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"People talk about U2 being a 'live group' . . . because Bono will jump off the balcony to make a point -- but it's not me at all, it's Larry's bass drum."

-- Bono

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50 Things to Love About Larry Mullen Jr. on His 50th Birthday

@U2, October 31, 2011
By: Tassoula E. Kokkoris / @tassoula


He holds the distinction of being the youngest member of U2, while also being the founder. He is known as the tough, strong, stoic one -- the badass of the band, if you will. He's Larry Mullen Jr., and though you wouldn't know it from looking at him, he turns 50 years old today.

While compiling this list in tribute to him, I attempted to capture the essence of all the things we love about Larry: his sarcastic sense of humor; his impeccable drumming skills; his versatile talents; his humanitarian efforts; his handsome appearance; his spot-on instinct and his intelligence.

Bono jokingly compares him to The Picture of Dorian Gray, but really -- he has a point. Larry is timeless in every sense of the word -- his looks, his ambition, his demeanor, his drive -- he's the rare type of man who could conceivably conquer any era.

We're proud to celebrate this music man's milestone with 50 Things to Love About Larry on his 50th Birthday.


1. For posting that note on the school bulletin board at Mt. Temple.

2. "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

3. Setting the record straight after the Vertigo pre-sale.

4. For refusing to cut his hair when he was a member of the Artane Boys Band.

5. Quote: "I want to retract the statement I made to you in 1987 about not wanting to be known for my looks. Now I absolutely want to be known for my looks." -- Larry, to a Vanity Fair reporter in 2004

6. For putting safety first.

7. The "Electrical Storm" video (hubba hubba).

8. Quote: "Larry seemed very young but he had some excitement going, even then, because in the middle of rehearsals there was screaming outside and girls trying to climb over the garden wall. And I remember him doing a novel thing -- he took the hose to them! Which he has been doing ever since." -- Bono

9. "It's a musical journey."

10. The skull and the cross.

11. Quote: "Larry is a very sensitive guy and a very loyal friend. He is also very black-and-white." -- Adam Clayton

12. His childhood kitchen.

13. Anatomy of a Closet.

14. Quote: "Success to me was not having to carry or set up my own drums any more." -- Larry

15. For his tip-of-the-stage drumming during the live "Love And Peace Or Else."

16. His interview with The Edge.

17. For having "no memory whatsoever" about the making of "Crumbs From Your Table."

18. Quote: "Don't call me Shirley." -- Larry, on the Zoo TV tour.

19. For his defiance during the "Discotheque" video dance.

20. His nomination for "Sexiest Vegetarian of 2006."

21. For his timeless haircut/fashion sense.

22. Quote: "If I had a head like yours, I'd bleedin' bury it!" -- Larry, in Rattle And Hum

23. "Desire."

24. Quote: "Larry is the squeaky wheel in U2 that always has to be serviced and oiled." -- Paul McGuinness

25. "Dirty Old Town."

26. For his work with Emmylou Harris.

27. For being in love with the same woman since age 13.

28. He was born on Halloween.

29. Because his mum wanted him to be a priest.

30. "The Refugee."

31. For taking his shirt off.

32. His fight against AIDS/HIV.

33. For answering my question in Hot Press.

34. Let me in the sound!

35. Making the list of the world's greatest drummers.

36. Quote: "I'm happy with the lemon. There is something quite funny about four Paddys walking out in front of a 40-foot lemon." -- Larry

37. His guest appearance on The Simpsons "Trash Of The Titans" episode.

38. Quote: "I don't think the lyrics are worth a sh*t to be honest, if you ask me. I think it's all about drums." -- Larry

39. F.O.A.D.

40. For being a handsome devil.

41. Quote: "We were working class in 1978 when we formed. We were working in 1983 when we hit paydirt. But now more than ever, we are working class men." -- Larry in 1992

42. His love of sports.

43. His backup vocals on "Miracle Drug."

44. "Mission Impossible."

45. His love for Elvis.

46. Quote: "We are like a dysfunctional family with all the laughter and tears that goes with that. Personalities will not break up U2. Musical differences will not break up U2. We'll break up because somebody squeezed the toothpaste from the wrong end." -- Larry

47. The Man On The Train.

48. For his part on The Cleveland Show (even if it got cut).

49. "Bullet The Blue Sky."

50. Quote: "If Bono left, we could carry on. If I left, we'd be screwed." -- Larry

(c) @U2/Kokkoris, 2011.

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