Larry Mullen, alias Duke Dalton, Babyface Mullens, was born and raised in Artane, located the north side of Dublin, at 60 Rosemount Avenue. He had to add the "Junior" to the end of his name to distinguish himself from his father, Larry Mullen, Sr. As Larry's career blossomed, so did his tax bills and his father was the unlucky recipient of them. Larry's past gigs included playing drums for the Post-Office Workers Union Band and the Artane Boys' Band. He even played at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in O'Connell Street.
Growing up in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin, Larry Mullen started out playing piano but soon gave it up for the drums in 1971, at the age of nine. He took classes with Ireland's best-known drummer, Joe Bonnie and afterward by his daughter Monica. However, Larry has said that his drumming style is "unteachable" and that spirit and instinct are what guides his drumming style. His sister, Cecilia, bought him his first drum-kit in 1973 for £17. He placed a notice at the infamous Mount Temple Comprehensive School in the fall of 1976, and his life has not been the same since. Although everyone knows the band as U2, Larry claims that the band's name is really "The Larry Mullen Band."
His award-winning career includes 14 Grammy Awards, the Rory Gallagher Musician of the Year Award from Hot Press Magazine, 8 Brit Awards, as well as many others. He has also served as a judge for the Shortlist Music Prize.
Although he has been plagued with a battle with tendonitis it has been curbed by specially-designed drumsticks from Pro-Mark.
From the start he wanted to play his own way and was not keen on learning paradiddles and fancy technique. Larry instigated the formation of U2 while at the Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin by posting a ‘musicians wanted’ notice. He was still only 15 and he saved up cash from mowing lawns to buy his first drum kit.
The band soon graduated from playing Rolling Stones covers to writing their own songs, inspired by the brash ethos of late-1970s punk. By 1979 the band was forging their own identity and gaining attention.
Like most young drummers Larry Mullen started out experimenting with a more flamboyant style and gradually pared things down to the lean force he displays today. There’s a deceptive art in simplicity - the broad, bold statement that carries to the back of the largest arena - and Larry and U2 are the masters. They understand this better than probably any other band. There is always a dramatic dimension to Larry’s playing, an element of traditional Irish music, melodic Celtic roots and the marching bands of his youth.
Larry and U2’s incredible success is also due to their willingness to experiment and take big risks with drum sounds and overall production. They constantly worked to stretch the boundaries of stadium rock, creating their own unmistakable sound during the 1980s – the special marriage of rock and roll with technology. Working with producers and engineers including Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Flood on albums stretching from The Unforgettable Fire through The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, Zooropa and on to 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind (which immediately picked up four Grammy Awards), Larry’s willingness to embrace technology, to work alongside loops and samples, has kept the band on the cutting-edge of rock. With Larry starring in the video for the latest single Electrical Storm there’s no sign of the band slowing down yet.
With fellow band mate Adam Clayton Larry Mullen worked on the theme to Mission: Impossible for the film's release in 1996. Larry and Adam also teamed up with Mike Mills and Michael Stipe to form the group "Automatic Baby" for Bill Clinton's Inauguration in 1993 at MTV's Inaugural Ball.
He has been with his partner, Ann, for over 20 years. Together they have 3 children, Aaron Elvis (born October 4, 1995), Ava (born December 23, 1998) and a son born in February 2001. He has also been a dog owner, thanking his Labradors JJ and Missy on past albums.