U2's Bono: 'The Edge Is Most Influential Guitarist Since Jimmy Page'

U2 frontman Bono says his bandmate, The Egde, is the most influential guitarist since Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and The Who's Pete Townshend.

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U2 frontman Bono says his bandmate, The Egde, is the most influential guitarist since Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and The Who's Pete Townshend.

Bono's comment came in response to an almost flawless review of the bands recently re-released debut album, 'Boy'.

The album, originally released in 1980, was given four and a half stars by Rolling Stone.

In an email to the publication, Bono said he had recently listened again the record and decided that something truly special occurs during The Edge's guitar parts. Edge's genuine genius developing on the blank and bleached photographic paper avoiding all the obvious blues scales that blind every other guitar player that ever heard Led Zeppelin The Edge finds some new colours for the spectrum of rock, he wrote.

Colours he now owns owning a colour, wow .. imagine owning the colour yellow like VAN GOGH EDGE owns, well I'm not exactly sure what colours they are indigo or violet or crimson?

But you sense an emotional colour temperature that is unique to him its his palette we're painting from.

He added: Surely this is the most influential guitarist since the great composers Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Neil Young but remember he doesn't have the history of the blues to plumb, these are unchartered [sic] waterswas to the English psychedelic revival we were also inspired by and plundering

Thanks for the report to GIGWise.

