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THE EDGE

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BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS
Full Name: David Howell Evans

Description: Vocalist , Composer, Guitarist, UK
Known For: Member of U2.

Instruments: Guitar, keyboards, vocals, bass guitar
Music Styles: Rock, post-punk, alternative rock

Location: United Kingdom

Date Born: 8th August 1961
Location Born: London, United Kingdom

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CONTACT DETAILS
Web Site: U2.com , official U2 site

Other Links: See below:

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

The Edge

David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961), better known by his stage name The Edge (or just Edge), is a British-born Irish musician, songwriter and singer best known as the lead guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist of the rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 13 studio albums with the band as well as one solo record. As a guitarist, the Edge has crafted a minimalistic and textural style of playing. His use of a rhythmic delay effect yields a distinctive ambient, chiming sound that has become a signature of U2’s music.

The Edge was born in Essex, England to a Welsh family, and was raised in Ireland after moving there as an infant. In 1976, at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, he formed U2 with his fellow students and his older brother Dik. Inspired by the ethos of punk rock and its basic arrangements, the group began to write its own material. They eventually became one of the most popular acts in popular music, with successful albums such as 1987’s The Joshua Tree and 1991’s Achtung Baby. Over the years, the Edge has experimented with various guitar effects and introduced influences from several genres of music into his own style, including American roots music, industrial music, and alternative rock. With U2, the Edge has also played keyboards, co-produced their 1993 record Zooropa, and occasionally contributed lyrics. The Edge met his second and current wife, Morleigh Steinberg, through her collaborations with the band.

As a member of U2 and as an individual, the Edge has campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes. He co-founded Music Rising, a charity to support musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has collaborated with U2 bandmate Bono on several projects, including songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner, and the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. Several music publications have ranked the Edge among the greatest guitarists of all time.

David Howell Evans was born at the Barking Maternity Hospital, Essex, England. He is the second child of Welsh parents Garvin and Gwenda Evans. They were from Llanelli, a town in the heart of the industrial South Wales. Garvin was an engineer and worked for the local electricity board and then took a job with the electronics company Plessey. The Edge has an older brother Richard (often called Dick) and a little sister called Gillian.

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The Evanses lived in Chadwell Heath, but some time around 1962, Garvin was offered a promotion, and a transfer. Edge’s parents made the decision to leave Chadwell Heath and moved to County Dublin, Ireland, when Edge was one year old.

Growing up, said Edge in U2 by U2, he had two different accents, one he would use to communicate with his family and the other for his friends: “The reason for this dual identity was mainly to be understood by my peers, but also to be accepted.”

The Edge attended St Andrew’s National School. He received piano and guitar lessons and often performed with his brother Dik Evans before they both answered an advertisement posted by Larry Mullen Jr. at their school, Mount Temple Comprehensive School, seeking musicians to form a band. The band accepted both of them. This band went through several incarnations before emerging as U2 in March 1978 (Dik Evans left the band just before the name change). U2 began performing in various venues in Ireland and eventually began developing a following. Their debut album, Boy, was released in 1980.

In 1981, leading up to the October Tour, Evans came very close to leaving U2 for religious reasons, but he decided to stay. During this period, he became involved with a group called Shalom Tigers, in which bandmates Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. were also involved. Shortly after deciding to remain with the band, he wrote a piece of music that later became “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. The Edge married his secondary school girlfriend Aislinn O’Sullivan on 12 July 1983. The couple had three daughters together: Hollie in 1984, Arran in 1985 and Blue Angel in 1989. The couple separated in 1990, but were unable to get officially divorced because of Irish laws regarding marriage annulment; divorce was legalised in 1995 and the couple were legally divorced in 1996.

In 1993, The Edge began dating Morleigh Steinberg, a professional dancer and choreographer employed by the band as a belly dancer during the Zoo TV Tour. They had a daughter, Sian (born 1997), and a son, Levi (born 25 October 1999), before marrying on 22 June 2002. He appeared in the 2009 music documentary film It Might Get Loud. The Edge has been criticised for his efforts to build five luxury mansions on a 156-acre plot of land in Malibu, California. The California Coastal Commission voted 8–4 against the plans, with the project described by the commission’s executive director, Peter Douglas, as “In 38 years…one of the three worst projects that I’ve seen in terms of environmental devastation. … It’s a contradiction in terms – you can’t be serious about being an environmentalist and pick this location.” The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy agreed to remain neutral on the issue following a $1 million donation from The Edge and a commitment from The Edge to designate 100 acres of the land as open space for public footpaths.

