After nearly two years into their mammoth 360 World Tour, you have to assume U2 are getting a little sick of life on the road. And the rockers are most definitely getting sick of being targeted for tax evasion, as evidenced by The Edge's angry letter to the Baltimore Sun rebuffing the latest allegations against his buddy Bono and the rest of the band.
"It contains so many inaccuracies that it is pointless to correct them all", the Edge wrote in response to a July 7 letter sent to the paper from reader Simon Moroney, a Baltimore federal worker, who criticized Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin for his support of Bono's anti-poverty ONE campaign (describing it as a "lobbying group with no mandate or accountability") and stated "Paul Hewson, aka Bono, exemplifies the worst characteristics of Wall Street, both for excess and tax evasion."
"But the most serious inaccuracy is the totally false and possibly libelous accusation that U2 and Bono have, by moving a part of their business activities to Holland, been involved in tax evasion", The Edge wrote (as reported by U2 fan site atu2.com).
"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."
"Contrary to what Mr. Moroney writes", he continued, "Ireland is, thankfully, not bankrupt. Had he bothered to contact the Irish Ministry of Finance, as did Spin magazine journalist Steve Kandrell for his March 25th 2009 feature on U2, he would have discovered that they have no problem with U2 basing some of their business activities in Holland."
The Edge also slammed the letter on the grounds that "U2 and its members have paid many, many millions of dollars in taxes to the United States Internal Revenue Service over the years."
So is this war of words worthy of a libel suit against Moroney? Perhaps, but we'll have to wait on U2 to see what comes of this public tongue-lashing. Either way, it's not a happy follow-up to the protest of their headlining Glastonbury Festival performance last month, which saw members of a group called Art Uncut slagged U2 (with the help of a giant balloon) on similar grounds.
Good thing the rockers only have a few more dates left on their non-stop 360 trek (the tour wraps up July 30 in Moncton, New Brunswick) as it seems like the guys could use a time-out from the spotlight.
Watch U2 perform at Glastonbury 2011: