The FAQs

U2faqs.com

Band FAQ

  1. Is everyone in the band married?
  2. How many kids do they each have?
  3. When are their birthdays?
  4. Do they have any pets?
  5. How tall is Bono?
  6. Are U2 Christians?
  7. Didn't Adam get arrested for doing drugs?
  8. Is it true that Larry almost had to quit the band because of a hand injury?
  9. What about the story about Larry taking injections of bulls' blood - is that true?
  10. Is it true that Bono has had his chest shaved?
  11. Was Bono really a great chess player as a kid?
  12. Did Bono really take off his clothes in the middle of a crowded restaurant?
  13. Do any of the band members have any known tattoos?
  14. Where does Bono get his shades?
  15. Why does Bono always wear shades?
  16. Some singer claims that Bono has had a hair transplant. Is that true?

1. Is everyone in the band married?

Bono is married to his high school sweetheart, Alison (Stewart), whom he wed on August 21, 1982. Edge married Aislinn O'Sullivan in July, 1983. They separated in the early 90s and divorced in 1996. Edge married Morleigh Steinberg, the second belly dancer from the Zoo TV tour, on June 18, 2002, in Dublin. (A public ceremony was held June 22 in the south of France.) Larry is single, but has a longtime girlfriend in Anne Acheson. Their relationship apparently goes back to the late 70s. Adam is also single, but was briefly engaged to supermodel Naomi Campbell in 1993. He has most recently been spending personal time with longtime Principle Management girl Suzanne Smith. [M2, MJS, PC]

2. How many kids do they each have?

Bono and Ali have two daughters, Memphis Eve and Jordan, and two sons, Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (yes, his real name) and John Abraham. Edge has four daughters and a son: daughters Holly, Arran, and Blue Angel with Aislinn; and daughter Sian and a son named Levi with Morleigh Steinberg. Larry and Anne are the proud parents of a son, Aaron Elvis, and a daughter named Ava. They also have a third child, a boy, but the name is not known as of this FAQ update. [M2, MJS, PC]

3. When are their birthdays?

Adam is the oldest, born March 13, 1960. Bono was born May 10, 1960. Edge was born on August 8, 1961, and Larry is the youngest, born October 31, 1961. [M2]

4. Do they have any pets?

Bono has two German Shepards, their names are Fanny and Angel. Edge had a dog called Fleetwood, but it ran away. He actually showed a picture of the dog on TV during an interview, to try and get the dog back. Larry dog J.J.died, as evidenced by the "J.J. (R.I.P.)" message in the liner notes of Pop. He also has a pet named Missy. Adam has a dog named Colin. [PC, CB, M2, MTD]

5. How tall is Bono?

He's not.

In previous versions of the FAQS, their heights were listed as: Bono 5'-8, Edge 5'-10, Adam 5'-10, and Larry 5'-7. These were supplied years ago by someone associated with the U2 World Service, making them the closest thing to "official" we have. But each height listed is generally considered to be a couple inches too tall by fans who have stood next to a band member. Bono's friend Gavin Friday has let it slip that Bono is 5'-6-and-a-half. [MJS, M2, CB]

6. Are U2 Christians?

In a word: yes.

Longer explanation: In the band's early years, it was no secret that Bono, Edge, and Larry were very active in their faith. For a time in the early 80s, the three joined a religious group called Shalom, and struggled for some time to reconcile their beliefs with the rock and roll lifestyle. Songs such as "Gloria", "40", and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" are very open in their religious and spiritual overtones. In more recent years, Bono has not worn his faith on his sleeve as openly as he did in past years. But to examine things such as Zoo TV, the Mirrorball Man, and MacPhisto, and to take the lyrics of songs such as "Wake Up, Dead Man" and others, and draw the conclusion that Bono (and U2) are no longer believers is to completely miss the point. These things were not U2 embracing the dark side, it was U2 exposing the dark side. As Bono often quoted, "Mock the devil and he will flee from thee." The message has not changed over the years ... but sometimes it's been a little harder to find.

If all that's not enough, various band members have said in recent interviews that they ARE still believers. Here's a quote from Bono during his appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, September 20, 2002:

I'm a believer, but religion is the thing when God, like Elvis, has left the building. But when God is in the house, you get something else. I'm happy in a Catholic cathedral or a tent show down in the South with gospel music.

Here's another quote from Bono, this time in response to a student who asked how Bono's faith informs his activism. It's from a Q&A session during DATA's "Heart of America" tour in late 2002:

"I'm not a very religious person. I'm a need to practice much more Christian. I'm uncomfortable in churches because the Christ I love and read about in the Gospels is often not in the churches. Remember, I come from Ireland and I've seen the damage of religious warfare. I am a believer. I don't wear the badge on the outside but it is on the inside."

And in December, 2002, Hot Press magazine asked Edge about his faith:

Yourself, Larry and Bono were all members of the Shalom Christian prayer group in the early days of U2. Are you still religious?

I still have a spiritual life, but I'm not really a fan of religion per se. You know, what I believe is very much what I ended up coming to. It's not a doctrine that is connected to any church or any religious group. It's very much my own personal thing.

Are you raising your kids as Catholics?

Em . . . technically yes, but again I'm not in favour of presenting something that I think is ultimately very personal in any kind of fundamental way. I think it's really up to everyone, when they reach a certain age, to figure it out for themselves. You know, they are Catholic in terms of their upbringing or whatever, but really they'll decide themselves what they wanna believe, when they get older.

