The group U2 has its history like any band. From meager beginnings in Dublin, Ireland, to worldwide fame and stardom. If you know anything about U2, you know that charismatic lead singer, Bono, has been the focal point of the group. With his energetic and stirring live performances to his many charitable causes, when you hear U2, you probably think of him first off. 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 not for drummer Larry Mullen’s desire to begin a band, U2 might have never 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, he added the Jr. later to distinguish himself from his father, Larry Mullen Sr. Larry Jr.’s musical career began when he was 8 yrs-old with piano lessons. Soon, however, the lad got bored with studying piano scales and music theory, so in 1971, he took up drumming instead. Larry was able to take classes under the tutelage of Joe Bonnie, Ireland’s best known drummer. Just a year later, though, Bonnie passed away and his daughter, Monica took over the lessons. Larry has always felt that his style was ‘unteachable’. He would rather play by instinct and spirit, saying that ‘sometimes he just wanted to hit it’. In ’73, sister, Cecelia, bought Larry his first drum kit. All this led to the day on September 25, 1976 he would post the note on Mt. Temple’s bulletin board, calling for fellow musicians to come to his home to audition for a band. The auditions took place in Larry’s kitchen. The original lineup for 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 bands’ real name is actually, ‘The Larry Mullen Band’.
But dark clouds loomed on the horizon. Mother, Maureen Mullen, died tragically in a road-traffic accident in 1978. Her death affected Larry a great deal. But it was also a driving force in his growing commitment to U2, which was in question by his bandmates, because of his absentee’s at gigs and photo-shoots. Often, forcing the other band members to get a stand-in look-alike for the drummer. Larry had quit school and was working while U2 was trying to score a record deal. This was why there was trouble with his and the groups schedules. But the loss of his mother would catapult him towards 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 limelite, and had done a successful job keeping his private life, just that. One strange thing though. Larry, has had tendonitus and back 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 began giving him injections of bull’s blood… and it works, he says!
Larry has worked on many side projects with artist like, B.B. 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 digs his Harley Davidsons’, which he has clocked over 10,000 miles while driving from gig to gig. He loves the King…the King of rock n roll, Elvis Pressley, (for younger readers). Larry Mullen, a 15 year-old kid who posted a note on a bulletin board and made music history. Now a multi- award winning artist and critical success. I think he made the right move.