Why I have no need to write fiction

From the Rock & Rap Confidential mailing list (www.rockrap.com).

Letter to the  Baltimore Sun

July 7,  2011

Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s recent letter defending Bono and his ONE foundation puts him in direct opposition to President Obama’s appeal for “corporate jet” owners to pay their fair share of tax (“Cardin: ONE Campaign works,” June 27). U2 are major tax evaders. I am also perturbed by Senator Cardin’s statement that Bono and the ONE campaign exercised significant influence on framing legislation in the financial services bill.

Paul Hewson, aka Bono, exemplifies the worst characteristics of Wall Street, both for excess and tax evasion. He is the major financier of Spiderman, the most expensive and lavish show ever staged on Broadway. His hotel in Ireland, the Clarence, is undergoing renovations to make it the most exclusive hotel in Dublin. He set up and has a large stake in Elevation, a private equity fund whose first act was to buy a controlling share of Forbes magazine, which celebrates wealth and over-consumption. U2 has a private jet, and Bono has a half share in a $15 million yacht, a mansion in Dublin, a house on the French Riviera and an A-list apartment inManhattan.

Ireland created a tax exemption in the early 1980’s to help artists make a modest living in a small country. U2 used and abused this exemption to amass hundreds of millions of dollars, tax free. When the Irish government put a cap on the tax exemption on royalties in 2006, U2 promptly moved that portion of their business to a Dutch tax haven. So while Bono was getting access to many of the world leaders to pressure them to double their aid budget to 0.7 percent of GDP, he himself was not even paying basic taxes. He wants ordinary people like me to pay for the causes he berates world leaders for not embracing.

Ireland is now bankrupt, and there have been calls from some government ministers for Bono to pay his taxes so the country can keep hospitals and schools open. Those appeals have fallen on deaf ears, despite the fact that Bono and U2 have extensively traded on being Irish to engender fan loyalty. While the myriad of causes Bono has taken up may seem contradictory, they are
actually consistent. They all serve the purpose of either promoting U2 or giving Bono access to power at the nexus of celebrity and politics, usually both. The recent appointment of Michael Elliott as CEO of ONE demonstrates the point: He is not a poverty advocate, he has been a senior editor at Time magazine since 2001. Time named Bono its Man of the Year, gave the band
tremendous coverage and even let Bono write editorial articles.

The ONE campaign is a lobbying group with no mandate or accountability, set up by a man who is not even a U.S. citizen. It has no relevant expertise on aid policy, let alone on the best interests of Maryland taxpayers.

As a federal worker awaiting the outcome of the debt ceiling talks to see where I will endure cuts and taxes, I am not amused by Senator Cardin’s endorsement of Bono and ONE. As a registered Democrat and someone who voted for him, I expect him to condemn Bono’s tax evasion and refuse to work with the ONE campaign any longer.

Simon Moroney, Baltimore

[I would add to this two points:

1) Bono is a major investor in the Spiderman Broadway fiasco but he is probably not THE major investor.

2) Bono’s wealth would not be at issue if he didn’t spend so much time in clownish posturing to make his success “meaningful.” He got rich because people spent a lot of money on his music. I would in general rather see money generated by recorded music purchases, concert tickets, etc. go to profligate rock stars than profligate corporations.  The real problem is that Bono uses his wealth to create pro-capitalist propaganda and promotes the TINA (there is no alternative) bullshit espoused by his mentor Jeffrey Sachs, which tells us that nothing but the present corporate-capitalist version of democracy can possibly be created. This is why Bono feels justified in meeting with Presidents and Prime Ministers in the midst of wars and never discussing such matters, even though the states he mainly deals with–the G8 states, particularly the US and UK–directly kill thousands of people every year in war, both their own citizens and others.— D.M.]


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26 Responses to “Why I have no need to write fiction”

  1. There is two most interesting stories that have been missed by the American media

    No bands have come out of Ireland for some time partly because new bands (like ours) were encouraged to have their Cd’s distributed by U2’s “record services ltd”. We sued and won

    A quick look at the Irish companies register will reveal that “record services ltd” was dissolved in 1999 – yet they were trading at least up to 2005

    A related issue is the extent to which U2 has been doing property and investment rather than music;


    Of course a dissolved company that is allowed to trade is a most useful thing to have in the property business

  2. That should be “are” not is, first line

  3. At Dave’s request, I’ve added the following detail;

    We sued U2 in 2000 in their incarnation as Record services Ltd – which had been dissolved the year before. At a guess, they have repressed the work of hundreds of artists, by offering a higher royalty rate – and then not paying.