In 2015, in Vancouver, Canada, for the opener of U2’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE (U2ie) tour, The Edge fell off the edge of the stage catwalk while performing the encore number “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, suffering some minor cuts and scrapes.

As a guitar player, The Edge has a sound typified by a low-key playing style, a chiming, shimmering sound (thanks in part to the sound of Vox AC30s) that he achieves with extensive use of delay effects and reverb. The feedback delay is often set to a dotted eighth note (3/16 of a measure), and the feedback gain is adjusted until a note played repeats two or three times.

On 1987’s The Joshua Tree, The Edge often contributes just a few simple lead lines given depth and richness by an ever-present delay. For example, the introduction to “Where the Streets Have No Name” is simply a repeated six-note arpeggio, broadened by a modulated delay effect. The Edge has said that he views musical notes as “expensive”, in that he prefers to play as few notes as possible. He said in 1982 of his style,

I like a nice ringing sound on guitar, and most of my chords I find two strings and make them ring the same note, so it’s almost like a 12-string sound. So for E I might play a B, E, E and B and make it ring. It works very well with the Gibson Explorer. It’s funny because the bass end of the Explorer was so awful that I used to stay away from the low strings, and a lot of the chords I played were very trebly, on the first four, or even three strings. I discovered that through using this one area of the fretboard I was developing a very stylized way of doing something that someone else would play in a normal way.

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The Edge also supplies the backing vocals for U2. U2’s 1983 live album and video release, Under a Blood Red Sky and Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky are good reference points for his singing (as are the live DVDs from the Elevation Tour, U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle and Elevation 2001: Live from Boston). For example, he sings the chorus to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (Bono harmonises on the final ‘Sunday’). U2 used this tradeoff technique later in “Bullet the Blue Sky” as well. His backing vocals are sometimes in the form of a repeated cry; examples of songs that use this approach include “Beautiful Day”, “New Year’s Day” and “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)”. Another technique he uses in his backing vocals is the falsetto, in songs such as “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own”, “A Man and a Woman”, “The Wanderer”, live versions of “The Fly”, and “Window in the Skies”.

The Edge sings the lead vocal on “Van Diemen’s Land” and “Numb”, the first half of the song “Seconds”, dual vocals with Bono in “Discotheque”, and the bridge in the song “Miracle Drug”. He also sings the occasional lead vocal in live renditions of other songs (such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday” during the PopMart Tour and “Party Girl” during the Rotterdam Zoo TV show when it was Bono’s birthday), and has sung the second verse of the “Stand by Me” cover on a few shows. A solo acoustic version of the song “Love is Blindness”, that is featured in the documentary film From the Sky Down, is sung by him as well.

The Edge also supplies the backing vocals for U2. U2’s 1983 live album and video release, Under a Blood Red Sky and Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky are good reference points for his singing (as are the live DVDs from the Elevation Tour, U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle and Elevation 2001: Live from Boston). For example, he sings the chorus to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (Bono harmonises on the final ‘Sunday’). U2 used this tradeoff technique later in “Bullet the Blue Sky” as well. His backing vocals are sometimes in the form of a repeated cry; examples of songs that use this approach include “Beautiful Day”, “New Year’s Day” and “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)”. Another technique he uses in his backing vocals is the falsetto, in songs such as “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own”, “A Man and a Woman”, “The Wanderer”, live versions of “The Fly”, and “Window in the Skies”.

The Edge sings the lead vocal on “Van Diemen’s Land” and “Numb”, the first half of the song “Seconds”, dual vocals with Bono in “Discotheque”, and the bridge in the song “Miracle Drug”. He also sings the occasional lead vocal in live renditions of other songs (such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday” during the PopMart Tour and “Party Girl” during the Rotterdam Zoo TV show when it was Bono’s birthday), and has sung the second verse of the “Stand by Me” cover on a few shows. A solo acoustic version of the song “Love is Blindness”, that is featured in the documentary film From the Sky Down, is sung by him as well.

In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine placed him at number 38 on its list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. In 2012, Spin ranked him 13th on their own list.

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