Hopefully these quotes answer the question adequately. [M2]

7. Didn't Adam get arrested for doing drugs?

In August, 1989, Adam was arrested near his Dublin home and charged with possession of marijuana and with intent to supply marijuana to another person. Less than a month later, he appeared in court and admitted to possessing 19 grams of marijuana. The intent-to-supply charge had already been dropped by the State. Under Irish law, the prosecution agreed to apply the Probation of Offenders Act, which allows defenders to make contributions to charity in return for a dismissal of charges without conviction. Adam agreed to pay £25,000 to the Women's Aid Refuge Centre and there is no mention of this incident on his record. [M2]

8. Is it true that Larry almost had to quit the band because of a hand injury?

In late 1986, Radio 2 in Dublin picked up a story from the Daily Mirror that Larry Mullen was in a New York hospital having emergency surgery on his hands, and that if the surgery didn't work it would be the end of Larry's career as a drummer. The story was picked up by other news sources reporting that Larry was indeed in a New York hospital and that it might be the end of his career.

The U2 office was quick to respond when they were actually called for comment. The spokesperson at the time responded "No, it's not true. Yes, he does have a problem with his hand. It's not piano hand. And it's not going to impinge on his career." Larry at the time was actually working in the studio on The Joshua Tree album and not in a hospital room in New York.

In a later interview with Hot Press, Larry spoke extensively of his problems with his hands. He admitted to having to wear a cast which could be removed for live performances during the Amnesty International Tour. He's had cortisone injections which didn't cure the ailment, and he was taking anti-inflammatory pills for the problem at the time of the interview, which were helping him deal with the problem.

As recently as the Elevation Tour, Larry was wearing compression bandages on his wrists as he performed. This is likely a sign that the problem continues to bother him, but to my knowledge he's never had to undergo surgery for the problem, nor has it affected his career some 17 years after it was first announced. [AS]

9. What about the story about Larry taking injections of bulls' blood -- is that true?

According to Bill Flanagan's book, U2 At the End of the World, it is true. (Or at least it was in the early 90s during the time period chronicled in the book.)

"Bono says Larry tried different doctors without success until he went to a German who brought in a holistic healer who started giving Larry shots of bull's blood. That did the trick! Larry's Irish doctor refuses to accept it - he looks at X rays of Larry's crooked spine and says it's impossible, but Larry feels fine. He flies to Germany for shots of bull's blood regularly." [KB2]

10. Is it true that Bono has had his chest shaved?

Yes. Bono had to have an exam for his insurance company. He had too much chest hair for the doctor to be able to hear his heartbeat so they shaved part of it off. That's where the story comes from. [KM]

11. Was Bono really a great chess player as a kid?

It's apparently true. There are many references in various books about Bono and U2 to the fact that Bono "excelled" at chess as a youngster. Here's a quote from 1987 where Bono talks about his interest in chess: "I never knew what I wanted to be. One day I'd wake up and want to be a chess player -- the best. I'd read a book on it, and at twelve I studied the grandmasters, and I was fascinated." [M2]

12. Did Bono really take off his clothes in the middle of a crowded restaurant?

This is true. From Newsday March 27, 1992: At a dinner earlier this week at London's celebrity haunt, Nikita, Bono surprised his 18 dinner guests by removing all his clothes - including his black bikini briefs - for no apparent reason. During the Russian meal of mainly vodka and caviar, we're told the Irish rocker sat naked and acted as if being nude in a plush, crowded restaurant was the most natural thing in the world. Which, in some quarters, we suppose it is. "Sometimes people drink vodka and do strange things," Nikita owner Sylvain Borsi told us. But didn't he find Bono's behavior a bit eccentric, to say the least? "No, he was very nice and very civilized," Borsi said. "I think he just felt more comfortable with nothing on." But he had a really good reason! From Newsday March 30, 1992 : His spokesman says Bono was actually being interviewed by a journalist during dinner when the Irish rocker decided to undress, as we reported. "The writer was so unimaginative, so frozen, so unloose that Bono thought it would be a good idea to take his clothes off," the spokesman said. "And there wasn't much of a reaction." [MJS]

13. Do any of the band members have any known tattoos?

Yes, Larry Mullen has a tattoo on his left shoulder. The tattoo is a circular shape and is red and green in colour. It appears to be a sunburst like pattern, or arrows shooting out from a central point. It can be seen in the "Staring at the Sun" video and the "Walk On" (Brazilian version) video. [AS, M2]

14. Where does Bono get his shades?

Bono's shades seem to change every few years, probably whenever he finds a new style he likes better. Most recently, he wore shades made by the Italian designer Bulgari during the Elevation Tour. He wore the Quadrato line, models 610 and 611, and has them customized with a special "B" on the sides. [M2]

15. Why does Bono always wear shades?

Bono has an allergy to salicyclates, which are found in things such as wine. When asked about his allergy, his response was, "That means I lose my voice or I fall asleep in the strangest places, like once on the lighting board for Sonic Youth, one of the loudest concerts in the world. And I get red eyes, which is one of the reasons I wear glasses." He hasn't expanded on what the other reasons may be. [RB]

16. Some singer claims that Bono has had a hair transplant. Is that true?

Coldplay singer Chris Martin made the comment to Britain's Q magazine. He said: "Someone famous, someone who knows, told me Bono's had a hair transplant. Can you believe it? Bono? Some of those tufts have been stitched in. So there's hope for me yet."

A U2 spokesperson laughed off that claim, saying "What a load of nonsense." [M2]