    Our lawyer was Shane Keane of Paddy Donaghy and co; the person acting for them was Michael Doyle – and we got paid by Paul McGuinness’s Rathgordon as they rolled immediately. This is Doyle’s e-mail;


    You can find his CV on


    It is fair to say some of his new colleagues are not reputable and are mentioned on my site (below). One of them (Hennessy) launched an abortive lawsuit against me for libel, then backed out.

    Our award-nominated album features this type of music and we’ve struggled since, just as U2 would have had Island shafted them;

    (Video Gaelic)





    Record services Ltd, was allowed trade for about a decade post-dissolution with help from the Irish authorities

    Check http://www.cro.ie to find its date of dissolution etc (1999 to save you the trip)

    Certainly this guy worked for them until 2005, 6 years post dissolution;


    U2 are essentially a property scam that uses a “rock band” as its front. They sucked up to every Irish government since they were formed. The property moguls almost certainly were introduced to them through banking and political contacts – Dublin is a very small town (for 1.2 million) – it’s all very centralized.

    This brings us to the criminal destruction of Irish music, of which U2 are only a part, if an imprtant part.

    Earlier this year, a federal court judge in the USA ruled that a set of compilations of Irish musicians sold through Walmart and Best Buy violated copyright, and set the amount due to one (of dozens of artists) at nearly $25k, excluding damages and legal fees;


    Under various handles, I’ve been exposing this for some time; but here are more details in a rough little site;


    Enterprise Ireland., a government organization, facilitated this scam by hosting the criminals at the annual midem trade fair.

  4. Like DM, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

    U2 had another outlet through which they controlled Irish music called”Mother records” which they officially wound down in 2000

    A week ago, after using it for whatever purposes for 11 years, they decided to pull its plug;


  5. Dave says:

    The link you give states the label folded in 2000. It doesn’t say anything about 2011. I also tried linking directly through Wikipedia, but that didn’t give me anything different. ???

  6. Dave

    They keep taking down the information……someone then puts it back up…sean

  7. Joan says:

    Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my qeutsions are answered!

  8. Krystallynn says:

    It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of sunhisne.

  9. The attempt to start a discussion on

    “The criminal destruction of Irish music”

    on politics.ie, (www.politics.ie) Ireland’s biggest political website, has repeatedly been censored and indeed banned

    My guess is that the moderators there are on the take from U2. This happened to our first original Irish lawyer (Philip Lee) and accountant (Gaby Smith) both of whom have worked for U2 since leaving us in the late 1990’s

  10. Dave says:

    Note to davemarsh.us readers: The above discussion is worth reading but from my own perspective, it’s based on nonsense. Unpaid downloading has nothing to do with “stealing” (ethically, morally, any whichway you choose). When you steal from someone that person has left of the stolen item. But that isn’t true of downloading; the “owner” is left with exactly the same thing.
    Of course, what makes it “stealing” under the stupid-as-Glenn-Beck’s-hairdo copyright laws is that the “rights” to the music have been monetized and the money that (in that cockeyed capitalist theory) “ought to” go to the “creator” (who is almost never the copyright owner; therefore even “creator” is a concept that has been monetized into abstraction) has been “stolen.” Which is rubbish.

    Yes, musicians need to get paid for their work. No, the record industry system doesn’t, by and large, pay most of them–the history of record industry royalty accounting bears a far closer resemblance to theft from actual as opposed to corporate “creators” than cumulative downloading will in a billion years. We need to find a better way to make sure musicians can make a living at playing music, but we will not achieve it by endorsing draconian, unrealistic and ulitimately unenforcable — except by long periods of incarceration or fines that literally beggar the downloader–copyright laws that put all the power and dough in the hands of less than half a dozen vast corporations, none of which has ever composed or performed any piece of music.

    Which is a way of saying that everyone ought to live under the kind of minimum annual wage system that Richard Nixon proposed ca. 1970 (and Mark a century and a quarter before him), and then we wouldn’t have to worry about your downloading my song brusing my capacity to have a roof over my head, food on the table, etc.

  11. This discussion is primarily about U2 being allowed by the “Irish state” to run criminal scams. This includes an attested episode when a U2 corporation was allowed trade for years after it had been struck off for failing to submit financial records. That corporation (Record Services Ltd) together with its even more evil U2 twin, Mother Records Ltd, played a huge role in the destruction of a heretofore vibrant Irish music industry. All competition to U2 was squashed and the band – with only one ethnically Irish person, and a manager born on an RAF base, with a bass player whose dad was an RAF pilot – succeeded partly by illegally crushing the competition

    This discussion is NOT about copyright in Ireland , which is unpacked on


    It is interesting that Wikipedia is running scared, and only Dave Marsh has the guts to expose U2 – last time I donate to Jimmy Wales.