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78 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Baconfish
    de-fexxx666 wrote: Hendrix. Slash. EVH. Tony Iommi. Alex Lifeson. Randy Rhoads. Reverend Horton Heat. Dave Murray. Dave Mustaine. Buckethead. Zakk Wylde. Mick Mars. Billy Gibbons. I just pwned the **** outta Bono.
    Not quite mate, Hendrix died while Page was still making music so I don't think he counts.
    wicked_hobbit
    I appreciate The Edge's style and do think that he has somewhat contributed to guitar playing in general, but I don't feel it's actually at such an influential degree as Bono claims. BTW, it's common for people to say that their bandmates are the best. Billie Joe always called Mike Dirnt the best bassist in punk music. Though we all know it's Sid Vicious Okay2, Matt Freeman...
    Bunyip
    about the only thing the edge could inspire a guitarist to do is to go out and buy some deley effects
    gooman
    you know why the Edge doesn't play blues scales? 'cause he doesn't know any!!! HAHAHAHA, ownt. Honestly, anybody who puts a "The" (emphasis on the capitalized "T") anywhere in their name deserves to be shot and raped....by Bono. Lemme add my list of influences that inspired me to start playing: my second-cousin who plays somewhat well, and Guitar Hero.
    Skirvy
    I think the Edge is more influential in songwriting rather than guitar playing, but he writes great melodies on guitar. Theres nothing technical, but who cares really.
    billruption26
    funny, just the other day before seeing radiohead my friends and i were talking about how overrated the edge is. seriously, what an *****, i hate bono more and more everyday. not only is the edge completely unoriginal, i can trace pretty much his entire style to ONE SONG. "run like hell" by pink floyd, like to any "revolutionary" riff or texture that the edge puts in there songs and tell me the effect or the manner in which plays it doesnt remind u of that song. the edge doesnt have shit on david gilmour, or millions of other guitarists, including ones that never even got famous, its more possible a child saw some no name play somewhere and wanted to learn guitar because of than they listened to u2 and thought "hmm, i should pick up an axe!"
    fireoptic
    blues scales that BLIND other players? Yeah, what a piece of shit Stevie Ray Vaughan was... Thanks for filling us in Bono! Keep letting us know what's good and what sucks in this world! All hail Bono!
    deanplayer18
    dude the edge?? wow sure rolling stone rated him at like what 15 or some shit like that but come on idk anyone who thinks hes an influence i sure as hell dont hell i dont even think ppl know who the hell he is unless i say u2 then they get the hint hell even then i dont think they even know what he looks like lol but seriouly dont ever bash jimmy page or pete man ied pick up a guitar anyday listening to a zepplin record then a u2 cd anyday
    soundgardner
    it doesn't really matter what we think about the edge. he's making a lot more money playing guitar than the majority of the people who pick up a guitar ever will. that being said, the bassist in u2 is more important to the band's sound. listen to vertigo of you don't believe me. the verse is all bass with a couple of muted notes from the edge. that's basically how all of their good songs are.
    GreekRockr9
    Bono's a douche, and this is a douchewater-drenched article. That being said, I honestly really like what the Edge puts into U2. He has an amazing feel for aesthetics. However, I will accept that he's not all that influential, as very few guitarists really give a rat's red ass about the Edge's aesthetics like I do.
    IamGod 666
    Most influential guitarists: ***** The Edge ***** 2. jimmy page --everyone else--
    tcangusyoung123
    Bono's a big prick, he probably eats children in that mansion of his. The Edge the most influential guitarist since Jimmy Page? I don't think Bono's listened to anything since the early '80s. He can't have. If he had he'd see millions of guitarists playing blues scales. Guess Edgey didn't do as much as you thought you son of a bitch. And your music sucks too. Go back to promoting Africa and piss off from the music scene.
    Harry Krishner
    Sorry folks, but Bono has a point. The Edge has influenced many players. History will prove that. I'm not saying this cause I'm a huge U2 fan,cause I'm not.
    de-fexxx666
    Hendrix. Slash. EVH. Tony Iommi. Alex Lifeson. Randy Rhoads. Reverend Horton Heat. Dave Murray. Dave Mustaine. Buckethead. Zakk Wylde. Mick Mars. Billy Gibbons. I just pwned the **** outta Bono.
    aocrkid
    squallerrleon wrote: Lol he's as good a guitarist as he is a Wrassler!
    he spears people! and runs to the stage through the crowd wearing red pleather jackets and 90s sunglasses!!
    ZepFreak69
    I read the title of this story. Nothing more. I sincerely hope that Bono was only making some sick and disoriented joke by comparing The Edge to THE Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend. Obviously, there isnt a whole lot of anyting rolling around in that largely over-inflated head of his...
    curly31989
    I don't know why everyone gives the Edge so much crap...he is definitely one of the best guitarists ever...he doesn't jam and play sick solo's a lot like vai or page but he definitely can...he chooses to focus more on effects and creating a full sound which suits the band perfectly...have you ever tried to recreate their songs? its nearly impossible, because he is a musical/effects genius and creates brilliant sound...its obviously working because they are one of the biggest bands ever to walk the earth Btw gooman...Edge can play a frickin blues scale! He plays in blues fests in New Orleans all the time with brass bands
