The group U2 has its history like any band. From its meager beginnings in Dublin, Ireland, to world fame and stardom. If you know anything about U2, you know that the charismatic lead singer, Bono, has been the focal point of the group. With his energetic and moving live performances for his many charitable causes, when you listen to U2, you probably think of him in the first place. Guitarist, The Edge, with his inexplicable sound and style has also been a focal point in the band. But has it ever occurred to you that if it weren’t for drummer Larry Mullen’s desire to start a band, U2 would never have formed?
Larry Mullen Jr. was born on Halloween in 1961 in Artane, on the north side of Dublin. Born with the original name, Larry Mullen, the Jr. added later to distinguish himself from his father, Larry Mullen Sr. Larry Jr.’s musical career began when he was 8 years old with piano lessons. Soon, however, the boy got bored of studying piano scales and music theory, so in 1971 he turned to drums. Larry was able to take classes under the tutelage of Joe Bonnie, Ireland’s best known drummer. However, just a year later, Bonnie passed away and her daughter, Monica, took over the lessons. Larry has always felt that his style was “untenable.” He preferred to play out of instinct and spirit, saying that “sometimes I just wanted to hit him.” In ’73, his sister Cecelia bought Larry his first drum kit. All of this led to the day on September 25, 1976, when he posted the note on the Mt. Temple bulletin board, asking his fellow musicians to come to his house to audition for a band. The auditions took place in Larry’s kitchen. The original line-up of the group was as follows: Bono-Vox on vocals, David Evans (The Edge) and his brother Dick on guitar, Adam Clayton on bass and, of course, Larry Mullen Jr. on drums. Larry claims that the real name of the band is actually “The Larry Mullen Band”.
But dark clouds hung over the horizon. His mother, Maureen Mullen, tragically died in a car accident in 1978. Her death affected Larry greatly. But he was also a driving force in his growing commitment to U2, which was questioned by his bandmates, due to his absences from concerts and photo shoots. Often times, he forces the other members of the band to look like the drummer. Larry had dropped out of school and was working while U2 was trying to get a record deal. So there were problems with his schedule and that of the groups. But the loss of his mother would catapult him into the band.
He has been with his partner, Ann Acheson for almost 30 years. The two met at Mount Temple, Larry’s first year there. Together they have two sons and a daughter. He is also an avid dog lover. The family has two Labradors. He is very protective of his family when it comes to being in the foreground, and he had done a successful job keeping his life private, just that. Although a strange thing. Larry, you’ve had back and tendon pain for years. He has seen many doctors for these problems, but none had the answer for the pain. Then he saw a doctor in Germany, who practiced holistic medicine. This doctor started giving him bull blood injections … and it works, he says!
Larry has worked on many side projects with artists such as BB King, Robbie Robertson, and Emmylou Harris. He has won 22 Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe. He also worked on one of the Mission Impossible soundtracks.
The drummer adores his Harley Davidsons, which has traveled more than 10,000 miles while riding from concert to concert. Love the King … the King of rock n roll, Elvis Pressley, (for younger readers). Larry Mullen, a 15-year-old boy who posted a note on a bulletin board and made music history. He is now a multi-award winning and critically successful artist. I think he made the right move.