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Famous Like Me > Composer > E > The Edge

Profile of The Edge on Famous Like Me

Name: The Edge  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 8th August 1961
Place of Birth: Barking, Essex, England, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
The Edge

David Howell Evans (born August 8, 1961, Barking, Essex (now in Greater London, England), nickname the Edge, is the lead guitarist of the Irish rock band U2.


Dave Evans, who was known as a loner in high school, took piano and guitar lessons and often performed with his brother Dik Evans before they both answered an ad posted by Larry Mullen, Jr. seeking musicians to form a rock band. This band would go through several incarnations before emerging as U2 in March 1978 (Dick Evans left the band just before the name change).

Evans married his high school girlfriend Aislinn O'Sullivan. The couple had three daughters together: Hollie, Arun and Blue Angel. Evans and O'Sullivan separated in 1991 but could not divorce because of Irish law. They were divorced in 1996, after divorce was legalized in 1995.

In October 1997, Evans had a fourth daughter, Sian, with Morleigh Steinberg, a dancer from U2's early 1990s Zoo TV Tour. Their son Levi was born in September 1999. The couple married in June 2002.


Many ask how Evans received the nickname "The Edge", many suggest it is because of his edgy guitar style. Others say it is because he rarely became involved with things, prefering rather to 'stay on the edge'. However Bono has said he got that name because of his sharp mind.

As a guitar player, Evans is recognised as having a trademark sound typified by understatement and a focus on textured melody. 1987's The Joshua Tree is probably the best example of the 'U2 sound', with songs like "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" being amongst the band's most critically acclaimed and best loved work. The album was recorded at the height of the 80's "shred-metal" era, but Evans's guitar playing on it could not be further from the emphasis of the time on technique and speed (often at the expense of the song having any kind of emotional depth or meaning). The album showcases Evans's approach to the guitar – rather than trying to push his guitar to the front of the mix and make his contributions obvious, Evans focuses on the song and the mood, often contributing just a few simple lead lines along with the ever-present delay pedal set to repeat the 16th-note. The intro riff to "Where the Streets Have No Name" is simply a repeated 4-note arpeggio. Evans also supplies the backing vocals for U2's singer Bono, and whilst he may not have as great a voice as some, Evans's backing vocals (often taking the form of a repeated cry) add much to songs like "Beautiful Day". Evans sings the lead vocal on a few U2 recordings. These include "Van Diemen's Land" (Rattle and Hum), "Seconds" (War), and "Numb" (Zooropa) as well as a solo rendition of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on some Popmart dates. The Edge also sings the final verse of "Miracle Drug" on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Much like his contemporary, Tom Morello, Evans has stated that many of his guitar parts are based around guitar effects. This is especially true from the Achtung Baby era onwards, although many of the band's 80's material made heavy use of echo. His influence as a guitarist can be seen on many bands still active such as Radiohead, Coldplay and much of the indie/ alternative scene.

Instruments: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Bass (on "40")

Solo recordings

In addition to his regular gig playing with U2, Evans has also recorded with artists like Johnny Cash, B. B. King, Tina Turner, and Ron Wood.

The Edge connected with Eno and Lanois collaborator Michael Brook (the creator of the infinite guitar which his regularily uses), working with him on the score to the film Captive (1986).

He has also created the theme song for the new Batman cartoon.

See Also

  • Rolling Stone's List of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article The Edge