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Wednesday 23 May 2018

U2 'would never have made it without belief of their manager'

Admiration: Louis Walsh claims Paul McGuinness ‘made U2’
Admiration: Louis Walsh claims Paul McGuinness ‘made U2’
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Pop mogul Louis Walsh has said U2 would never have become the biggest rock band in the world without the singular "belief" of their manager Paul McGuinness.

The 35-year relationship between McGuinness and U2 saw the group go from playing out of the back of a van to becoming the most successful live touring band in the world, with global record sales of more than 130 million.

In 2013, McGuinness announced he was stepping down from day-to-day management. But pop Svengali Walsh believes the guidance of U2's former manager was the key to the band achieving global superstardom.

"For me, Paul McGuinness is - and was - the best band manager ever," Walsh said.

"He never gets the credit for it. He made U2. Everybody thinks U2 made Paul McGuinness. No, he made U2."

He said that in their early days playing in pubs around Dublin, U2 were a group "nobody wanted".

"I remember going to the Baggot Inn - there were 30 or 40 people there," Walsh added.

"But he, McGuinness, believed. His belief made them into what they are today. ­Without him, that would never have happened."

Walsh claimed that the key to success is for a manager to "believe" in the artist, and their ability to make hit records. "You're involved in everything," he said in a podcast with Paul Williams.

"You must get the right people, such as a really good lawyer and a really good accountant.

"We've all heard the bad stories of people being ripped off. I learned all that.

"I watched Paul McGuinness and all the other good managers around town.

"You have to work it; you have to believe it; you have to like it."

Wannabe stars must realise, Walsh added, that it is a ruthless industry which takes no prisoners.

"It's tough and it's survival of the fittest," he warned.

Walsh also stressed the only way to make it in the music industry is to have an unwavering work ethic - plus that all-important "X Factor".

"The whole business has changed, so you have to have something special if you want a long career," he said.

While the music industry has evolved, he claimed singers can still make big money.

"There are different ways of making money; it's still a huge business," Walsh advised.

"If you have a hit record you make your money from the touring.

"You make all your money from touring, merchandising and endorsements.

"The live thing is huge. Look at all the concerts here, they're nearly all sold out.

"It's still the best business I know."

Sunday Independent

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