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Louis Walsh claims he saved U2; is he right?

Did Louis Walsh save U2? It seems he may have.

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. make up U2, one of the world’s biggest rock bands. Louis Walsh would like to think he played a part in their success.

Louis Walsh’s U2 memory

During an appearance on the 2024 Celebrity Big Brother (Per The Daily Mirror), Walsh recalled overhearing the U2 members having a discussion early on in their career. They were debating leaving their manager at the time, Paul McGuinness, which Walsh advised them against.

“I was in a place called Captain America’s. It’s a restaurant. It’s a really good burger restaurant in Grafton Street in Dublin. I loved going in there. I went in there every week,” he recalled. “And I went in and I saw U2. They were unknown. They were a brand-new band from Dublin.

“And they were at the next table. And they were chatting away about changing their manager. Out loud. And, of course, I was listening,” Walsh continued. “And I knew Paul McGuinness. He is probably one of the best managers in the world. Eventually, I went over. I said, ‘Guys, I heard your conversation. I know Paul McGuinness. He’s good. Probably the best manager in the world. Because he believes in you guys.’ That’s the most important thing and manager could do, he believes in a brand-new act. And they listened.”

For anyone who doubts the encounter, Bono recalls it in his memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, on page 95.

Did the band stay with Paul McGuinness? 

U2 stayed with Paul McGuinness for several decades. He remained their manager until 2013. Guy Oseary has since taken over his duties and has remained with the band in the subsequent decade-plus.

Louis Walsh

Besides keeping U2 on the track to stardom, Louis Walsh is known for being a judge on The X Factor, Popstars, and Ireland’s Got Talent. He is currently a part of the Celebrity Big Brother

Did Louis Walsh save U2?

While U2 is talented in their own right, maintaining McGuinness was a vital move for them. The U2-themed iPod and 3D concert film happened under his regime. Not to mention the blockbuster tours like the “ZooTV” and “360” tours.

So, to that end, Walsh may have saved U2.

What has U2 been doing after Paul McGuinness? 

Since Guy Oseary has taken over as manager of U2, the band has embarked on a bevy of projects. Of course, there was the infamous iTunes release of Songs of Innocence, which launched a new era of Bono-centric music for the band. Songs of Experience and Songs of Surrender subsequently followed.

The band also embarked on the ambitious “Innocence + Experience” and “Experience + Innocence” tours in 2015 and 2018. It was under Oseary’s regime that the band also began looking back more often. In 2017, they took their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, one tour for its thirtieth anniversary.

Then, in 2023, U2 took on the Sphere in Las Vegas. They played a 40-night residency that commemorated their 1991 album, Achtung Baby.

As they head into the future, it’s unclear what’s next. U2’s track record suggests they are coming back with a bang after a decade of nostalgia and intimate music.

Andrew Korpan_headshot

About the Author

Andrew Korpan is the lead entertainment editor and film critic for ClutchPoints. He’s also an award-winning author and Ken Jeong’s best friend.

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