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U2 Sued for Allegedly Stealing From British Guitarist Paul Rose on Achtung Baby‘s “The Fly”

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Bono of the rock group U2 performs during the taping of a music video November 22, 2004 in the Soho neighborhood of New York City. (Photo by Kathleen Voege/Getty Images)

Prodigious British guitarist Paul Rose can shred, but it seems like that’s no longer enough for him. He is now seeking royalties for a 26-year-old U2 song, sinister Achtung Baby rocker “The Fly,” which he believes borrows elements from an instrumental he released the same year called “Nae Slappin.” In a NYC court on Monday, Rose filed a lawsuit against the legendary Irish band asking for $5 million in damages and an added songwriting credit on “The Fly.”

Rose is claiming that U2 heard his demo tape, featuring “Nae Slappin,” at Island Records in 1989, sometime after Rose sent it to the band’s former label. He volunteers in the suit that U2 might have stolen his ideas for an instrumental groove and “an elaborate and distinctive guitar solo nearly identical to [“Nae Slappin”]” because their sound was “in need of invigoration.”

According to The New York Post, Rose’s lawyer also explained that Rose waited to speak out about the alleged plagiarism because he was worried, previously, that it would be a career-ruiner for him. He also claims that Rose only recently found an ex-Island-Records employee who could corroborate the fact that the tape was “often” played at the label during the making of Achtung Baby.

Compare the two songs for yourself below.

[Billboard/Sky News]