U2 – Vertigo
One of only a few bands to achieve consistent commercial and critical success across three decades, U2 has charted success on its own terms on both the artistic and business sides of the music industry. From the band’s earliest days in Dublin, Ireland, to the present, U2 has broken free from the traditional limitations of what a rock band — and rock music — could and couldn’t do. By combining an original sound with honest lyrics and a challenging social message, U2 has earned the respect of their peers and critics, and an almost fanatical following of fans around the world. This is their story.
U2 formed in Dublin in the fall of 1976 after 14-year-old Larry Mullen, Jr. posted a note on the bulletin board at his high school seeking musicians for a new band. From the group of hopefuls that showed up at Mullen’s home that first day, a five-piece known originally as “Feedback” formed with Mullen (born October 31, 1961) on drums, Adam Clayton (born March 13, 1960) on bass, Paul Hewson (later nicknamed “Bono Vox” and eventually just “Bono”, born May 10, 1960) on vocals, and Dave Evans (later nicknamed “The Edge”, born August 8, 1961) on guitar. Dave’s brother, Dick, also played guitar for a while, but left Feedback very early on to join another Dublin band, the Virgin Prunes.
Feedback quickly changed their name to “The Hype,” and began rehearsing on weekends and after school as often as possible, forming genuine friendships and developing an undeniable chemistry in the process. After nearly 18 months of rehearsing, the band’s big break came at a talent show in Limerick, Ireland, in March, 1978. With CBS Records’ Jackie Hayden judging, U2 (they had just changed their name again) won the contest, earning a £500 prize and studio time to record their first demo.