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"[Edge] is almost embarrassed about being a guitar player because he wants to sound fresh."

-- Bono

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The Edge pens angry letter to US 'paper over tax insult

Irish Independent, July 13, 2011


The Edge has angrily denied claims that U2 were involved in avoiding paying tax - in a response to an American newspaper.

In the letter to the Baltimore Sun the guitarist responds to criticism of the band's controversial revenue affairs.

He defended U2's financial practices and rubbished "the possibly libelous accusation that U2 and Bono have, by moving a part of their business activities to Holland, been involved in tax evasion".

"For the record, U2 and the individual band members have a totally clean record with every jurisdiction to which they are required to pay tax and have never been and will never be involved in tax evasion," he said in the letter published on Tuesday.

The Edge also pointed to a declaration from the Department of Finance, which stated it had no issues with the band choosing to base some of its activities in Holland.

He was responding to a letter sent to the newspaper last week by Baltimore resident Simon Moroney, who claimed the U2 frontman exemplified "the worst characteristics of Wall Street, both for excess and tax evasion."

He went on to allege that U2 had abused the tax exemption for artists scheme in their home country to amass hundreds of millions of dollars tax free.

He also condemned Bono for owning a $15m yacht, a mansion in Dublin and financing the "expensive and lavish" broadway show ‘Spider-Man.'

In addition, he blasted the U2 singer's ONE campaign, calling it a "lobbying group with no mandate or accountability."

U2 played Baltimore in June.

After that gig the band flew to Glastonbury where tax protesters voiced their opposition to the band 's tax affairs.

Action group Art Uncut inflated a giant balloon with the message "U Pay Your Tax 2" as the band took to the stage.

Manager Paul McGuinness has also defended the band's tax arrangements, while Bono claims to be "stung" and "hurt" by such claims.

(c) Irish Independent, 2011.

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