    edbert
    randyaintdead82 wrote: no Bono bad Bono how many times have we told you to shut up go suck on the biddy
    hahahahahaha classic but yeah I'm sure everyone wants to be the next The Egde when they first pick up the guitar
    rip3149
    ok...my question is a simple one. how the hell can ANYONE say the edge (who is pretty good) be better than DAVID GILMOUR?
    Edge134
    The Edge is more unique and innovative than 99% of guitarists out there. He may not have the chops but he benefits off the less is more thing. Music is the sound in between the notes people, don't forget. People talk up these guys who just rattle off as many notes as they can fit into a verse like the most irritating guitarist of all time, Steve Vai. He sucks, I am sorry that isn't music, it is just annoying. If you want to criticize the edge just try and play like him, I bet you will be amazed that he is nearly impossible to mimic unlike almost all of the guys mentioned. He is my favorite guitarist and inspired me to pick up a guitar. I also love Hendrix, Satriani, SRV, Page, Van Halen, and many others, but don't be mistaken, the Edge is truly great.
    buddytyree
    That-Funny-Guy wrote: strawforest007 wrote: U2 frontman Bono says his bandmate, The Egde, is the most influential guitarist since Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and The Who's Pete Townshend. Spell it right. I don't know anyone who states The Edge as an influence on their guitaring, or as an inspiration to pick one up in the first place. The Joshua Tree was a good U2 album, but since then, no. Just no. everything is spelled right there. and The Edge is a huge influence for me and like at least thousands of other guitarists. he's insanely awesome.
    Amen, That-Funny-Guy. The Edge is my second favorite guitarist of all time and I honestly think heavy metal "greats" are sucky at guitar. They use effects to drown out the fact that they can't play. But, The Edge doesn't need all of these effects. He can play a guitar clean and sound great! Yeah, ask Dave Mustaine to do that.
    twat
    Loads of bands were influenced by U2 and the Edge pretty much makes U2...
    Declan87
    pootoob wrote: Luke7290 wrote: What are all these idiots on about, being a good guitarist is not always about who's the most technically gifted player, it's about emotion and feeling. When you hear U2 you know as soon as you hear the guitar that it's the edge, when someone plays Metallica or Guns 'N' Roses, the guitaring just sounds stereotypical for those Heavy Rock genres. I'm not saying thats bad, but why listen to something you expect when you can listen to something DIFFERENT.The Edge's playing changed music, and has influenced many of the modern bands of today, that is a fact, think Muse, Coldplay, Radiohead and Editors. Ok, maybe his overall sound is due to his effects but it's his knowledge of them and what he does with them. Take a song like Where The Streets Have No Name for instance, when the guitar kicks in it completes the musical arrangement and creates a sense of feeling that can't be made by others, beauty will always outweigh technical ability when it comes to music. Oh, and as for others people have mentioned, like Slash, Hammett and Vai, they may be amazing musicians (Technically), but have they done anything for music? (also being an astounding technical musician does not mean the music you create is going to be as good as your guitar playing). The simple answer is no, Slash for instance, for the successful part of his career just stuck to the Blues Pentatonic scale and ripped off Zeppelin, not very original if you ask me. Case closed. Yes, case closed... Until I bring up the fact that radiohead doesn't even cite U2 as an influence, and all those other bands were influenced by Radiohead. I'm gonna rip this striahgt from the influenced by section of radioheads wiki Among Radiohead members' earliest influences were Queen and Elvis Costello; post-punk acts such as Joy Division and Magazine; and 1980s alternative rock bands such as R.E.M., the Pixies, The Smiths, and Sonic Youth.[5][3][14] By the mid-1990s, Radiohead began to mention an interest in electronic music, especially that of trip-hop act Massive Attack, and the instrumental hip hop of DJ Shadow, which Radiohead claimed as an influence on parts of OK Computer.[57] Other influences on the album were Miles Davis and Ennio Morricone, along with 1960s pop groups such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys.[18][3] Jonny Greenwood also cited composer Krzysztof Penderecki as an inspiration on the sound of OK Computer.[18] During this era, critics noted musical similarities between OK Computer and the albums of progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd,[58] but the band have denied that their musical style is directly influenced by progressive rock Case closed.
    REM was influenced by U2, Pixies were influenced by REM. Muse said in a recent interview that they were influenced by U2!
    Restlesscow
    Sorry, Bono talking crap again. For those saying its about the connection/feeling the guitarist has for what he/she is playing, i agree. Its not all about the technical ability a player has. But if i want that feeling, i'll watch/hear some one like Gilmour or Hazel, you know, guys that can actually combine technical brilliance with clear passion. Not hear the edge pull out the same boring riff over and over again. Im not sayin he is bad, but to call him second to only people like Page in terms of influence...that is utter rubbish. Bono's over inflated ego strikes again.
    White_Fly_U2
