Paul Rose is suing U2, claiming that they stole elements of his song “Nae Slappin” for their 1991 Achtung Baby hit “The Fly.” Rose is seeking $5 million in damages, lawyers’ fees, and songwriting credit for “The Fly.”
The lawsuit accused U2 of hearing “Nae Slappin” in an Island Records studio executive office in 1989 shortly after signing with the label. Rose claims U2 were looking for a new sound, listening to different new music, including his own.
“Although perhaps the most popular rock band in the world in the 1980s, by that decade’s end the band felt in need of reinvigoration,” Rose’s lawsuit claimed.
The New York Post reports:
Rose’s lawyer, Thomas Mullaney, said his client is only coming forward now — some 26 years later — because he was just starting out at the time of the alleged theft and he didn’t want it to ruin his career.
Rose also only recently found an ex-Island Records employee who will corroborate his story, including that “Nae Slappin” was often played at Island records when U2 was looking for inspiration of “Achtung Baby,” Mullaney said.