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  13. mandela died says:

    mandela died…

    […]Why I have no need to write fiction « Dave Marsh[…]…

  14. I have been banned from Wikipedia for posting the following;

    “U2 claim they wound down Mother records in 2000

    If that is the case, then it gratuitously submitted accounts for a further decade, before applying for voluntary strike-off on July 11 2011 (see http://www.cro.ie)Given that U2’s distribution “service” Record services ltd traded for at least 6 years after dissolution (again http://www.cro.ie), that seems unlikely

    As is well-known, U2 wound up other companies like Thengel and Straypass – like “U2 Ltd”, officially based at their accountant Gaby Smith’s relatively modest offices at 92 Merrion Road, Dublin prior to the tax-dodge move to Holland

    The questions that must be asked are;

    1.What was Mother records actually doing post 2000, given U2’s attested aversion to submitting accounts with RSL?

    2.Was Mother actually being used to launder money for U2’s vast property interests, as hinted at in the “Edge” move on California – see above?

    3.Why did it never break an Irish band internationally?

    4.Did it suppress Irish bands?

    5Why are U2’s editors taking this info down from Wikipedia every time it is posted?

  15. Got banned again from wikipedia for putting the following attested true information;

    Remarkably, Mullen is the only ethnically Irish member of the band; the name “Hewson” arrived in Ireland courtesy of one of Cromwell’s generals, and both Clayton and the Evans brothers are British. Clayton’s father was an Raf pilot; the manager Paul McGuinness was born on an RAF base, where his father worked . Rather famously, Bono failed Gaelic in his final High School exam, and was expelled from university for lying about this.

    U2 gained much of their success by suppressing the competition in Ireland which comprised far more accomplished and sensitive artists and, in doing so, have ensured that their main legacy is the destruction of the Irish music industry – and Irish musical culture in general. In particular, their “label” Mother Records simply signed and warehoused many much better Irish bands that U2. Mother Records applied for voluntary strike-off on July 11 2011 http://www.cro.ie having publicly claimed to “cease operations ” in 2000. Given that U2’s distribution “service” Record services ltd traded for at least 6 years after dissolution http://www.cro.ie, that seems unlikely. RSL destroyed many independent bands.

  16. ken says:

    These are remarkable assertions. That they are being published by a credentialed author such as Dave Marsh lends credence to these remarks. That they are being pulled down and stricken from Wiki lends even more credence.

    As a lifelong fan of U2, I am “gob-smacked” by what I’ve read. If these statements are indeed true, then I believe the Band has, like Lucy Ricardo, “Some esplainin’ to do…” It’s said that no good deed goes unpunished; however, in this regard it appears that nefarious deeds have been rewarded unjustly, unfairly and unconscionably to the “kings of the hill.”

    I’ve visited Ireland and had a most wonderful time there with friends. I saw U2 there at the stadium in Dublin for the Zooropa tour. I spent a few nights in local pubs hearing local bands. I sat in a theatre and watched local Irish actors performing a magnificent version of an American play by Sam Shepherd and rasied a few pints with them afterwards. I biked around the countryside in County Wiklow, spent time in people’s homes, and enjoyed hours and hours of conversation with the people I met. I enjoyed every minute of every day there, and have looked forward to a return visit ever since. I have a deep affinity and appreciation for Ireland. This reporting dismays me greatly, that would be, should be champions of Ireland, its music and its artists, should be principal elements in frustrating the same.

    I hope that things change, and that they change soon.

  17. Dear Ken,

    I was genuinely touched by this heartfelt paean to my mother country;

    “I sat in a theatre and watched local Irish actors performing a magnificent version of an American play by Sam Shepherd and rasied a few pints with them afterwards. I biked around the countryside in County Wiklow, spent time in people’s homes, and enjoyed hours and hours of conversation with the people I met. ”

    Yes, the ancient civil society has at least partly survived – and we like Americans in Ireland, as the Brits would have finished us off (like they did to the Tasmanians who were wiped off the face off the earth) without America.

    Your second comment is similarly touching;

    “This reporting dismays me greatly, that would be, should be champions of Ireland, its music and its artists, should be principal elements in frustrating the same.”

