U2: Three Chords and the Truth

Edge's biography

Edge was born David Howell Evans in East London on 8th August 1961 to Garvin and Gwenda Evans. He has one sister, Jill, and one brother, Dik, who was also one of the founder members of U2's forerunner, The Hype, before leaving to join the Virgin Prunes. Having moved to Ireland while David was still at school, the Evans family settled in St. Mary Park Road, Malahide - an affluent area north of Dublin. His mother was friendly with Adam's mother, Jo, so he and Adam knew each other before the band was formed. It was while in Malahide that he attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School and met the rest of the band.

Many theories exist concerning how Edge came to get his unusual name. As teenagers, he and Bono were both members of a group called Lypton Village, where everyone was given a name that suited them (as opposed to the one they'd been born with). Some say that the name The Edge was chosen due to his 'edgy' style of guitar playing, while others say it was because he rarely became fully involved in things, preferring instead to remain 'on the edge'. Either way, the name stuck.

Edge learned guitar mainly by playing over records that the rest of the band supplied him with. Rory Gallagher and Tom Verlaine were early influences, although the fledgeling U2 covered anything from The Moody Blues to The Sex Pistols - in fact it was the realisation that they were not a good cover band that forced them to start writing their own material and become good. Edge developed a distinctive style that he described as "doing the work of two", as he liked to fill every spare moment with guitar. He has always seen himself as the opposite of the stereotypical guitar hero, preferring instead to think of himself as someone who communicates something meaningful through his music in a way that means something to the listener. While some detractors claim that Edge's style is simplistic, others have praised him for defining his own sound.

On leaving school, Edge was torn between pursuing his career with the band and going to university to become a doctor. However, medicine's loss was music's gain, and Edge's career with U2 was settled. Having said that, he also struggled with the conflict between his Christian beliefs and the lifestyle that tends to come with success in a rock band. He seriously considered leaving the band at one point early in their career but fortunately, Bono talked him round. You have to remember that during the Boy and October eras, Bono, Edge and Larry were regular attenders at the Shalom Christian Fellowship in Dublin. They took their faith seriously and there was a real possibility that the band could have split because of it.

In 1983, Edge married Aislinn O'Sullivan, and they had 3 daughters together - Hollie, Arun, and Blue Angel. The couple separated in 1990 though, and were legally divorced 6 years later. Much of the lyrical content of Achtung Baby related to Edge and the break up of his marriage at that time. Edge's divorce has often been cited as one of the reasons why the recording of that album was so diffucult. In 1993 he began dating Morleigh Steinberg, who had been chosen as the belly dancer and choreographer for part of the ZooTV tour, and in October 1997 they had a daughter, Sian. Just 2 years later, a son named Levi was born. In June 2002 Edge and Morleigh married, first in a civil ceremony in Dublin on the 18th, then at a Jewish service in Eze-sur-Mer in the south of France on the 23rd. You can see a photo of the day here. The pair also bought a new home in Killiney next door to Bono and Ali for 10 million Euros.

Edge was at the centre of the missing CD débacle in July 2004 when his demo copy of U2's newest and as yet unreleased album (which would turn out to be How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb) was stolen in the south of France. He felt particularly bad that 2 years' work had gone just like that, especially as the songs were still in an unfinished state. Bono said at the time that if any of the songs leaked online, the band would release the album immediately but as it turned out, no songs made their way onto the internet and the release went ahead as planned.

In 2005, the South American and Australian legs of the Vertigo tour had to be called off after the child of a band member was diagnosed with leukemia. No official announcement has ever been made as to whose child was involved, but it's widely believed to have been Edge's daughter. For a time, it seemed that the rest of the tour might be cancelled altogether but fortunately for all concerned, the unnamed child made a good recovery and the affected dates were all rescheduled for the following year.

In 2006, Edge bought 156 acres of land in Malibu, California for $9 million, with the intention of building several luxury homes on it (including his own) but has faced strenuous objections from conservationists, local government and neighbouring home owners. The homes were planned to be eco-friendly but so far all applications have been turned down by the California Coastal Commission. Edge and other interested developers have since announced their intention to sue the CCC.

In 2007, Edge and Bono began work on a broadway musical, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark. After years of delays, onstage accidents, cast departures, budget overruns and scathing reviews, the show ended up the most expensive ever staged on Broadway, with total costs of around $65 million. It seems highly unlikely that Edge will ever see any return on his investment! In 2008, Edge got together with Jimmy Page and Jack White to record a guitar documentary entitled It Might Get Loud, which looked at the careers and playing styles of the 3 men and was altogether better received than Spiderman.

Random U2 lyric:

"With a mouth full of teeth, you ate all your friends and you broke every heart thinking every heart mends" - Crumbs From Your Table

My U2 ramblings:

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