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Louis Walsh confirms he talked U2 out of firing their manager Paul McGuinness

Louis tells the Sunday World that U2 were “nobodies” when he first interrupted their conversation and he had never met them before

BAD MOVE: Bono recalls how U2 were talked out of ditching their manager Paul McGuinness by Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh

Manager Paul McGuinness© (C)Barry Cronin

Eugene MastersonSunday World

Louis Walsh today confirms Bono’s announcement in his new book that thanks to the X Factor judge an infant U2 decided not to fire their manager Paul McGuinness.

Bono recalls one evening in the late ’70s when he and the rest of U2 gathered in the upstairs restaurant in Captain America’s on Dublin’s Grafton street.

The group had met for a crisis meeting to discuss grievances they had with McGuinness.

Louis Walsh

“After a heated discussion, we came to a conclusion we would fire Paul – from the agreement he hadn’t signed – and hire Billy McGrath, who managed a group we admired called the Atrix,” recalls Bono in his forthcoming autobiography Surrender: 40 Songs – one story.

“I’m sorry but I couldn’t help overhear you’. The speaker, a pale-faced man in his last twenties, had been sitting at the next table we were talking.”

He adds: “’I know the person you are talking about, Paul McGuiness’, he continued. ‘You’re about to make the biggest mistake of your life if you get rid of him’.

“He told us he managed local showbands, which is how he knew Paul, who represented a folk band called Spud. His name was Louis Walsh, later to become the manager of Boyzone and Westlife, among Ireland’s most successful pop acts, and then famous in his own right as a judge on the talent show The X Factor. We didn’t fire Paul McGuinness or he us.”

After becoming a multi-millionaire thanks to looking after U2, McGuinness stepped down as manager in 2013 after 34 years at the helm.

Louis tells the Sunday World that U2 were “nobodies” when he first interrupted their conversation and he had never met them before.

Manager Paul McGuinness© (C)Barry Cronin

Asked what U2’s reaction to his intervention as the time, he replies: “They said ‘thank you’ and I had forgotten about it totally until recently.”

He is full of praise for Bono.

“I think he is a brilliant role model for Irish people...

“He’s not just a rock star, he’s a great politician, he’s a great father. He’s great, and he’s a great operator, he really is.”

Bono will start a world tour reading excerpts from the book and playing music.It kicks off in New York on November 2. He appears in Dublin’s 3Olympia theatre on November 21, which has already sold-out.


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