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Old 08-07-2003, 07:16 PM   #1
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Edge : On The Edge at 42 *

[SIMG]http://bonovox.interference.com/news/edgebday.jpg[/url] -[/SIMG]
By Devlin Smith





In high school I was a TA for an English class that had a writers’ workshop component. Once in a while the students would read some of their papers out to the class for comments and whatnot. A girl in the class got up one day to read an essay she had written about a musician she admired and someone made a comment to her about “your man” to which she replied, “When I say I love him it’s not in one of those ‘I heart Axl Rose’ ways.”

When I say I love The Edge it is in one of those “I heart Axl Rose” ways. Pictures of him adorn my workspace. I take a very active role in the weekly Edge threads in Interference’s PLEBA forum. Being within close proximity of the man the day of the Golden Globes sent a shock of heat across my arms. Basically, I have a mad crush on the guitarist from U2. But my main attraction and the thing that keeps me truly interested in The Edge isn’t that he’s gorgeous, even though he is, it’s that I truly admire him. He’s a talented songwriter, musician and singer, intelligent, witty and well spoken. Above all else, he’s an individual, basically comfortable in his own skin and fairly unafraid to be different. It’s that uniqueness that captured my attention in the first place. Watching the video for “Stuck in a Moment” on the Boston DVD, I truly noticed Edge for the first time. Up until that point I’d had a passing knowledge of him as the quiet, weird guitarist for U2, that poor guy Bono torments in the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” But on the DVD he just grabbed me, resplendent in faded jeans and flip-flops, and I thought to myself, “Wow, that guy is so comfortable in his own skin.”

I love that, I really do. It’s that genuine confidence and self-assuredness that keeps me so devoted to Madonna and in such awe of Gwen Stefani, that ability to stay calm, cool and collected in any situation, to shine no matter what. While Madonna effortlessly radiates, Edge truly seems to work at it, he appears to be constantly evolving into himself and growing more confident all the time.

Scanning through old pictures of Edge, it’s difficult not to come to that conclusion. He didn’t used to smile much, sometimes he looked downright miserable, and maybe he was. Describing himself as a teenager, Edge told Rolling Stone: “There were times when I really did feel like a bit of a freak, and I spent a few years where I was pretty quiet. I didn't go out an awful lot.”

To go from that to touring the world, meeting celebrities, politicians and thousands of fans wanting something, anything from him must be difficult. But somehow through the ‘80s, Edge learned to like himself more - he spoke more publicly and even smiled in pictures. By the early ‘90s he seemed to be getting on better with himself, as he told BP Fallon: “I just thought that life would be a lot better if I was somebody else. Well, things have been looking up within the last few years but, no, honestly for a while I suppose I hadn't learned to like myself so I felt like I didn't really enjoy being me, that was the real why, but I think I have learned to enjoy being me over the last few years and that's good. I'm actually more fun to be around and a better person and probably a better song writer and musician than before. It's a real drag if you don't like yourself 'cos you do spend a lot of time with yourself.”

Between then and now has been this continuing journey as Edge becomes more himself. It's pretty incredible to see that transition, watching Edge doing something he likes and being someone he likes, wearing white spangled cowboy suits, making hilariously random Grammy speeches, frolicking with Angelina Jolie in music videos, dancing his heart out despite objections from his children. Olaf Tyaransen with Hot Press summed up that Edgeness in a recent article: “Slim, trim and healthier-looking than your average rock guitarist, he looks great for a 41-year-old – so great, in fact, that he can somehow get away with dressing like a 14-year-old without looking ridiculous. Today, his trademark skullcap is a knitted black affair, his top is as white, bright and expensive as his gleaming teeth, and his widely flared denims are held together at the seams with enough safety pins to spark a full-scale airport security alert. Pretty nifty for a father of [five].”

This is all completely inspiring to me and it pushes me to be unafraid in what I do and who I am, regardless of where or how. But sometimes it is hard and some days you don’t want to be living in your own skin, that the idea of doing anything different makes you really sick. I doubt Madonna has days like that but I’m pretty sure Edge does.

So on his 42nd birthday, I want to thank Edge for setting such a great example, for being this amazing case study in the journey from self-doubt to self-confidence. I hope he’s enjoying himself today, I hope he’s making grand speeches about female orgazmatrons or Wonder Woman, I hope he’s dancing his heart out in sequined jeans and flip-flops even if his little girls are rolling their eyes.



(Photo: U2.com)
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:36 PM   #2
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Edge rocks.


I Mr. The Edge, too.
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:42 PM   #3
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Thanks dsmith! That was great!

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Old 08-07-2003, 08:46 PM   #4
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me too.

Quote:
Up until that point I’d had a passing knowledge of him as the quiet, weird guitarist for U2, that poor guy Bono torments in the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
This is EXACTLY and I do mean EXACTLY how I felt about him, until I saw the Streets vid...and the way he moved....

That was when he became the love of my life.

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Old 08-08-2003, 12:25 AM   #5
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This is a wonderful essay, Devlin!
Happy birthday, Edge!
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Old 08-08-2003, 04:30 AM   #6
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YAY!!! Edge!!
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Old 08-08-2003, 08:14 AM   #7
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Excellent Devlin, I really enjoyed reading this

I think you described him perfectly
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Old 08-08-2003, 08:26 AM   #8
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what a great article, devlin!

Quote:
“Slim, trim and healthier-looking than your average rock guitarist, he looks great for a 41-year-old – so great, in fact, that he can somehow get away with dressing like a 14-year-old without looking ridiculous. Today, his trademark skullcap is a knitted black affair, his top is as white, bright and expensive as his gleaming teeth, and his widely flared denims are held together at the seams with enough safety pins to spark a full-scale airport security alert. Pretty nifty for a father of [five].”


that about sums it up.

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Old 08-08-2003, 10:22 AM   #9
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Rock on, Edge. Yay to those who are individuals.

*Decides to dedicate her "Snowflake Award" her friend gave her to Edge as well, since it celebrates individuality*

Very lovely essay about a really awesome person.

Happy birthday, Edge. .

I hope he has a great day.

Angela
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Old 08-08-2003, 06:03 PM   #10
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Great article!


Happy Birthday Edge!
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:41 PM   #11
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That's a lovely story.
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Old 01-13-2005, 04:16 PM   #12
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That was an awesome article!

Edge Rocks!!
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