1982 interview from U2 Info Service, by Geoff Parkyn
Apart from the fact that Edge’s older brother Dik Evans plays guitar in The Virgin Prunes, there are links between the two bands that go back to their childhoods, and recently Gavin Friday of the Virgin Prunes shed some light on their names: “The U2 connections were very strong at an early stage because I grew up with Bono, he lived a few doors down from me”.
The friends duly formed into two bands, sharing early gigs such as the Prunes’ 1980 UK debut at the Acklam Hall. Together, they invented a private universe for themselves, called Lypton Village, all initiates speaking “a second language”
“As kids, we used to be bored, we usen’t to go out much. Bono went out and formed U2, and what they were expressing was totally different to what we were expressing, so when The Virgin Prunes formed, although there was this closeness, it was in friendship rather than attitudes and ideas… Like the names: Bono’s name, Guggi gave him that name, and my name, and Davey’s, they’re all names from Lypton Village, and The Edge. It goes back ten years. But as the two bands developed we came to our own identities.
“People have always brought comparisons between the bands, musically. But we’ve never really gone together on musical terms. If I see Bono, I wouldn’t really talk to him about music really. I’d talk about other things. We hate it when people bring it up, cos they say, Hey, you’re in The Virgin Prunes, tell us all about U2. We get that a lot, so we hate U2 connections! It just gets a pain in the arse in this country.
“But there is a weird understanding between us. When we were younger one of our biggest pastimes was, Guggi and Bono were very quick with words, and they used to play a game. All these names, they were just because of the personality. Before the band was even formed I was called Gavin Friday. Most of us reject our names when we first get given them, like when Guggi got his name off Bono he didn’t like it at all. But we have a feeling that we have to accept our names whether we like them or not.
“And I remember once, Bono was going through some way out trip in his head, wanted to be cool, and he kept on calling himself Paul Vox, and we said, Don’t be stupid, Bono’s a really good name – Bono Vox. And eventually what’s natural you just have to accept”.