In 1975, at age 14, Larry Mullen Jr posted a notice at his school in Dublin, Ireland, which said that he wanted to form a band. At the time, 16-year-old Paul Hewson was working as a petrol station attendant. He had seen the note on the bulletin board, and decided to investigate. Adam Clayton was the only bassist to respond to Larry’s note. They were joined by brothers Dik and Dave Evans and called their band Feedback. After winning a school talent competition, they renamed themselves “The Hype” (which happened to be the same name as David Bowie’s backing band). Dik left the band after a few months. In the early 80s Larry, Paul and Evans played for the Christian group Shalom for a while.
The next name change came as a suggestion by a friend, Steve Averill. He suggested “U2.” Paul Hewson took on the artist name Bono, after the Bona Vox hearing aid company. (Bona Vox is Latin for “good voice.”) Bono started calling Dave Evans “The Edge” because he was always on the fringe of things.
The first official U2 release was the 3-track LP U2-3, in 1979. In 1980, CBS Records passed on them, but Island Records signed a deal. To date, U2 have sold more than 150 million records, grossing $1,5 billion.