WHO? Guitarist with U2, known as Dave Evans to his mates.
Born: August 8th, 1961, East London – so no, he’s not Irish
Background: Began playing the guitar at nine, and formed
‘The Hype’ al school with Adam Clayton on bass and his mate Paul
Hewson on vocals. The early setlist included Moody Blues covers and
Peter Frampton songs.
The Way To The Top: The band’s name changed to
U2 in 1979 but they were often billed as ‘The U2’s’. At this time
Paul became Bono and Dave became The Edge. Adam, after a
brief but intense renaming session, remained simply ‘Adam·.
The band signed to lsland Records in 1980.
Guitar Style: The Edge has never been one for Aash
lead pyrotechnics. He once slagged off fast lead guitar playing as
“more a form of athletics than anything else.” From The early days,
he’s played strange chiming drone chords (often without 3rds and
using octaves and 5ths) through a mystical quantity of old delay
units, vintage distortion pedals, and his ubiquitous Vox AC30 amps.
Personality: Once offered a journo “a good kicking in
the bollocks” for slagging off the vast U2 Rattle & Hum media fest.
Now refuses all but the most pressing of journalistic engagements.
Reputation: Everyone respects Edge. Even blues
veteran BB King once remarked that he was the finest rhythm
guitarist alive. The fact that BB was enjoying a considerable career
revival playing with U2 was entirely unconnected to his statement.
Influences: Influences? Pah! The Edge is one of the
true guitar pioneers. His work with Eno on The Unforgettable Fire,
Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and Zooropa may have helped to hone
his sound, but his use of effects (particularly delays) in and out of
the studio has always been revolutionary. Rather tawdry blues
playing on Rattle & Hum diminished his image somewhat.
Guitar Tricks: Most U2 songs are born from improvisation or just chance. Edge often sets a delay (possibly one of his favourites, a Memory Man Deluxe) for a
crotchet echo, tapes down the strings with gaffer’s tape to mute them and plays simple two-note chord lines. In this way, he has created such gems as Pride (In The Name Of Love) and Where The Streets Have No Name.
Most Likely To Say: Get in time Adam; that’s a dotted note!
Least Likely To Say: Nice Van Halen Solo, that.