    Bob spent the last week cavorting on stage with 2 of the current popular acts in
    Ireland – don’t worry, you’ll never need to know who they are as this is the kiss of death. This is how they claim to be supporting Irish music. The only band they allowed throuigh is “The Script” with a mini-Bono and Bono’s daughter “acting” in the video

    I believe that U2 should compensate ALL the artists who were on Record Services ltd. – and they could well afford to



  18. And, yes, I have to ask Dave again to allow space for a reply to an attack on another website;


    I have registered with the site as they requested; despite repeated e-mails, they won’t even say if I have been “accepted” into their August list of commentators

    So they say that;

    “Never mind of course, about the Corrs, Titus Andronicus, or Snow Patrol in recent years, nope, U2’s kept every Irish band ever in a secret warehouse in the center of the earth.”

    Titus Andronicus are actually from New Jersey

    U2 had nothing whatsoever to do with SP, who had some very lean years indeed. It is true that Bono “sang” with Andrea Corr after she got famous – but he does that with all the girls and boys. There is no evidence that U2 helped the Corrs in the slightest on the way up

    No wonder these assholes can’t stand a debate as facts tend to get in the way of knuckle-dragging

  19. And finally – this is one of the acts who would have made it though to international stardom both as a world music/jazz and popular artist. First of all, here she is at a festival in a town square in France in summer 2010;


    Yes, the song is in Gaelic, “Rincim” – I dance

    The next song has been the most popular on RTE’s (Ireland’s BBC) playlist since November;


    And yes! Our equipment for these videos is indeed primitive – an edirol 50 yards away from the stage, the loan of a friend’s yacht. That’s because U2 stole our money. Even if you dislike this music, I think you’ll admit it’s different

    And that’s exactly why U2 and their cronies in the apparatus of the corrupt Irish state want to suppress it

    Warmly again!


  20. Dave says:

    Happy to provide the forum, Sean.
    I can’t access that site’s old posts without registering (they already have enough info about me) so perhaps you can email me that? Just in case someone’s law firms ring me. …

  21. Finally the music companies are suing Ireland for failure to have any implementable copyright legislation;


    Even the most “cynical/daring” comments on this topic really don’t get it. Ireland has not been run as a normal state since 1998 or so, and there was every indication from back then that the music industry – in the mid 90’s perhaps the biggest in the world pro capita – began to be used for the creation of huge scams

    We can start with the admittedly labyrinthine narrative on


    To summarize; musicians start to notice that their song copyright registrations are altered when they attempt to repatriate them from Britain and the USA to the nascent Irish music “rights” organization (IMRO). Companies close to the government suddenly “own” part of the songs. The musicians check further, and notice that they are credited with writing songs that don’t exist, often spelled in Gaelic with a letter missing.

    They get the police involved; one of the police is made a job offer he can’t refuse, but parliamentary questions keep the investigation going. It is possible that the government simply wanted to find out what we knew.

    Then someone in IMRO’s London counterpart panics and – lo and behold! – it is revealed that Shay Hennessy, chair of IMRO, HAD STOLEN HUNDREDS OF COPYRIGHTS AND WAS USING IMRO TO PERPETUATE THE THEFT. Quis cutodies cutodiet? AS it happens, the police investigation was aborted with a leak to the papers


    Hennessy was the main advisor on the copyright act that has caused this snafu;


    It is important to remember that, when referring to Ireland 1997-2011, we are not talking about a modern democracy; it is a third world country, with the prime minister paying a fortune of taxpayers’ money to promote the musical and other “artistic” careers of his daughters and their partners, including the horrible “PS I love you”.

    U2, among many others, took advantage of the artists destroyers’ exemption, which allowed them trade with dissolved companies and steal at will from far better musicians than them.

  22. Sean O Nuallain PhD says:

    U2 make much use of the fact that they are above the law in Ireland. Despite their documented trading with a company post the dissolution of that company – and with Paul McGuinness still listed as a director – they persist in suing their ex-employees in Irish courts, picking novice judges to hear their cases.

    The corporate media in the USA in general failed to report U2’s cleaning out their stylist Lola Cashman, with Bono agreeing that it was because she had the temerity to write a book about them;


    Now they’re at it again, with a claim that a PA stole from Adam Clayton, and the case being heard by a ringer judge;


    It is worth noting that both the gents in the photo had fathers in the RAF.

    When U2 stole from hundreds of bands in Ireland and elsewhere, including us, corporate enforcement authority in Ireland refused to take action. The last time this kind of colonial mentality was rampant in Ireland, things did not go well for the colonizers.

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