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Interview With Garvin Evans, Edge´s Father


febottini
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At some point in our life, we all dream of being a rock star. But we might ask ourselves what we are willing to sacrifice for greatness, and what is really driving us to be rock stars. Has your son made many sacrifices for music? How was he at the beginning of his career?

When the initial record contract with Island records was signed, David had already started an engineering degree course. However, once the future of the band had been secured, he left college and concentrated on the development of U2. The main sacrifices I suppose are a certain lack of privacy, and a great deal of hard work and long hours.

 

We don’t know the private side of the band personally, I mean when the curtain drops. This is usually a privilege for family and friends, who know the band as normal people. In this context, how was the relationship between you, your son and his music? There are songs that relate to particular moments spent together?

We have always got along very well together – which goes for all my three children – right from the time when they were very young, up to present time. We really did not have any so called ‘teenage’ problems, and I can honestly say we have never had the slightest disagreement that I can remember – ever. If that sounds too good to be true – well I guess we are lucky. Although Bono has written some lyrics that were addressed specifically to his occasionally difficult relationship with his Dad, there have been none involving me – as far as I know.

 

Certainly – when the band began to become famous – you and your wife have been concerned about your son’s future. What were your thoughts about your son being one of the biggest rock stars in the world? Was there anything in particular to be worried about?

I never really worried about the band. They all seem to have the ability to act sensibly, and they were always far too professional to get involved in any drugs scene, or overwild behaviour. Being married, and having the responsibility of children has probably helped, but they are pretty level headed anyway.

 

How many shows have you attended? Have you travelled a lot with your son? I guess there were moments when you were emotionally deeply touched standing in front of 80,000 people thinking: “this guy playing on the stage is my son!”

Yes indeed, my late wife and I have travelled extensively with the band when they have been on tour, and we always enjoyed the huge ‘buzz’ that goes with touring. Many of the management and crew have been with U2 for years, and in a way it is like a large extended family. The organisation that goes into the tours is incredible. I hope to go myself to some concerts in the upcoming tour.
When I see the proposed final itinerary I will decide. I am constantly being touched by how many fans the band has, and the high regard in which they are held. From my perspective, justifiably so.

 

We heard that in 1981, leading up to the October Tour, David came very close to leaving U2 for religious reasons, but he decided to stay. How has counted the religion in his life and in the lives of all of you?

Certainly Bono and Edge in particular, have very firm Christian beliefs, and they are always aware of that in all that they do. There was a crisis at the time you mention on the relationship between the band and the religious principles of Bono and Edge. I never enquired closely about it, as I consider matters of conscience of that nature to be very private. They resolved whatever difficulties were involved, and moved on. I am heaviiy committed to my Christian beliefs, as was my late wife, and probably some of that may have served to motivate David in that direction.

 

We know that David Evans had received guitar lessons with his brother Richard “Dick” Evans before they both answered an advertisement at their school, seeking musicians to form a band. This band went through several incarnations before emerging as U2 in March 1978, but Richard left the band just before the name changed. Does he have any regrets about this choice? When the family gets together for Christmas dinners, do you talk about what happened?

Richard is an academic. He was involved with the band as a hobby initially, and later on joined another group called ‘The Virgin Prunes’. I have never spoken to Richard about his feelings about having left U2 (he was deep into his university computer science degree when the band took off. He later went on to do a Doctorate of Engineering at Imperial College in London (which was my own Alma Mater), and he works in that field still. There seems little point in getting involved in – ‘what might have been’ – I would find that sort of ‘if what’ conjecture pointless.
Just get on with your life, and try and be the best you can, is the right way to go as far as I am concerned.

 

From: Rivista Inutile

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"When the initial record contract with Island records was signed, David had already started an engineering degree course." Interesting moment - Edge being called David. Understandable of course since it's his dad talking!

 

"We have always got along very well together – which goes for all my three children – right from the time when they were very young, up to present time. We really did not have any so called ‘teenage’ problems, and I can honestly say we have never had the slightest disagreement that I can remember – ever."

Whoa! Never the slightest disagreement - ever? Almost other-worldly. How am I not surprised that if it was 1 member of the band who had that kind of relationship w/his Dad it would be Edge? He's so mild-tempered.

 

"I never really worried about the band...they were always far too professional to get involved in any drugs scene, or overwild behaviour. Being married, and having the responsibility of children has probably helped..." Well...this makes me wonder what year the interview was conducted. Edge's dad seems to be forgetting Adam here.

 

"I am heaviiy committed to my Christian beliefs, as was my late wife, and probably some of that may have served to motivate David in that direction." So sweet to hear just a father talking about his son, "David," & talking about himself & his late wife just as parents to Edge.

 

"I have never spoken to Richard about his feelings about having left U2 (he was deep into his university computer science degree when the band took off. He later went on to do a Doctorate of Engineering at Imperial College in London (which was my own Alma Mater), and he works in that field still." Interesting.

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