Paul McGuinness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Paul McGuinness
Paul McGuinness crop.jpg
McGuinness in 2010
Background information
Born17 June 1951 (1951-06-17) (age 68)
Rinteln, Germany
Occupation(s)Pop Music Group Management
Years active1970s–2016
Associated actsU2, PJ Harvey, The Rapture

Paul McGuinness (born 17 June 1951) is the main shareholder and founder of Principle Management Limited, a popular music act management company based in Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland. He was the manager of the rock band U2 from 1978 to 2013, and is the current manager of PJ Harvey, and The Rapture. He previously managed Paddy Casey.

Early life[edit]

McGuinness was born in a British military hospital at Rinteln, Westphalia in Germany, where his father, Philip McGuinness (a Liverpudlian) was serving with the Royal Air Force. His mother Sheila McGuinness née Lyne, was a schoolteacher from County Kerry, Ireland. There were three children in the family: Paul, Niall and Katy.

McGuinness received his early formal education in Ireland at the private Jesuit boarding school Clongowes Wood College. From there he went on to Trinity College, Dublin University, where he directed plays and edited the magazine T.C.D. Miscellany,[1] but dropped out.


Early years[edit]

Before becoming involved with U2, he worked as a film technician on productions such as John Boorman's Zardoz.[2] For a time, he also managed folk-rock group Spud.[3]

He was nicknamed by The Prunes as "The Goose", according to Bono in the book U2 by U2. Bono said: "The Prunes came up with a name for Paul. He was The Goose."[4]


McGuinness first met U2 at a Dublin gig on 25 May 1978 where they were supporting the Gamblers[5] and became their manager, having been introduced to the band by Bill Graham, a journalist with Hot Press magazine.[6]

He founded Principle Management Limited on 29 Mar 1984,[7] the name being chosen because he wanted to be more principled than other managers.[8]

In 1985, McGuinness commissioned Eamon Dunphy to write the story of U2's early years. The book Unforgettable Fire – The Story of U2 was published in 1987.

McGuinness and Bill Whelan set up a music publishing company called McGuinness/Whelan Publishing in the late 1980s.[9]

In 2002 McGuinness was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Meteor Music Awards at Point Theatre Dublin and U2 won the best Irish Band Award.[10]

As a result of the cap on artists' tax exemption in Ireland, in June 2006 McGuinness advised U2 to move its song publishing assets to Promogroup in The Netherlands, to minimise their tax burden.[11][12]

Noted for his business acumen, he has been responsible for U2 3D concert films, U2-branded iPods, sponsorship from BlackBerry and the first ever concert streamed live on YouTube.[13]

He is regarded as the fifth member of U2, although in an interview with the Irish Press in 1985, when asked if he was the fifth member of U2, he replied "the fifth member of U2 is in Adam (Clayton)'s trousers". He is also regarded as one of the most successful managers in the music business.[14]

McGuinness stepped down as manager of U2 after 34 years on 13 November 2013, with Madonna's manager Guy Oseary succeeding him in 2014.[15]

Other activities[edit]

He was a founding partner of TV3 (Ireland) and is a director of Ardmore Studios.[16] He is a member of the Phantom FM consortium that in November 2004 secured a broadcasting licence for alternative rock music radio station in the Dublin area and co-founder of the Celtic Heartbeat label, part of Universal Records.[17]

He became a member of the Arts Council of Ireland on 1 January 1988, having been nominated by Charles Haughey and served until February 2000 when he resigned.[9]

He is an advocate on behalf of artists, record labels and music publishers.[18] On 28 January 2008, in a speech at the Midem music industry convention in Cannes, McGuinness called on governments to compel ISPs to introduce mandatory "three strike" service disconnections to end unauthorised downloading, and specifically accused companies such as Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Oracle, and Facebook of building "multi billion dollar industries on the back of our content without paying for it".[19][20]

McGuinness, alongside Eamon Dunphy and others, was involved in a consortium proposing and backing the relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Dublin in the 1990s. The move to Dublin did not happen, with Wimbledon F.C. eventually moving to Milton Keynes.[21]

Personal life[edit]

McGuinness married Kathy Gilfillan in 1977.[22] They met whilst he was studying at Trinity. Kathy Gilfillan is director of The Lilliput Press Limited[23]


  1. ^ Daniel Reardon (2013). "Trinity Tales: Trinity College Dublin in the Seventies – Kathy Gilfillan – Google Books". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sunday Times (2013). "Profile: Paul McGuinness: They Do the Music, He Does the Business". Retrieved 25 April 2013. folk-rock group
  4. ^ Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr. U2 by U2. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-077674-9.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Eamon Dunphy (1987). Unforgettable Fire The Story of U2. Penguin. p. 147. ISBN 0670821047.
  6. ^ McCormick, Neil (2006). U2 by U2. HarperCollins. pp. 53–56. ISBN 0-00-719668-7.
  7. ^ "Principle Management Limited in , Company Accounts & Directors Webcheck | Duedil". 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  8. ^ The Sunday Times 12 July 1998 (2013). "Out of Control". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  9. ^ a b Višnja Cogan (2006). U2: An Irish Phenomenon. The Collins Press. pp. 163–167. ISBN 1905172222.
  10. ^ "Meteor – Meteor Ireland Music Awards Past Winners". 2013. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  11. ^ Lynnley Browning (4 February 2007). "The Netherlands, the New Tax Shelter Hot Spot – New York Times". The New York Times. New York City: NYTC. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  12. ^ Daniel McConnell (2013). "U2 move their rock empire out of Ireland –". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  13. ^ Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson (2013). "Lunch with the FT: Paul McGuinness –". Retrieved 25 April 2013. He claims no creative role but can take credit for a series of eye-catching deals.
  14. ^ Cunningham, James & Harney, Brian (2012). Strategy and Strategists. OUP Oxford. p. 41. ISBN 0199219710.
  15. ^ "BBC News – U2's manager Paul McGuinness 'set to step down after 34 years'". 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  16. ^ Deegan, Gordon (17 October 2011). "Ardmore Studios profits drop 41%". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  17. ^ Tina maples (2013). "The Milwaukee Journal – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  18. ^ Bill Werde (2013). "Q&A: U2 Manager Paul McGuinness Reflects on Steve Jobs' Passing | Billboard". Retrieved 25 April 2013. a more prominent, more outspoken advocate on behalf of artists, record labels, publishers and other rights-holders
  19. ^ Ben Fenton (2013). "U2 manager urges ISPs to help fight web piracy –". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  20. ^ CMU editorial (2013). "Google is the problem, U2 manager tells MIDEM | CMU: Complete Music Update". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Plan to convert Wimbledon FC into the 'Dublin Dons'; Soccer-Ireland". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  22. ^ Eamon Dunphy (1987). Unforgettable Fire The Story of U2. Penguin. p. 141. ISBN 0670821047.
  23. ^ "Kathy Gilfillan's Director Profile, The Lilliput Press Limited". 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

External links[edit]