U2 a Dublin Story

U2 are without a doubt Dublin’s most famous export since Guinness, so it´s no surprise that the city has quite a few landmarks with historical U2 significance.

Dublin will always be at the heart and soul of U2’s story. After all, it’s where it began.

This is the town where Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry grew up and appeared to the world.

Mount Temple Comprehensive School – Malahide Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3

School where the four members of U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr) studied and met. It was on the school mural in 1976 that drummer Larry Mullen Jr put out a notice looking for other boys interested in forming a rock band. It was at this school that they also made their first performance for the other students, on a makeshift stage in the courtyard, playing a set of covers by Peter Frampton and Bay City Rollers.

Former residence of the Mullen family – 60 Rosemount Avenue, Artane, Dublin

It was the site of the first rehearsal of the boys who accepted the invitation placed on the Mount Temple School mural by Larry Mullen Jr. From that meeting in the kitchen of the house, U2 was born. From the jam session, which took place on September 25, 1976, six boys participated, four of whom came to form U2, who recorded their first album in 1980.

Former residence of the Hewson family – 10 Cedarwood Road, Finglas, Dublin

It was where vocalist Bono was born on May 10, 1960, in a remote suburb in the north of Dublin. He lived in this house until his marriage (in 1982), initially with his father, mother, and brother. With the death of his mother in 1974, only three sad men lived there in a “home that was not home,” as Bono sings in 2004’s “Sometimes You Can Make It on Your Own” song.

BONAVOX Hearing Aid Store – 9 North Earl Street, Dublin 1

The store gave rise to the nickname of vocalist Bono, whose name of baptism is Paul Hewson. The Latin name means “good voice.”

At first, he was called by his friends Bono Vox’s, but soon that nickname was shortened to Bono, which eventually became his stage name.

Hanover Quay Studio – Hanover Quay, Dublin 4

Current U2 studio, purchased in the mid-1990s, located in the Docklands, on the banks of the River Liffey. Like the old Windmill Lane studios (demolished in 2016), the outer walls are covered with paintings, writings, and graffiti with honours from U2 fans around the world. Nowadays it works more like a deposit of equipment of the band.

Kilmainham Prison (Kilmainham Gaol) – Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Famous museum in Dublin, it was an important prison during British domination, where the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916 were arrested and executed. U2 recorded the music video for “A Celebration” in 1981. It is recommended to take a guided visit to the prison, an essential program for those who want to know more about the history of Ireland.

Hard Rock Café – 12 Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin

Decorating the entrance hall, one of the Trabant cars used by U2 on his Zoo TV tour is hanging from the ceiling, as well as various memorabilia items from U2, such as handwritten lyrics by Bono, photos, glasses and posters.

Fitzwilliam Square – Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

Around that square, on September 20, 1998, U2 recorded the video for the remake of “Sweetest Thing”. The video serves as an apology for Bono to his wife Ali for having forgotten his birthday at the time of song writing in the 1980s. In the video, Bono tries in every way to please Ali, who was sitting in front of him in a carriage, bringing to the street a veritable parade of things that his wife supposedly appreciated, such as elephants, sexy firemen, Irish dance, and the band Boyzone.

Poolbeg Plant Chimneys – Poolbeg peninsula, Ringsend, Dublin

The two red and white striped chimneys, 207m high each, of the Poolbeg thermoelectric power plant continue to be part of the Dublin landscape, even with the plant closing in 2010. They appear in the music video for “Pride (In the Name of Love) “.

And for those who eventually would want to try to find some of the band members

Bono´s Residence – Vico Road, Killiney, South Dublin

Famous “pilgrimage” spot for U2 fans from all over the world, the trip to Bono’s home is also worth a stroll along the beautiful south coast of Dublin. The house sits on a hillside on Killiney beach, 30 minutes from Dublin, and the famous gates are covered with writings and dedications to U2.

Finnegan’s Pub – Sorrento Road, Dalkey

Bono ’s and The Edge local pub in Dalkey. An ideal lunch stop on any U2 landmark tour of Dublin.

A great option is the fish and chips one of Bono’s favourite.

The Clarence Hotel – 6/8 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2

Dublin’s traditional boutique hotel, purchased by Bono and The Edge, in the 1990s, and remodelled shortly after.

In 2000 U2 recorded the music video for “Beautiful Day” on the cover of the Clarence Hotel.

Recommended is the hotel bar, “The Octagon”, which has been operating since 1996.

Leo Burdock – Werburgh Street, Dublin.

Simple dinner, but famous for “fish & chips”, where Bono and Larry eventually go.

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