The Edge

The Edge Biography.com

Guitarist, Musician(1961–)
The Edge is the lead guitarist for the hugely successful rock band U2.

Summary

David Evans, later known as the Edge, was born in East London in 1961. In high school, Evens joined fellow classmates in forming a band, which soon was called U2. In 1980, the band released its first album, Boy , quickly followed by October and War. With each record, the band gained more fans and more fame, and with their 1987 release, The Joshua Tree , U2's reputation would forever be secure. The Edge is known for his stripped-down, reverb-laden guitar riffs, a style that has come to signify U2's sound as much as Bono's signature vocals.  

Early Years

David Howell Evans, later known widely as the Edge, was born in Barking, Essex, in East London, on August 8, 1961. When Evans was a year old, his family moved to Dublin, Ireland, and Evans took up lifelong residence.

In 1976, walking down the hall at Mount Temple Comprehensive High School, Evans saw a note pinned to the school bulletin board. It was written by Larry Mullen Jr., a 14-year-old drummer, and it was a solicitation for any student who might want to form a rock band. Evans, who played both piano and guitar, quickly responded and showed up at Mullen’s house. Also signing on were Paul Hewson (aka Bono) and Adam Clayton, both of whom Evans already knew from school.

The band chose the name Feedback and later became The Hype before settling on U2. Another name change came as well, as Bono soon renamed Evans “the Edge,” a name that would stick with him throughout his career.

U2

A few years later, the band, now officially U2, signed a record deal with Island Records and released their first LP, Boy (1980). The record was unpolished and raw, and it showed the band’s talent at its most nascent. The band’s next album, October (1981), explored spiritual themes, and War (1983) showed the first signs that the band wouldn’t be content creating rock-and-roll without adding social commentary. War was U2’s first bona fide smash, and it propelled them to a level from which they would never return and one they would spend the next several decades surpassing by leaps and bounds.

In 1985, the band released The Unforgettable Fire, which contained the hit single “Pride (In the Name of Love).” While U2 was previously on the rise, with their new album, they were undeniable rock stars, and that would only increase with 1987’s The Joshua Tree.

The Joshua Tree would once again take the band to new heights of success, fame and artistic expression, and it went on to become one of the top-selling albums of all time and cement U2’s reputation as musicians who mattered. It also spawned a massive worldwide tour and a live album, Rattle and Hum (1988).

Subsequent releases have varied from experimental (1993’s Zooropa and 1997’s Pop) to traditional (2000’s All You Can’t Leave Behind and 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb), but U2’s influence, energy and fans have never shown any signs to wavering.

U2

U2 at the Q magazine Awards in London in 2011. Image: Featureflash / Shutterstock

Personal Life

The Edge married married Aislinn O’Sullivan in 1983. They have three daughters together. The pair divorced in 1996. 

In 2002, the Edge married Morleigh Steinberg, an American dancer who performed in two U2 music videos and whom the band employed for their ZOO TV tour. They have two children.

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