    pootoob wrote: Luke7290 wrote: What are all these idiots on about, being a good guitarist is not always about who's the most technically gifted player, it's about emotion and feeling. When you hear U2 you know as soon as you hear the guitar that it's the edge, when someone plays Metallica or Guns 'N' Roses, the guitaring just sounds stereotypical for those Heavy Rock genres. I'm not saying thats bad, but why listen to something you expect when you can listen to something DIFFERENT.The Edge's playing changed music, and has influenced many of the modern bands of today, that is a fact, think Muse, Coldplay, Radiohead and Editors. Ok, maybe his overall sound is due to his effects but it's his knowledge of them and what he does with them. Take a song like Where The Streets Have No Name for instance, when the guitar kicks in it completes the musical arrangement and creates a sense of feeling that can't be made by others, beauty will always outweigh technical ability when it comes to music. Oh, and as for others people have mentioned, like Slash, Hammett and Vai, they may be amazing musicians (Technically), but have they done anything for music? (also being an astounding technical musician does not mean the music you create is going to be as good as your guitar playing). The simple answer is no, Slash for instance, for the successful part of his career just stuck to the Blues Pentatonic scale and ripped off Zeppelin, not very original if you ask me. Case closed. Yes, case closed... Until I bring up the fact that radiohead doesn't even cite U2 as an influence, and all those other bands were influenced by Radiohead. I'm gonna rip this striahgt from the influenced by section of radioheads wiki Among Radiohead members' earliest influences were Queen and Elvis Costello; post-punk acts such as Joy Division and Magazine; and 1980s alternative rock bands such as R.E.M., the Pixies, The Smiths, and Sonic Youth.[5][3][14] By the mid-1990s, Radiohead began to mention an interest in electronic music, especially that of trip-hop act Massive Attack, and the instrumental hip hop of DJ Shadow, which Radiohead claimed as an influence on parts of OK Computer.[57] Other influences on the album were Miles Davis and Ennio Morricone, along with 1960s pop groups such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys.[18][3] Jonny Greenwood also cited composer Krzysztof Penderecki as an inspiration on the sound of OK Computer.[18] During this era, critics noted musical similarities between OK Computer and the albums of progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd,[58] but the band have denied that their musical style is directly influenced by progressive rock Case closed.
    you guys got it right! listen to what the echo does to a song, listen to how it's changed the sonic landscapes of music! NOW listen to heavy-metal distortion and listen to how it always sounds the same and never changes, metal is total crap, Edge invented his guitar style and so did bands like radiohead, and Joy division, and REM they're the true guitar hero's , who cares if they dont shred or play as fast as they can? it's the music that matters and that's why U2 is supreme
    pootoob
    Luke7290 wrote: What are all these idiots on about, being a good guitarist is not always about who's the most technically gifted player, it's about emotion and feeling. When you hear U2 you know as soon as you hear the guitar that it's the edge, when someone plays Metallica or Guns 'N' Roses, the guitaring just sounds stereotypical for those Heavy Rock genres. I'm not saying thats bad, but why listen to something you expect when you can listen to something DIFFERENT.The Edge's playing changed music, and has influenced many of the modern bands of today, that is a fact, think Muse, Coldplay, Radiohead and Editors. Ok, maybe his overall sound is due to his effects but it's his knowledge of them and what he does with them. Take a song like Where The Streets Have No Name for instance, when the guitar kicks in it completes the musical arrangement and creates a sense of feeling that can't be made by others, beauty will always outweigh technical ability when it comes to music. Oh, and as for others people have mentioned, like Slash, Hammett and Vai, they may be amazing musicians (Technically), but have they done anything for music? (also being an astounding technical musician does not mean the music you create is going to be as good as your guitar playing). The simple answer is no, Slash for instance, for the successful part of his career just stuck to the Blues Pentatonic scale and ripped off Zeppelin, not very original if you ask me. Case closed.
    Yes, case closed... Until I bring up the fact that radiohead doesn't even cite U2 as an influence, and all those other bands were influenced by Radiohead. I'm gonna rip this striahgt from the influenced by section of radioheads wiki Among Radiohead members' earliest influences were Queen and Elvis Costello; post-punk acts such as Joy Division and Magazine; and 1980s alternative rock bands such as R.E.M., the Pixies, The Smiths, and Sonic Youth.[5][3][14] By the mid-1990s, Radiohead began to mention an interest in electronic music, especially that of trip-hop act Massive Attack, and the instrumental hip hop of DJ Shadow, which Radiohead claimed as an influence on parts of OK Computer.[57] Other influences on the album were Miles Davis and Ennio Morricone, along with 1960s pop groups such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys.[18][3] Jonny Greenwood also cited composer Krzysztof Penderecki as an inspiration on the sound of OK Computer.[18] During this era, critics noted musical similarities between OK Computer and the albums of progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd,[58] but the band have denied that their musical style is directly influenced by progressive rock Case closed.
    Luke7290
