was the first to respond to Larry Mullen’s note. Even at their first meeting, the Edge exhibited guitar-playing skills that rivaled those of veteran musicians.
When Evans was a year old, his family moved to Dublin from his birthplace in Barking, Essex in East London. Quiet and intelligent, Dave had ambitions to be a doctor but told his parents he would take a year before entering University to see how things went with the band.
In the 80’s the three professed Christians in the group, the Edge, Larry, and Bono, joined a religious group called Shalom. Differences between Christian mores and the hard and fast rock’n roll lifestyle nearly tore Evans away from the group, but he was finally able to reconcile the two and chose to stay with the group shortly before they cut the War album.
In 1983, The Edge married Aislinn O’Sullivan. The marriage lasted 7 years and the couple had three daughters. After a six-year separation, the couple was divorced and in 2002, Evans married Morleigh Steinberg, whom he had started dating in 1993.
"Adam always strikes me as the professorial one, the sophisticated member.” ---Bruce Springsteen
He struck the rest of the band in the same way from the beginning. As Bono said, "Adam used to pretend he could play bass. He came round and started using words like 'action' and 'fret' and he had us baffled."
The oldest member of the band, Adam was the only one with experience when the group formed. Along with playing bass, Adam managed the fledgling band and even after Paul McGuinness became U2’s manager in 1978, Adam still promoted the band’s demo tapes to anyone who would listen!
Born in Oxfordshire, England, when Adam was 5 years old his family moved to Yellow Walls Road in Malahide near Dublin. Maybe it was fate or maybe just his rebellious nature, but at age 16, Adam was expelled from St. Columbia’s boarding school at which time he began attending Mount Temple Comprehensive.
Caftan coats, tinted glasses, and bleached hair defined the fast-paced rock’n roll lifestyle that Adam embraced in lieu of the traditional Christian values of the other three members of U2. Still, Adam does believe in the spirituality of the band, saying, "I don't quite know what it is -- but I definitely know when it's there. It doesn't happen every night, but some nights there's a sense of community and fellowship. And people have said there's a spiritual aspect to what's been happening at the gigs."
Adam is the only single member of the band and has no children.
Larry was raised in Artane, Ireland on the north side of Dublin. In 1971, he began studying with Ireland’s most famous drummer, Joe Bonnie. It was Larry who placed the note on the bulletin board of Mount Temple Comprehensive School in the fall of 1976 and brought the band together. He’s fond of saying, “They (Bono and The Edge) are the ones who can sing and we (Adam Clayton and Larry) are the brains of the band.”
Undaunted by chronic tendonitis, Mullen plays today with specially designed drumsticks form ProMark. Further indication of his dedication to his craft came at the Hall of Fame induction, where he is quoted as saying, "…if I'm to be absolutely honest, I would really have liked this maybe 10 years down the line. But it's a great thing and I'm happy to have it. I would have preferred it later on, but, hey."
An avid fan of the Irish National Football Team, Larry co-wrote and co-produced the anthem "Put 'Em Under Pressure", for the World Cup in 1990. He and Adam Clayton also partnered on the theme for Mission: Impossible and played with “Automatic Baby" at President Bill Clinton's Inauguration at MTV's 1993 Inaugural Ball.
Off stage, Larry is a Harley Davidson owner who has been known to ride from gig to gig. An Elvis fan, Mullen is also interested in Karate.
He and his partner Ann have been together over 20 years and have three children.
U2 the early years brought the boys together and they have stayed together as friends ever since.