Adam Clayton

Adam Clayton

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Adam Clayton

Img_capt = Clayton playing a Lakland bass on 2 July, 2005 in Vienna, Austria (Vertigo Tour)
Img_size = 220
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Alias = Sparky
Born = Birth date and age|1960|3|13|df=yes
Chinnor, Oxfordshire, England
Died =
Instrument = Bass guitar, guitar, synthesizer
Genre = Rock, post-punk, alternative rock
Occupation = Musician, songwriter
Years_active = 1976–present
Label = Island
Associated_acts = U2
Notable_instruments = Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
Lakland Bass

Adam Charles Clayton (born 13 March 1960 in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, UK), is the bassist of the rock band U2. [cite web |url=|title=Adam Clayton biography |accessdate=2007-09-06 |author=Philip Taylor |last=Taylor |first=Philip] A British citizen, Clayton has resided in County Dublin since the time his family moved to Malahide when he was five years old in 1965. Clayton is well-known for his bass playing on songs such as "New Year's Day" and "With or Without You". [cite web |url= |title=Different Class, Part 2 |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=Dorian Lynskey |last=Lynskey |first=Dorian|publisher=Q magazine] He has worked on several solo projects throughout his career, such as his work with fellow band member Larry Mullen Jr. on the theme of 1996's "". Clayton, as a part of U2, has won 22 Grammy awards.cite web |url= |title=The Grammy Awards |accessdate=2007-09-27]


Clayton is the eldest child of Brian and Jo Clayton, born on 13 March 1960 in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, England. When Clayton was five years old, his family moved from Oxfordshire to Malahide, near Dublin, where Clayton's brother Sebastian was born. The Clayton family became friends with the Evans family, with their sons Dick and Dave (more commonly known as The Edge), who were both in the original group, Feedback, that spawned U2.cite book |last=McCormick |first=Neil |coauthors=Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. |title=U2 by U2 |year=2005 |publisher=HarperEntertainment |location=New York |isbn=0060776757 ]

Clayton attended boarding school firstly at Castle Park School in Dalkey, then at St. Columba's in Rathfarnham. He later changed school to Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin, where he met fellow bandmates Paul "Bono" Hewson and Larry Mullen Jr., and was reunited with his boyhood friend Dave "The Edge" Evans. Mullen had posted an advertisement on the school bulletin board for musicians to form a band with him; Clayton showed up at the first practice, which also included Dick Evans, Dave Evans's older brother, Ivan McCormick, and Peter Martin, who were two of Mullen's friends. McCormick and Martin left the band soon after its conception. While the band was a five-piece (consisting of Bono, The Edge, Mullen, Evans, and Clayton), it was known as Feedback. The name was subsequently changed to The Hype, but changed to "U2" soon after Evans left the band.cite web |url= |title=U2 Biography from @U2 |accessdate=2007-09-10 |author=Matt McGee |last=McGee |first=Matt] Clayton also served as the band's first manager before Paul McGuinness, a more experienced manager, was hired, because Clayton had left school earlier.

In 1981, around the time of U2's second, spiritually charged album, "October", a rift was created in the band between Clayton and McGuinness, and the three other band members. Bono, The Edge, and Mullen had joined a Christian group, and were questioning the compatibility of rock music with their spirituality. However, Clayton, with his more ambiguous religious views, was less concerned, and so was more of an outsider, until Bono's wedding to Alison Hewson (Neé Stewart), in which Clayton was the best man.cite web |url= |title=Adam Clayton Biography from @U2 |accessdate=2007-09-10 |author=David Lineage |last=Lineage |first=David]

In August 1989, Clayton made newspapers around the world when he was arrested in Dublin carrying a small amount of marijuana. However, he avoided conviction by making a large donation to charity, and has later been regretful, saying "It was my own fault. And I'm sure I was out of my head — emotionally apart from anything else. But it is serious because it is illegal." Clayton has also had alcohol problems, which came to a head on 26 November 1993 when he was so hung over that he was unable to play that night's show in Sydney. After that incident, however, he gave up alcohol.cite book | last = Flanagan | first = Bill | title = U2 : at the End of the World | publisher = Delta | location = New York | year = 1996 | isbn = 0385311575 ]

In 1995, after the groundbreaking Zoo TV Tour and "Zooropa" album, Clayton headed to New York with bandmate Mullen to receive formal training in the bass; until then Clayton had been entirely self-taught. During that period, he worked on U2's experimental album, released under the pseudonym "Passengers", entitled "Original Soundtracks 1". That album features one of the few instances where Clayton has appeared as a vocalist; he spoke the last verse of "Your Blue Room", the album's second single. Prior to this Clayton had only provided live backing vocals to tracks such as "Out of Control", "I Will Follow", "Twilight" and "Bullet the Blue Sky". Since 1998's Popmart tour Clayton has not sung live in any capacity for the band.

