'A Weapon of Mass Destruction'

23 May 20111
Ahead of U2's Glastonbury set next month, Adam has been talking to The Observer newspaper in the UK about five songs that have been part of the soundtrack of his life as a musician.  Read the whole piece here.

'Hanging Around' by The Stranglers in 1977 was the track that turned Adam on to the bass guitar.

'The comprehensive I went to in Dublin was where I met Edge, Bono and Larry. I much preferred it. It came with the freedom that I'd been deprived of, including the length of my hair and the clothes I wore.

Punk was beginning and I connected with it immediately. Suddenly there was a line between people who listened to Led Zeppelin and people who listened to punk and I knew which side I was on. And to put it in context, our generation was facing an uncertain future. We were down to petrol rationing and a three-day week. Punk seemed like a movement that could question authority, although it doesn't seem quite so radical now.

I remember hearing the bass on "Hanging Around" and immediately knowing it was going to be the instrument for me. Punk meant you didn't necessarily have to know how to play that well – you could do what you want. And in the hands of the Stranglers' Jean-Jacques Burnel, the bass was a weapon of mass destruction. It was the aggressiveness of the way he played that I picked up on.

Not too long after this, Larry put a notice on the school notice board, looking for anyone interested in forming a band. It took a few months to find our voice and in the beginning it wasn't happening fast enough. Paul Weller was making records at 18 and we wanted that as well....'

The rest of the soundtrack of Adam's life is in The Observer.

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Swinging to the music
This article from The Observer gives readers some great impressions of Adam;s youth including his sources of inspiration. For Adam music was a way to develop his own individuality and creativity in a conservative school system that despised hippy clothes and long hair. Particularly punk was an art form that enabled young people like him to set themselves apart from the rest of the society. That era provided the musical background where Adam discovered the sound of an instrument, which he would describe as "deep and fat and satisfying" in the book "U2 BY U2". With his distinctive manner to play the bass guitar he shaped the music of U2 from the very beginning and over the years he developed his great talent to create a wide variety of melodic elements that allow songs to flow and move on.
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