U2: Bring Back the Irony

When U2 got together, in September, 1976, Bono, Adam Clayton, and the Edge were sixteen, and Larry Mullen, Jr., was fourteen. At first, they called themselves the Larry Mullen Band, then Feedback, then the Hype. They changed the band’s name to U2 the following year while playing at a community center in Howth, a gorgeous little seaside town near Dublin. When U2 released its first album, “Boy,” in 1980, half of its members were still teen-agers. Which is all to say that a lot...

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