    What are all these idiots on about, being a good guitarist is not always about who's the most technically gifted player, it's about emotion and feeling. When you hear U2 you know as soon as you hear the guitar that it's the edge, when someone plays Metallica or Guns 'N' Roses, the guitaring just sounds stereotypical for those Heavy Rock genres. I'm not saying thats bad, but why listen to something you expect when you can listen to something DIFFERENT.The Edge's playing changed music, and has influenced many of the modern bands of today, that is a fact, think Muse, Coldplay, Radiohead and Editors. Ok, maybe his overall sound is due to his effects but it's his knowledge of them and what he does with them. Take a song like Where The Streets Have No Name for instance, when the guitar kicks in it completes the musical arrangement and creates a sense of feeling that can't be made by others, beauty will always outweigh technical ability when it comes to music. Oh, and as for others people have mentioned, like Slash, Hammett and Vai, they may be amazing musicians (Technically), but have they done anything for music? (also being an astounding technical musician does not mean the music you create is going to be as good as your guitar playing). The simple answer is no, Slash for instance, for the successful part of his career just stuck to the Blues Pentatonic scale and ripped off Zeppelin, not very original if you ask me. Case closed.
    Foible776
    This is such a terrible lie it makes me want to kill babies. It takes a lot to make me want to do that.
    CJE
    Mootallica wrote: What about some of the metal greats such as Mustaine, Hammett, Vai, Van Halen and so forth, and god knows I can keep going. I bet these guys, all individually, have inspired more people to pick up a guitar than The Edge has.
    To the common metal-head and scale-monkey, that's probably true. As far as FEELING and brilliance and individuality goes, there's a border that separates people who can play lots of scales really fast and do like, 8 fingered tapping, but with the exception of vai, none of them feel. Jimmy Page has feeling. Pete townshend has feeling. Edge has a brilliance of his own. The only brilliance that separates Van Halen and Hammett is which scales they like the most. No offense to anyone, that's just my opinion. You can have yours.
    ticklemeemo
    Seriously, more influential than Van Halen? Who's got a replica of their guitar that sells for $25,000?
    guitarheroII
    im sorry but Slash actually sucks. He just plays the same pentatonic scale over andf over,,, and over.
    jimmypagejunior
    Ok he's not the best, but one thing he has that most metal guitarists don't is distinction. He completes the band and if you hear him on the radio, you know it's him - something he does share with the likes of Hendrix, page, santana, etc.
    Mithaearon
    I much prefer Total Gutiars headline for this story: Bono Talks Bollocks, The Edge Benefits
    trox
    U2 does make good music but what the hell is bono talking about?
    yutyoy
    good guitar player, but hardly the most influential since Page. i always thought Edge was slightly overated. i can think of a hundred guitar players with more influence
    MAYNARD
    Van Halen and Slash are both light years ahead of The Edge as far as influence. There is very little about his playing that is original. He cops David Gilmour's delay tricks more times than I can count. He's a good guitarist, but lets not overrate him too much.
    The_String_Man
    That-Funny-Guy wrote: strawforest007 wrote: U2 frontman Bono says his bandmate, The Egde, is the most influential guitarist since Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and The Who's Pete Townshend. Spell it right. I don't know anyone who states The Edge as an influence on their guitaring, or as an inspiration to pick one up in the first place. The Joshua Tree was a good U2 album, but since then, no. Just no. everything is spelled right there. and The Edge is a huge influence for me and like at least thousands of other guitarists. he's insanely awesome.
    The EGDE???
    Gunpowder
    I'm about 80% sure at this point that the Edge just plays the same riff in every song he's done, but just puts a different effect on it. It's hard to judge how "influential" guitarists are. Every band that's broken through the mold has been influential to music in general in one way or another.
    bjkwjk
    I think Bono must have contracted malaria on one of his trips to Africa. Maybe he should pay more attention to mosquito nets... I have never, in my life, spoken to or heard of a single guitarist that has pointed to "The Edge" and said, "He's my biggest influence"
    New Macabre
    Bullshit. Yeah, sure, he has the fame. But that doesn't speak for talent. Just because he doesn't play solely blues scales doesn't make him Dave Knudson, or you know, someone who strives for originality, has talent and doesn't flaunt it.
    That-Funny-Guy
    strawforest007 wrote: U2 frontman Bono says his bandmate, The Egde, is the most influential guitarist since Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and The Who's Pete Townshend. Spell it right. I don't know anyone who states The Edge as an influence on their guitaring, or as an inspiration to pick one up in the first place. The Joshua Tree was a good U2 album, but since then, no. Just no.
    everything is spelled right there. and The Edge is a huge influence for me and like at least thousands of other guitarists. he's insanely awesome.
    drooce
    Bono is high off his own accomplishments. there are way better guitar players since page than this douche bag. Randy Rhoads? Van Halen? Slash? Dimebag? Jesus, claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria puts the edge to shame. Bono is such an arrogant piece of shit.