I recently found out that U2 is made up of “Bono”, “The Edge”, Larry Mullen Jr. (drums), and Adam Clayton (bass). Of course I knew the names of “Bono” and “The Edge”, but I didn’t know the names of the drummer or bass player. When I heard their names I thought, What kinda names are those? Larry and Adam? Where were they when the nicknames were being handed out?
Then I discovered that Bono’s real name is Paul Hewson and The Edge’s real name is David Evans.
How the heck did this happen? How did one half of the band end up with cool nicknames while the other half of the band retained their accountant-like names? Here’s how I imagine it went down (imagine all this in an Irish accent).
PAUL: Alright boys, we recently changed our name from “The Hype” to “U2”. Me and David have been thinking that we should all change our names as well. You know, to sound more like a rock band.
LARRY: Change our names? What for? I’m quite fond of the name “Larry”, thank you very much. It was the name me mum and da’ gave me when I was born on New Years Day. I don’t think me mum would be too happy if I went prancing about with a new name. And when I go down to the pub on a cold October night all me mates say, “Hey Larry! Come on and get a drink!”
DAVID: Yeah mate, but the name Larry is so…I dunno, boring. It’s not exactly rock ‘n roll material, you know? It doesn’t make you want to shake, rattle, and roll.
ADAM: Okay, so you want to change your bloody names. But what have you got in mind? Are ya thinkin’ you’d like to go by Sarajevo and Joshua, or something cheeky like that?
PAUL: Well, I still haven’t exactly found what I’m looking for, but I’m thinking of calling meself “Bono”.
LARRY: Bono? Bono!?! Where’d ya come up with that dandy? Did you hear it on the telly? If you ask me it sounds like some kind of street with no name. Take a left on Bono street and stay straight on the highway. You’re kidding me, right mate?
DAVID: I kinda like “Bono”. It sounds like an atomic bomb or something like that. It might not be the sweetest thing, but it definitely has a ring to it.
ADAM: I’ll tell you what it sounds like: it sounds bad.
DAVID: It don’t sound bad. In fact, I will follow Paul’s example. I think I’m going to start going by the name “The Edge”.
ADAM: Sweet beautiful day! Where did you come up one? It sounds ridiculous. The Edge? Come on mate, I’ve seen you move in mysterious ways before but this takes the cake.
DAVID: It just popped into my head one day. It’s stuck in my head and I can’t get out of it. And I quite like it. The Edge! Makes you think of a bloody rattling saber, doesn’t it?
LARRY: It makes me feel numb, that’s what it does. Like the dentist jammed one of his giant needles right into me heart. I haven’t felt this bad since that bloody Sunday when I flipped me car on the highway.
PAUL: Fellas, David and I are going to do this with or without you. So what do you say?
LARRY: You can call yourself Bono or Ghandi or the Angel of Harlem for all I care. I’m sticking with Larry.
ADAM: I’m with Larry. I’ve got my pride, and I’m not changing my name.