In 1996, whilst still in New York, Clayton collaborated with Mullen to re-record the "" theme.cite web |url= ||title=Mission:Impossible Soundtrack Album |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=U2 Wanderer]

Clayton remains the only bachelor member of U2. During the early 1990s, he was involved with and briefly engaged to British supermodel Naomi Campbell. He also had a long-standing relationship with Suzanne "Susie" Smith, a former assistant to Paul McGuinness; they were engaged in 2006, but the pair broke up in February 2007. [ cite web |url= |title=U2’s Adam splits up with fiancee Susie (U2France) |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=Barry Egan |last=Egan |first=Barry]


As a bass player, Adam Clayton is recognized for his unique playing style and rhythms that are apparent in many songs, most notably "New Year's Day", which evolved out of an attempt to play Visage's song "Fade to Grey", and "With or Without You".cite web |url= |title= Reluctant Rock Star: How U2's Adam Clayton Learned to Play -- and Conquer the World Onstage (Bass Player, November 11, 2000) |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=Gregory Isola |last=Isola |first=Gregory] His style has been influenced by many different styles, such as Motown and reggae, and has evolved over his years in U2. [cite web |url= |title=Adam Clayton's Bass Sound and Technique |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=Bass Soup] He cites artists such as Paul Simonon of The Clash as influences on his musical style. When Clayton first joined the fledgling U2, he did not have any formal training in the bass. Consequently, his style developed without any formal training whatsoever until 1995. In the early years of U2, his bass was generally a simple part in 4/4 time. Bono said of Clayton's early bass playing, "Adam used to pretend he could play bass. He came round and started using words like action and fret and he had us baffled. He had the only amplifier so we never argued with him. We thought this guy must be a musician, he knows what he's talking about and then one day we discovered he wasn't playing the right notes, that's what's wrong, y'know?" [cite web |url= |title=Kings of the Celtic Fringe |date=1981-02-14 |publisher=NME magazine |accessdate=2007-11-05] However, as the group grew and evolved, his bass became more complicated, as is the case on 1987's "The Joshua Tree" and 1988's "Rattle and Hum". Still, he continues to play simple basslines in many songs; for example, 2000's "Beautiful Day", with a simple 8th-note part.

Clayton has sung on several occasions, for example, on the song "Endless Deep", the B-side to the single "Two Hearts Beat As One" from 1983, he made an appearance singing. He also spoke the last verse of the aforementioned "Your Blue Room". Clayton can be heard speaking on "Tomorrow ('96 Version)" (a rerecording of "Tomorrow" that he arranged) a song from U2's 1981 album "October".cite web |url= |title=Adam Clayton Biography |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=U2 Online] He plays the guitar on a few occasions, most notably the song "40", where he and guitarist The Edge switch instruments. He also plays the introduction to "City of Blinding Lights" on the keyboard.

Musical equipment

Clayton has used many different basses, but his most-often used basses are listed:
*Fender Precision Bass
*Fender Jazz Bass
*Gibson Thunderbird Bass
*Gibson Les Paul Triumph Bass
*Gibson Les Paul 70's Recording Bass, unknown model
*Lakland Joe Osborne Signature Bass
*Lakland Darryl Jones Signature Bass
*Auerswald Custom Bass

Throughout his career, Clayton has used both Precision and Jazz basses. His first bass, however, was a dark brown Ibanez copy. He uses Ashdown amplifiers and blue Herdim picks, as does bandmate The Edge. Clayton's Precision bass is modified with a Fender Jazz neck; in an interview with "Bass Player" magazine, he said that he prefers the Jazz bass neck because it is more "lady-like" and is a better fit in his left hand.

Solo projects

Clayton has worked on several solo projects throughout his career. He played on Robbie Robertson's self-titled album from 1987, and has also performed with Maria McKee. [cite web |url= |||title=Robbie Robertson:Robbie Robertson |accessdate=2007-09-08] [cite web |url= |author=u2boy.n|publisher=u2boy.n|title=U2 Biography: Adam Clayton |accessdate=2007-09-08] He joined U2 producer Daniel Lanois and bandmate Larry Mullen Jr. on Lanois's 1989 album "Acadie", playing the bass on the songs "Still Water" and "Jolie Louise". [ cite web |url= |||title=Acadie Album (Daniel Lanois) |accessdate=2007-09-08] In 1994, Clayton played bass along with bandmate Larry Mullen Jr. on Nanci Griffith's album "Flyer", playing on the songs "These Days in an Open Book", "Don't Forget About Me", "On Grafton Street" and "This Heart". [cite web |url= |title=Flyer review from Rolling Stone |accessdate=2007-09-08 |author=Peter Galvin |last=Galvin |first=Peter ] Clayton and Mullen also re-recorded the "" soundtrack for the 1996 movie remake, including the theme song, which was changed from the original 5/4 time signature to the simpler 4/4 signature. They recorded the soundtrack while both Mullen and Clayton were in New York City for musical training. The "Theme from Mission: Impossible" was nominated for the "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" Grammy in 1997, also reaching #8 on the US Billboard chart. [cite web |url= |||title=Amazon product overview and reviews of "Theme from Mission: Impossible" |accessdate=2007-09-08] [cite web |url= |||title= Adam Clayton solo discography |accessdate=2007-09-08]


Clayton and U2 have won numerous awards in their career, including 22 Grammy awards, including those for Best Rock Duo or Group seven times, Album of the Year twice, Record of the Year twice, Song of the Year twice, and Best Rock Album twice.

ee also

* List of bass guitarists
* U2 discography
* List of U2 awards


External links

* [] , official U2 website
* [ Adam Clayton @U2 Biography]

NAME = Clayton, Adam Charles
DATE OF BIRTH = 13 March 1960
PLACE OF BIRTH = Chinnor, Oxfordshire, England

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