Today I am taking a break from my Elevation Tour recap to celebrate the 53rd birthday of U2’s guitarist (and musical genius/scientist), The Edge! True, Larry is my favorite member of U2, but I have always said Edge is the most talented of the group. He can play, he can sing, he can write – The Edge can do anything, and he does it better than most.
Twenty-two years ago yesterday I was in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the rehearsal concert for U2’s Zoo Tv Outside Broadcast Tour. It was the day before Edge’s 31st birthday. In celebration, Bono led the audience in a round of “Happy Birthday,” and Edge sang “Van Diemen’s Land.” It was the only time I have ever heard that song performed in concert.
I have been fortunate enough to meet U2’s great guitarist twice. The first time was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Elevation Tour on June 12, 2001. I was in the GA line by 7:30 am and around 3:00 pm, I went over to where U2 drove into the First Union Center with hopes of meeting them. There were only about ten of us waiting. Around 3:40, a car drove in and stopped right in front of us. Edge got out of the car! We asked if he would sign, and he said “Yes.” We then asked if he would take pictures, and he said he wouldn’t pose, but we could “snap away.” I was the second person he came to. I asked Edge to sign my scrapbook, and he signed the upper left hand corner. Edge was great. He stayed until he had signed everyone’s stuff. He didn’t say much though, but he was very nice.
It was another ten years before I would meet Edge for the second time. It was in Chicago, Illinois on the 360 Tour on July 5, 2011. I arrived at Soldier Field by 3:00 pm to await U2’s arrival. Around 5:30, Bono and Edge drove past the screaming fans and into the stadium. A few minutes later, Edge walked back out to greet us. Edge went to the other side of the street to sign autographs, so I didn’t think we would get the chance to meet him, but we did! Since I had gotten his autograph on the Elevation, I just wanted a picture with him. Edge declined a photo with me again, so I just shook his hand – his guitar playing hand! I asked Edge if Larry was coming out. He said, “I can’t say for sure. I can’t speak for Larry.” I thanked Edge for coming out to greet us, but I think it was too late and I had already offended him. I don’t think Edge had a sense of humor about me asking if Larry was coming out like Bono did. Bono got a kick out of my quest to meet Larry.
My favorite U2 /Edge video is definitely “Numb” (it also happens to be one of my favorite Larry videos, but this is Edge’s birthday, not Larry’s). At the time I thought, Edge was so serious and the video for “Numb” is anything but. In the video, Edge had pretty girls licking his face, a little kid smacking his face, a rope tied around his face, and feet pressed up against his face – not so serious. Happy 53rd Edge! You’re the greatest!
1992-08-07 Van Diemen’s Land
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