Salman Rushdie Writes Ballad With U2

AFP (1999-01-22)

LONDON, Jan 22 (AFP) – British author Salman Rushdie and Irish rock group U2 are to collaborate on a new single, U2’s record company Island said Friday.

U2 lead singer Bono wrote a score to the opening lines of Rushdie’s new novel “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”, which tells the myth of Orpheus in the Underworld against a rock and roll and Indian setting, a spokesman said.

Rushdie, whose “Satanic Verses” earned him a fatwa, or Islamic death sentence in 1989 from the former Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, first worked with U2 when he came out of hiding and appeared live on stage with the band at a concert in London in 1993.

Teheran said last year it would not pursue the fatwa, but some Islamic groups have since declared the fatwa can never be repealed and should be carried out.

“Bono and I have been friends for several years, and I sent him the novel when I’d finished it, and he responded by coming up with this beautiful melody,” said Rushdie. “Simple as that, but of course very pleasurable.”

Rushdie’s text reads: “All my life I worshipped her. Her golden voice, her beauty’s beat. How she made us feel, how she made me real, and the ground beneath her feet.”

Island currently plans to try to release the single on the same day as Rushdie’s book is due to be published, on April 13.

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