U2 Manager Paul McGuinness Receives Billboard's Industry Icon Award at Midem
At a very early (9:30 a.m.) breakfast on Sunday morning, after a night of dancing on tables at Cannes' boîtes and bars like La Chunga, a gaggle of music execs gathered at a ceremony to pay tribute to U2's greatly esteemed manager Paul McGuinness, who received Billboard's prestigious 2014 Industry Icon Award.
Here the music business powerful, including Seymour Stein and Tommy Silverman and members of Billboard's 2014 International Power Players list, including Martin Mills, Willard Ahdritz, Allison Wenham, Frances Moore and others, gathered before a buffet of scrambled eggs, ham, fruit and yoghurt to pay their respect to the outspoken and trailblazing manager. McGuiness, in many ways, set the bar for how a manager and their clients can achieve a sustained and creative career and long-term success.
A short video preceded the ceremony with more of the music powerful paying tributes: McGuinness' partner in crime at Principle Management Trevor Bowen, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and UMG head Lucian Grainge ("I respect him greatly") paid succinct homage while the presentation saved the best tribute for last: U2.
"Bonjour Midem Monseur," so began Bono in garbled French on the video tribute. "We're so proud of Paul McGuinness. For other artist, bands and solo performers 35 years after they started out for fame and fortune or whatever, it's often really embarrassing for us, because so many of these great artists have had their hearts broken and there really aren't too many of them. There are exceptions, but I don't think we've ever met another artist who have had the same manager for 35 years from day one and for that whole time who had been unfaltering in his integrity, in his excellent business acumen… "
The Edge then weighed in cutting to the chase: "We own our own master tapes, we own our own copyrights," he said. Then Bono continued "Yes we do," he said. "We are in effect a a cooperative who shares those equally with the band and we were designed to survive and we were designed for something much harder: we were designed to survive success. And Paul it was your design. You are not only the music industry's Icon, you are our Icon, so thank you so much and congratulations on this award i can't think of anyone else more deserving."
You can read the full Paul McGuinness´ acceptance speech at Billboard.
Photo: Desjardins / Image & Co.